Hydration During the Winter Season

With summer now being a dim and distant memory and those cold and frosty mornings becoming standard, it’s that time of year when by nature we tend to ‘cosy up’.  Our hydration habits of the summer seem to be forgotten, and our usual frequent drinks of water are replaced with more infrequent hot drinks.  This is likely to be partly psychosomatic – our minds tell us we need water to cool down – when we’re feeling cold we don’t need the water!

Of course, as long as we’re drinking, we’re not doing too much damage to ourselves. Right?

When you consider that it’s thought that over a third of Brits don’t drink any water at all, even during the summer months, then it stands to reason that this number could increase during the winter.

Unless we’re doing some exercise, it’s harder to detect the usual indicators of dehydration when we’re a bit chilly. Here are some facts to consider:

  • Water loss still occurs, even if we’re cold to our bones! Shivering will help us burn off calories, and then when we layer up in order to get warm, we can sweat without even realising.  Most of this excess moisture will be absorbed into our clothes, completely undetected.
  • You can see water loss. Those freezing cold days can be an eye opener.  Stepping outside your front door and seeing your breath will help you realise just how cold it is. That breath is actually water vapour – water that should be replaced through proper hydration.
  • Circulation can slow. Our hands, fingers, nose, feet and toes are often the coldest parts of our bodies during the winter.  The extremities tend to have reduced blood circulation causing our kidneys to pass more water.  This can result in more frequent loo visits.
  • Central heating can dry us out. The first thing we do during a cold snap is whack up the heating.  Days later we may notice that our skin is dry and our hair lacklustre.  Our bodies are literally drying from the outside in!
  • Our favourite tipple may warm us up too much! How cosy, when we sit by the fire and have a shot of whiskey or brandy to warm our cockles!  Very high in alcohol, these drinks can dehydrate our organs in no time, not to mention leave us with a headache in the morning. Match your alcoholic drinks with a glass of water to remain hydrated.

Not everybody wants to drink water, whatever time of year it is.  If you prefer something a bit more exciting, switch it up a little.  There are plenty of flavourings and ideas to try to bring a little more variety to your drinks!