When it’s cold outside, most people do not feel their body perspiring and forget about hydration. Although there is less sweating when the temperature dips, additional layers of clothes, increased fluid loss through urine, and drier air can cause our bodies to become dehydrated. Studies have found that winter dehydration is a bigger problem than people realize. Even though your thirst response diminishes during winter, staying hydrated is crucial throughout the day during harsh winter weather to help your body fight off infections and strengthen your immune system. Dehydration, if not addressed early, can be dangerous and even minor dehydration can account for health issues.
Signs of winter dehydration
· Dark-coloured urine
· Sweating or urinating less
· Dryness in mouth
· Dryness in skin
· Sugar cravings
In this post, we will throw light on five smart strategies to hydrate yourself during cold temperatures.
Five smart strategies to hydrate yourself during winter
You can remain warmer in the cold by drinking water and staying hydrated. Your body depends on water to help keep a balance in body temperature, so when you’re dehydrated, you run the risk of getting cold.
1. Keep a reusable water bottle near you at all times.
If you don’t have water in front of you, you might forget to drink it regularly. Up your water intake by keeping your water within sight on your desk. This will make it easier to remember to keep you on track of your hydration goals. Set reminders to stay hydrated. Thanks to technology, tracking your daily water intake is now easy. Set a hydration alert on your phone to remind yourself to top up your water bottle. It’s advisable that you don’t let your water be out of sight, out of mind and keep sipping water throughout the day.
2. Add flavour to your water
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon, cucumber or herbs to make water a refreshing and exciting choice for your taste buds. With the right ingredients, you can whip up your own tasty flavour-boosting infusions. Options like oranges, strawberries, and even basil and mint can add a subtle, yet noticeable addition of taste.
3. Eat your fruits and vegetables.
In addition to fiber and several important nutrients, eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to go above and beyond your hydration goals. Consume fluid-filled fruits and vegetables such as orange, cucumbers, celery, pineapple, watermelon, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, peaches and strawberries.
4. Hot beverages count too
Instead of forcing yourself to gulp down glasses of cold water when it’s freezing outside, try switching to warmer beverages. Sipping on hot water with lemon, herbal teas like hibiscus tea, rose tea, peppermint tea and chamomile tea will not only keep you warm but also sufficiently hydrated. Additionally, even bone broths or soups can contribute to your daily fluid intake. Pumpkin, potato and leek, and parsnip soups are also a brilliant way to boost your water, vegetable and nutrient intake. Drinking warm milk is another way to add to your fluid intake and help you hydrate.
5. Steer clear from dehydrating beverages
Avoid reaching for alcoholic beverages as these can actually cause dehydration. Keep in mind that the higher the alcohol concentration, the more dehydrating the drink. Limit your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, sports drinks, etc.), and coffee/caffeinated tea. They aren’t recommended for optimal hydration as these fluids tend to pull water from the body and promote dehydration.
6. Layer your clothing
Keep winter dehydration at bay by wearing layers of breathable fabrics instead of heavy-duty woolens to minimize water loss caused by perspiration. When you’re bundled up in layers it increases sweating brought on by the accompanying dampness.
The signs of winter dehydration can be sneaky — and dangerous, too, varying from mild to life-threatening. Knowing the signs of dehydration and taking proactive steps to stay hydrated will help ensure that you stay healthy all winter long.
You should visit the doctor if you or a loved one exhibit any of these symptoms:
· Fever above 103 degrees Fahrenheit
· Difficulty breathing
· Chest pain
· Stomach pain
· Fainting spells