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June is the official start of summer, the most anticipated season by those who love outdoor life. The days are longer, the weather is better and the desire to be outside increases.  However, summer because of the heat and the humidity is also the season when symptoms like lethargy, tiredness and sudden changes in blood pressure present themselves more frequently. Preventing these problems and changing bad habits like an inactive lifestyle or an unbalanced diet are the keys to helping the body rechange and adapt better to the season.

 

Mineral salts: essential for maintaining the body’s equilibrium.

 

In order to guarantee the wellbeing of all our vital functions, the body needs not only to take in nutrients from food but also needs mineral salts to feed the blood and tissues and maintain physical equilibrium. In summer these nutrients, essential for energy production, are expelled from the body in large quantities through perspiration which increases with the higher temperatures. To avoid dehydration and return to an active and vital lifestyle it is important to balance correctly water and mineral intake, which you can find especially in vegetables, fruits and legumes.

 

In summer the intake of mineral salts is particularly important for those who can’t live without sport, especially for those doing strenuous activities or exercising in the sun.

 

The risk of losing large quanities of minerals is much higher for those who practice sports, especially those undertaking strenuous  or sustained activities in the sun. In this case absorbing specific and more concentrated supplements could be useful. In shops you can find a wide range of  energy drinks  based on water, sugars, and mineral salts. These drinks are rapidly absorbed by the body and enter the blood stream immediately.

However, not all energy drinks are created equal. To choose the right mineral supplement you must know the ingredients, their effects and their use. But above all, you must know the time it takes for the body to absorb the minerals.

In particular, mineral supplements can be divided according to their absorbtion times in the intestine:

  • Hypertonic sports drinks – long absorption time: they are made up of carbohydrates and mineral salts. They produce more osmotic pressure (that is, the speed with which they absorb liquids) in respect to the plasma in our blood.
  • Isotonic sports drinks – medium absorbtion time: the osmotic pressure is almost equal to that of plasma.
  • Hypotonic sports drinks – short absorbtion time: the osmotic pressure is less than that of plasma.

 

From revitalising ginseng to yerba mate for physical and psychological well-being: in summer nature is the best ally.

 

A useful help to recharge and alleviate tiredness comes from some plants that can be made into herbal tea. Among the most effective natural remedies is surely ginseng, known all over the world for its revitalising, reinvigorating and antistress properties.

Guaranà is also used by sport enthusiasts for its energising and stimulating effects, which reduce tiredness and improve stamina. Rhodiola  is similar and useful for those who have to deal with exams in summer, because it improves attention and concentration.

Yerba mate , a herb known for combatting psycho-physical weakness, is often used as an alternative to coffee because it is less stimulating but lasts longer.

Other common plants, easily found in the garden, but no less useful for dealing with the summer heat are rosemary and mint. The first is an excellent restorative, thanks to its essential oil rich in active ingredients. Mint is a natural and refreshing tonic that can be used to reduce drowsiness.

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