Summer in India ranges from April to September. This time of the year the plains of India other than the hills, get very hot. In some places it can reach as high as 47 degrees Celsius for a period of two weeks at a stretch. Unless your body can cope with this heat, you can actually get seriously ill. Sometimes the illness can be seriously fatal and cause grave damage to your body.
Indian summer heat can literally suck the life force out of you. When you walk in the sun while sightseeing you tend to get tired and drained very quickly. All you want to do is get back to your hotel room and turn on the air conditioner. This is such a waste of time because you could have been out there exploring rather than staying inside your hotel room.
Most Indians, over centuries, have learnt to cope with the heat of summer in India. They do simple things that protect them and beat the heat in India. The summer heat actually becomes their friend and not their fatal enemy. No wonder India is second most populated country despite all the harsh weather conditions. In most cases people from colder and more temperate areas will find the heat unbearable, but if they do what Indians do in India, they will be able to turn the Summer in India into their best friend. Basically you need to protect your body from direct sunlight.
Here are a few quick tips to handle sun in Summer in India:
- Protect your head: Carry a cap or a hat or a scarf. Something that covers your head from direct sunlight. This will prevent your head from getting affected by the heat.
- Use Sun Glasses: CWith the UV being high, you need to protect your eyes with any normal sun glasses. If you follow these two tips, 30% of your battle is already won.
- Wear appropriate clothes: Wear cotton clothes that cover lot of your body. While the sun can give you a good tan, but you don’t want your skin to be burnt. Wear clothes that cover your neck, shoulders, arms, torso, and legs. A jean, a trouser, a full sleeve shirt, high collar t-shirt and similar dresses etc are examples of clothes that cover your skin parts. This will protect the body from heat which in turn means that your body does not have to spend energy in trying to cope with direct sun heat. Moreover you will not have to apply Sun Block to the covered areas, which is such a big saviour. You are now about 60% protected from the heat. Rest is consuming summer appropriate food and drinks.
- Consume lots of Drinks:With the heat, you sweat a lot, resulting in dehydration. You should always drink about 3-4 litres of water daily and if possible get electrolyte powder from home. Drink one pouch in 1 litre of water daily to supplement any loss of salt and minerals from your body. This was recently recommended by a doctor to a guest who suffered dehydration (loose motions and vomiting due to heat). You can consume some drinks that locals consume, like Lassi (Yoghurt Shake), Chaach (butter milk), Tender coconut water (readily available), Lemonade also called as Nimboo Paani which is an excellent drink to hydrate the body. Drinks to avoid are Coke, Pepsi, Sodas etc. While they give you an instant lift, but make you more lethargic. Now your body has to fight the toxins in drinks like coke, pepsi etc.
- Eat fresh and light food: In food, you should stick to fresh fruits and vegetables. Some summer fruits that are available are Mangoes, Water Melon, Musk Melon, Bananas, Leechees also know as Chinese Hazelnut, Jamun (black plum) etc. In meals, please stick to vegetarian diet as much as possible in local eateries. No one know for how long the meat has been lying out of the fridge. Eat salads and fresh veggies that are not over cooked. While this can be hard to get while travelling in India, but it is worth the shot wherever you can get it. One particularly good thing is Mint. You can mix it in salads, drinks etc. It has a naturally cooling effect. Crush it and mix it with yoghurt alongwith some sugar and you have a divine thing. Foods to avoid are fried food, too thick Indian curries, junk food, pizzas, burgers etc. While people say to avoid spicy food, but it is actually not too bad. The spices help you perspire, hence keeping your body cool. So a little spicy food is always welcome as long as we are compensating the loss of sweet by maintaining electrolyte balance in our body.
If you are in Delhi in our hostel in Delhi and need any of the drinks or food items mentioned, our hostel staff will be able to help you get some. If our hostel staff cannot procure for you, they will tell you from where to get it.
An old saying is that “In Rome do as Romans do”, similarly in India do as Indians do and you will end up enjoying the summer in India.
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