It’s vital to drink plenty of water during the summer. Obvious advice maybe, but dehydration is a problem experienced by many people each year and a lack of water can have major consequences. Symptoms of dehydration include overall weakness, severe fatigue, headaches and sleep problems. More serious hydration can lead to illness. That’s why it’s crucial to stay well-hydrated in the warm weather. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty – act pre-emptively by drinking water regularly. In soaring temperatures or heatwaves, you need to compensate for the water you lose when you perspire.
In practice: Try to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day. To achieve this, you can vary your drinks, alternating between still or sparkling water, fruit juice, smoothies and chilled soups. In very hot weather, this amount can be increased to compensate for water lost naturally. Evaporation of water in the body can also be limited with sodium. To prevent dehydration, try SuperWater, a drink popular with sportspeople because of its sodium salt content.
Added extra: Don’t forget to hydrate your skin too. As it is highly exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the skin needs to be well-hydrated to withstand external attack. So take advantage of the benefits of moisturising creams and nutricosmetics such as the natural formulation Skin Ceramides.
Not only can the body become dehydrated in the summer, it also has to withstand the effects of aggressive UVA and UVB rays which can cause extensive damage to skin cells. Responsible for sunburn and other skin problems, this damage is due to the generation of free radicals – reactive species known to contribute to premature ageing of the skin and body. Hence the importance of protecting your skin properly during the summer months.
In practice: Keep your skin covered during the hottest hours of the day – between 12 noon and 4.00pm - and ensure you protect your skin from ultraviolet rays whatever the time of day. Top up your sunscreen regularly to ensure long-lasting protection.
Added extra: You can also use natural compounds such as carotenoids to help protect your skin. As well as applying a topical sunscreen, take advantage of the antioxidant potency of natural carotenoids to prepare your skin for the sun.
At the start of summer, it’s not uncommon to feel like you need a holiday, usually because of a build-up of stress and fatigue. This is a sign that the body is not in tip-top condition. The summer months then are the ideal time to restore your energy and vitality and give your body a boost. This can take the form of ensuring an optimal intake of vitamins such as B, C and D, which the body needs in order to function healthily and to have good immune defences.
In practice: Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day as they contain significant amounts of vitamins and other nutrients. You can take advantage of the wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables available in summer.
Added extra: Apart from vitamins, other nutrients such as trace elements and minerals are also essential to help you get back in, or stay in, shape. Providing an optimal intake, the multivitamin formula Daily 3® is formulated to deliver a concentrate of 43 beneficial nutrients.
Summer is also the season for barbeques and appetizers. Unfortunately, this kind of food can often be quite rich. You can find yourself regularly eating too many calories with consequences for your health. Apart from leading to weight gain, an unbalanced diet can cause health problems in the long-term. That’s why it’s important to know how to enjoy yourself while at the same time minimising dietary excesses.
In practice: Cut excess calories by prioritising light meals. Make sure they’re balanced though, so that your nutritional needs are properly met. A light, balanced diet could, for example, focus on the wide variety of recipes available for mixed salads, tarts and cakes.
Added extra: Good digestion can help reduce accumulation of fat in the body. Combatting digestive problems means ensuring a good balance in your gut flora, for which you need the beneficial effects of probiotics such as the strain Lactobacillus gasseri.