Summer’s finally here! All winter we dream of warm weather but now that’s it here the rising temperatures can feel a little overbearing. Don’t let the heat keep you from going outside and enjoying all summer has to offer. Below are six tips to help you stay cool naturally this summer so you can host cookouts, attend outdoor concerts, or relax in a hammock as comfortably as possible. 1. Use Peppermint Essential Oil The benefits of peppermint essential oil seem endless. It cools you down, helps with digestion, loosens sore muscles, helps you focus, repels bugs, and so much more! Peppermint contains menthol, which assists in numbing pain and providing a cooling effect that helps the whole body regulate temperature.1 Put a few drops on the back of your neck for immediate relief. The menthol will stimulate your nerves and trick your body into thinking you’re cooler than you are. Another option is to put a 1-2 drops of 100% pure peppermint essential oil in your water to cool down your insides. For internal use, we recommend only using a company that had FDA approved labels for internal consumption of their oils, such as the Young Living Vitality line. 2. Submerge Your Hands In Ice Water Submerge your hands or feet in ice water to cool down fast. There are pulse points on your inner wrist, feet, and neck where the blood vessels are closer to the surface of your skin.2 Soaking these pulse points in ice water will lower your blood’s temperature, and as your blood circulates throughout your body it’ll subsequently cool you down as effectively as taking a cold shower. You can also use an ice pack or a wet cooling towel on the back of your neck for the same effect. 3. Take Vitamin C Don’t forget your vitamins! The results of many studies dating back to the 1950s have continuously shown that vitamin C is effective in enhancing heat acclimatization and preventing heat exhaustion.3 It also may be effective in reducing heat strain in accumulated individuals.4 A daily does of 300-500mg of ascorbic acid is enough to reap the benefits.3 Taking vitamin C will help you sweat less, adjust to temperatures faster and overheat less. We recommend whole food vitamin C sources either from your diet or a quality brand of supplements. You can try a powdered variety to mix in with your water, or chewable form you can share with your kids! 4. Eat smaller, spicier meals What and how we eat can also affect our bodies’ core temperature in spite of what Mother Nature is doing outside. Certain foods can regulate your body temperature and make you feel cooler - mint, mushrooms, citrus fruits, and spicy foods. When you eat something spicy, “capsaicin, the substance in peppers that makes spicy food spicy, binds to the pain receptors in your mouth.”5 This tricks your brain into thinking you’re hot, making you sweat without your body temperature actually rising.5 One thing to avoid on a hot summer day, as hard as it may be, is ice cream. Ice cream has a high fat content that’s difficult to digest. Your body has to use extra energy to digest high fat foods which raises your temperature. Other foods difficult to digest are red meats, dairy, and other high protein and fat foods. As important what you eat is, the way you eat is just as important. The best way to keep that keto diet going is in small, incremental meals throughout the day. Snacking can keep you cooler as it doesn’t raise your core temperature by requiring as much energy to digest that large meal. Eating smaller meals more frequently will keep you cooler and healthier all summer long. 5. Stay Hydrated Being hydrated is essential to so many different aspects of your health, especially in the summer. For one, being dehydrated makes your body more susceptible to heat stroke. If your body is unable to cool itself down through sweating it can reach dangerously high temperatures causing heat stroke.6 If you’re not used to drinking water by itself, pair it with a lemon wedge, lemon, lime, or peppermint essential oil to add some extra flavor. Coconut water is another great way to get hydrated quickly. We recommend this beverage to anyone suffering from heat exhaustion or illness-related dehydration. It will replace essential electrolytes you lose when sweating without added sugar like other sports drinks contain. Eating foods high in water content can help you stay hydrated as well, such as watermelon, strawberries, peaches, oranges, tomatoes, and celery. 6. Skip The Booze Margaritas by the pool may seem like the ideal way to spend hot summer days but it will not help cool you down. When you drink alcohol you will feel warmer even though your core body temperature is actually dropping. This becomes dangerous if you’re already hot as it can lead to dizziness and nausea.7 If you end up drinking too much it can result in hot flashes, which is the last thing you need when it’s already 100 degrees outside. Keep the alcohol to a minimum and be sure to pair it with water to minimize its effects!
- Baumann, L. S. (2013, November 8). Peppermint and Menthol. Retrieved From https://www.mdedge.com/dermatology/article/78827/atopic-dermatitis/peppermint-and-menthol
- Kenny, W.L. (2012, February 12). Physiological Responses To The Thermal Environment. In Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety. (4th Edition, ch.42). Retrieved From http://www.ilocis.org/documents/chpt42e.htm
- Ringsdorff W.M., & Cheraskin E. Vitamin C and Tolerance of Heat and Cold: Human Evidence. Orthomolecular Psychiatry 1982; 11(2): 128. Retrieved June 26, 2019. http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1982/pdf/1982-v11n02-p128.pdf
- Kotze, H.F., Van Der Walt, W.H., Rogers, G.G., and Strydom, N.B., Effects of Plasma Ascorbic Acid Levels on Heat Acclimatization in Man., Journal of Applied Physiology 42:5, 711-716 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/863837
- Catron, E. (2018, May 15). 20 Surprising Things That Can Keep You Cool All Summer. Retrieved From https://bestlifeonline.com/tips-for-staying-cool-summer/
- Dehydration and Heat Stroke. Retrieved From https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/dehydration-and-heat-stroke
- Feeling Warm and Flushed Skin From Drinking Alcohol. (2018, October 19). Retrieved From https://www.alcohol.org/effects/warm-flushed-skin/