How Important is it to still hydrate in Winter?

We all know the importance of staying hydrated during the warm summer months, and it is easy to remember to drink water due to the high temperatures. But during the winter season, it is easy to forget to keep hydrated and for many of us our water intake declines significantly, causing dehydration.

Yes, dehydration is not just something that happens when it’s hot outside, water is critical for our bodies all year round.

Warning signs of dehydration during the winter:
chapped lips,
nosebleeds,
dry coughs,
headaches,
acne.

There are many reasons why you should actually drink more water over winter.

1. Fight Winter Dehydration
Winter means more layers and heaters. This artificially warm environment and the dry air of artificial heating leads to winter dehydration. Winter dehydration is harder to notice, particularly if you are not sweating and you are feeling cool. But during winter your body loses moisture in other ways, such as the water vapour you see from your mouth and nose when you are outside in cold weather. This may not be as noticeable as sweating in summer but should not be ignored.
It is vital you keep hydrated to regulate your body temperature, allowing your blood to carry important nutrients and oxygen around your body and remove toxins from your body.

Remember, just because you’re not thirsty doesn’t mean that your body is hydrated.

2. Improve Your Skin
The dry and often stagnant air created from central heating and heated air-conditioning can really take its toll on your skin:
-Chapping and peeling. The dry air and the contrast between being in a warm room to going outside in the cold can cause your skin to crack and chap. Water is vital in keeping your skin cells full and hydrated, reducing the risk of chapping and peeling.
-Blemishes. Water removes impurities in your body, which, when not well-hydrated, can come through via your pores, causing blemishes.
-Dull skin. Keep your skin glowing by drinking water at regular intervals, despite the fact you may not feel thirsty.

3. Be More Energetic
Do you often experience the dreaded mid-afternoon slump or fatigue? It is likely you are suffering from dehydration, a major cause of daytime fatigue. Keeping well hydrated will ensure your bodily functions are running well. When you are dehydrated your body functions slow down and use up your extra energy resources, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.

Keep a glass of water to hand and sip regularly to keep you alert and energetic during the day.

4. Fight Winter Weight Gain
When the weather is miserable our bodies seek comfort; often in cravings for highly calorie and unhealthy food. Before giving in, why not drink a glass of water beforehand? Our brains often mistake thirst for hunger and after drinking water that hunger trigger has been satisfied. This means you may not feel the need to snack or eat more food and can resist the temptation easier.

Being well hydrated also helps our digestive systems to function and process food better. Make sure you drink plenty of water to give your body a hand in digesting food.

5. Protect Your Immune System
The winter months can mean an increase in many airborne viruses, including Covid-19. Dehydration can seriously weaken our immune systems barriers. The lack of water can dry out the mucous membranes in our lungs and sinus passages which can reduce their resistance to infections.

Keeping well hydrated during winter ensures that the barriers used to protect your body from colds and flu are fully functional and completely intact.

To ensure you stay fighting fit during the winter, make sure you keep drinking water regularly and fight back against the viruses.

To help keep you hydrated, here are four ways to trick yourself into drinking more water during winter:
Keep It Hot…
Can’t face a glass of water? Try a cup of tea or a warm glass of water with a lemon slice.

Make it Routine. …
Try to keep it a part of each stage of your day. Brushing your teeth? Finish it off with a glass of water. Morning cup of coffee? Try adding a glass of water beforehand. At work during the day, keep some water next to you for regular sips. Even use a marker to draw ‘sip times’ on the bottle to keep your winter hydration regularly scheduled. In the evening, put a bottle of water on your nightstand for regular sips.

Make it a Game…
A great way to incentivize yourself for all sorts of things, is to turn it into a game. If you often forget to drink your daily required amount of water in the winter, set hydration goals for yourself to accomplish. For example, if you go a week drinking a certain amount of water each day, reward yourself with a treat you don’t get to enjoy very often. Use some of the many apps to help you in your efforts.

Add Fruit …
Some people don’t enjoy the neutral, albeit refreshing taste of plain water. If this is you, jazz it up by infusing fruit slices, such as apple or lime, in your glass of water (remember to consider your fruit allowance). Sparkling water is also a delicious way to get your water fix, if you’re attracted to beverages containing carbonation.

Set your ‘sip targets’ for the day now…and get hydrated.