By Stephanie La Leggia
What that summer heat is really doing to your body (and surprising ways to cool down)
If you’re sweating up a storm, be sure to replenish your water and your salts. Overdoing the H2O and not getting enough sodium can leave you suffering from heat cramps (a.k.a. muscle spasms).
⇒ Eat spicy foods. Research has found that spicy foods can trigger heat receptors in the mouth, which encourage bodily sweating, ultimately dropping your internal temperature.
⇒ Eat water-rich foods like leafy greens and watermelon, as they require less energy to digest, which helps to control your body’s heat levels.
⇒ If you feel like you’re overheating, drink some piping-hot tea. Ottawa researchers discovered that a warm brew will make you sweat and leave you feeling cooler, just like spicy food.
⇒ If your body’s internal temperature exceeds 41°C, your body will become fatigued and you run the risk of organ failure.
If your body’s temperature exceeds 37.5ºC, you will likely suffer from hyperthermia, and if it jumps to 40ºC or higher, it can be life-threatening!
⇒ Opt for a feather pillow — its foam counterparts have been found to retain higher temperatures.
⇒ Blood vessels widen during waves of intense internal heat while your body tries to bring your blood pressure back to normal.
⇒ Your blood flows closest to your skin’s surface in your inner arms and wrists, so place one of those body parts under a cold tap for 30 seconds to drop a few degrees.
⇒ Your neck is also packed with blood, so wrap it up with a cool, damp towel.
⇒ If an environment is too hot and humid, it can prevent your sweat from evaporating and lead to an irritating sensation that’s often accompanied by a rash and known as prickly heat.
⇒ Feeling too warm can mess with your mind, making you feel more anxious and irritable.