Do I need to drink as much water in a cold climate?

When it is hot outside, we all know that we need to keep our fluids replenished. Most people do not put as heavy an emphasis on hydration during colder weather, because people do not perspire as much in the cold. The truth is that the need to keep taking in fluids is just as important in cold weather as it is when the weather is warm.

DSC05129.jpg

How You Lose Fluids In The Winter

We know that during the summer our bodies lose fluids due to perspiration– the body’s way of cooling down. But during the winter, the body does several things that can cause you to become dehydrated more quickly than you might think. Here are some ways that you can lose fluids during the winter:

  • You do not get thirsty as often. One of the body’s responses to cold weather is that it shuts down thirst sensation even when you need hydration. When it’s hot and you lose fluids, your blood volume decreases and triggers thirst so that you will replenish fluids. When it is cold, your body draws blood from your extremities to your core to keep your temperature in balance. But because your blood is being drawn to your core, your body does not realize that the volume has decreased and so your thirst response is not triggered. Not feeling thirsty means that you will take in fewer fluids.

  • You lose moisture as you breath. Think about how your breath turns into a cloud when it is really cold. What you are looking at is the condensation from your breath freezing in the air. Your body loses water, literally, with every breath you take.

  • Urination. This one is obvious although it may not be the first thing of which you think when considering how you might become dehydrated.

  • Cold weather makes you work harder. You are wearing heavier clothes, trudging through snow and your body is working harder to simply stay warm. Despite the fact that it is cold, your body does produce sweat, it just evaporates faster in the cold.

How To Stay Hydrated During the Winter

All of these things contribute to fluid loss during cold weather. And because you feel thirsty less during the cold weather, you are less likely to hydrate. So, what can you do to stay hydrated?

  • Watch what you drink. If you are working out for an hour or less, water is fine. If you are going to be active for longer, you will probably need to replenish electrolytes as well.

  • Drink luke-warm beverages. A cold beverage gets absorbed quicker than one that is warm. If your drink is room temperature, however, it will help to maintain your internal temperature.

  • Eat your veggies (and fruits). Fresh foods, especially of the plant variety, have a high water content, so consuming them will help to keep your fluid levels up.

  • Watch your alcohol and caffine consumption. Both alcohol and caffine act as diuretics causing you to lose fluids through increased urination.

  • Remember it is not always enough to just get fluids; the quality of the fluids count, too. It is good to get water, but you still need to replenish electrolytes and minerals, too. When you hydrate get a good quality beverage, like structured water. Structured water can not only hydrate but helps to maintain the balance of your pH, as well.

Remember that dehydration is just as possible in cold weather as in warm. Following these suggestions can help you to avoid becoming dehydrated in the cold.

To learn more about how structured water can impact you, contact us at Living Springs today.