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Summer is here, and the heat is on – full blast! While many people are eager to head outdoors for some rest and recreation, high temperatures can cause health problems for people of any age – even those with no current health problems. Keeping cool is essential for good health at this time of year, so here are three simple tips to stay safe all summer.

Drink Caffeine-Free Beverages

First, hydration is critical during the hot summer months. Everyone needs to up their intake of fluids all day long and not only when thirst finally strikes. But all beverages are not created equal. People who primarily drink caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and soda will need to consider healthier options because caffeine causes the body to lose water rather than retain it.

A good alternative is to drink water infused with slices of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruit juices and sports drinks can also be useful for replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes, but be careful not to take in too many calories. Opt for plain and infused water at least half of the time.

Eat Foods With High Water Content

Most people focus on drinking more fluids during the summer to fight off dehydration, but food intake is another crucial factor. Many foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables naturally contain a high volume of water, so including them in every meal is a great idea. Citrus fruits, grapes, and melons are excellent choices, along with cucumbers, tomatoes, and salad greens.

Fruit smoothies are also a refreshing way to stay cool and increase hydration.

Avoid Heavy Meals

While increasing fresh fruits and veggies adds water to the diet, care should also be taken to avoid certain foods. Fried foods and meats are notorious for causing sluggishness after mealtime as these foods pull a lot of blood and fluids into the stomach and intestines to aid in digestion. For people on the go, including kids engaging in summertime sports, avoiding these heavy junk foods and sticking with lighter meals is a good option.

The intense summer heat causes health problems for millions of people every year, but following these three simple summer diet tips can help prevent dehydration, heatstroke, and energy crashes common during the summer.