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Heat Exhaustion- Meaning, causes, symptoms and foods to reduce heat exhaustion

22 April, 2022 Ananya das


Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that is usually caused due to excessive dehydration of the body. Whenever temperature rise takes place, there develops the feeling of dizziness, nausea, spinning head and exhaustion due to a large amount of sweating. Though heat exhaustion affects the body, it is not as harmful as heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is actually a result of any of the following two events.

  • Salt depletion from the body - It affects the physical and internal health of an individual.
  • Water depletion from the body - It affects the senses of an individual.

In case proper care is not taken for this heat exhaustion, there may be severe heatstroke cases. This heatstroke is so harmful that it may damage various organs, including the brain and in severe cases, may also lead to death.


Having known the brief about heat exhaustion, now let us know how you can recognize if you are suffering from heat exhaustion this summer. Before you may notice any heat exhaustion symptoms, you will feel the presence of heat rashes and heat cramps. Some of the most common symptoms of heat exhaustion are mentioned below.

  • Fatigue
  • Spinning head or fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscles cramping
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Swelling in foot and hands


The leading cause of heat exhaustion is the body's failure to itself cool down the core temperature of the body. Whenever there is a temperature rise in the surroundings and within the body, the body tends to release sweat to cool itself down. This sweat acts as a natural cooling system for the body. When this cooling system can’t function properly, then due to excess body heat, the body starts to experience heat cramps and other heat-related illnesses.

This disruption in the function of our natural cooling system is due to various factors like excess dehydration, wearing very tight-fitting clothes and drinking too much alcohol. All these activities increase the body's heat beyond normal and thus result in heat exhaustion due to the body’s inability to cool down this heat.

Home Remedies

The best option to include in daily lifestyles to avoid heat exhaustion are the use of body coolness enhancing activities. Some of such activities include drinking cooling drinks, taking bath in cool water, avoiding heat raising food items and most importantly making electrolytic and sports drinks a part of your summer days. These all help to reduce the chances of developing heat exhaustion even in the extreme summer heat.

Foods to reduce heat exhaustion

Foods to Reduce Heat exhaustion



























Since the main cause of heat exhaustion is the lack of hydration in the body, so the best food items you should consume to reduce it are those containing water. Some of the most preferred summer fruits that will help you in this are mentioned below.

  • Watermelon: Whenever it is asked for the most hydrating fruit, watermelon is the name that pops up in the mind first. It is filled 90% with water and is packed with amino acids, vitamin A, C, B6 and antioxidants. These nutrients help to fight the harsh summer heat and avoid exhaustion.
  • Coconut water: Coconut water is full of essential electrolytes and potassium. These electrolytes help to rehydrate the body the quickest during heat rise and potassium is its support that makes the action faster and more efficient. So, whenever you next time feel heat exhausted, don’t forget to reach out to the nearest coconut water vendor.
  • Wood apple: Wood apple is a favourite summer fruit of all East Indian people. This is well known because of its cooling properties which relieve most of the heat throughout the day. Besides, it is a very rich source of dietary fibres which help to improve digestion and relieve constipation. Alongside, it helps in improving the immunity of the body due to its good anti-oxidant and vitamin C content.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is another healthy, tasty and cooling summer drink to help you fight the exhausting summer heat. It is filled with probiotics and multiple vitamins and minerals. These help to prevent the exhausting action of heat due to sweating by replenishing the lost vitamins and minerals from the body.
  • Salmon: It's a strange but true fact that eating salmon during heat rises is the best option to reduce heat exhaustion. Salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids. These provide support to the hypothalamus to control the temperature, thirst and hunger.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar when added to any fruit juice or plain chilled water and consumed, it helps to replenish the lost electrolytes from the body. It provides the body with lots of electrolytes and minerals like potassium and magnesium. Thus, all the essentials lost during sweating are given back to the body by drinking the decoction made of apple cider vinegar.
  • Sandalwood: Sandalwood is best known for its cooling properties. Applying sandalwood paste over the entire chest and forehead helps to cool down the body heat. Besides, massaging sandalwood oil slowly all over the body provides a soothing and cooling sensation to the body.