Winter Tips to Stay Hydrated


It is no brainer that you need to keep yourself constantly hydrated in order to stay the healthiest that you can possibly be. Everyone is aware of the benefits that staying hydrated can give to you. A lot of people actually do a very good job of staying hydrated and cool during the summer. We all understand the basic science behind hot weather and our hydration. Hot weather makes you more active outdoors and causes you to sweat more and when you sweat more, you need to drink more water to keep your body balanced and strong. We all know the drill. Yet, no matter how aware we are of the importance of hydration as well as how important it is to stay hydrated during the summer, we seem to neglect this knowledge during the winter. We tend to think that colder weather means being less active and staying indoors and this contributes to not needing to drink as much water. This cannot actually be farther from the truth. Even when it is super cold outside and you aren’t doing much physically, you actually are still losing water very quickly. This means that your body is still very much dehydrated during the winter and you may not even notice it! If you cannot grasp the concept of why winter makes you very dehydrated still, then no problem! I can break it down for you in a fairly simple way!

How the Winter Season Dehydrates Us

It is given that the winter season is in connection with cold weather. Cold weather may not make us sweat more like hot weather does, but cold weather can still produce an effect on our body that causes us to lose fluid quickly as well. In the winter, the body’s thirst response is diminished very quickly. This is one of the reasons as to why many people do not drink enough water during the winter. People equate the feeling of being thirsty to being dehydrated and the feeling of being hydrated to a feeling of not being thirsty. This is actually completely wrong. The body can still be in a state of dehydration even when you do not feel thirsty at all. The diminished thirst response that you feel during the winter is actually caused by the blood vessels constricting. When you are cold the blood vessels constrict to prevent the blood from flowing freely. By doing this, the body is allowed to conserve heat and draw the blood to the core. Because the body is drawing all this blood to the core, it actually ends up fooling itself into believing that it is hydrated. Your body also spends time trying to conserve heat so it doesn’t end up conserving the water within the body, by signaling the kidneys to conserve it. When this happens then the body actually produces more urine. We all know from there what happens. When more urine is produced then more water and fluid leave the body and thus you are in a state of dehydration without even realizing it.
In addition to this, there are a number of other reasons that can contribute to dehydration during the winter. For example, wearing more layers of clothing can actually cause you to be more dehydrated as well. This is because heavy clothing that keeps your warm ends up helping your body to conserve heat. But the heavy clothes actually add weight to the body and this extra body weight naturally causes the body to work about 10-40% harder to conserve heat. If your body is working harder than normal, then you will produce more sweat, thus leading to more fluid loss.
Have you ever had fun going out into the cold and breathing out so that you can see your breath in the air? Ever wondered what that was? Did you know that the puff of air you see in the cold is actually water vapor that you are exhaling out of your body? The more you exhale in cold weather, you lose more and more water vapor which causes fluid loss and inevitably dehydration. In addition to this, you may actually believe that you do not sweat during winter. While it is true that in cold weather you are not going to sweat as much as you would in hot weather, you still do actually sweat. The reason you do not realize that you are sweating is because the sweat is likely to evaporate very quickly in cold air. So, in reality, you probably are sweating if you are engaging in physical activity in the cold weather, you are just less likely to feel it because the cold air evaporates it at a quick rate.
Keeping all these reasons in your head, hopefully you have now realized that indeed the possibility of dehydration during the winter is very high. For this reason, you shouldn’t take hydration lightly during the winter. You should be just as serious about your hydration in the winter as you are in the summer. By doing so, you can allow your body the best opportunity for functioning at optimal levels so that you can stay healthy and active during the winter season.

Winter Tips to Keep You Hydrated and Happy!

Now that you understand the science behind why cold weather provides for dehydrating conditions in a similar way to hot weather, it is now time that I present you with tips and advice on how to keep yourself hydrated and well during the winter so that you never have to experience any severe dehydration during the winter without even realizing it!

Work with Room Temperature Beverages

Cold liquids tend to be absorbed at a much quicker rate than warm or room temperature water. For this reason, it is recommended that if you are doing vigorous or intense activity in the winter that you nourish yourself with room temperature or warm water. This helps to keep your internal temperatures at optimal levels.

Eat Salty Foods and Soups


Have you ever wondered why soup is the common remedy among sick people to make them feel better? Soup is actually one of the best ways to keep the body hydrated and the key actually lies in the salt within the soup. One of the most important electrolytes that provide the body with hydration and energy is sodium. Soup is naturally high in sodium, therefore providing your body with the needed electrolytes to stay healthy. It is great way to keep you warm and another way to keep yourself hydrated if you find yourself getting bored of drinking water over and over again! Some delicious soups you can try include tomato soup, butternut squash bisque, minestrone, and chicken noodle soup.
Drink Your Hot Chocolate
It is very common for people to drink hot chocolate during the winter and it isn’t hard to see why. Hot chocolate is so delicious, creamy, smooth, and it warms you up from the inside during those cold, winter days. I bet that you didn’t know that hot chocolate is very hydrating as well during the winter tip. The cocoa is rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium which are all electrolytes that help to fuel the body and keep you hydrated. In addition, hot chocolate is normally made with water so it is not surprise there that it would give your body a bit of hydration. Since cocoa is also a very warming, but sort of heavy ingredient in the body, once you drink hot cocoa you are far less likely to need to use the restroom as soon as you drink it! Drinks like tea, water, etc. tend to be lighter and it feels like as soon as you drink it you need to go immediately. Thankfully hot cocoa sits in the stomach for a little bit without feeling bloated (like water can sometimes make you feel) so it may the better option to consider when choosing to stay hydrated. Of course, though I wouldn’t recommend only drinking hot chocolate to keep yourself hydrated since it can be a bit high in sugar (if you buy the packet version!)

Consume Your Water with Hydrating Foods

I know that people often stress this as one of the easiest and most traditional ways to hydrate, but people stress it often for a reason. It really is one of the easiest ways to stay hydrated and there are so many ways that you can go about it. Water is water. You can dress it up, but even then, over time the routine of drinking water can be mundane. It becomes even harder to drink water when it is cold outside and your body craves to drink hot drinks and consume foods instead. If you find yourself in the middle of a snowstorm or staying indoors (or you are even an athlete who has to exercise in the cold) then seriously consider the power of eating hydrating snacks or making hot meals with hydrating foods! You can throw some vegetables in a hot soup or snack on some vegetables and fruit alongside some hot tea or hot chocolate. Those are all great alternatives to switch up the routine of hydration while keeping you healthy during the cold winter. Choose fruits like apples, grapes, oranges, etc. or vegetables such as celery, carrots, cucumbers, etc. Either way this alternative is a great one to incorporate not only during the winter but year-round.

Frozen Fruit in Water

You heard of fresh fruit in water, but not many people advocate for frozen fruit in your water. If your house is pretty warm and you can deal with cooler drinks as opposed to hot then consider putting some frozen fruit in your water to dress it up. Frozen fruit offers a different flavor from fresh fruit and many people actually enjoy the taste of frozen fruit. If you do, then this is a wonderful way to stay hydrated. Plus, frozen fruit can also have ice formed around it which contributes to even more water for you to take in! Bingo!

Stay Away from the Alcohol

It is very common during the winter time that you often find yourself invited to many parties or get togethers where alcohol is readily available. If you are working on staying hydrated during the winter though, I would not advocate for excessive or daily drinking of alcohol. Alcohol suppresses the antidiuretic hormone within the body. This hormone is responsible for sending fluids back into your body while simultaneously acting as a diuretic to flush them out of your system as well. Kind of a weird concept to grasp but the bottom line is that alcohol is really just going to dehydrate you even more. You will lose a lot of fluid and it actually diminishes body heat which will in turn make you very dehydrated. Maybe opt for some hot chocolate or an apple cider instead. Your body will thank you for that!

Be Aware When You are Skiing or Snowboarding

Typically, during the winter, people find it the perfect time to go up to the mountains and around ski resorts. Of course, the main mechanic behind snowboarding and skiing is elevation, which means that a majority of the time people are hitting the mountains and slopes so that they can make use of the winter time and do their favorite sports and activities. This also means that you are more likely to be dehydrated because higher altitudes actually have an effect on the way in which our body processes water. I mean think of all the things that I mentioned about how the body loses hydration during the winter. At high altitudes you are performing physical activities that are making you sweat, you are in an area that is much colder than ground level which makes your body constrict blood vessels even more, and the air is a lot drier. With all of these environmental conditions, you can understand then how your body can become even more hydrated in high altitudes. For this reason, you should take precaution by bringing more water with you and sipping on your water throughout the day. By being mindful of how your surroundings can contribute to your dehydration then you can help yourself be more prepared.

With these general tips, you are now much more knowledgeable about what the winter can do to you if you do not drink your water and take it seriously. Realize that hydration is something that affects you daily no matter your surroundings and no matter the season or weather conditions, you should always be prepared to drink as much water as you possibly can!

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