Winter dehydration is a sneaky occurrence that many don’t see coming. Dehydration is so commonly spoken about in the summer that it is often overlooked as being a serious issue also in the winter. Even though you may not be experiencing high temperatures like you would in the summer there are still factors that can increase risk of dehydration in the winter.
Common causes of winter dehydration:
1. Indoor heat: With the cold weather outside that means we are spending more time inside and with the furnace running, the air inside becomes drier and contributes toward pulling moisture from the body. This is also why you are reaching for the hand lotion so much this time of year.
2. Bundling up: When we are outside for activity, that typically means dressing in layers. This often causes the body to sweat, but because you aren’t feeling hot, the loss of moisture is typically overlooked.
3. Lack of water intake: In the summer we are never far away from the water bottles, because nothing beats a cool drink on a hot day. When it is cold out you might be less likely to crave your favorite clear drink and the water bottles get left at home because we aren’t thinking we will need them.
Tips for battling winter dehydration:
1. It’s basic but make a conscious effort to keep up with your water intake. There aren’t as many natural indicators, like sweating, present in the wintertime to remind you to drink more so take it upon yourself to remember!
2. If you’re not interested in your normal favorite cold drinks, experiment with something warmer, like a hot water or herbal teas. Dropping a little lemon or other flavoring into your drinks can help make them more exciting too.
3. Take on the 1:1 rule. This means for every drink you have that isn’t water follow it up with one that is water. Have a coffee in the morning? Make your next drink a water.
4. Get that reusable water bottle back into the mix! Start taking your water bottle out with you just like you did in the summer. Don’t like holding a cold bottle? Find one that is insulated and not as cool to the touch, or one with a clip that can hold onto your backpack or gym bag.
5. Eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods are also a good source of hydration. They don’t quite match up to a glass of water but they are certainly better than grains and meats at keeping the moisture in your body.
6. Don’t rely on thirst to tell you when to drink! If you’re thirsty then you’re already entering into dehydration. Make a point to stay ahead of your thirst.
Just remember that water requirements don’t change because of the season change. We always need to keep hydrated to help maintain good health. Try out these tips and get to drinking that water!