Why we tend to eat less in the summer months?

August 05, 2020

Picture of woman in pool during a sunny day

Seasonal changes, like higher temperatures and the number of daylight hours influence appetite in many. We might feel like our appetite tends to be reduced, especially when we are feeling hot. The body tries to regulate our body temperature by cutting down on heat-generating functions like the digestion of food.

Even if we don’t feel like it, we have to eat and drink, so what to choose? Something cold?

Ice cream, ice-cold juices, and frozen yogurt might seem like the obvious choice when we want to cool ourselves, but it’s not that simple. Cold food and drinks might give us an initial cooling effect, but it is short-lived. Consuming food leads to an increase in temperature as the process of digestion is heat-generating. If we combine this with rapid cooling caused by the ingestion of cold food and drinks, our body overcompensates by increasing the core temperature. We may actually end up feeling hotter than we did in the beginning.
Did you know that a hot drink is actually a good option when you're feeling overheated?

Drinking something hot on a scorching hot day sounds unappealing, but it can help regulate your body temperature by making your core temperature rise, which in turn makes your body want to cool down. You start sweating and it has a cooling effect on your body. 

Why should we drink at least 6 - 8 glasses of water every day?

On a typical day, we lose between 2 and 2 1/2 liters of fluid through sweating, breathing, and other bodily functions.
With higher temperatures and humidity, the rate at which sweat from our skin evaporates is higher. As sweat evaporates more quickly, our bodies have to continue producing sweat. With this loss in fluid, we have to drink more water in order to stay hydrated. 

What do nutritionists recommend?

Sports drinks, which are formulated specifically to promote fluid uptake, are more hydrating than traditional drinks, so if we opt for something other than water, this will be the better choice. We have to keep caffeinated drinks to a minimum because they have a diuretic effect. Fruit juices and smoothies contain a lot of sugar, so we have to be careful on the amount we consume. 

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