Five Simple And Smart Ways To Stay Hydrated In Winter
Water is the single most important ingredient for life on Earth, without it, this would be a barren wasteland. You need at least a litre of water a day for your body to perform optimally. Water makes up to 60% of our total body composition which shows how much importance water holds in our lives. All important body processes rely on the water starting from homeostasis, digestion, and excretion. Lack of water is lethal, and even when it isn't, it affects moods, energy levels, body performance, nutrient absorption and even your body's immunity lowers. Without water, you are unable to properly break down food, resulting in hard stool samples that damage your organs.
It is therefore important to keep our bodies hydrated to promote the best body function possible. Proper hydration has been linked to mental boosts, higher energy levels, high alertness, and more positive attitudes towards life. Even better is that water can help reduce weight and cut out an excess body fat, giving you a lean body to be proud of.
Winter is the most important season to get properly hydrated, even though your thirst reflex diminishes due to the cold. Do not excuse yourself and say that since you are not doing vigorous activities your body does not need water much. It doesn’t matter if you are only doing esports or sleeping throughout winter. Cold seasons require you to take high amounts of water due to the following facts:
- Energy Expenditure - the body utilises much higher amounts of energy during cold seasons than hit seasons, to provide heat and working energy. In return, high metabolism rates demand large amounts of water.
- Heavy Clothing - cold leads us to wear heavy clothing to stay warm and avoid hypothermia. However, the same heavy clothes cause excessive sweating rates that lead to rapid water loss from the body. This requires you to replenish the body with water frequently. The only option is to layer clothes when wearing them, and choosing breathable wool clothes that avoid excessive sweating.
- Urine Losses - the colder it is the more people urinate. This is also a significant channel of water loss from the body. The only remedy is to keep drinking to replenish the amounts lost through urine.
You need to take care of yourself by protecting yourself from harsh winter weather that can leave your skin parched and your body dehydrated. Here are some ingenious ways to keep yourself hydrated even in the cold:
1. Set A Daily Drinking Goal
A good place to start is to set a daily drinking goal for yourself. First, you need to have a baseline of how much you should drink to avoid over-drinking which can cause loss of minerals or under-drinking which dehydrates you. A good rule of thumb is to divide your weight by two then take that number of ounces of water daily. You can even use your phone alarms to remind you to take water at different times of the day.
Avoid waiting on your body to remind you since the thirst response is repressed due to cold. If you urinate, drink some more water to replace what you lost. If you plan to do a physically intensive activity, try to drink a lot of water before to compensate.
2. Eat Hydrating Foods
Drinking water is not the only way to hydrate, treat yourself to wet foods such as soups, vegetables, and fruits. Try some watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, cabbages, grapefruit, and spinach. These foods also nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants that will help regulate water levels properly in your body, keeping you well-hydrated. If regular plain water is difficult to take for you, try yogurt, blended fruits or greens, orange juice, or any kind of tea - green, cinnamon, or ginger tea.
Alternatively, warm water and add a little glucose for taste. Smoothies are also okay to increase your hydration.
Avoid alcoholic beverages as they dehydrate you leaving you in a worse condition.
3. Keep Track Of Your Hydration Levels
There are apps that you can use to monitor your hydration levels so that you can keep updated when you need water. These include Hydrate Daily, Waterlogged, and Plant Nanny. You can also set targets on these apps to push yourself to hydrate daily.
A different way to track hydration levels is using the urine colour chart. Colours range from very light yellow darkening up to a brown shade, with yellow showing a healthy hydration level and brown indicating dangerously low hydration levels.
4. Stock Up On Water Bottles
Hydration means you need a constant supply of clean healthy drinking water. Spend on some reusable water bottles that you can take with you anywhere. Even better is that there now exist Bluetooth enabled water bottles that will pair with your phone to remind you when you need to drink. It will also gather data on your drinking habits to better schedule your drinking rates and amounts. The bottle's beautiful design will give you visual cues to regularly drink water and keep hydrated.
5. Take Care Of Your Body
Use a good moisturiser on your skin since harsh winter seasons leave your skin dry and cracked. Use it immediately after shower for best results so that moisture gets locked in. Avoid excessively hot water since this strips your skin of moisture and essential oils it produces along with the hair. Use lukewarm water for all your washing needs to protect your skin.
Keep warm but be diligent in layering clothes. Wearing various heavy clothing goes against the goal you are trying to achieve. Heavy clothes are unbreathable and cause unnecessary sweating causing water loss from the body. Instead, use breathable polyester or wool clothing. Start with a simple tank top, then add a breathable sweater and a jacket on top. You can add mittens, a scarf, and a hat for additional warmth.
Lastly, find a good humidifier for in-house use. Cold dry air strips moisture off your body but a humidifier provides your room with warm moisture that replenishes your skin. If you have no humidifier, leave a kettle full of water on a heat source and let the vapour fill your rooms.
Sandra Manson is a passionate journalist who has been contributing to major media publications. She enjoys writing about human psychology and lifestyle, as well as the tech industry. Sandra also runs her blog csgo-bettingsites.com where she covers topics of great interest in modern society.