Staying hydrated over winter is just as important as it is in the summer months. We don’t sweat as much in winter, but we lose water in other ways. In the winter the air can be much drier which can lead to dehydration, leaving you feeling sluggish and more susceptible to illness. With the cooler temperatures, we don’t often feel as thirsty, meaning dehydration can creep up on us. As mammals, when temperatures drop, our bodies have a survival mechanism that makes our blood vessels constrict to conserve as much heat as possible and maintain our body temperature. When our blood vessels constrict our blood pressure increases, and our kidneys produce more urine. This means there is less blood flowing through our bodies and we need to go to the toilet more, increasing risk of dehydration. The average human body is 60% water, every one of our cells and organs needs water to work, it’s vital for our health and happiness. So, here are ten ways to keep hydrated over winter!
The simplest way to stay hydrated during winter is to drink more fluids. It’s obvious, but many people just do not drink enough and can go a whole day barely drinking anything.
- Eat more water based foods.
Eating you’re five a day is a great way to ensure your body not only gets the nutrients it needs but stays hydrated. Fruits and vegetables have a high-water content, a tomato is 95% water, while broccoli contains 91% water. Vegetable packed soups and stews are warm, healthy and comforting and another great way to up your fluid intake.
- Pay attention to your body.
When you are dehydrated, your body will tell you, don’t ignore the signs, listen to your body and it will reward you. Headaches, dry skin, and aching muscles are all signs that your body is dehydrated and needs water.
- Go decaf.
Coffee and other high caffeine drinks are diuretics; diuretics increase production of urine which can lead to dehydration.
- Drink herbal tea.
Herbal teas are a great way to stay hydrated during the cold winter months. Made from the leaves of plants such as camomile, mint, and sage, they have a lovely aroma and taste, and often have medicinal properties.
- Cut back on salt.
Having a diet high in salt can dehydrate you and make you excessively thirsty. The best way to prevent eating too much salt is to avoid readymade processed foods. Pre-made foods can contain high amounts of salt, and you can unknowingly be consuming far more than the RDA without realising. Make your food from scratch and monitor the amount of salt used to season.
- Drink before meals.
It’s all too easy to simply forget to drink water throughout the day, an easy way to remember is to drink a glass before each meal. It’s an easy habit to create and one that will ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day, every day.
- Know how much water your body needs.
Many people are confused about how much water they should be drinking every day. There is a lot of conflicting advice on the net about how much you should drink. A 6ft tall, well-built male, is logically going to need to drink more water than a petite, 5ft female. One size does not fit all in the hydration stakes and over hydration is just as dangerous as under hydration. So, working out how much water you should personally be drinking is a wise move. It’s very simple, take your body weight in pounds, divide it by two and drink that number of ounces in water per day.
- Set an alarm.
Water is often the last thing on our minds when trying to get through a busy day. Setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink, is a great way to keep hydrated over winter. Keep bottled water in your bag or car, so you have some to hand when the alarm goes off. If done daily it will eventually become a habit.
- Wrap up warm.
One of the primary causes of hypothermia is dehydration from being outside for long periods. Help your body keep its temperature regulated and stay hydrated by wearing warm layers.