As temperatures rise in summer, your brain and body play out an elaborate battle plan to keep cool. A region of your brain known as the hypothalamus — often called the “body’s thermostat” — detects changes in core body temperature and signals your body’s first responders. When your body gets overheated, it begins to sweat. When the sweat evaporates it produces a cooling effect. When the body’s internal temperature exceeds 104°F you run the risk of heat exhaustion, which kills over 600 Americans every year on average.
Do you find yourself often having trouble with staying cool at work in the Summer? Here are some proven hacks to help you stay cool.
Eat Light Meals – Most of the heat generated in the body is derived from eating. If you have ever eaten a large meal and felt sweaty and lethargic afterward, this is because eating increases your core temperature as the body works to digest and metabolize your meal. Watermelon, peaches, apricots and radishes naturally cool the body by replenishing electrolytes. Electrolytes are salts and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, that conduct electrical impulses in the body. Loss in electrolytes through sweat leads to dehydration. Some other foods to heat would be leafy greens, cucumbers, spinach, tomatoes, fruit for dessert, or even seafood like crab and clams.
Drink Coconut Water – It is obvious that you should always drink regular water but sometimes you may need extra electrolytes. Coconut water is high in potassium and is a great source of electrolytes. 71% of people experienced a significant decrease in average diastolic blood pressure, the pressure between heartbeats. A lower diastolic pressure means your blood is not applying unnecessary pressure against your artery walls. Coconut water will definitely help you fight off hypertension.
Wear Thin, Loose, Light Colored Clothing – The body naturally cools itself through sweating, but the cooling actually results from evaporation. Sweat cannot properly evaporate if covered by thick clothing, so the looser and lighter the clothing, the more conducive to cooling. Also, dark clothing absorbs more light wavelengths, and will convert energy to heat.
Avoid Caffeine -Increases in core body temperature have been linked to caffeine intake. Caffeine causes vasoconstriction, the constriction of blood vessels which warms the blood. Vasoconstriction is the opposite of vasodilation, which is a process used to cool the body. Despite your attempts to cool down with that iced coffee or energy drink, the feeling may be temporary as the warming effect of caffeine commences.
Whether you live in a climate where heat is a daily reality or limited to the summer months, integrating these hacks into your life will allow you to remain cool, calm and collected.