Summer nutrition may not be as easy to figure out, as one would imagine. Not only is it important to drink enough water, but it is also essential to make sure your solid foods contain enough water and nutrition to keep your energy levels optimal in the extreme weather. Carrying bottles of water especially while stepping out and eating enough fruits are two summer diet tips that perhaps all health experts will suggest, in order to avoid dehydration. But these may not be enough in order to stay healthy, especially as the heat wave has been sweeping large parts of the Indian subcontinent. Heat wave is characterised by temperatures of 42 degrees Celsius and above, as well as extremely hot and dry summer winds.
If you spend a good part of your day outdoors, braving the sweltering heat and loo, then there's a good chance you may experience a number of health issues including sluggishness, headaches, nausea and even poor digestion. These may be brought on by loss of fluids from your body due to excessive sweating. There are certain foods that may also be responsible for leaving your body dehydrated. Caffeine and caffeinated drinks are often blamed for dehydration and whether or not one can consume them during summers remains a common confusion among people.
Caffeine During Summers: Yay or Nay?
We contacted consulting nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta to clear this common doubt about whether or not it is safe to consume caffeine during summers, and if so, then what are the safe consumption limits for caffeinated drinks. We asked her about three most commonly consumed caffeinated drinks- tea, coffee and energy drink:
1. Is it okay to consume caffeine during summers?
Coffee is said to be a diuretic drink, which means that it is feared to cause fluid loss, by making you urinate more often. However, a number of studies have dispelled the notion that coffee is incredibly dehydrating, if consumed in moderation, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Datta echoes these sentiments, saying that it is perfectly okay to consume coffee during summers.
2. What is the healthiest source of caffeine during summers- tea, coffee or sports drinks?
Dr. Datta says, "All but sports drinks can be consumed under proper guidance." Sports and energy drinks have been blamed for a number of health problems by multiple research studies. Although coffee has more caffeine than sports drinks, the latter is considered more harmful as it contains more sugar than your average sweetened cup of coffee.
3. What is the recommended daily intake of caffeine for summers?
According to Dr. Datta, "250 milligrams or roughly two and a half cups of caffeinated drinks are acceptable in a day. Anything that exceeds this may have side-effects." However, she warns that excessive caffeine may result in heart palpitations and headaches.
4. What are the healthy ways to consume caffeine during summers?
Dr. Datta suggests, "Pair your cup of coffee or tea with some cheese or nuts. Other snack options that you can consume with caffeinated drinks include popcorn, a slice of multigrain bread etc."
So now you know! When it comes to health and nutrition, it is always advisable to know the complete truth about particular foods and drinks, as well as their impacts on your body. Knowledge is power, after all. Happy Summers!