The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) in the UAE documented a temperature of 50.1 degrees Celsius on Sunday, July 16, at 2:45 PM in Bada Dafas in Al Dhafra region, located in Abu Dhabi. This marks the highest temperature registered in the country up to this point in the year.
As the temperatures soar and have crossed the 50-degree mark, UAE doctors say residents are prone to headaches and migraines due to dehydration and heat-related ailments such as heat stroke, heat fatigue, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Here are some tips on how to stay hydrated in the UAE during the summer.
Tips to stay hydrated in the UAE during summer
1. Sip water throughout the day
Of course, during the summer, one of the easiest ways to maintain hydration is by increasing fluid consumption. Relying solely on thirst as a signal to drink water falls short of meeting the body’s needs. Carry a water bottle with you, and make sure to sip water frequently.
There is no standard for how much plain water adults and children should drink daily, though there are general recommendations for both women and men. Here’s one rule of thumb: women should drink approximately 2.7 liters of water each day, while men should average 3.7 liters of total water.
Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning as soon as you wake up and have another glass before each meal.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) recommends the below calculation for the daily water requirement of a body:
Note: If you have an outdoor occupation: You should drink 1 cup of water every 15 to 20
2. Choose sugar-free juice
Now, if the taste of water doesn’t appeal to you, there are ways to enhance its flavor. One method is to infuse your water bottle with seasonal fruits without adding sugar, such as orange, mint, lemon, or even cucumber. This allows you to enjoy refreshing and flavorful hydration.
Tender coconut water is a very good substitute to water, this mineral-rich liquid is a rich source of potassium and magnesium, and prevents dehydration, fatigue, and stress. It also contains electrolytes that replenish energy in the body.
If you do use sport drinks, check the label to be sure you’re not getting excessive amounts of sugar or additives.
3. Eat fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have a high water content. During the summer, if you’re spending a lot of time outside, make sure to pack a snack full of fruits and vegetables to help you achieve your water consumption goals. Some good ideas are cucumbers, grapes, watermelon, and strawberries.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Eating food rich in fiber is very important for overall health. Avoid fried foods as they can strain the body more during summer so instead, you should substitute them for roasted,
grilled, or boiled foods. Home-made yoghurt smoothies with a dash of organic honey and eating berries is not only cooling and refreshing but also a low-calorie option.
For non-vegetarians, keeping the consumption of animal fats to the minimum is a good practice during summer. It is preferable to have seafood or lightly grilled chicken.
5. Avoid caffeinated beverages
Caffeine is a diuretic (meaning it causes you to go to the bathroom more often). S everages like coffee, tea, and soda can actually contribute to dehydration. They are loaded with sugar, sodium, and other ingredients that remove water from your tissues.
6. Dress appropriately
The way you dress can go a long way toward keeping you comfortable when you’re outside in the heat. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing that allows your body to breathe and helps in sweat evaporation.
3 things to look for when selecting your summer fabrics:
- Color: Dark or bright colors offer better protection than lighter shades because they keep UV rays from reaching your skin by absorbing them.
- Coverage: The more skin that is covered by your clothes, the better your protection.
- UPF: UPF (Ultra Protective Factor) labels are sometimes used by some clothing makers, which indicate exactly how much of the sun’s rays the garment can protect against.
The best overall fabric is made of cotton, which allows air to circulate. This makes heat more bearable. Other good fabric choices are linen and rayon.
2 things to look for when selecting your sunglasses:
- UV Rays: Always choose sunglasses with the highest level of UVA/UVB protection
- Size: The bigger the sunglasses the better as it will cover more area of the face.
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7. Use Sunscreen
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF (of at least 50) to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Use a higher-rated, waterproof sunscreen if you’ll be poolside or out on the beach. Broad spectrum means that the SPF will prevent both UVA and UVB ray damage, while water-resistant means that it will stay on wet skin for about 40–80 minutes after applying.
Sunscreen also helps in lowering the risk of rapid aging of the skin and skin cancer related to UV light.
Some ingredients that may be particularly effective against sun damage and burns include:
- titanium dioxide
8. Plan outdoor activities wisely
If possible, avoid going outside during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 11 AM and 4 PM. If you need to be outdoors, seek shade whenever possible or use an umbrella to shield yourself from direct sunlight.
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9. Exercise, but at the right time
Schedule your exercise sessions during the cooler parts of the day, typically early morning or late evening. This helps you avoid the intense heat and reduces the risk of heat-related illnesses.
Consider engaging in indoor activities or exercises during the hottest hours of the day. This can include activities like yoga, Pilates, indoor cycling, or strength training at a gym or fitness center with proper air conditioning.
As per the DHA, exercise guidelines for adults is 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity. Also add moderate to high intensity muscle strengthening activity at least 2 days a week.
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Take advantage of swimming pools or indoor aquatic centers for a refreshing workout. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that keeps you cool while providing a full-body workout. Water aerobics or aqua fitness classes are also great options.
10. Know the signs of dehydration
Symptoms of dehydration in adults and children include:
- feeling thirsty
- dark yellow, strong-smelling urine
- feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- feeling tired
- fluctuations in blood pressure
- a dry mouth, lips and tongue
- sunken eyes
- Fast heartbeat
Signs of dehydration in a baby may include:
- a sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on top of their head
- sunken eyes
- few or no tears when they cry
- not having many wet nappies
- being drowsy or irritable
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