When it’s cold outside, most people don’t feel their body sweating and forget about hydration. Although lower temperatures lead to less sweating, extra layers of clothing, increased fluid loss through urine, and dry air can cause our bodies to become dehydrated. Research shows that winter dehydration is a bigger problem than people think. Although your thirst response is reduced in the winter, staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial in harsh winter weather to help your body fight infection and strengthen your immune system. Dehydration, if not addressed early, can be dangerous and even mild dehydration can lead to health problems.

Symptoms of winter dehydration

· Thirst

· Dark colored urine

Decreased sweating or urination

· Fatigue

· Dryness of the mouth

· Dry skin

· Headache

· Dizziness

· Sugar cravings

· Annoyance

· Misty

· Tired

In this post, we’ll highlight five smart strategies to hydrate yourself in cold temperatures.

Five smart tricks to hydrate yourself this winter

You can stay warmer in the cold by drinking water and staying hydrated. Your body relies on water to help maintain body temperature balance, so when you’re dehydrated, you run the risk of catching a cold.

1. Always carry a reusable water bottle with you.

If you don’t have water in front of you, you may forget to drink it regularly. Increase your water intake by keeping your water within sight at your desk. This will make it easier for you to remember to keep 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 is recommended that you keep your water out of sight, out of mind and keep sipping water throughout the day.

2. Add flavor 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 delicious flavor-enhancing infusions. Substitutes like orange, strawberry, or even basil and mint can add a subtle, yet noticeable flavor.

3. Eat your fruits and vegetables.

Along with fiber and several other important nutrients, eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to go above and beyond your hydration goals. Eat fruits and vegetables that are full of liquid, such as oranges, cucumbers, celery, pineapple, watermelon, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, peaches, and strawberries.

4. Hot drinks count too

Instead of forcing yourself to gulp down a glass of cold water when it’s freezing outside, try switching to a warm drink. Sipping hot water with lemon, herbal teas like hibiscus tea, rose tea, peppermint tea and chamomile tea will not only keep you warm but also adequately hydrated. Additionally, even bone broth or soup can contribute to your daily fluid intake. Pumpkin, potato and leek, and parsnip soups are also a brilliant way to increase your water, vegetable and nutrient intake. Drinking warm milk is another way to add to your fluid intake and help hydrate you.

5. Stay away from dehydrating drinks

Avoid reaching for alcoholic beverages as this can actually cause dehydration. Remember that the higher the alcohol concentration, the more dehydrating the drink will be. Limit your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, sports drinks, etc.) and coffee/caffeinated tea. They are not recommended for optimal hydration as these fluids draw water from the body and promote dehydration.

6. Layer your clothing

Avoid winter dehydration by wearing layers of breathable fabrics instead of heavy-duty wool to reduce water loss through sweat. This increases the accompanying dampness of sweat when you’re bundled up in layers.

Last thought

Symptoms of winter dehydration can be subtle — and even dangerous, varying from mild to life-threatening. Knowing the signs of dehydration and taking proactive steps to stay hydrated will help you stay healthy all winter long.

You should see your doctor if you or a loved one exhibits any of these symptoms:

Fever above 103 degrees Fahrenheit

· Laziness

· Convulsions

Difficulty breathing

· Chest pain

· Abdominal pain

· Ajna mantra

Book a full body wellness exam today!

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