Dehydration is a Winter Problem Too

Many of us believe dehydration is only a problem in summer. There are obvious signs of it in summer! When you are hot and sweaty, you are more likely to become thirsty to get yourself a drink. In the winter, you’re more likely to drink something for pleasure or with a meal and miss the signals of dehydration. However, one clear sign you lose moisture in the winter is that you see your breath when you breathe out a cloud outside. You lose water all year round, and your body always needs it!

According to the European Hydration Institute, “In cold climates, body fluid losses can be as high as those in hot climates because of high rates of energy expenditure, use of heavy clothing and increased losses in urine.”

Wearing heavier clothes can make you sweat and not realize it because it’s wicked away. Sweat also evaporators faster in dry, cold air than it does in warm, damp summer weather. And your body needs to work hard to make sure you stay warm, using water inside without sweat. You can become dehydrated in winter just as easily as in summer but not feel thirsty.

On average, men need 125 ounces of water a day, and women need 91. That can be attained through food or drink. And it doesn’t have to be water — any drinks will do as long as they aren’t something with caffeine or a diuretic that will make you pee more. If you become dehydrated, you can become unwell, tired, achy, dizzy and get headaches. Moisture-rich fruits and vegetables and foods like soups and strews can help you reach your goal. And warming winter-flavored teas, like peppermint and cinnamon, are enjoyable this time of year.
 
Pay attention to the color of your urine; it can be a good sign of dehydration. Even though you might not feel dehydrated, it’s possible that the winter takes its toll on you. Many medications can also leave you dry. Your body needs rehydration even when you don’t feel thirsty, so look out for signs of dehydration this winter and, when in doubt, have a drink. You might find it easiest to just have a drink every few hours.
 
You might not feel dehydrated in winter. But staying warm and just regular processes cause your body to use a lot of fluid. While we aren’t as parched in winter, it’s just as important to drink water and eat hydrating foods in cold weather.

Banner image: Thao Le Hoang via Unsplash
November 12, 2020
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