In the early hours of the day, drink pure water. As you start sweating more, switch to electrolyte-containing drinks to replenish the ones you’ve sweated in: Coconut Water, Smartwater, Gatorade, Powerade, and so on. Electrolytes are minerals in your body such as sodium and potassium that are electrically charged and your body needs them to function. When you sweat them, you have to replace them.
You can also buy electrolyte tablets, such as NUUN Tablets ($ 7), and drop one into a normal water bottle. Fruit smoothies are my favorites when the heat is killing me. As an alternative you don’t need to fall into the water, try chewing SaltStick Fastchews ($ 3). Get some ice cream with some coconut water, almond milk and fruit solids to give you an energy boost and cool off from the inside out. Keep drinking them throughout the day to keep you hydrated, at least by taking small sips regularly. And if urine becomes dark, it’s time to increase your intake.
If the power goes out or you are outdoors, grab an insulated refrigerator and some loose ice to keep your drinks cool. That Igloo Laguna Ice Chest ($ 20) It’s not great at all, but it’s a time-tested design that stands out in its main job without any luxury: keeping drinks cold for a long time.
Contrary to popular belief, coffee and soda are good to drink. The amount of caffeine they contain is quite low compared to the amount of water that will still hydrate you if you are dehydrated. Beer is also good, as long as it is a session beer (between 3 and 4% alcohol by volume) and not one with a high ABV. Just pace yourself and don’t drink too much. Studies that potentiate the diuretic effects of beer, that is, it makes you urinate, tend to be tested with beers with high ABV (5 percent or more) and in test subjects who are already well hydrated or hyperhydrated. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.
Hard liquor is not a good idea. The alcohol content is too high in relation to the total volume of liquid in a serving.
What to eat in the heat
You may urinate clearly and still be dehydrated. Simple water, on an empty stomach, travels through the body quickly. The digestive tract recognizes that there are no nutrients to absorb from the water, and without food to digest, which requires water, the body gives it the green light to pass through the body as fast as it wants. It’s like a busy bus lane for fluids. It does not make drinking water useless; definitely, keep drinking often as you are absorbing some of it. You will simply absorb more if there is food in your stomach that will slow down this flood of water, allowing your body to absorb more.