Homemade beverages best for beating the heat

Beverages are essential to stay hydrated in the summer heat. Whether they are part of a meal or in between, a refreshing drink helps you rejuvenate. Just like choosing your food, the choice of your drinks can make the difference between how you feel and how it affects your body's water balance.

The ideal drink is pure drinking water.

Many of us are unsure as to whether it's fine to drink beverages with meals. The truth is that there is no need to separate beverages from solid foods. Just sip in moderation. It is not advisable to drink copious amounts of water or cold drinks along with meals as it has been shown to suppress gastric secretion and impair digestion. A plain glass of water or some green tea or soup are fine with meals. A squeeze of lime or lemon can enhance iron and calcium uptake from food, besides adding vitamin C.

Another eternal debate is how much one should drink? Going by recommended levels, many would be guilty of not drinking enough. It is true that an adult body requires an average of about 2.5 litres (8-10 glasses) of fluid daily to pass enough urine. Based on the recommendations that 1 ml of fluid is required to metabolise 1 calorie, this figure may vary with seasons and individual needs. This includes beverages, soups, milk and dal.

Thirst may not be a reliable indicator of your fluid needs. Inadequate fluid intake could lead to dehydration. Some of its early signs are poor concentration, lethargy, fatigue and dry mouth. Chronic fluid insufficiency can lead to hyperfilteration in the kidneys leading to renal disease or stones. Severe dehydration can be dangerous with serious health consequences like nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness and can even be fatal. Women following weight loss diets may need extra servings of low-calorie fluids. However, those suffering from renal disease or heart failure must strictly regulate their fluid intake.

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