Summer Heat Fatigue and Elderly People

summer heat fatigue

The average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius on July 3, the highest ever recorded. According to American researchers, it is the first time since observations began at the end of the 19th century that the temperature exceeded 17 degrees Celsius.

They say that the cause of summer heat exhaustion is physical strength exhaustion due to the heat and chronic fatigue building up. In particular, older people take longer to recover, so support from family and people around them is essential.
Therefore, this article will introduce recommended recipes for older adults to prevent summer fatigue and hot weather. Please help us to maintain the health of parents and caregivers.

It is difficult to notice the symptoms of summer fatigue in the elderly

They say that older people are less likely to catch their signs of summer lethargy, and the symptoms worsen.
As you get older, you tend to feel less hot and thirsty. It makes you drink less often. In addition, the body’s temperature control function and the amount of water deteriorate. So it is easy to get tired in the summer.

Older adults have low physical strength and immunity. Once they get sick, it takes longer before recovery, increasing the risk of severe illness. Even when an older person is patient against hot weather, it’s essential to take care of him (her) regularly to see if he (she) has symptoms of heat exhaustion.

<Symptoms of summer fatigue>

Have no appetite
Have trouble falling asleep
I’m dazed
Sweating less/more than usual
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Yawning, etc.

If you miss the signs, you may get heatstroke regardless you are younger or older. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you need to take immediate action and see a doctor.

<Symptoms of heat stroke>

・I feel nauseous/vomit
・I’m tired
・I no longer sweat
・Dry skin, etc.

What is an effective diet for older adults’ summer fatigue?

The key to preventing summer fatigue is hydration and proper eating habits. We will introduce how to take adequate water and food.

Aim for 1.2L of water per day.

Let’s rehydrate with 1.2 L per day as a guide. Our bodies lose 2.5L of water each day. We rehydrate 1.3L combined from food and production in the body. The remaining 1.2L should come from drinking water.

Many people drink coffee or tea, but caffeine is a diuretic. It is preferable to stay hydrated with water or non-caffeinated beverages. Drinking alcohol also activates the diuretic effect. It’s crucial to drink plenty of water on days when they drink alcohol.

It is also effective to decide how often and when to drink, such as drinking a glass of water when you wake up, before and after taking a bath, and before going to bed. Placing drinking water by your bedside will help you stay hydrated even if you wake up in the heat.

Build a strong body with protein.

Protein is essential for building a strong body that can withstand the summer heat. It is a necessary nutrient for maintaining good health and helps improve immunity and muscle strength.

In particular, older people are more susceptible to malnutrition and frailty if they are deficient in protein. Eating protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, legumes, and dairy is essential to survive the hot season.
Older people with weak stomachs who feel heavy in the gut should avoid meat and consume light fish, soybean products, and eggs for protein. Slowly simmering, chewing well, and eating will aid digestion.

Fatigue recovery with vitamins, minerals, and citric acid

Let’s take vitamins, minerals, and citric acid that are effective in recovering from fatigue in the summer.
Among vitamins, vitamin B1 is the key to recovery from fatigue. It can convert sugar into energy and helps you recover from fatigue. I recommend you eat with flavored vegetables such as green onions, Chinese chives, and ginger, which improve the absorption of vitamin B1.

Minerals are also effective in relieving fatigue but tend to be deficient in the summer because they outflow with sweat. It also helps prevent osteoporosis, so be conscious and take it regularly.

One of the sour ingredients, citric acid, decomposes and excretes lactic acid, which is a fatigue substance. It is also helpful for increasing appetite and will help prevent summer fatigue in older adults who don’t take a lot of food.

Foods to contain rich Vitamin B1, mineral and citric acid respectively

Vitamin B1: Pork, Soybeans, Enriched cereal products

Mineral: Spinach, Nuts, Seeds, Whole grains

Citric Acid: Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit

2 Examples of Recipes to Survive Summer Heat Fatigue

food against summer heat fatigue
Cauliflower salad with chickpeas and herbs

Below are two examples of protein-rich meal recipes recommended in the United States to combat summer fatigue.

Grilled chicken salad:


chicken breast
lettuce and baby spinach
Caesar dressing
Olive oil
salt and pepper

How to cook:

Grill and cook chicken breast and set aside.
Place lettuce, baby spinach, tomato, cucumber, and onion in a bowl.
Add grilled chicken;
Drizzle with Caesar dressing and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Mix well and enjoy.

Chilled Quinoa Salad with Chick Peas:

canned chickpeas
cucumber (small cucumber)
red bell pepper (red paprika)
Herbs (Coriander and Parsley)
Olive oil
salt and pepper

How to cook:

Cook the quinoa and let it cool, or bring it to room temperature.
Thoroughly wash and drain the canned chickpeas.
Finely chop the cucumber and red bell pepper.
Finely chop the herbs.
Combine quinoa, chickpea, cucumber, red bell pepper, and herbs in a bowl.
Make a dressing with lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Mix well and chill in the refrigerator before serving.

These healthy recipes will give you a good dose of protein on a hot summer day.

Other Daily Preventive Measures

In addition to diet, exercise and sleep are also essential to prevent summer fatigue. Please pay attention to the following points in your daily life.

Moderate Exercise

Aerobic exercise is effective for building physical strength and adjusting the autonomic nervous system. Incorporate exercise that makes you sweat a little, such as walking or radio calisthenics, into your daily life.

Soak in a bathtub.

The difference in temperature between the air-conditioned room and the outside disturbs the autonomic nervous system and can lead to summer fatigue. When you take a bath, your autonomic nerves are in order, your metabolism increases, and you can become a body that sweats. However, it is easy to lose water through sweat, so please have them drink a glass of water before and after bathing.

Maintain a comfortable room temperature and temperature.

Keep the room temperature below 78-79°F and the humidity below 60%. Older adults who cannot feel the heat tend to delay turning on the cooler. Place a thermometer where you can see it and tell them to turn it on when the temperature reaches 78 – 79°F.

Get a good night’s sleep.

Since people recover from fatigue by sleeping, it is essential to secure enough sleep time. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, you can make up for it with a nap.


Older people often overlook the signs of summer heat fatigue. So it is crucial to take early measures. Summer heat exhaustion makes it difficult for older people to recover, and it can also cause chronic illnesses to worsen.

Let’s try to take moderate hydration and protein, vitamins, minerals, and citric acid to prevent summer fatigue. Incorporating nutritionally balanced meals will be essential.

In addition to diet, moderate exercise, bathing, temperature, and humidity control are the keys to combating summer fatigue. Older adults are less likely to notice changes in temperature or physical condition on their own, so people around them should take care of them.


Do you like the article? Share your knowledge with others.