Many areas of the U.S. are experiencing fluctuating and blistering heatwaves this summer. All season long, rising temperatures have broken records nationwide, making it seem nearly impossible at times to beat the heat.
During these extreme weather conditions, keeping your body cool and well-hydrated is crucial not only for your comfort, but more importantly for your health. But aside from keeping tabs on your water intake, there are also certain foods doctors recommend staying away from to help your body retain the most water it can during the heat.
Avoid coffee and tea.
These two drinks pair well with a healthy breakfast, however, they can be extremely dehydrating during a heatwave. Both tea and coffee (hot or iced) have strong diuretic properties, which can flush the water out of your body. Drinks heavy in diuretic properties can be good to help the kidneys get rid of excess fluid, according to Harvard Health Publishing, so drinking tea or coffee can flush out water that our body needs during this time.
Although tea can be quite refreshing, the herbs found in certain teas and ingredients like dandelion, juniper, and ginger can have diuretic properties as well, so be mindful of how much tea you consume in the heat.
Instead, try opting for coconut water. A good source of electrolytes and antioxidants, coconut water is widely-known for its hydrating qualities, making it one of the perfect beverages during a heat wave.
Watch out for these green vegetables.
Healthy vegetables like garlic, onions, artichokes, and fennel also have diuretics. Asparagus is high in amino acids, which are natural diuretics that decrease water retention. While you should include these healthy greens in your diet, it is important to be mindful how dehydrating these vegetables can be on a hot summer day. Instead, try opting for veggies high in water content, such as cucumbers and celery.
Like most fruit, mangoes seem like the perfect refreshing snack for a scorching heatwave. But mangoes are high in potassium, a natural diuretic that can flush water out of the body. Instead of mangoes on a hot day, substitute them for strawberries or melon, two refreshing fruits that are both high in water content.
A fruity cocktail on a hot summer night might seem to be the perfect way to unwind and relax at the end of a long day. But as a diuretic, alcohol not only washes out the water in your system, but can cause the liver to over cleanse itself if you have too many drinks, leaving your body more dehydrated.
Alcohol also decreases your body’s production of vasopressin. Vasopressin is a hormone that prevents the body from sweating excessively. It causes the body to retain water, reducing the amount of urine produced by the kidneys. In combination with the other effects of alcohol, the body may become strained and extremely dehydrated. When drinking alcohol in hot temperatures, make sure to alternate alcohol with plenty of water or drink in moderation.