In the warmer summer months it is often easier to remember to stay hydrated as we sweat and tend to feel thirsty more frequently in the heat. But do we consider our hydration as much during the cooler winter months?
Although we might not think it, staying hydrated in winter can be just as challenging as staying hydrated in summer. This can be because dehydration is much less noticeable in colder months. For example, we can become easily dehydrated from breathing, sweating as our hearts work harder to keep us warm, and from the drying effects of the wind.
Why is Hydration Important?
The human body is around 60% water. This water is vital for supporting metabolic reactions, body temperature regulation, and is the main component in blood (Hydration For Health, 2019).
Signs and symptoms of dehydration include – but are not limited to – dark coloured urine, reduced frequency of urination, feeling thirsty, dry mouth, and headaches. This can lead to low mood, irritability, fatigue, and low energy levels.
With this in mind, here are our 9 tips for staying hydrated in winter!
One) Match what you drink to your activity level. Depending on how much exercise or general moving around you do can impact hydration. Thankfully for us, Hydration for Health have created this handy calculator to help identify how much we should be drinking based on our activity levels.
Two) Drink water and monitor daily intake. If you’re not sure how much you should be drinking, we would recommend the calculator above. If you do know how much you should be drinking, then using a water bottle can be a great way to measure if you are meeting this goal. Alternatively, there any many apps available to record fluid intake, including Aquarate for home use!
Three) Don’t like drinking water, not a problem. Try adding some fruit to give your water more flavour. We like grapefruit, lemon, strawberries, and cucumber slices, although not all at the same time! Additional bonus, fruits high in vitamin C can be great at helping to keep the immune system healthy, especially during flu season.
Four) Speaking of fruit, eating fruit and vegetables can be a great way to sneak water into your diet. Selecting seasonal fruits and vegetables will make this easier too. Seasonal fruits we like for this time of year include apples (80% water) and clementines (87% water). On the other hand, courgette (95% water), cauliflower (92% water), and cabbage (90% water) are also great examples of vegetables with a high water content.
Five) Warm hearty soups. In addition to eating your vegetables as part of a meal, you can always mix it up by making soup! We really love a good butternut squash and sweet potato soup. What’s your favourite?
Six) Hot drinks! It’s cold outside, which for some people may make drinking a cold drink a big no no. If this sounds like you, then why not try boosting your hydration with a hot beverage? But try to limit caffeinated drinks (see tip 7).
Seven) Limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Alcohol and caffeine act as a diuretic causing you to go to the toilet more frequently. Limiting your intake can help prevent dehydration. To find out more, check out our blog ‘How do alcohol and caffeine affect my hydration?’. Instead you can try drinking herbal teas or simply a hot water with a slice of lemon or ginger.
Eight) Layering your clothes can help you stay warm and reduce sweating by lowering the extra effort on your heart to keep you warm during cold temperatures.
Nine) Being inside with the radiators switched on can cause the indoors to become very dry, which can dehydrate us. To combat this, we would recommend either buying a humidifier or using house plants that are known to help humidify a room. Some examples include peace lily, areca palm, and bamboo palm. But do be careful, as too much moisture can create a breeding ground for bacterial growth.
At Aquarate, we believe accurate fluid monitoring of hot and cold drinks is important to prevent dehydration. If this sounds like something your or your loved one need support with, then why not sign-up for our newsletter to keep updated on our progress?
If you have any other tips on how to stay hydrated during winter, please leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!