Most people think of the hot summer months when they think about dehydration. However, the need for hydration doesn’t take a break just because the weather has become cold. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids during the winter months, as cold weather can be just as dehydrating as warm weather, especially for people who are active despite the cold temperatures. Most people don’t want to drink cold water during the winter, because they’re already cold enough, but there are several ways to stay hydrated without compromising your comfort.
Your water doesn’t have to be cold in order to adequately hydrate you. In fact, a glass of cold water is absorbed into the body faster than a glass of room temperature water. Because of this, room temperature water keeps the body’s internal temperature where it should be for a longer duration.
In addition to water, you can also drink tea or coffee. Avoid alcohol consumption in the winter. It’s a myth that alcohol keeps you warm, and it causes dehydration by increasing the frequency of going to the bathroom.
It’s not enough to simply layer your clothes and leave it at that. The quality of layering depends on the clothing used. Rather than layering with wool or other stuffy material, layer your clothing by using breathable fabrics. This way, you can maintain your internal temperature and feel warm without going too far and starting to sweat. Perspiration is an easy way to lose water, so pay close attention to how hot you become while trying to keep warm.
One surefire way to determine whether you’re dehydrated is monitoring the color and output of your urine. When you go to the bathroom, if you’re not producing the volume you typically produce, you’re likely dehydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow hue rather than light yellow to almost clear, you’re likely dehydrated. If either of these two signs is present, make an effort to drink more water.
If you begin to feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so it’s a good idea to set yourself a fluid consumption goal throughout the day. Drink frequently in an effort to meet your goal, even if you don’t feel thirsty. There are shops that sell measured hydration bottles that either have volume or time listed on the bottle itself as a monitoring system. The bottles with times will help you set goals to drink a certain amount of water before the clock reaches a certain time of day.
It’s important to stay on top of your water intake. Dehydration can lead to a wide array of health issues, and a properly hydrated body is better able to absorb nutrients for optimal function.