Newsflash, it’s hot outside. Reports have the UK due to bask in the longest heatwave in 50 years, with temperatures due to hit 40°C dropping to an eye-watering 24°C at midnight (read our guide to getting a good night’s sleep when it’s far too hot outside here).
This is all to say you’ll need a game plan beyond picking up a one setting desk fan from Argos. Here are six tried and tested ways to stay cool and comfortable through the impending swelter.
6 Ways To Stay Cool In A Heatwave
Unfortunately here in Ol’ Blighty we’re not as well accustomed to the slick air conditioning systems you see in countries with much more regular heatwaves. Everyone should have a fan at the very least though, and with that (and some ice) you can build your own AC.
To build your own AC fill a bowl or bucket with ice, and put it in front of a fan. As the air passes over your icy mountain it will come out chilled, and as such will circulate refreshingly cold air around the room.
Another hot tip to try with your fan. is to create a cross wind by opening your windows and placing one fan facing out of your window, so it pushes the heat out, and another further in to circulate cool air.
Keep curtains and windows closed in the day
The previous crosswind tip comes with a massive caveat, which it’s important to remember fan or no fan.
Try and keep the sun and hot air away during the day by keeping your curtains and windows closed. This is one that takes getting used to, as our natural instinct is to fling open our windows at the first chance to let the hot air that’s accumulated overnight out. But you want shade to keep your house cool, and you want the hot air from outside to stay there.
Further to this, try and keep still through the day in order to limit any body temperature increases from non-exercise activity thermogenesis (or NEAT).
Avoid alcohol and eat spicy food
Both extreme weather and drinking alcohol have the consequence of seriously depleting our stored fluids leading to dehydration and symptoms including headaches, feeling tired, and even fainting.
Plus the body’s temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus gland, which alcohol inconveniently slows down. So if the body is already hot because of the heat, the effects of alcohol will make the body think it is even hotter. Not what you want.
On the flip side, consuming spicy food may actually help keep you cool, which might explain why the food in hot countries is so devilishly spiced. Eating spicy foods increases your blood circulation you see, kickstarting a sweat which then cools you off as the moisture is evaporating. It might not be the most tempting of ideas in this heat, but hey, who doesn’t love a curry?
Move your day around
People in hot countries have built their societies around the heat — hence midday siestas and eating at 10 pm. When the heat is as hot as it is on the Costa del Sol, move your day around to join them — waking up earlier when it is still cool to focus on getting some deep work done, before slowing down with some data input around the middle of the day as the heat zaps your brain cells.
Then when the weekend rolls around enjoy one of those famous siestas when it starts to all get too much, before doing your socialising as the sun goes down.
Stay hydrated with little sips
We’re told to drink two litres a day — a figure 62 percent of us aren’t hitting — but when it’s hot, and the sweat is on, we need to be upping this intake even further. Drink even when not thirsty, and look to a sports drink with electrolytes to help replenish those electrolytes that are lost through sweat. Electrolytes help your body regulate chemical reactions and maintain the balance between fluids inside and outside your cells, so they’re important to keep on top of.
You should aim to keep constantly hydrated through having water to hand and sipping a little bit at a time which will prevent the kidneys from being overloaded and help the body retain more H2O.
Live off ice lollies
Ice lollies are a good idea in the heat as they’ll help decrease your core body temperature, plus they contain lots of water so are great at hydrating.
If you’re looking for some ice lollies to make then take a look at our protein-packed summer recipes guide where we show you how to whip up a batch of peanut butter, and vanilla & blueberry ice lollies, with each recipe containing one of our delicious vegan protein powders.