Staying cool in hot weather with food and drink

A woman drinking water from a pink water bottle.

As the temperature heats up across the state, Health and Wellbeing Queensland is sharing its top food and drink tips to help Queenslanders stay cool and hydrated. 

Public health nutritionist Rebecca Farletti says what you eat and drink can have a big impact on how your body copes with the heat. 

‘Drinking water and staying hydrated is one of the most important ways to regulate your body temperature,’ Ms Farletti says. 

‘If you’re not adequately hydrated, your body temperature rises faster and you sweat more, which can lead to dehydration. 

‘By the time we actually feel thirsty, we’re probably already dehydrated, so don’t wait until then to start drinking water – regular drinks throughout the day is best. 

‘A great place to start drinking plenty of water is the day a hot day before so when it heats up, you’re not playing catch-up with your body.’ 

Ms Farletti says people should drink between 2 to 2.5 litres of water a day but may need more on hot days when they’re sweating. 

‘Carrying a water bottle with you throughout the day is a great way to keep track of how much you’re drinking,’ she says. 

‘For a refreshing drink, fill your water bottle halfway and freeze it on the night before, then add cool water in the morning so your drink is chilled. 

‘Caffeine and alcohol both make the body produce more urine, so avoid them on hot days.’ 

What you put on your plate is just as important to help you beat the heat, Ms Farletti says. 

‘Cucumbers, tomatoes and celery are a rich source of water and essential nutrients, as are fruits like blueberries, strawberries and oranges,’ she says. 

‘Not only will these help keep you hydrated, but they’ll also help you reach your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.’

Physical activity is an important part of maintaining a healthy balance, but on unseasonably warm days, Ms Farletti says it’s best to listen to your body. 

‘Running in the middle of the day or when the temperature is high may do you more harm than good – it’s okay to take it slower on hot days or swap out your run for some laps at the pool,’ Ms Farletti says. 

Health and Wellbeing Queensland’s top 5 tips to say cool:

  1. Drink water regularly throughout the day 
  1. Eat fruit and vegetables with a high water content 
  1. Eat cool meals like sandwiches, wraps and salads 
  1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol 
  1. Choose light or moderate exercise over vigorous physical activity 

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