Do you re­ally need to drink more wa­ter in sum­mer?

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Yes. But it’s not be­cause your body’s H2O needs sud­denly spike the minute we hit BST. ‘Ev­ery­one has their own fluid re­quire­ments, de­pend­ing on their height, weight and level of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity,’ ex­plains Alana Mac­don­ald, reg­is­tered di­eti­tian and spokesper­son for the Bri­tish Di­etetic As­so­ci­a­tion. ‘Your base­line fluid re­quire­ments don’t change from sea­son to sea­son, but cir­cum­stances mean you need a lit­tle more in the sum­mer months.’ Why? It’s sim­ple: you sweat more – and the more fluid you lose from sweat­ing, the more you’ll need to drink to re­plen­ish it. And we’re not just talk­ing about the pur­pose­ful per­spir­ing you do when pow­er­ing through a cir­cuit in a sunny park. That slick of sweat on your fore­head while you’re sand­wiched be­tween com­muters counts, too. ‘Aim to drink at least 1.5 litres daily, all year round,’ sug­gests Mac­don­ald. ‘And if you’re work­ing out hard, drink ex­tra fluid.’ she adds. How much? There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but your wee is a good in­di­ca­tor of how hy­drated you are. Pale to clear is your goal. Cheers.

We get it. Once you’ve put in the leg work to get that quad def­i­ni­tion and gone to the ef­fort of shav­ing your pins, that chicken-skin rash is es­pe­cially irk­some. ‘It’s called ker­ato­sis pi­laris and is ac­tu­ally re­ally com­mon,’ says con­sul­tant der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Sharon Wong. ‘It’s caused when your hair fol­li­cles are plugged with dead skin or ker­atin.’ Harm­less, sure, but not ideal. So how can you get rid? ‘Try us­ing mois­turis­ers that con­tain urea, which breaks down the ker­atin and dead skin,’ ad­vises Dr Wong. Tempted to go hard on the of­fend­ing area with your most jaggedy salt scrub? Well, don’t. ‘Ex­fo­li­at­ing will help to dis­lodge the clogged fol­li­cles, but rub too hard and you’ll make the skin more red and in­flamed,’ ex­plains Dr Wong. ‘Stick to one or two ses­sions a week with a loofah and a gly­colic acid or lac­tic acid wash – both of which can help to dis­solve any ex­cess dead skin.’

Q I keep be­ing jerked awake by a pound­ing heart at night. What’s go­ing on?

As­sum­ing you’re not post-coital and lov­ing life, fig­ur­ing out what’s got your heart all a-flut­ter is a process of elim­i­na­tion. ‘A pound­ing heart at night can be down to a num­ber of things, from stress and anx­i­ety to a food in­tol­er­ance, or even too much caf­feine be­fore bed,’ says Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion se­nior car­diac nurse Christo­pher Allen. Or med­i­ca­tion could be to blame, so let your doc­tor know and they might change your pre­scrip­tion. If you of­ten skip meals or take meds to con­trol your blood sugar, your glu­cose lev­els drop­ping too low can make your heart pound. Ruled out all of the above? An over­ac­tive thy­roid can cause an ir­reg­u­lar heart rate, as can some heart con­di­tions called ar­rhyth­mias. ‘Heart pal­pi­ta­tions are usu­ally quite in­nocu­ous in peo­ple who are other­wise fit and healthy,’ adds Allen. ‘But it’s best to get checked out by your GP.’

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