Do you really need to drink more water in summer?
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.’