These hot weather habits may be hazardous for health.
1. Exercise a few hours after a cramp
Cramps are one of the early signs of heat exhaustion, and because symptoms can escalate quickly and heatstroke can be deadly, avoid exercising for at least a few hours if you have a muscle cramp on a hot day. Also, if you experience other signs such as dizziness, weakness, nausea or difficulty breathing, be sure to seek medical attention immediately.
2. Hydrate with soda
Although soda ads would like you to believe otherwise, cracking open a can on a hot day and downing it to quench your thirst is a bad idea. A study done on rats and published in the American Journal of Physiologyshowed that drinking soda to rehydrate could not only cause more dehydration, but also damage your kidneys at the same time. Unsurprisingly, plain ol’ water is a better option, so be sure to take along a bottle to avoid the temptation of sodas.
(Also read: 8 Ways to Curb Your Sweet Tooth)
3. Drink warm bottled water
If you are taking water with you, it’s a good idea to bring it in a reusable stainless steel or aluminium bottle. That’s because a study by the University of Florida in the US found that when warmed or heated, the plastic containers of bottled water can leach a cancer-inducing element called antimony as well as hormone-disrupting bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA. For this reason, it’s also a good idea not to store bottled water in hot spaces like your car, or to purchase water from stores where the bottles are left out in a sunny spot.
(Also read: How to Cool Down on a Very Hot Day)
4. Keep vitamins in the kitchen or bathroom
Storing vitamins and medicine in the kitchen or bathroom may make it more convenient for you to take them, but keeping the pills in those two spaces are not ideal. According to research by US-based Purdue University, some active ingredients in tablets, including water-soluble vitamins like B and C, may dissolve completely in warm and humid conditions, and opening and closing the containers in these moist environs speed up the irreversible degradation. Since there’s no point paying good money on vitamins and medications that don’t work, take preventive measures by storing your supplements in a dry and cool place instead.
5. Thaw food on the counter
Defrosting food on your kitchen counter when the weather is warm seems like a good idea, but bacteria proliferates quickly once food hits 4 degrees Celsius and above, setting you up for potential food poisoning. This is why the United States Department of Agriculture recommends defrosting methods such as transferring frozen food to the fridge, which keeps your food cool (usually under 2 degrees Celsius), thawing in cold water and changing the water every 30 minutes or so, using a microwave, or cooking foods directly from the freezer.