Why You Need to Drink More Water in Winter
With the cold air of winter setting in, we might not feel as thirsty as we do under the scorching summer sun – but don’t be misled: our hydration needs do not get lower with the temperature. In fact, staying hydrated in winter is essential for several reasons, and understanding these can help maintain your health and wellness during the colder months.
The Hidden Hydration Needs of Winter
During winter, the air is often dryer, both indoors and out. This can lead to increased respiratory fluid loss through breathing, especially when we’re engaging in outdoor activities. Moreover, the effort of keeping warm consumes a significant amount of our body’s energy and resources, which can result in fluid loss.
Battling the Cold with Proper Hydration
Staying well-hydrated helps regulate your body temperature. Your body loses water through the evaporation of sweat, which is just as likely to happen in winter, especially when you’re bundled up in layers of clothing. Moreover, the body’s thirst response is diminished by up to 40% in the cold, as blood vessels constrict to conserve heat and focus on keeping your core warm. This means you might not feel thirsty even when your body requires fluids.
Hydration for Immune Support
Water plays a pivotal role in the functioning of your immune system. A well-hydrated body ensures that blood can carry plenty of oxygen to all the cells in your body, which makes it easier for your immune system to function. In winter, staying hydrated can be a simple defense against the common cold and flu.
Maintaining Skin Health
Dry winter air can lead to dehydrated and irritated skin. Water helps to plump up skin cells, which can minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as combat the dry and flaky skin that is common in cold weather.
Enhancing Physical Performance
For those who enjoy winter sports or outdoor activities, staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining performance and energy levels. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, and decreased coordination.
Hydration Hacks for Winter Wellness
- Warm It Up: Opt for warm or hot water with a slice of lemon, which can be more appealing when it’s cold outside and can also aid digestion. Or, choose an herbal or green tea for some added flavor.
- Eat Your Water: Consuming water-rich foods like soups, stews, fruits, and vegetables can contribute to your hydration – just watch out for the salt!
- Set Reminders: Since your natural thirst mechanisms might be less reliable, set regular reminders to take a sip.
- Carry a Water Bottle: A constant physical reminder, like a water bottle, ensures you’re more likely to take regular sips throughout the day.
- Monitor Your Urine: Pay attention to the color of your urine. It’s one of the most accurate indicators of your hydration levels. It should be pale yellow to clear. Too much color means you need more water!
Ensuring you get enough water during the cold months is vital to your overall health and can help you enjoy the winter season to its fullest. Incorporating these hydration habits into your daily routine can make a significant difference to your health this winter.
Stay updated with more health and wellness tips by following our blog and social media channels. And if you’re planning an event this winter, consider integrating hydration stations to encourage guests to keep their water intake up. After all, a hydrated event is a happy event!
For more information on staying hydrated and other wellness services, contact us.
The content provided on this blog, including text, graphics, images, and other material, is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical attention. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency please go to the nearest hospital or dial your local emergency number.
– Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. *Nutrition reviews*, 68(8), 439–458. [https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x](https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x)
– Armstrong, L. E., Pumerantz, A. C., Fiala, K. A., Roti, M. W., Kavouras, S. A., Casa, D. J., & Maresh, C. M. (2005). Human hydration indices: acute and longitudinal reference values. *International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism*, 15(2), 204–209. [https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.15.2.204](https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.15.2.204)
– Judelson, D. A