Have you ever thought about why staying hydrated in winter is so important?
You might also assume that the need for liquids (fluids) decreases as winter comes, and there is no need to stay hydrated in winter. But what if I told you that proper hydration in winter is as essential as in the summer heat?
Don’t believe me? Okay! Let me explain to you.
Our bodies consist of 60 to 70% water, which performs many functions in our bodies.
- It transports nutrients
- Extract waste from our bodies
- Endorse the immune system
- Hydrate our organs and tissues
- Maintain blood pressure and a proper body temperature
And, you lose water through the skin whenever you sweat. It may not be easy to notice that you are sweating in winter. But without even noticing, you become dehydrated. It means your body does not have enough fluid to function. Furthermore, it also increases the risk of urinary tract infections, constipation, and kidney stones.
So, how will you keep your body hydrated in winter to stay healthy?
Well, you don’t have to worry about that. In this blog, I have curated the easy steps to stay hydrated in winter.
Are you ready to uncover those steps?
If yes, lap through the blog where I will talk about:
- What is dehydration
- Signs of dehydration
- Importance of staying hydrated in winter
- How to stay hydrated in winter
- How much water do I need
- How much water is too much
What is Dehydration?
When your body does not have enough fluid, it causes dehydration. It can also happen if you lose more fluid than you intake. Dehydration can be due to various reasons, such as weather, sweating, or if you are sick.
However, the seriousness of dehydration can vary according to age. In adults, the severity of dehydration depends on how much fluid they are missing. Whereas in children, it depends on how much bodyweight children may have lost due to scarcity of fluid.
Signs of Dehydration
Symptoms of dehydration may vary according to the severity. In mild cases, it may appear in the following ways:
- Sticky or dry mouth
- Dark yellow pee/ Not peeing very much
- Dry cough
- Swollen feet
Symptoms of severe dehydration include:
- Feeling dizzy
- Lack of energy, sleepiness, confusion
- Fast heartbeat
- Dehydrated skin
- Not peeing
On the other hand, dehydration symptoms differ for babies and young children. It may include:
- Dry mouth
- Dry or wrinkled skin
- Fast breathing
- No tears while crying
- No peeing for 8 hours
Importance of Staying Hydrated in Winter
In winter, we don’t drink much water. Because at that time, the blood flow to our extremities is prohibited to stimulate the blood flow to crucial organs. This process fools our body into thinking that it has enough fluid. But it gives us a false water level reading. Thus, we tend to feel less thirsty in winter, so we drink less water, causing dehydration.
Also, in winter, the humidity level in the air tends to be lower. It results in extensively drier air compared to other times of the year. We all use heaters in our homes to get relief from shivering cold. Due to these heaters, the air in our homes also gets drier. These contrasts in air quality, both outside and inside, can increase the chances of dehydration in our bodies.
Moreover, it can also cause cracked, dry skin. So, drinking more water will help you achieve glowing skin and a body free from impurities and will help you stay hydrated in winter.
Besides, some other factors cause dehydration in cold weather, such as rapid respiratory rates, which can also cause water loss and frequent urination. And we also tend to sweat more due to heavy clothing, which leads to more water loss.
Additionally, we also feel sleepy and lack energy due to dehydration. So, we can beat the energy slump by drinking more water and staying hydrated.
Moreover, dehydration can result in an imbalance of the body’s core temperature and can cause decreased immunity. So it’s essential to stay hydrated in winter to maintain our body temperature at an average level and fight off colds and flu.
How to Stay Hydrated in Winter?
- You can stay hydrated in winter by consuming warm water, hot herbal teas, or warming broth. These warm fluids can significantly benefit you if you find it hard to drink cold water in winter.
- To foster hydration throughout the day, carry a water bottle everywhere you go—refill as required if you work from home and have a defined water container at your desk.
- If you don’t like plain water, add flavors such as lemon, lime, or other pieces of fruit to plain water.
- To increase the fluid intake in winter, you can drink homemade soups. Besides, you can also include water-rich fruits like citrus fruits and melon and vegetables like green leafy, tomatoes, and melon in your diet.
- Avoid excessive caffeine, which can cause dehydration because caffeine can flush water and other essential nutrients from your body. If you can’t wholly avoid caffeine, then every time you consume caffeinated beverages, have an additional glass of water of equal volume.
- Make a goal of drinking a certain amount of water every day. You can start by keeping a glass of water at your bedside so you can drink that first thing in the morning and make the water your drink of choice throughout the day.
- You can set reminders to the alarm to drink water at particular intervals. Nowadays, there are many apps available on mobile devices to set reminders. These apps are beneficial for people with occupied schedules.
- If you do an exercise session, drinking half a cup of water after every 15 minutes of exercise is advisable. Because by doing exercises, you sweat more and lose more water. Try to drink 1.5 times as much fluid as you lost while working out. Moreover, you should not drink so much water all at once. Instead, spread it out 2 to 6 hours after an exercise session.
Remind these easy tips to stay hydrated in winter.
How Much Water Do I Need?
According to research, the quantity of water varies from person to person. It depends on sex, age, activity level, height, weather, and overall health. There is a simple method to define the minimum ounces of water/fluid you may require each day. For this, measure your weight in pounds and divide it in half.
For instance, if you weigh 150 lb, you need at least 75 fluid ounces daily.
In addition, most people can stay hydrated with only water intake. However, a sports drink may be helpful if you sweat laboriously exercising for more than 1 hour.
Note: It’s always advisable to consult your healthcare provider before adding new foods/fluids to your diet.
How Much Water is Too Much?
When a person drinks more water than their kidney can remove through urine, overhydration, and water intoxication can happen. The quantity of water and time also play an essential role in it. Also, according to a study, the kidney can eliminate between 20 to 28 liters of water per day.
However, it can’t remove more than 0.8 liters of water daily. Thus, if a person drinks excess water, then he may get affected by the medical condition named hyponatremia. The study also reports that one can quickly develop hyponatremia symptoms if they drink 3 to 4 liters of water in a short time. According to a case report, soldiers get symptoms after drinking 1.9 liters of water per hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Staying Hydrated Keep You Warm?
Water helps in regulating the blood flow and thus stabilizes the body temperature. When the body gets dehydrated, blood flow reduces, increasing body temperature. However, when in a hydrated body, blood flow gets increased, which assists in cooling the body temperature.
Will Staying Hydrated Help a Cold?
Yes, staying hydrated helps alleviate your symptoms of a cold. You will feel better faster if you keep hydrated yourself. Besides, it also increases your immunity so that you will recover quickly.
How to Keep Your Face Hydrated in Winter?
After the bath or shower, moisturize your face and drink the necessary fluids. It will help your face to stay hydrated in winter.
How to Stay Hydrated in a Dry Climate?
Staying hydrated in a dry climate is crucial for your health. Here are some tips that will help you keep hydrated.
- Drink plenty of water (aim for at least eight glasses or 64 ounces, depending on your activity level).
- In a dry climate, you may lose excess electrolytes from your body, so choose electrolyte drinks.
- Besides, consume water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, and oranges.
- You can also use a humidifier if you spend much time indoors in a dry environment.
- Avoid the consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
How Do I Know if I Drank Too Much Water?
When you drink too much water, you will lose the balance of electrolytes in your body, and water intoxication or hyponatremia can happen. Some signs will help you indicate if you drank too much water.
- Frequent urination
- Swelling in hands, feet, and ankles
If you suspect you have consumed too much water or experience any of these symptoms, it is necessary to seek medical advice immediately.
What is the Healthiest Temperature to Drink Water?
There is not a specific healthiest temperature of water to drink. It depends on personal preferences. However, generally, water between 10 to 22 degrees Celsius is preferred. This temperature is optimal and allows the body to absorb the water.
We have discussed how we often forget to drink water in winter and how it can impact our health. We have also shared some easy ways to help you drink more water during the winter, such as eating lots of water, avoiding caffeine, and adjusting your water according to activity levels. In addition, we also shared how excess water can cause water intoxication.
So, as we finish our talk about water being your friend in the winter, let’s promise to drink enough to keep ourselves healthy and stay hydrated in winter.