Beat the Heat

If you live in Toronto or North America for that matter, you are smack in the middle of a heat wave. If you are air-conditioner-challenged as my family is you are probably experiencing sweat in places you never knew existed. What exactly is sweat and how do we produce such a yucky excretion.

Believe it or not, sweating is the body's most effective way of cooling itself. During exercise or when exposed to a hot environment, heat is released by the body and body temperature rises. The rise in body temperature causes an increase in sweating and blood flow to the skin. As a result, heat is removed by the evaporation of sweat from the skin, radiated from the body to the cooler surroundings, and is lost by convection to moving air.

If you’re like me and don’t own an air conditioner (save on utilities and better for the environment) or a cabana boy, here are a few tips on keeping cool and how to replenish nutrients lost through sweat.

5 Tips to Keep Cool

Water: Drink it, bathe in it or jump in a pool. The relief is almost immediate and keeps you cool for at least an hour. Make sure you are drinking adequate water throughout the day. Divide your body weight by 2 than divide by 8 to get the number of 8oz glasses of water you should drink per day.

Fans: Keep the air flowing with ceiling fans, desk fans, box fans, whatever you’ve got. In the evening, open windows and use fans to create a cross-breeze, circulating cooler evening/night air through the rooms.

Turn the lights down low: Turn off the lights, stove, computers or other sources of heat. Instead of using your stove to cook opt for simple raw dishes. See In the Kitchen for inspiration.

Shut the blinds: Draw your blinds and curtains during the day to block the sun and nosy neighbors.

Sit still: If you are like me and always seem to have something to do, just stop, sit down, relax and enjoy a cold beverage. The heat will just exhaust you and in the end you won’t get much done anyway. Use the heat as an excuse for a lazy day.

Replenish Nutrients

Make sure you replenish electrolytes, such as magnesium, potassium and sodium, are lost through perspiration and must diligently be replaced.

Low magnesium levels can acutely contribute to fatigue, nausea and muscle cramps. This is why so many of us feel nauseous when it’s too hot.

The Most Common Electrolytes lost in Sweat 

Found in small amounts in all foods.
Most comes from table salt and processed foods.

Did you know? Sodium helps cells retain water and prevent dehydration.


An easy and healthier way to replenish sodium is through a sports drink such as Gatorade or adding an Emergen-C packet to your water.

Best food sources: Citrus fruits, bananas and potatoes

Dairy products (opt for Organic), green leafy vegetables, legumes

Nuts, legumes/beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables

Found in a variety of foods but comes mainly from table salt Even most vegetables contain small amounts of salt, which they absorb from the soil.

Coming Soon! Check out In the Kitchen for simple, fresh, raw summer dishes.

The information presented here is not intended to replace professional medical care when needed. Consult a qualified health care practitioner for disease diagnosis, therapy choice, medicine selection and dosage.


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