How to stay cool in hot weather
N.B. This blog is also available in Finnish and you’ll find it here
I get a lot of questions about high temperatures in Spain and how to handle it? We all are aware that it’s smart to step into the shade always when it’s possible and keep blinds and curtains closed during the day as a preventative measure to keep the room temperature comfortable at home. In my opinion, air conditioning is definitely needed and fortunately we have a swimming pool, which we can jump in to cool off.
But there is also something else what you can do to cool yourself and feel more comfortable during the warm summer! That is to say, the right kind of food and drinks. It has a surprisingly big significance what you put in your mouth! Now I’m going to share with you my favorite ways to beat that heat so you can enjoy fully this nice summer.
Keep hydrated. Rule number one: Drink water, a lot of it! It’s important to stay hydrated all year round, but the summer heat and sweating a lot can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so drinking enough water becomes even more important.
If pure water starts to feel boring, try tender coconut water or and pepper mint or mint leaves into your drink. Coconut water is very rich in minerals and vitamins which are crucial in cooling down the body and those green leaves have a cooling effect too.
Eat smaller meals regularly. Your body warms up when it works to process meals, especially the larger ones and with a lot of protein. The reason for this is that when your body breaks down food you ate, the metabolic heat is part of the process. Eating smaller meals are easier for your body to digest and they may help to keep you cooler.
Eat light. There’s a reason we reach for salads and cold smoothies in the summer. Those kinds of foods are easier to digest than heavy pizzas or fatty burgers and fries for example, that only leave you feeling sluggish and bloated in the high temperatures.
Instead heavy, salty and fatty meals, reach for watery salads, fruits and vegetables that do not require you to use the oven or stove to prepare and can help keep you hydrated and cooler.
Spice it up. Spicy food really does keep you cooler in the summer! Chilies like cayenne, jalapeño, and habanero peppers get their heat from the chemical called capsaicin, a compound that helps us to perspire more. When the sweat evaporates, you get cooler. So as long as you drink enough water while eating spicy food, the perspiration that comes from enjoying hot salsa and spicy Mexican inspired food, will force your body to cool itself more efficiently and quickly.
Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine. Both of these substances can act as diuretics and promote dehydration, so even if cold beer might sound tempting, forget it. Opt for cold fresh water and you’ll thank yourself tomorrow. If you anyway want to enjoy something with caffeine or alcohol, drink water the double or triple the amount of it.
Choose right clothes. Light colored clothes reflect heat whereas dark colored clothes absorb heat, raising your body temperature. Cotton and linen fabrics are cool and comfortable, whilst synthetic fabrics make you sweat even more and cause uncomfortable feeling. Also, avoid wearing tight clothes as it restricts air circulation.
P.S. Pics are from the last weekend and pool of Hotel Eurostars Palacio Buenavista (Toledo). You can read more about our trip to Toledo from here.