Beat the Heat and Stomach Flu: The Power of Proper Hydration

Refreshing glass of water with lemon and mint to prevent stomach flu in summer

Summer is generally characterised by hot, warm, dry weather and the season of fruits. This season is also home to 40 per-cent of gastrointestinal infections or stomach flu which is different from the respiratory flu virus or influenza virus, and is characterised by vomiting, cramping in the abdomen, and diarrhoea.

Summer being the home of diseases.

Most stomach illnesses are brought on by inadequate water consumption or dehydration. Dehydration causes inflammations in the stomach, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, or even the flu in some cases. The digestive system becomes relatively weak and slow during these months. As a result, the entire digestive tract becomes easily vulnerable to various viruses and bacteria. Some common problems that are prevalent during summers are dehydration, loss of appetite, and food poisoning.

Why water plays an important role during hot days?

Dehydration is a tricky affair and can creep up on you when you are least expecting it. As we all know, an unhealthy stomach causes acne, headaches, constipation, and many more. More severe dehydration may manifest itself as dark coloured urine, dizziness or even vomiting. So, ensure that you drink water to keep your body healthy. Most can be cured by intake of water and staying hydrated. Toxins from kidneys can be flushed out through drinking water, it helps to remove metabolic waste and regulate body temperature.

Dr. Subrata Das, Senior Consultant – Internal Medicine and Diabetology, at Sakra World Hospital, said, “Most stomach illnesses are brought by inadequate water consumption or dehydration, which can even cause death, if not addressed well in time. During high temperatures, stomach bugs become most prevalent and active. And people suffer more from stomach flu or gastrointestinal infections. Gastrointestinal infections are different from the respiratory flu virus or influenza virus and are characterized by vomiting, loose stools, fever.

Our body needs to be cooled down both from inside and outside. Hence, adequate hydration ensures a good flow of oxygen and blood to your brain and body. Concentration suffers, and short-term memory issues arise when physiological fluid levels fall by 2%. This demonstrates how drinking water improves brain and mood function. Thus, water helps you increase your focus and remain mentally alert,” added Dr. Subrata Das.

“During summer, you tend to lose a lot of water from your body through sweating and fluid levels decrease, leading to water imbalance in body. This causes dehydration, which can lead to a plethora of other health problems. Water is rightly called the elixir of life. From maintaining your body temperature, electrolyte balance and blood pressure, to lubricating your joints, adequate water levels are crucial for your body to go about its daily functions. Even if you are slightly thirsty, it can mean that you are already mildly dehydrated and need to up your water levels,” said Vijender Reddy – Co-Founder and CEO of Drink Prime.  

“A disciplined approach to hydration, i.e., keeping yourself hydrated consistently through the day, is what you should aim for. This will help you pick up your metabolism rates, reduce fatigue and ensure that you are active and focused through the hot summer day. Although water is the best drink to hydrate yourself, you can replenish body fluids through other ways too if you are bored of plain water. Water flavoured with cucumber, berries, herbs etc. are refreshing and tasty. Water-rich fruits like watermelon, oranges, cucumber etc. are a good way to ‘eat your water,” added Mr Reddy.

Points to keep in mind related to water

Drinking water is the most beneficial thing we can do for our skin and body. At least having 2-3 litres of water must be followed. More than 60% of the human body is made up of water. Hence, proper water balance is essential for your body to function.

It’s important to drink water before and after 30-minutes of meal. Cold water when taken with food causes gas, bloating, and flatulence. Also, avoid having warm or hot water during summer as it heats up our body system.

Things need to be done to avoid diseases

One must always wash their hands before having food and keep their environment clean, including the kitchen and bathrooms. People should reduce the intake of eggs and chicken during this season to avoid themselves suffering from salmonella bacteria.

It’s essential to drink enough water during the summer. People should carry ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) or glucose while traveling. Also, the intake of curd can make the stomach stay healthy during suffering instead of cold or icy beverages. Having fruits that have high water quantity will also help in making oneself hydrated and prefer fibre intake. All gastrointestinal infections can be avoided by intake of light food and adequate intake of water. Avoiding junk food or fatty foods during the summer will save people from food poisoning.


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