The temperature has dipped and you may be dealing with dry, flaky skin, chapped lips and chronic fatigue. These are the telltale signs that winter has finally arrived — but have you stopped to consider that you might also be dehydrated?
Most people don’t associate winter with dehydration, but don’t be fooled; we need just as much water in the wintertime as we do during the summer months. Although summer is associated with sweating and a loss of moisture, you’re just as likely to sweat when you’re wearing a thick winter coat, especially when you’re switching between freezing temperatures outside and high thermostats indoors.
This is all the more true if you’re a winter sports fanatic. Skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and snowboarding can work up a serious sweat, but you’re unlikely to have a water bottle handy during these activities — even though you’re technically burning just as many calories as you would doing summer sports. That’s why many winter sports enthusiasts find themselves dehydrated on the slopes, and they don’t even realize it.
Not only do we tend to drink less water in the winter (chugging back a cold glass of H20 just doesn’t have the same appeal when it’s cold out), but winter air is dry, and this makes your skin crack and your lips chap. Keeping hydrated can help prevent this from happening.
Maintain healthy hydration habits during the winter with these simple tips.
Sip Bone Broth
A warm food that comforts the soul, bone broth has seen a hipster revival in recent years. Full of protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, bone broth is a staple in cuisines around the world. It’s detoxifying and also extremely hydrating, making it a perfect winter superfood.
Balance Out Diuretics With Water
Many of us tend to feel sleepier in the winter. The lack of sunshine and fewer physical activities can take its toll. To compensate, we reach for an extra cup of coffee or two just to get us through the day, but since coffee is highly dehydrating, make sure you’re countering your wintery caffeine habit with plenty of water.
Make Sure You Drink Plenty Of Water If You’re Active
If you participate in winter activities like skating, skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing, you want to make sure you’re drinking extra water. These activities work up a sweat and burn just as many calories as summer activities, so drink before, during and after your winter sports to stop winter dehydration from sneaking up on you.
Don’t Forget Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables naturally have high water content and help keep you hydrated without you even realizing it. Plus, eating an apple will give you less of a chill than taking a swig from that frozen water bottle will. Not to mention, you’ll get a dose of immune boosting vitamins like Vitamin A, C, E and D along with antioxidants.
Drink Hot Teas
It’s natural to avoid drinking cold beverages in the winter to avoid getting a chill. Hot tea is an excellent warm beverage alternative that hydrates you at the same time. We recommend green or black tea in the morning and a relaxation tea, such as chamomile or peppermint, at night.
Balance Your Electrolytes
Dehydration tends to upset your electrolytes, leaving your body in a state of fatigue. Replenish them by enjoying natural sources of electrolytes, such as potassium-filled bananas, magnesium-rich spinach leaves and calcium-fortified foods. Avoid the extra sugar in sports and energy drinks by trading them foods and juices that contain natural electrolytes.
Cut Back On The Sodium
The average Canadian consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, more than double the 1,500 milligrams recommended. Excessive sodium doesn’t just dehydrate you and cause bloating, but it also more deaths per year than any other single dietary factor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Scary stuff. The good news is, you don’t have to worry about sprinkling a little sea salt in your salad or on a home-cooked steak; what you do need to watch are pre-packaged or canned foods, since they tend to contain greater levels of sodium for preservation, as well as fast food and restaurant meals.