KEEPING HYDRATED IS MANDATED! Staying healthy and winning the best of summer moments in UAE

Heat. Are you into it? For Filipinos working under the sun, how do they manage to protect themselves from extreme dehydration? What do they need to do to keep themselves hydrated?

According to ACCU-UAE weather updates, the current temperature ranges from 34OC to 43oC this week, with sunny, very warm yet less humid weather condition.

“Hot and humid conditions prevailing every summer in the UAE to the combined effects of surface troughs (LPA) over UAE with weak ridge extension (HPA) creates winds from various directions (either northwesterly or southeasterly), that carries moisture from the Arab Gulf or Oman Sea,” said Aldrin Gabuya a weather enthusiast who works as an astronomer.

Weather officials anticipate that summer could last until the mid of September.

Working under the sun

Asked about how she feels, Sofia, 31 from Makati City- thinks (as a Filipino) UAE weather and climate condition is like placing yourself a bit nearer to the bonfire, compare to the weather in Manila, Philippines where she permanently resides.

“(Dito kasi) kakalabas mo palang parang gusto mo na namang bumalik sa loob ng bahay,” (you just recently got outside the house, but it feels like you want to return inside to your house again) Sofia explained. “Nabasa na nga ng bongga ang damit ko hanggang underwear ko,” (My attire for the day got perspired-like worst up to my underwear) she added.

Sofia works as salon flyers-giver in Dubai now for a year and she spends most of her 9-work hour duty outside the salon, under the heat of the sun. She previously worked as housemaid for two years.

To hydrate herself, Sofia drinks more glasses of cold water to survive the hot weather.

Getting hotter and hotter

One of the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Dubai was in July 2002 with 52.1OC.

“More hotter and humid days ahead since we are just approaching the peak of summer in the UAE (occurring between July-August),” Mr. Gabuya explained.

Middle East is relatively dry according to experts (National Center for Meteorology or NCM). There are fewer bodies of water plus the desert topography in which there are less moisture content for evaporation to take place.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced the annual midday break rule for laborers during summer months in UAE. The ministry prevents any work under direct sunlight between 12:30pm-3pm for three months from June 15-September 15.

Homemade skin hydrants and moisturizers

Just like what Sofia can do, others can use alternative homemade materials that can be used to hydrate the skin and to keep away from having sunburns.

Put three tablespoons of coconut oil (VCOs can do) to crushed bananas. Mixed together and put it in the skin. The coconut oil has saturated fat content and vitamin E, which naturally hydrates the skin and lessens the pain from the sunburn. While banana has Vitamin A, B, E, and potassium, which are all good to naturally moisturize and remove skin spots.

Other ways to fight sunburn include the mixture of grated potatoes, baking soda with water so as to create a paste, which will serve as natural moisturizer and skin whitener. Let it dry for five minutes and wash with warm water to lessen the burn and return the natural skin color in due time.

Making yourself hydrated

Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian Marc Louie M. Almario explained that proper hydration and nutrition are important aspects to consider during dry and hot weathers like what fellow Filipinos are experiencing in the Middle East.

“Proper hydration is met by drinking at least 2 liters or 8 glasses of water a day aside from taking in juices and soups,” Mr. Almario said.

“Fruits such as watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber and berries are also good sources of water and vitamins but these are regulated for those who have metabolic diseases such as diabetes,” he further explained.

Marc also noted that they also recommend limiting coffee or tea intake during these times as it causes frequent urination causing water to be released than preserved.

“Also, eating too much protein and food that requires more energy to digest such as high fat and fibrous foods causes the body to release more energy thus increasing your internal body temperature, making you feel more uncomfortable,” Marc added.

Meanwhile, he also said that drinking super cold drinks may relieve the heat for quite a while but it will just cause an external-internal body temperature imbalance which causes sudden adjustment in body temperature to regulate it, making one feel warmer than it intend to be.

Protection versus heat

“Based from 5-day weather forecast ng NCM, expect generally fair to partly cloudy skies and shall remain hot and humid with prevailing moderate to fresh winds from northwest. Avoid overexposure under the Sun between 10AM to 5PM. Always keep hydrated by frequent water intake, wear light-comfortable clothing, sunblock, and bring umbrella to prevent heat causing illnesses (heat stroke, dehydration, skin diseases, etc.),” Mr. Gabuya added.

Photo: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announced the annual midday break rule for laborers during summer months in UAE. The ministry prevents any work under direct sunlight between 12:30pm-3pm for three months from June 15-September 15. Photo courtesy: SBGajete

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