Eating for the Heat During Pregnancy

4 tips to help you adjust your pregnancy diet for the summer heat.

That sweltering summer heat is unpleasant for everyone – but, when you’re pregnant, it’s all the more uncomfortable. Not only do you have to manage staying cool for yourself, but also ensure your little one is safe as those temperatures rise.

It’s super important to stay adequately hydrated during your pregnancy, and especially when it’s hot outside. The suggested water intake for pregnant women is approximately 12-13 cups per day, which is calculated on a 2000-calorie diet (1-1.5ml per calorie). Water is essential in transporting and delivering key vitamins, minerals and hormones to the placenta.

Summer heat can also make the following pregnancy symptoms become more apparent: pregnancy fatigue, headaches and swollen feet or ankles i.e. lower body swelling. Consuming water-rich foods can help you feel more comfortable.

Here are 4 tips on adjusting your pregnancy diet for the summer heat:

1. Avoid these foods:

  • Caffeine. Caffeine has a diuretic effect on the body and therefore flush water out rather than allowing your body to absorb it. Beverages such as sodas and coffee or tea should be avoided or consumed in moderation during the heat. In fact, a good guide is for every 8-12oz of a caffeinated beverage, consume at least 8oz of water.
  • Salt. Foods higher in sodium could cause water retention and swelling. While the idea of increased fluid in the body seems ideal, it’s not. The retention and swelling becomes uncomfortable and you may also feel parched or dry in the mouth.
  • Spicy Foods. The traditional hot sauce (hot peppers) contain capsaicin, and its consumption is correlated with a short-lived increase in body temperature. Therefore, when it’s extremely hot out, it’s important to focus on keeping your body temperature low and staying cool.

2. Increase Your Protein Intake.
While this is not a widely suggested advice, it’s important to note that consuming excess protein (and subsequently less carbohydrates) could cause dehydration. You may not feel thirstier but your kidneys are working harder to dispose of the waste products of digesting protein. The key is to consume enough water consistently.

3. Opt for water-rich foods. These foods are >90% water, and will keep you feeling refreshed and hydrated.

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries

4. Drink as much water as possible. During the summer heat, the best way to ensure you’re constantly hydrated is by keeping a reusable water bottle on hand at all times.

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About Anita Mirchandani

Anita Mirchandani, M.S, R.D, C.D.N received a B.A. from NYU and a M.S. in Clinical Nutrition from NYU. After completing a dietetic internship at New York-Presbyterian hospital, Anita is a practicing Registered Dietitian. Anita also maintains current fitness certifications in indoor cycling, kickboxing, group exercise, and personal training. As of June 2014, Anita represents the New York State Dietetic Association as a media spokesperson. She is also an AFPA certified prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist. Currently, Anita consults on all things nutrition related for food and beverage start-ups. She is the resident dietitian at Yummy Spoonfuls and contributes content to various platforms. Follow @FitNutAnita on Twitter and Instagram to be part of the conversation!

Anita Mirchandani

Anita Mirchandani

Anita Mirchandani, M.S, R.D, C.D.N received a B.A. from NYU and a M.S. in Clinical Nutrition from NYU. After completing a dietetic internship at New York-Presbyterian hospital, Anita is a practicing Registered Dietitian. Anita also maintains current fitness certifications in indoor cycling, kickboxing, group exercise, and personal training. As of June 2014, Anita represents the New York State Dietetic Association as a media spokesperson. She is also an AFPA certified prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist. Currently, Anita consults on all things nutrition related for food and beverage start-ups. She is the resident dietitian at Yummy Spoonfuls and contributes content to various platforms. Follow @FitNutAnita on Twitter and Instagram to be part of the conversation!

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