Beware the Sizzle: Drinks to Avoid During a Heatwave

July 20, 2023 | 


Joanna Newman



When the sun is blazing, and the temperatures soar, everyone looks for ways to cool down. We instinctively reach out for something to quench our thirst. But did you know, not all drinks are created equal? In the midst of a heatwave, some beverages might do more harm than good. In this article, we´ll dive into the drinks you should think twice about sipping when the mercury rises.

1. Why the Right Drink Matters

Before we dive into the list of beverages to avoid, it’s essential to understand why your drink choice matters. During a heatwave, your body is working overtime to maintain its core temperature. This means you´re sweating more, losing fluids, and essential salts. The right drink can help replace these and keep you hydrated. The wrong drink? Well, it could exacerbate dehydration or work against your body’s natural cooling process.

2. Alcohol: A Deceptive Thirst Quencher

  • Why It´s Tempting: Cold beer or a chilled glass of wine might seem like the perfect remedy for a hot day. After all, they´re refreshing and help you relax.
  • The Hidden Danger: Alcohol is a diuretic. This means it increases urine production, which can lead to dehydration. In a heatwave, you want to retain as much fluid as possible. While one drink might not hurt, excessive consumption can be dangerous.
  • 3. Caffeinated Beverages: Not Always the Best Pick-Me-Up

  • Why It´s Tempting: Iced coffee or a cold soda can be tempting when the day feels sluggish due to the heat.
  • The Hidden Danger: Like alcohol, caffeine is also a diuretic. While the dehydration effect of caffeine is debated, it´s still a good idea to consume it in moderation. If you can’t skip your morning cup, make sure to drink plenty of water.
  • 4. Sugary Drinks: Sweet but Not So Cool

  • Why It´s Tempting: Soft drinks, sweetened iced teas, and fruity beverages are often marketed as refreshing thirst quenchers.
  • The Hidden Danger: High sugar content can interfere with the body´s ability to absorb water. This can lead to slower hydration. Additionally, sugary drinks can spike your blood sugar levels, leading to a crash that might leave you feeling even more fatigued in the heat.
  • 5. Bottled Fruit Juices: Nature’s Deceiver

  • Why It´s Tempting: Fruit = healthy, right? Especially if the label says, "100% juice."
  • The Hidden Danger: Many bottled fruit juices, even if they claim to be 100% juice, are loaded with added sugars. Additionally, they lack the fiber that whole fruits provide. This combination can again lead to a rapid spike and subsequent drop in blood sugar. They also might not hydrate you as effectively as other choices.
  • 6. Very Cold Drinks: A Shock to the System

  • Why It´s Tempting: In the blistering heat, a drink just above freezing seems like the ideal way to cool down quickly.
  • The Hidden Danger: Surprisingly, very cold drinks can shock your system. They can cause stomach cramps and might not quench your thirst as effectively as drinks at a slightly warmer temperature. Plus, your body uses energy (and thus produces heat) to warm the liquid to body temperature.
  • 7. Staying Safe: The Best Choices for Hydration

    Now that we´ve discussed the drinks to approach with caution, here are some hydrating heroes to rely on during a heatwave:

  • Water: The age-old classic. It hydrates without adding any additional sugars or other substances that might dehydrate.
  • Electrolyte Solutions: These drinks are specially designed to replace lost salts and fluids. They can be particularly useful if you´re sweating profusely.
  • Herbal Teas: Non-caffeinated herbal teas, served cold, can be refreshing and hydrating.
  • Homemade Fruit Infusions: Add slices of fruits like cucumber, lemon, or watermelon to your water for a natural flavor boost without the added sugars.
  • Conclusion: Navigating the Heatwave with Care

    While the temptation to indulge in certain beverages might be strong, understanding the effects of our choices can make a world of difference. During a heatwave, our priority should always be to stay safe and hydrated. By being mindful of the drinks we consume, we can help our bodies navigate the sizzle and stay cool, even when the temperatures are anything but.