How to cope with a heat wave thanks to food? Drink more or drink iced? Eliminate the salt? Which foods and drinks to favor and which to avoid during hot weather? We take stock with a specialist.
In the event of a heat wave, we cannot repeat it enough, it is essential to hydrate well and drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day. But how to eat well to meet the water needs of our body and face the heat? What should you absolutely avoid? Which other drinks to turn to? We follow the advice of Hélène Lemaire, dietician nutritionist.
Foods to eat during the heatwave
When the weather is hot, the body eliminates a lot through sweat. You can hydrate yourself by drinking water, but also by focusing on foods that contain it. "We favor foods rich in water and minerals, so especially fruits and vegetables, indicates the dietician nutritionist. In priority, we put on cucurbits such as zucchini and cucumber ". Salad and tomato are also good choices in hot weather, because they are rich in water. We also think of salads with already cooked vegetables, such as peppers or eggplants.
And on the fruit side, which are the most hydrating? "The melon and the watermelon" our expert answers without hesitation. "But not without moderation, since fruits are rich in fructose, and therefore in sugar, unlike vegetables". As a starter or for a light lunch, for example, let yourself be tempted by a vegetable juice or a cold soup, such as gazpacho.
Foods to avoid during a heatwave
- Diuretic drinks
Coffee, tea … these diuretic drinks cause the elimination of water. To be avoided, therefore, in excess, during peak heat. "On the other hand, this is not the case with green tea, and in particular black teas from China, which are consumed in hot countries for their moisturizing properties" remarks the dietician.
- Alcoholic drinks
The same, of course, for alcoholic drinks which accelerate dehydration. As for the misconception that beer hydrates, "it's wrong, insists Hélène Lemaire. Beer has never quenched your thirst ". She adds : "It is a feeling that some people have but alcohol dehydrates, that is to say that we eliminate more water than what we have drunk". As well as sugary drinks, which can be refreshing at the time but are actually very thirsty.
Meat should also be limited. "Animal proteins tend to heat up the body and make us sweat" explains Hélène Lemaire, and therefore demand more energy. "We therefore favor vegetable proteins (legumes, whole grains, pasta and brown rice), called slow proteins, which do not have the same effect on the body at all". In summer, barbecue is a tradition, but in case of very hot weather, we try to replace the prime rib with fish or eggs.
Nothing replaces water to hydrate when the weather is hot. It is recommended to drink regularly, without waiting to be thirsty, 1 liter and a half to 2 liters of water per day, or the equivalent of eight large glasses of water.
Good to know : the color and number of urine that we make is a good indicator of our state of hydration. "We should go between 4 and 7 times to wee, and not at night, if we go less, it is because we do not drink enough, if we go more, it is because we drink too much. The darker the urine, the less hydration is good. But it is necessary when they are colored and not too clear " notes the dietician.
To vary the pleasures, the expert recommends infusing mint leaves and verbena in its water and adding a few slices of cucumber to flavor it.
It's a persistent idea, yet eating and drinking iced isn't the best thing to do during a heatwave. This is counterproductive because the body will increase its body temperature to warm up and try to keep its temperature around 37 ° C at all costs. It's the same principle as with the cold shower.
"The ideal is to eat at room temperature or at body temperature, so as not to spend energy on heating, nor energy on cooling" assures Hélène Lemaire.
"Yes and no" answers the dietician. When water evaporates, so does salt. Sodium is essential for organic balance. "It really depends on the amount of perspiration. People who sweat a lot should not hesitate to salt a little more, especially the elderly but not always excessively." she advocates.
Beware of the cold chain
In periods of high heat, fresh food should be handled with care so as not to risk food poisoning. We think of taking an insulated bag to go shopping, we quickly store our frozen foods and we do not leave fresh products out of the refrigerator for too long. "For example at breakfast, we tend to take out the butter and wait until everyone has finished, the same for sauces, mayonnaise or ham. You really have to take out the products at the last moment and put them in very quickly. " warns Hélène Lemaire. His advice for preparing meals in advance: cool it in a container with ice cubes or freezer bricks so that it can be quickly put in the refrigerator.
Thanks to Hélène Lemaire, dietician nutritionist, nutriomega.net
See also: the actions to adopt to fight against the heat wave when you have no air conditioning