We all know the importance of staying hydrated during the warm summer months, however for many of us our water intake declines over winter. There are less visible reminders to ensure you drink water and you are less likely to feel thirst in the cooler weather than you would during hot summer days. However, it is even more important to drink lots of water during winter than it is during summer. Here are five key reasons why you should up your water intake to stay healthy and hydrated over the winter months.
1. Fight Winter Dehydration
As the weather cools, we find ourselves wrapping up in more layers and turning on the heaters. This artificially warm environment is coupled with the dry air of artificial heating which leads to winter dehydration. Winter dehydration is harder to notice – particularly if you are not sweating and you are feeling cool.
You may not have realised that you haven’t drunk any water during the day, particularly as your body’s thirst response significantly diminishes in cooler weather. However, dehydration can cause significant impacts to your well-being. It is vital you keep hydrated to regulate your body temperature, allowing your blood to carry important nutrients and oxygen around your body and remove toxins from your body.
During winter your body loses moisture in other ways, such as the water vapour you see from your mouth and nose when you are outside in cold weather, this may not be as noticeable as a key summer sweating indicator but should not be ignored nonetheless.
Remember, just because you’re not thirsty doesn’t mean that your body is hydrated.
2. Improve Your Skin
The dry and often stagnant air created from central heating and heated air-conditioning can really take its toll on your skin. The dry air and the contrast between being in a warm room to going outside in the cold can cause your skin to crack and chap. Water is vital in keeping your skin cells full and hydrated, reducing the risk of chapping and peeling.
Water also removes impurities in your body, which, when not well-hydrated, can come through via your pores, causing blemishes.
Dull skin is another winter problem with the combination of dry air and a lack of hydration. Keep your skin glowing by drinking water at regular intervals, despite the fact you may not feel thirsty.
3. Be More Energetic
Are you partial to the mid-afternoon slump or perhaps need a midday caffeine boost to help you ward off fatigue? It is likely you are suffering from dehydration, a major cause of daytime fatigue. Keeping well hydrated will ensure your bodily functions are supported and running efficiently. When you are dehydrated your body functions slow down and use up your extra energy resources, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.
Keep a glass of water to hand and sip regularly to keep you alert and energetic during the day.
4. Fight Winter Weight Gain
When the weather is miserable and the days are dark our bodies want comforting; often this manifests itself in comfort food – often highly calorific and unhealthy. Before tucking in, why not drink a glass of water beforehand? Our brains often mistake thirst for hunger and after drinking water that hunger trigger has been satisfied. This means you may not feel the need to snack or eat more food and can resist the temptation easier.
Being well hydrated also helps our digestive systems to function and process food better, which is vital during the months when we tend to over consume. Make sure you drink plenty of water to give your body a hand in digesting food.
5. Protect Your Immune System
The winter months can be a testing time for our immune systems, with the many airborne viruses that we all seem susceptible to. Dehydration can seriously weaken our immune systems barriers. The lack of water can dry out the mucous membranes in our lungs and sinus passages which can reduce their resistance to infections.
Keeping well hydrated during winter ensures that the barriers used to protect your body from colds and flu are fully functional and completely intact.
To ensure you stay fighting fit during the winter, make sure you keep drinking water regularly and fight back against the viruses.
Hopefully, these five reasons will be enough to remind you to keep your water intake up during the cooler months and keep you happy and healthy on the inside and outside.