Why do you have less appetite in the summer?
Many people know it: you are less hungry when you are very hot, but how come? The reason now even has a term: diet-induced thermogenesis. This is the phenomenon where, when it is very hot outside, you have less appetite. This is because your body needs to make energy to burn your food. When you create energy, heat is released. But when you are already very hot, your body does not want this extra heat and your appetite decreases.
In addition, your body naturally already generates heat, but this is actually not necessary when it is very hot outside, says Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt. He is professor of Ecological Energetics and Health at Maastricht University. Your body then wants to cool down, but that was more difficult. As a result, your body tries to burn less, so that all body processes are also less active and your body remains very calm. That is also one of the reasons that you can sometimes feel sluggish in the heat.
Does this affect your health?
Professor of Thermophysiology, Hein Daanen, indicates that a reduced appetite entails virtually no risks. You will notice that when your body is really hungry, even when it is very hot. However, it is important that you eat a sufficiently varied diet. Dietitian Lieneke Voss indicates that a healthy diet is very important, and not just in the summer. So make sure that you still get enough proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
She does indicate that some people have less need for hot meals in the summer. That in itself is not a problem, as long as your cold meal consists of enough variety and nutrients.
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Drinking more in the summer is also important
In addition to sufficient and varied food, it is even more important to drink enough, especially when it is very hot outside. In general, you should drink about 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day. Drinking helps with good digestion and it ensures that your intestines are better able to absorb nutrients from your food. It also regulates the waste products in your body, which you urinate or sweat out.
Tara Eikenaar, of the Nutrition Center, indicates that your body regulates the moisture level itself. When you don't get enough fluids, you urinate less and you get a thirsty feeling in your mouth and/or throat. Nutritionist Froukje van Duin agrees. According to her, we should actually listen more to our thirst. Because when you feel this, it's time to drink water, at any time.
How much fluid do you need daily?
How much fluid you need every day varies from day to day. This depends on how physically active you are, what the outside temperature is and what you eat. The best way to check if you're drinking enough is to check your urine when you go to the bathroom. You are then drinking enough when your urine has a light color. With a dark yellow color you need more moisture.
If you're having trouble drinking enough water, it can help to keep a large bottle (about 1.5 liters) of water in sight when you're working or just sitting on the couch. When it is empty at the end of the evening, you have at least drunk enough water. More is always good, but don't do this all at once.
The best thing to drink is just pure water with no additives. It doesn't hurt to drink a cup of tea, coffee, juice or soda every now and then, but these quench your thirst a little less than regular water. Water with a sprig of mint in it is also fine, just note that water with lemon can be bad for the teeth.
Read here which refreshing drinks you can also drink in addition to water.
Protect yourself from the sun in the summer
Although it is always important to protect yourself from the sun, it is even more important in the summer. The sun's power is then a lot stronger, so you can burn faster. The GGD has made a three-step plan for this: keep out, dress and lubricate.
- keep out: Stay out of the sun as much as possible and avoid direct contact with sunlight during the hottest time of the day, between noon and 3 p.m.
- Clothes: Wear light, covering clothing and possibly wear a sun hat. Sunglasses also come in handy. Long sleeves and trouser legs are also good, as long as the fabric is light, such as cotton or linen.
- lubricate: Lubricate your skin well with sunscreen and use at least factor 30. Repeat this every two hours and also apply immediately after you go swimming.
Children are especially vulnerable in sunlight, because their skin is more sensitive. So make sure that, when you have children, you keep a close eye on them and that they stick to the 3 steps. It is also better for children to use factor 50 sunscreen because it offers just a little more sun protection.
What do you do when you are burned?
If you do get burned, it is important to take immediate action. Get out of the sun immediately and find a shady (possibly cool) spot. Then cool the skin with a watery after-sun or a wet tea towel. Severe burns can cause blisters, it is best to leave them whole. They disappear by themselves. If necessary, you can use a paracetamol to relieve the pain and it also works as an anti-inflammatory.
Also keep a close eye on yourself. In case of fever, chills, nausea, palpitations or severe headache, it is important to contact a doctor. Then you may have sunstroke. Also call the doctor in case of an abundance of blisters and if the skin swells.
Stay out of the sun for as long as possible after the burn to allow the skin to recover. It is possible that the skin will peel, this is completely normal. Do not pull the sheets off, they will come off on their own. It is especially important to continue to moisturize the burned skin so that it does not dry out.
Read here how to get a can recognize sunstroke.
Keep your house cool in the summer
During the hot summer days it is also very important to keep your house cool. This will not only help you sleep better, but it is also better for your health. Make sure you close the shutters and/or curtains during the day to let in as little light as possible. Sunlight, no matter how small, can heat up the room considerably.
Late in the evening and early in the morning you can open the windows and doors to let the cool air in. Open as many windows and doors as possible so that the air can flow freely. Make sure that nothing is blown over, that can cause some noise.
If you have a flat roof, you can choose to plant plants on your roof in the spring. These help insulate your home and keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
You can also use a fan or air conditioner to keep your bedroom extra cool, but don't turn it on all the time. It is better to turn an air conditioner on during the day and off at night, and a fan only needs to be turned on when you are in the room yourself.
During the hot summer days it is important to pay attention to your health. You can do this by following the following 4 tips. Although it is not a problem if you have less appetite, it is important to continue to eat a varied and balanced diet. If you are very hot, a cold meal is a better option than a warm meal. It is also important to drink enough water. Drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters per day.
In addition, you must protect yourself well against the sun and it is also wise to prepare your house for the heat. Close windows and doors during the day and let everything air out at night. This way you get as little hot air into the house as possible. In case of emergency you can also use an air conditioner or fan.