functions best at a certain temperature and when that temperature rises, we
start sweating and losing fluids, which is our body’s natural reaction in an
attempt to cool down,” explains Dr Ross Perry, GP and medical director of
sweat excessively, it can lead to dehydration which can become dangerous,
therefore it’s important to stay hydrated to keep our bodies working and
you know if you’re at risk of dehydration?
being dehydrated include headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, tiredness,
occasionally nausea and low blood pressure,” Dr Perry says.
enough water is the obvious solution – the NHS recommends six to eight glasses
per day for an adult – but what if you’re not in the habit of sipping so much?
Or you don’t like the taste of water? And do tea and coffee count?
doctors share seven ways to make sure you stay hydrated during a heatwave…
wait until you’re thirsty
of your thirst by recognising your own feelings of thirst, such as a dry mouth
or feeling lethargic, and aim to drink to avoid them rather than to treat
them,” says Dr Perry. “Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to reach for a drink,
sip water continuously throughout the day and when you wake up during the
Mehta, GP at the London General Practice, says: “Keep a bottle of water or a
suitable alternative on you throughout the day.”
heatwave, he recommends: “Be even more vigilant and aware of your intake
volume, and try to drink at least 20% above your usual intake to compensate for
fluid loss through sweat.”
at your pee
indicator that you need to up your hydration levels is the colour of your
explains: “The darker it looks, the more water you need to be consuming. Keep
an eye on the colour and smell. If it’s yellow looking with a strong smell, the
chances are you’re dehydrated and need to be drinking more.”
As well as
glugging liquids, you can increase your intake by munching snacks with a high
says: “Think berries, watermelon, nectarines, and peaches, which are all packed
full of water, rather than carb-laden foods which can be packed full of salt
and make you feel more thirsty.”
drinks and squash can be high in sugar, so choose flavoured drinks carefully.
flavouring your water to make it more enjoyable, add slices of lemon, cucumber,
or strawberries,” Dr Perry suggests. “If you’re not a fan of plain drinking
water, milk is a good choice, as it’s more hydrating than water or sports
drinks, due to its source of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and
freezing your own ice lollies from fresh fruit juice or smoothies, so you have
a snack that’s cooling and hydrating.
drinks that dehydrate you further, including alcoholic drinks,” says Dr Mehta.
If you are drinking, try to match each alcoholic beverage with a glass of
recommends: “Cut down on alcohol, especially during a heatwave, as it will only
make you more dehydrated, and exacerbate headaches and tiredness.”
drinks aren’t as dehydrating as you might think – as long as they’re consumed
says: “Coffee and tea are fine to drink to stay hydrated, just make sure you’re
not having too much caffeine throughout the day.”
yourself to drink more water, try downloading a hydration-tracking app, which
will keep you on track with the number of fluids your body needs,” says Dr
available on both Apple and Android devices include Water Reminder (search the
Apple or Google Play stores) and WaterMinder.
on heatwave days, set an alarm on your phone calendar every hour, to remind you
to keep sipping.