By Paula Meyer, Paula Meyer Nutrition
Adjusting to a blistering hot desert location or oppressively muggy tropical climate can be a real challenge when on the road. Not only can it ruin your experience, but heat exhaustion and heat stroke can quickly lead to serious problems. Nobody wants that. Paula Meyer, our Registered Dietitian, offers some tips to help adjust to hotter climes.
Research food and drink before you go. Why tempt fate by guessing? Learn about local cuisine and customs, food and water sources so you'll avoid making blind and potentially disastrous choices. Seek out ethnic cuisine as much as possible. For example, in most of India,the cuisine is largely vegetarian and is a magical blend of ‘heating’ and ‘cooling’ foods that compliment the climate.
Order hot spicy foods in hot climates. Though you might think it’s the last thing you’d want in 100 degree plus weather, hot spicy foods are common in hot climates as they stimulate the circulation and raise body temperature. This causes sweating, cooling the body as perspiration evaporates. Hot spices also have a preservative action that helps prevent/delay food spoilage and are often used in place of salt which exacerbates swelling in feet and limbs. Spices and peppers offer more than just flavor…many are high in Vitamins C and A, potassium and iron.
Stay hydrated not just by drinking water. Monitor alcohol (which dehydrates) and stay out of direct sunshine as sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. Drinking lots of water is also important wherever and whenever you travel. When in hot dry air, it’s more essential than ever as it’s hard to know how much you’re sweating because it tends to dry immediately. Best plan of action: drink, drink, drink…even if you’re not thirsty.