Wednesday, 27 Sep 2023

Nutritionist recommends top foods to stay hydrated during heatwave

Dr Amir gives tips on how to stay safe during UK heatwave

The first heat health warning of the year has been issued for this weekend, with temperatures in six regions of Britain set to crawl to the 30s.

Before you dig out your favourite swimwear and hit the local pool, there are a few things to keep in mind, including suncream and hydration.

Rob Hobson, Consultant Sports Nutritionist at supplement brand Healthspan, said: “As temperatures hurl towards the 30s and the Met Office issues a three-day hot weather alert, maxing your water intake to stay hydrated is going to be important.”

When temperatures rise, your body gets to work and helps to cool you down, spurring on sweating.

“If you do not drink enough fluids to replace the waste lost through sweat, you risk becoming dehydrated, and let’s face it, we are all going to be sweating a bit over the next few days,” Hobson said.

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In hot weather, the NHS recommends drinking more than six to eight mugs of fluid per day.

While drinking plenty of water is key, foods could also help you stay hydrated.

Hobson explained that the following foods have the highest water content:

  • Cucumber
  • Red pepper
  • Broth-based soup
  • Watermelon
  • Tomato sauce
  • Milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Steamed white fish 
  • Eggs
  • Boiled pasta.

Breakfast

You can kick-start your hydration straight in the morning with slices of watery fruits, such as melon or grapefruit, the nutritionist suggested.

He added: “You can then add hydration with a bowl of cereal and milk topped with berries or yoghurt and fresh fruit. 

“You could also make a breakfast smoothie by adding fruits (fresh or canned) to milk.”

Lunch

Quick and fresh, salads could bridge the gap between a lack of appetite caused by the heat and the need to hydrate.

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Hobson said: “Alongside lettuce, add watery vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes and fruits such as strawberries. 

“Watermelon, cucumber, feta, and mint [also] make a hydrating salad.”

From citrus fruits to yoghurts, there are plenty of dressing ingredients that can also boost your water intake.

If you’re not a salad fan, the nutritionist suggested opting for a summer classic like gazpacho, which is a cold soup made out of tomatoes, onion and garlic.

Dinner

While eating salad for dinner is always an option, the nutritionist also recommended enjoying summer casseroles that are based around stock.

“You can include meat, fish and seafood in summer casseroles or stick to beans and pulses for something plant-based, but the key is to make them quite soupy,” Hobson said.

Tomato-based sauces paired with pasta and shakshuka are also viable options, according to the expert.

“Ditch stodgy puddings in the summer in favour of fruit-based crumbles, jellies and even homemade ice lollies made using fruit juice and purees,” he added.

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