Cool It!


Live Right Now - Episode 030 – Cool It!

Much to the delight of grandkids and overheating grandparents… there’re here: inviting

ice cream trucks blaring Pop Goes the Weasel trolling neighborhood streets. When its

hotter than blazes, consuming popsicles, ice cream bars, slushies, might seem like

common-sense choices when you want to cool off, (spoiler alert) but they may do more

harm than good.

We mean well, but rehydrating our parched temple with diet soda, energy drinks, Mt.

Dew, beer, margaritas, wine spritzers is not the wisest decision as caffeine and alcohol

contribute to rapid dehydration. Excess alcohol consumption can cause dehydration in a

variety of ways and sugary desserts, doughnuts, ice cream, muffins, highly processed

breads, pasta, and grains require a lot of water to digest. Dietitians agree the temple

uses a lot of water to metabolize these foods, which depletes water reserves leading to

dehydration. Plus, you don’t get any nutrients, just unpleasant, disease-mimicking


Some symptoms of dehydration in seniors include confusion, irritability, dark colored

urine, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, frequent urination, reduced blood flow to the

extremes, sunken eyes and cheek. High blood pressure is common among the

chronically dehydrated. It can also be a warning sign of dehydration

Icy cold food and drinks might provide a short-lived cooling effect, but consuming these

food and beverages food leads to an increase in temperature as the process of

digestion is heat-generating. This combined with the rapid cooling initiated by cold food

and drinks means your temple over-compensates by increasing your core temperature.

So you may actually end up feeling hotter than you did!

Drinking an air-temp or hot drink increases the temples heat load and responds by

sweating. The output of sweat is greater than the internal heat gain, and this is where it

all starts to make sense ― when the sweat evaporates from the skin, it cools us down,

Dehydration is relatively preventable. Basically, take in more water than you lose. Drink

water throughout the day, back off caffeine and alcohol, eat as much watery fruits and

vegetables as you are able, mind your thirst levels and rehydrate accordingly, check

your urine—if you are drinking enough, it should be a pale straw color.

Certain fruit and vegetables score highly in this regard, so consider eating more

strawberries, cucumber, zucchini, celery, lettuce, Hoosier cantaloupes, and local

watermelon if we want to up the H2O. Watermelon is the juiciest and one of most

colorful of fruits to rehydrate.

Pedialyte, the electrolyte drink of our childhood, has suddenly become the drink of pop

culture. You'll find it in pro sports locker rooms for rehydration and in our fridges to help

you get through hangovers. (optional graph)


Include dark leafy-green salads with a rainbow of vegetables. Lettuce is 95 percent

water so it keeps you both cool and hydrated. Throw extra cucumbers on top, which are

96 percent water. Make pitchers of cucumber, fresh mint, peaches, and strawberry

water and carry a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day.

Plain and simple: pure water hydration is the staff of all life. Both mother earth and our

temple are two-thirds water by divine design. I doubt any garden would survive, let

alone flourish being watered with anything other than the colorless, transparent,

odorless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, rain and all lifeforms.


For more from Chef Wendell including the “Eat Right Now” books and info on how to book Chef Wendell to speak to your group go to

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The Live Right Now theme music is “future soundtrack II” by Adam Henry Garcia from the Free Music Archive licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


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