Having trouble keeping cool in the summer heat? Read these six tips to learn how to cool down when the temperature goes up.
Everyone loves summertime, but when the heat gets too oppressive, it’s crucial to listen to your body and find relief. But keeping cool is sometimes easier said than done. In this article, we’ll share our top six tips and tricks for how to stay cool in the heat.
1. Stay Hydrated
The most important thing to remember in sweltering heat is to stay hydrated. Sweating is your body’s natural way of keeping cool. When sweat evaporates from your skin, the evaporation process absorbs energy in the form of heat, which has the pleasant side effect of cooling you down. But sweating also causes your body to lose water, which means that to keep your body balanced, you’ll need to drink even more than the recommended 8-10 cups a day.
To make it easier to remember to drink enough water, get your hands on a reusable water bottle, and carry it with you. But don’t forget to keep your water bottle clean!
By water, we really do mean water, not surgery drinks like lemonade or soda or even juice. To make it a little less monotonous, try adding a few mint leaves, or try making ginger water. It’s healthy and will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
But: Don’t be tempted to use cold drinks as a way of staying cool. As tempting as it might be to dump a ton of ice in your water, it will only make you feel worse. Although they might provide some temporary relief, cold drinks activate your metabolism as your body tries to bring that liquid back up to its own temperature. That means that in the end, you’ll sweat even more.
2. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
When the heat kills our motivation to get up and do anything, many of us are tempted to do one of two things. Either we look for a caffeinated drink like iced tea or (cold brew) coffee to give ourselves the extra push we need to get things done, or we give up and decide it’s time to open a beer with friends, hoping the alcohol will make the misery of a heatwave more bearable. Unfortunately, neither of these are effective ways of keeping cool.
Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, which means they increase urine production, causing you to lose even more water. And since you are already losing water through sweat, drinking caffeine or alcohol will put you at risk of becoming dehydrated even faster.
3. Eat Light Meals
Another idea for how to stay cool in the heat? Eat more salads and fewer burgers. And we’re not just saying that because it’s healthier and we think going vegan is a good idea.
Eating smaller, lighter, and more frequent meals will help you feel less lethargic. Choose something like grilled vegetables, gazpacho, or a fruit plate instead of sausages, pizza, or pasta. It’s not exactly a way of keeping cool, but it will make the heat more bearable.
Tip: Eating fruits that contain a high amount of water is an especially tasty way of staying hydrated. That’s why fruits like watermelon make the perfect summer treat. And did you know that you can even eat watermelon rind?
4. Adjust Your Schedule
There’s a reason why hotter countries like Spain and Italy shut down for naps in the middle of the day. They know well that it’s useless to try to work, especially outside, when the sun is high in the sky and the heat of the day is at its peak. Better to take a break and wait it out.
If you don’t have the good fortune to live in a land of long, blessed afternoon snoozes, it might be easier said than done to simply take a few hours to chill every afternoon. But you can make certain adjustments. For example, try waking up an hour or two earlier and getting in your morning workout before it gets too hot. Or, if you want to do some work outside in the garden, wait to start on it until the early evening. To try and keep cool, do your very best to plan anything that requires manual labor during the cooler hours.
Tip: If you do have to be outside during the hottest hours of the day, don’t forget to use sunscreen!
5. Find Ways to Sleep
If you don’t have AC, you may find yourself dreading summer nights. There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning for hours, being kept awake by the stifling heat.
In attempts to cool their bodies down before falling asleep, some people take cold showers before bed. It sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately, this is just as counterproductive as drinking ice-cold beverages. Instead of keeping it cool, cold showers end up causing your body to produce more heat, as it tries to bring its temperature back in balance.
If you want to try to stay cool during summer nights, eat a light dinner so that the furnace that is your metabolism isn’t too hard at work while you’re trying to relax. Make sure your room is well ventilated, and wear breathable fabric to sleep, like cotton or linen. Sleeping without any clothes at all isn’t always the best idea: if you are sweating in your sleep, you might end up becoming too cold during the night, which will lower your immune system and leave you vulnerable to catching a cold (not to mention, you won’t feel very well rested in the morning).
6. How to Keep a Room Cool
If you don’t have air conditioning and you’re trying to figure out how to keep a room cool in the heat, we have the ultimate list for you.
The first thing to try is to hang up a wet towel or sheet somewhere in the room. Why does this work? The same reason that sweating helps bring down your body temperature: evaporative cooling. Water happens to have a relatively high level of surface tension, which means that it has to absorb a large amount of heat energy from the environment to achieve a phase change like evaporation. As the heat gets absorbed into this process, the room gets cooler.
Check out our full article on how cool a room without AC for more tips.underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.
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