Beat the Summer Heat

Ideas for having fun, staying fit, and making delicious summer foods

University Relations – Alumni Association, Jacob Chinn photos

Egg-Frying Contest 

If an egg can cook on city sidewalks midday in Tucson, we agree that’s hot. In Oatman, an Arizona town near Laughlin, Nevada, sidewalk egg frying is a 25-year-old Fourth of July tradition. A few contest rules apply — eggs must be fried using solar power and the use of mirrors, magnifying glasses, aluminum foil, and other creative aids are allowed. 

We gave egg frying a try at the UA Alumni Association. The result: a runny egg not fit for eating. 

Mount Lemmon — a taste of blueberry pie and rock climbing

Arizona visitors and residents choose refreshing getaways to Mount Lemmon during summer months for a taste of blueberry pie and average temps in the high 70s. That beats 110 degrees at the UA any day.

For a little bit of adventure on Mount Lemmon, UA Campus Recreation’s Outdoor Adventures program offers rock climbing trips to the granite walls of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Climbing Magazine named Tucson the best U.S. city for rock climbing. 

Learn more at

Water Harvesting during Monsoon

When monsoon clouds roll into town and unleash a downpour on the city, the UA reaps a watery harvest. Under the north edge of Bear Down Field lies a million-gallon tank designed to mitigate storm flows and harvest storm water.

Water is filtered into the tank, where it collects and, through a series of pipes, is directed outside of Likins residence hall, draining into the landscaping. Water harvesting features like this tank are integrated throughout the UA campus and are a part of all new campus capital projects. 

This summer, start a water harvesting project for your garden or yard 

There are plenty of educational programs available, including the City of Tucson’s Single Family Residential Rainwater Harvesting Incentives Rebate Program and the Conserve to Enhance program, a joint project of the UA Water Resources Research Center, Tucson Water, and the Watershed Management Group. 

— Amanda Ballard

Stay Fit and Hydrated

Jim Krumpos, Arizona Athletics’ assistant athletics director for performance enhancement, shares some important tips for exercising during the summer months, especially in the desert heat. 

Choose cool hours — If you are exercising outside, before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. are preferable. For safety reasons, we strive to keep our student-athletes inside for workouts during the peak hours of sunny, summer heat.

Start slow — Begin with low-intensity workouts and shorter sessions and gradually increase intensity and time outside. For student-athletes who are not used to the heat, it can take up to 10 days to acclimate to Tucson’s summer weather. 

Stay hydrated — Drink one liter of water one hour prior to exercise and sip a mixture of water and Gatorade during your workout. We weigh student-athletes before and after workouts to calculate the amount of fluids lost. Our recommendation is to drink 16 ounces of water for every pound lost during a workout.  

Allow recovery time — Summer workouts can cause fatigue and require longer recovery time, so make sure to cool down and stretch. It may feel easier to lose weight during the summer months because we sweat more, but just remember to be mindful of the signs of heat exhaustion including fatigue, nausea, and headache accompanied by excessive thirst, muscle aches and cramps, drenching sweats with cold, clammy skin, and slowed or weakened heartbeat, dizziness, and fainting.

Swimmers beware — Remember to stay hydrated. Water takes away the sensation of sweating so it is easy to forget that you are losing fluids. 

Cover the skin — Wear light and loose-fitting clothing as well as light-colored gear.

Agua Fresca and Gazpacho

We’ve all heard that we should drink 8-10 glasses of water each day, but the heat of an Arizona summer means that you may need to take extra steps to stay healthy and prevent dehydration. 

These creative recipes will help you consume more liquids without drinking too much caffeine or sugar.

Refreshing Agua Fresca 

In a hurry? Try adding chopped fruits, vegetables, or herbs to a pitcher of filtered water. As the pitcher refrigerates, the produce will infuse the water with flavor and provide a refreshing drink that will keep fresh for 5-7 days in the refrigerator (just don’t forget to wash your produce well before chopping). Some of our favorite flavors are pineapple, berries, mint, citrus, and basil — give any combination a try. Have a little more time? Make agua fresca — all you need is a blender, citrus juice, your favorite fruit, and ice. Did you make more than you need? Store it in the refrigerator for up to five days — or make popsicles.

Download PDF of this recipe.

Healthy Gazpacho 

Staying hydrated isn’t just about what you drink, but what you eat as well. Around 20 percent of our daily water intake comes from the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables have a high water content that can help you stay hydrated — so the next time you reach for a snack, try an apple with nut butter or cucumber slices with hummus. 

Beyond whole fruit and vegetables, try making refreshing chilled dishes like gazpacho, a refreshing starter that never disappoints. This is another flexible recipe eager to take on whatever catches your eye at the farmers’ market.

Check out the Garden Kitchen’s summer recipes and try different ways to make them your own. 

— Stacy M. Peercy, MPH, of the Garden Kitchen

Download a PDF of this recipe or watch the video below to learn how to make this dish.