One thing that ties most individuals together is that they don’t drink enough water. Not only is water integral to healthy cell functioning, but also it helps with digestion, circulation, and a range of other processes. Staying hydrated is key to staying healthy, yet so few adhere to this truism of dietary science. Furthermore, adequate hydration in winter is particularly important. Why is drinking water in winter so key?
That’s because the unique challenges presented by colder temperatures make hydration in winter as crucial as it is in the sweltering heat.
In this article, we will go over why it is essential to stay hydrated, the unique challenges the winter season presents, and some tips on how to stay hydrated in colder weather.
Why Is It Important To Stay Hydrated In The Winter?
The single most important reason that you need to stay hydrated in winter is that you need water to function correctly and maintain health. This is a year-round process.
However, there are particular challenges presented by the winter months. Firstly, you have to worry about becoming sick and vulnerable to illness.
It might surprise you to learn this, but staying hydrated helps you fend off disease in the winter months.
Drinking water helps you maintain proper cell function, but also it assists with one particularly crucial thing during the winter, your body temperature regulation.
Your body expends an enormous amount of energy, trying to keep yourself warm during the winter. The most efficient way to achieve this is to stay hydrated.
Another less discussed benefit of drinking enough water year-round is that it helps with feeling sated or what you might describe as being full.
Not only will drinking water reduce how much you eat, but it will fend off hunger for a longer period. It is essential to stay hydrated in winter not only for your health but also to make sure you remain warm and comfortable.
The winter months present a challenge for everyone, and this can be made doubly difficult by being dehydrated. Sometimes it helps to establish a hydration schedule during the winter months.
This would be similar to how you might create a diet plan or a workout schedule. The goal is to keep your hydration on track throughout the colder months so you can remain mentally and physically healthy.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the unique problems you might deal with in the winter when it comes to drinking enough water and what you can do to solve them.
Why Are You So Dehydrated In The Winter?
One question that people frequently ask is, “Why do I feel so much more dehydrated in the winter?” There are actually a couple of reasons for this.
First, the colder weather makes you less likely to drink enough water because of both psychological and physiological reasons.
Psychologically speaking, individuals don’t often associate cold weather with thirst and the need to stay hydrated. However, you might associate hot weather with this advice.
Physiologically, your body is less likely to tell you to drink something in colder weather. In the winter months, you might not realize that you are losing water in natural ways as often as you would recognize during the summer.
For example, when it is warm outside, you might be more likely to replenish lost fluids from sweating. However, when it is cold outside, you might not recognize you are sweating and, therefore, are less likely to replenish those lost fluids.
Beyond these common reasons, when you become sick in the winter, several factors combine to make you more dehydrated than normal. Therefore, it is so critical to maintain an adequate hydration routine in the winter months even if you don’t feel as thirsty.
Also, depending on the source of heat that you use, you could be dehydrated from that.
This is why many people like to use a humidifier during the winter months to prevent dry air.
It will not only prevent your sinus cavities from drying out, but it will also help the air in your home to retain heat and warmth for a longer period.
Should You Drink Less Water In Winter?
Should you drink less water in winter? Of course not.
If anything, you should pay more attention to your water consumption during the winter months than at any other time.
Below, we discuss five major benefits to drinking water in winter that will hopefully give you some extra incentive to stay on track with your hydration.
Firstly, drinking enough water in winter helps you fight off dehydration and especially the effects of cold weather on speeding up this process.
Secondly, you might discover that you have more energy to exercise and more alertness as you go about your daily routine by simply staying hydrated when the weather is cold.
The fourth benefit is that staying hydrated will help you protect your immune system. Furthermore, staying hydrated will help to distribute nutrients throughout your body to effectively and efficiently fight off common colds in the winter months.
Finally, the fifth benefit relates to the fact that drinking water increases feelings of being full. As a result, this lessens your desire to eat, thus helping you prevent overeating and gaining weight.
Do You Get More Thirsty In Winter?
Sometimes, you might feel as if you are more thirsty in the winter months than you are during other points in the year. Generally speaking, this is normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
In fact, the reason behind it is quite easily explained.
The main reason you feel more dehydrated during the winter is that you aren’t aware of how much water you lose throughout the day by sweating and other activities.
You might be surprised to hear, but in the winter months, you are also typically less prone to drink water at regular intervals because of the lower temperatures. Everything slows down during the winter, including your body’s ability to tell you that it is thirsty.
This is why it is so crucial that you stay on top of your hydration needs in the winter months and regularly drink water.
Another factor that often plays into whether or not you feel more thirsty in the winter months, as briefly discussed above, is the type of heat that you are exposed to while inside.
Dry heat often dries out your sinuses and makes your mouth parched. This can make you seem thirstier than you actually are due to the drying nature of the heat around you.
General Tips To Stay Hydrated In Cold Weather
Here are some general tips to help you maintain proper hydration in winter:
1. Drink Water Regularly
Drink water at regular schedules during the winter months to make sure you are staying hydrated. You should apply this tip year-round, not just in specific seasons.
2. Eat Fruits And Vegetables (They Have A Lot Of Water In Them!)
Fruit and vegetables are loaded with water and are a great way to increase your water intake. Furthermore, fruit and vegetables have the added benefit of fiber, nutrition, and being delicious.
In recent articles, we wrote about fruits with a high water content and vegetables with a high water content. Have a read through these articles to see which fruits and vegetables you can eat, which have the highest water content.
3. Make Sure You Are Drinking Enough Water During Physical Activity
Make sure that you have enough water to match whatever indoor or outdoor activity you are doing.
Your body loses more fluids when you exercise. So be sure to drink enough water before, during, and after strenuous exercise.
4. Layer Up In The Winter (You Can Always Remove A Layer Later)
One of the best tips to avoid water loss during the winter months is to wear layers to stay warm and thus hydrated. If you begin to get too hot, you can always remove a layer.
Sweating is one of the natural ways that your body loses fluid. By dressing in layers, you can always remove an item of clothing to reduce sweating, while still staying warm in a colder environment.
5. Avoid Alcohol Or Drink It In Moderation
Alcohol is a diuretic and, as a result, causes you to pee more frequently. To avoid dehydration when drinking alcohol, you will need to drink a lot of water to replenish those lost fluids.
To increase your hydration in the winter months, avoid drinking alcohol. Or drink it in moderation and match each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water.
6. Drink Beverages At Room Temperature
Drinking water at room temperature in the winter months might help you drink more fluids. This is because a drink at room temperature doesn’t have the unpleasant cooling effect of a chilled beverage.
In the winter months, a chilled drink is usually the last beverage you are reaching for when trying to stay warm.
7. Eat Salty And Liquid Based Foods (Soups, Broths And Curry)
Eating salty food and eating soup, broth, and curry during the winter months will help you retain water.
Additionally, these types of food have a high water content which will also add to your water intake and help keep you hydrated.
Not only will this keep you hydrated, but it will also minimize the effects you might feel from a hangover the morning after.
Staying hydrated year-round is essential, but we hope we have provided some insight into how critical it can be when the temperatures are lower in the winter months. Winter is a challenging season for life everywhere, and you need not make it more difficult for yourself by becoming dehydrated.
Drinking water in winter is fundamental to fending off illness as well as keeping your body running at optimal levels. We hope these tips help you incorporate habits that will promote hydration in winter as well as your overall health and wellness.
For any comments, questions or feedback you might have, please send us a message through our contact form.
Be sure to consult your health care professional with any medical questions. Similarly, the information found in this article should not be considered medical advice.