It's not exactly breaking news that really hot late-spring and summer days can be risky to your health, but it never hurts to remind yourself about that every year around this time. Brutal summer temperatures pose several risks to you if you spend even a moderate amount of time outside, even if the sun is hidden behind cloud cover.
This Friday, May 26, is National Heat Awareness Day. In recognition of this, we look at some supplements to help you handle the heat.
Why You Should Be Careful In The Summer Heat
Hot, sunny summer days are prime for outdoor adventure. However, the summer heat presents a health risk such as heat-related illness, dehydration, and more.
Heat-related illness is the result of prolonged exposure to heat and humidity
without relief and proper hydration. Heat cramps occur from physical exertion in the heat. Heat exhaustion is more severe, resulting from insufficient hydration and salt intake; it can cause nausea, fever, vomiting, and other symptoms. Left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is characterized by the same symptoms as heat exhaustion as well as more severe ones such as seizures, and even death. The good news: these are all preventable.
There are other health risks from the summer heat, as well. Dehydration is simply the result of not getting enough water, which can bring on dizziness, confusion, and more
. Sunburn can also occur from direct exposure to the sun's UV rays. Unprotected exposure to UV rays can cause health complications later in life.
Supplements to Help You Deal With The Heat
When preparing your body to handle the summer heat, certain vitamins and nutrients beg your attention. The following supplements contain vitamins or nutrients that can help your body adapt to the heat.
is an electrolyte. Your body expels electrolytes
when you sweat. Potassium helps your body perform vital functions, which you will probably do frequently when outdoors in summer. It helps with muscle contraction, nerve signaling, and the transportation of H2O throughout the body. Because your body secretes potassium through sweat, it's critical that you get enough of this substance when spending time outdoors in the heat.
is another electrolyte that your body loses when you sweat. Magnesium contributes to more than 300 bodily processes, including the regulation of body temperature
. Magnesium also works alongside potassium and other substances in the body to regulate blood sugar, maintain energy levels, and more.
is helpful because it can protect the skin
, especially helpful during summer months. Ingesting vitamin E can help reduce the skin damage done by harmful UV rays, sometimes leading health complications that often don't show up until years later. It can also help you recover more quickly from minor sunburn.
is also useful for its benefits to the skin in summer. That's because it can help repair the skin from cell damage
due to UV exposure. Furthermore, vitamin A can restore elastin and collagen, which bolsters the structural health of skin. Chalk those benefits up to Vitamin A's hydrating effect on the skin.
, available in supplement form, can help in a couple of different ways in the summer heat. A reishi mushroom supplement can assist in sustaining healthy energy levels because of its anti-inflammatory qualities
. You've been warned: time spent in the hot sun can drain your energy.
If you're spending time outdoors this summer, then you should be conscientious of what the heat can do to your body. While the above supplements will not eliminate the risk of extreme heat affecting your body, they can help you prepare for it. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any of these supplements for the first time, or if it's been a long time since you last used them.