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Heat wave has people keeping cool...by any means necessary

July 18, 2013 at 6:56 PM ET

Video: With the help of some TODAY viewers, Clint Carter of Men’s Health magazine shares some unconventional ways you can beat the heat, including turning a truck bed into a pool and using spicy foods to cool you down.

As these summer temps keep rising, many folks are doing whatever it takes to keep cool. And we really do mean whatever.

Like the guy who keeps his workout clothes in the freezer, so they are icy when he goes for a run. Or the dude who suggests the only way he can handle the heat is by walking around naked in his house. Or the person (see photo below) who duct-taped an umbrella to his body.

While the constant shade provided by an attached umbrella isn't a bad idea, there are lots of, um, easier things you can do to keep your body cool, says Madelyn Fernstrom, TODAY's diet and nutrition editor.

She says keeping hydrated is key, and there are many ways to do that in addition to drinking water. Try eating a large green salad with veggies -- which is all mostly water. Fresh fruits -- specifically watermelon -- are refreshing too. Try it frozen -- like grapes or pineapple chunks -- for a go-to snack.

Also, meals that are high in fat can make you feel sluggish, so it's best to lower the far and boost your lean protein, fruits and veggies, Fernstrom said.

And here's one trick that seems counterintuitive. Drink something...hot. "Peppermint tea or [something] similar can help you sweat, which lowers body temperature," says Fernstrom, adding, "This is not for everyone! Only if you like hot [beverages]."

On TODAY Wednesday, Clint Carter, senior associated editor of Men's Health magazine, showed Matt Lauer ice cube-sized hand coolers that when applied to pulse points -- behind your elbow, back of your neck or knees -- can cool down your core temperature.

Or if you don't have air-conditioning, putting your bed sheets or pillow in the refrigerator for a half hour can help you get to sleep, Carter said.

We asked TODAY.com readers to tell us how they are keeping cool. Not surprisingly, swimming pools, shade, air-conditioning, ice cream and cold beer all made the list.

Here are a few more ways readers are attempting to #beattheheat:


Video: While temperatures are sky-high outside, TODAY’s Al Roker checks out a unique way to stay cool in New York City: the New York Hilton Midtown’s bar Minus 5, which is made entirely of ice.


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