It is really hot in Montreal
right now. When it gets this hot people’s
nutritional habits change. For the
better or for the worse I am not sure.
Some people eat more ice cream and drink iced frappucinos while others
go for more salads and less food altogether.
The one thing we need to consider when it gets this hot outside is fluid
intake. You can go in and out of air
conditioning all day but the best way to control your own body temperature is
with proper hydration.
Last year there was a sale on 100% juice boxes so I bought
about 100. I guess my brain was fuzzy
from the heat because I really wasn’t thinking.
Having so many juice boxes available made it easy for my kids to help
themselves. Consequently, they become
addicted to the juice.
I lecture my clients over and over about juice, even 100%
juice. It is basically sugared water,
albeit naturally sugared without any fibre.
It’s like taking a glass of calories.
What is the point? Sure it tastes
good but it comes at a price. Our bodies
do not register calories in a beverage as satiating. What I mean by that is if you eat 100
calories (like a large apple) your brain will detect that you are eating and
start sending out signals to make you feel full. Pay attention to these signals
they can be subtle. If you drink 100
calories (a 250 ml juice box is about 120 calories) it satisfies your thirst
mechanism but not your satiety and you will not feel full. In fact, you might even feel hungry. The sugar in the juice can spike your insulin
making you crave even more sugar.
At the end of last summer I had 2 kids addicted to the good
stuff. I had to parent them and lay down
the law. The rule was they could each have
1 juice box a day and the rest of the time milk or water. It took a few weeks but I got them off the
On Monday it was like a million degrees and I left them for
a bit with their dad, Richard. When I
got back I noticed several discarded juice boxes. Richard defended himself with “it’s so hot
outside, they need to drink, what’s wrong with juice, and we should buy
more”. I would say most people would
have the same thought process as he does.
Water makes up about 60% of the adult body. It’s the beverage of choice. I have a filter on my tap and keep a pitcher
of water in the fridge during the hot months.
Generally speaking, people love ice cold water. It is very refreshing. However, I have many
clients and kids tell me they hate drinking water so they want to know what
else they can drink. I recommend tisanes
but obviously that is not optimal in the heat.
You can try flavouring the water with fresh lemon and lime for a natural
touch. Otherwise, there is always
Crystal Light. It contains sugar
substitutes to give water a sweet fruity taste.
Be aware that sugar substitutes can increase sugar cravings and some
people are even sensitive to these additives.
It’s fine in moderation. Another
option is to water down that daily half cup of juice.
Did you know that coffee can be included in your daily fluid
intake? Caffeine is a diuretic but
studies indicate that coffee can be counted as a beverage. I never recommend more than 4 cups a day and
for some people including me that is way too much. I know this because it makes me feel
dehydrated and jittery. I opt for
decaffeinated coffee if I have had more than 2 regulars and am still craving
the taste. Decaffeinated coffee
definitely is a good option if you don’t love water. You can make iced coffee too. Remember if you hit the local coffee houses
many of their beverages are high in calories.
Order a simple brewed coffee or shot of espresso over ice.
Let’s talk about soft drinks. I am sure you have heard by now that a can of
Coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. As
a result, you opt for a diet cola instead.
Neither of these beverages are good choices. Consider them as treats. Diet beverages do not replace water and
studies have linked both diet and regular with obesity.
The question now is how much fluid do you actually need to
consume? The old adage to drink 8 glasses a day is good rule, even though it
doesn’t hold much water scientifically.
I figure if I tell people to drink 8 glasses, they will drink at least 4
which is actually pretty good. If you
are getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, eating mostly healthy, having a
couple of coffees or teas and 4 glasses of water a day then you are probably
taking enough fluid. If you are not
thirsty and your urine output is either clear or pale yellow then you are well
In the type of heat we are experiencing right now, don’t
wait to feel thirsty. Hydrate yourself
properly. Signs of dehydration include
extreme thirst, hunger, lethargy, poor concentration, moodiness and dark yellow