August is here, the summer is winding down and school is just around the corner. We have a few weeks left to soak in the final days of summer but have you noticed that all this fun in the sun has started to reek havoc on your body? Here are some of the common problems we may have and what we can do to alleviate all of this fun in the sun.
1. Dry or Damaged Skin
Problem - We sweat more in the summer and may spend a lot of time in the salt water or chlorinated pool. The result is less supple and dry skin.
Solution - Increase your intake of foods that are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Some ideas include berries such as raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Make sure you are get enough protein in the form of lean meats, nuts, and beans. Also don't forget to drink your water. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 lbs, aim for 75 ounces. If you find that you are sweating a lot , this number will need to increase.
2. Parched/Dry Hair
Problem - Overexposure to the elements - sun, saltwater, chlorine
Solution - Ensure you again are eating enough protein since hair is made of protein fibers called keratin. Again try to choose lean meats, eggs, beans, nuts, low fat dairy products. Also foods rich in B Vitamins, folic acid, calcium, and zinc can improve dull hair and make it shiny. Foods to choose include yogurt, avocados, milk, meat, fish, fortified cereals, and beans.
3. Muscle Cramps
Problem - Cramps can be caused by overexertion and dehydration. Sodium, calcium, and potassium are the main electrolytes that are lost through sweating.
Solution - The first line of defense is to ensure that you are hydrated and drinking enough water. Sometimes sports drinks can be warranted for prolonged activities to replete electrolytes. We just don't want to get into the habit of regular consumption due to the high sugar content. Foods that are high in potassium include - bananas, potatoes, spinach, and raisins.
Now get out and enjoy these final days of summer!!