Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious matters. If you or your kids feel dizzy or lethargic, you could be dehydrated—and it’s time to immediately replenish fluids. Every system in the body needs water. This elixir of life shuttles nutrients to cells, flushes out toxins, helps digest food, regulates body temperature, increases joint mobility, and supports brain function. That’s right: Water even helps you think.
“Most of us should probably drink more than eight glasses of water a day,” says Meghan Sedivy, Fresh Thyme Registered Dietitian. “Think of water as the ultimate drink. It increases productivity and energy. It aids in digestion, and you’ll even have better focus!”
To be well hydrated, experts recommend that children drink water 30 minutes before activities, then more water every 15 to 20 minutes during play. That’s good advice for adults, too.
Depending on age and gender, we should take in this much water a day:
• 40+ ounces—children ages 1 to 3
• 56+ ounces—children ages 4 to 8
• 72+ ounces—females ages 9 to adult
• 80+ ounces—males ages 9 to adult
Some people find it challenging to drink that much water each day. Kiddos, especially, might need encouragement to hydrate by drinking water alone. Here’s good news: Many foods are high in water. Grape tomatoes and cantaloupe are just two examples that are tasty summertime snacks.
Total water intake is the amount from all sources—including water in vegetables, fruits, and beverages. It’s nice to know that you can mix it up on your way to getting in all those ounces a day.
Fresh Thyme carries an impressive assortment of waters—plain and flavored, still and carbonated, and more. Nuun electrolyte drink tablets (in our Vitamins & Body Care Department) make crafting personal beverages easy. Plus, Fresh Thyme infused waters blend the flavors and benefits of healthy produce into water—try hydrating with Blueberry-Rosemary Infused Water after a workout, for example. The Fresh Thyme Juicery has fresh seasonal beverages, which offer maximum nutrition. Or make infused water at home—Fresh Thyme offers quality fresh produce and herbs.
In addition to staying hydrated, protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can damage skin, lead to prematurely aged skin, and skin cancer. The strength of sun rays depends on several factors:
- Season. Although UV rays are stronger during spring and summer than fall and winter, be wise and also wear sunscreen during winter, especially when you’re skiing.
- Time of day. Be especially vigilant with sunscreen between 10 am and 4 pm, the hours that UV rays are strongest.
- Cloud cover. Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days. Although clouds minimally reduce UV rays, sun does penetrate and clouds can move quickly.
- Reflection. UV rays bounce off water, sand, snow, pavement, buildings, even grass. To prevent sun damage, replenish sunscreen regularly when exposed to sun rays.
- Travel tips. If you travel to the tropics or climb mountains, slather on sunscreen. UV rays are strong close to the equator and at high altitudes.
Fresh Thyme carries a wealth of options in our sun-care section in the Vitamins & Body Care Department: mild lotions for babies and kids, water-resistant blends, fragrance-free options for sensitive skin, moisturizing as well as anti-wrinkle formulas to wear under makeup, and plant-based organic sunscreens.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Fresh Thyme carries sunscreens by Alba Botanica, Babo Botanicals, Badger, and others, with some featuring broad spectrum coverage as high as SPF 50. The question of which SPF level to apply depends on lifestyle:
• If you’re inside most of the day with short jaunts in the sun, pick sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
• If you spend a lot of time outdoors, go for SPF 30 or higher. Reapply every 2 hours and immediately after swimming or sweating.
• If you wear makeup and want to look radiant even on hot, sunny days, look for skincare products that have SPF protection for your skin type—normal, oily, dry, or a combination. Apply sunscreen as your first layer, then apply moisturizer, primer, foundation, makeup, and/or setting spray. Derma-E, Mad Hippie, Mineral Fusion, and other companies make products featuring SPF protection.
Safe Summer Fun
To have fun in the sun without feeling the burn, heed these three tips from Fresh Thyme for a sun-smart and healthy summer.
1. Protect Eyes & Lips. Choose sunglasses that do more than look cool. They should also block UV rays, which can strain eyes and lead to eye damage. Boost eye health by using products high in vitamin C, lutein, and beta-carotene—and eat foods high in the same, such as bell peppers, carrots, oranges, cherries, and sunflower seeds. Remember to protect your pucker by taking your pick of lip sunscreen products. Burt’s Bees and Fresh Thyme beeswax lip balm come in many flavors, and the delicate skin on your lips will appreciate the care.
2. Cover Head & Hair. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, one that extends about 3 inches or more all around, to shade your face, neck, and ears. Sorry—baseball hats won’t do! Sun rays also fry hair, breaking down melanin and outer layers, leaving hair coarse and brittle. Protect tresses with spray-on or leave-in sunscreen hair conditioners.
3. Eat to Cool Down.
“Light foods and small portions prevent your body from overworking to digest food and maintain core body temperature,” says Meghan Sedivy, Fresh Thyme Registered Dietitian. “When eating out, order lighter options, such as salads or grilled chicken sandwiches.”
Sunburn First Aid
If you do get a sunburn, follow these tips to soothe skin naturally:
• Cool off. A cool, not cold, bath or shower subdues heat and pain.
• Go aloe! Buy a large aloe leaf from the Fresh Thyme Produce Department. Snip the top, then squeeze gel from the leaf to rub on your skin. It’s a natural way to treat sunburns. Aloe, called the “wand of heaven,” also heals cuts, scrapes, and other skin irritations.
• Food medic.
“Foods that contain vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, and protein are some of the best to eat after a sunburn,” says Meghan Sedivy, Fresh Thyme Registered Dietitian. “Lean grass-fed beef, a sweet potato, and kale equal a healthful recovery meal,” she says, “one that’s packed with all four recovery elements.”
WATCH: Tips for Harvesting and Using Aloe Vera Gel
Remember Fresh Thyme advice for a safe, healthy, and sunburn-free summer: Hydrate, apply sunscreen, and wear sunglasses and a hat. Your body will thank you!