Dripping with sweat during a summer workout is a sure sign that your body needs to re-hydrate with an ice-cold glass of water. In the sticky heat you may even pour a second glass over your head and enjoy the cooling effects of the waterfall.
In the winter months, however, you may still become dehydrated and not even realize it. Sweat evaporates into the dry winter air almost as quickly as it is formed, so you may not even notice you are sweating. The symptoms of winter dehydration are similar to that of summer, although perhaps more subtle:
- Cracked or dry skin
- Dry mouth
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You might think you need another cup of coffee (to wake up) or that you are hungry so you reach for a cup of joe and a salty snack, which further contributes to your dehydration. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning that it increases fluid loss. So, for every cup of coffee, counteract its diuretic effects with another glass of warm or cold water.
Emily Carpenter shared her tips on Good Day Rochester:
We tend to eat more in the winter. Could dehydration be one cause? Yes! Before you reach for a heavy snack, reach for a glass of water or a water-laden piece of fruit or vegetable. You might find that your “hunger” goes away!
Fruits that are high in water content:
Vegetables with high water content:
- Lettuce (esp. Iceberg and Romaine)
These lists are actually much longer and if you just eat more fruits and vegetables you are doing yourself a favor anyway.
Some more ideas for staying hydrated on cold days:
- Carry a (glass) water bottle with you every where you go and sip throughout the day
- Have water ready during your workout just as you would in the summer
- Keep a glass of water on your nightstand for nighttime dry mouth
Did I mention to drink water?! Seriously, drink water. Sure, there are varying qualities of water. Try not to get to wrapped up in drinking the perfect water, just get drinking it. Add fruit or cucumbers if you must alter for taste, just drink! Drink from glass containers when possible.
Keeping your environment moist can also go a long way to keep the fluids in your body instead of releasing them to the air. Have you ever watched your breath on a cold winter day? That is water vapor escaping as you breathe. More is released in the dryer air. If you are lucky, you may have a humidifier built into your furnace. If not, a cool mist humidifier may help you to not wake up feeling quite so parched. Smaller personal humidifiers can be placed at your desk as you work.
The most important thing is to be mindful during the winter of the real risk of dehydration. Drink before you are thirsty and have a healthier, happier winter as a result.