Feeling the heat? Unorthodox tips to hydrate cool down

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AS temperatures soar across our desert lands, what you eat and drink becomes more important than ever in order to ensure you stay cool and hydrated. While cases of dehydration may be rare, low hydration levels also affect our wellbeing in ways you may not know, influencing everything from energy levels, to the digestive system and blood pressure. According to Zenia Menon, nutritionist at Dubai Herbal and Treatment Center, “water is essential for thermoregulation of the body. A water loss of even two percent or more causes severe fatigue and cardiovascular impairments and also disrupts brain function.
“Dehydration causes loss of essential electrolytes from the body, therefore, the primary goal is to replenish these with foods high in potassium and sodium,” she told Arab News.
Electrolytes are essentially minerals — such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium — containing an electric charge that help regulate most important bodily functions. When you are not adequately hydrated, it causes electrolyte imbalance.
While the time-tested advice of drinking at least eight glasses of water everyday holds true, there are many other ways in which you can up your water intake. A general rule of thumb that you should always keep in mind is seasonality — there is a reason that nature intended certain produce to grow at a certain time of the year, it is related to geography and climate. So, certain summer fruits and vegetables naturally tend to have a more cooling and hydrating effect.
It is also useful to note that too much protein should be avoided, as proteins take up more intra-cellular water for digestion. To help make things easier, here are seven food-related ways in which you can increase your hydration levels this summer:
With a 95 percent water content, cucumbers are one of the most hydrating foods around and also taste refreshing. The low-calorie vegetable contains high levels of potassium and other essential minerals, Vitamin C, and fiber, making it nutritionally dense too. Apart from the obvious salads, try experimenting with chilled cucumber soup, dips, as a toast topping and sorbet. Coconut water is a hydration superstar. Touted as one of this era’s superfoods, its high potassium makes it ideal for replenishing essential electrolytes. The best way to drink it is, of course, au naturel, and whole coconuts are available in certain supermarkets in this region. But there are some excellent packaged coconut waters too — just remember to opt for natural and organic brands over sweetened versions.