Staying Hydrated in Winter

In the warm summer months, we are outside enjoying the warmer weather playing in the park, getting exercise, or working around the yard.  It’s an automatic thought to drink water and stay hydrated because we sweat and feel hot.  As the weather turns cooler for fall and during the winter months, many think because the weather is cooler, our bodies don’t need as much water to stay hydrated.  What we don’t realize everything tends to dry out, even our body, and the air is much drier. It’s equally, if not more, important to stay hydrated in winter months because dehydration is less noticeable. 

There are many reasons to keep your body hydrated during all seasons, not just summer.  Drinking water is essential for your body to function helps boost your immune system to fight off illnesses such as the flu and/or common cold.  Your body will have the necessary fluids to fight off these illnesses.  Also, being dehydrated in the winter will make your body feel sluggish or run down.

Maintaining a healthy amount of fluid in your body will help you stay warmer during the winter months too.  When your body is exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period of time, hypothermia begins to set in. Many people forget, even in winter months, the body loses water in the same way as warmer weather.  We tend to wear more layers of clothes and sit in warmer rooms generating heat and causing us to sweat.

During colder weather, we tend to not exercise as much so weight gain happens, which can be made worse by not drinking enough water.  Your body is more effective at breaking down fat and giving your body energy by drinking enough water.  It will also help your body to not retain fluids which causes weight gain.

We don’t sweat as much during the winter so the effects can be subtle.  We often don’t think about drinking water when it is cold out.  A great way to tell if you’re hydrated enough is by the color of your urine.  If your urine is light yellow, then your body has enough water.  When your urine is a darker yellow, your body indicates dehydration and start to drink water.  Be aware of cues your body is sending you and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated in the cold weather.