Staying hydrated is just as important in the winter as in the summer. Even though you may not crave it, your body needs the same amount of fluids in the Winter as it needs in the Summer.
Dehydration is possible any time. And since dehydration can lead to low energy levels and high irritability, it is important to make sure that everyone in the family maintains a healthy intake of water – even when the weather isn’t hot. Dehydration can also be damaging to our bodies – especially during exercise.
Staying hydrated helps prevent pulled muscles and strains that can more easily take place when water is depleted from our systems. Maintaining hydration also keeps our skin and mucous membranes from drying out and that and help our bodies ward off infection and illness.
Water is critical to our body’s ability to regulate its temperature. Water helps carry nutrients throughout the body, it improves digestion and most importantly, water flushes toxic waste from our systems that come from food and normal chemical reactions within our bodies. We can recycle some water within our bodies but a fresh supply keeps us from reabsorbing waste products that may accumulate within us.
In the Summer, heat and sweat remind us that we should drink water. Those reminders aren’t there in the Winter even though hydration during this time is just as vital. During the Winter, our indoor environment may be warm and dry – which will suck the moisture right out of you. You’ve probably noticed this in the form of dry skin. While you’re smathering on the lotion, suck down the water!
Here are some tips for staying hydrated in the Winter:
Drink water regularly. If you are thirsty, you have already begun the path to dehydration. Drink water or provide others with water to drink consistently throughout the day to prevent any forms of dehydration from happening.
Drink it warm. Cold water may not be appealing in cold weather. Warming water up or drinking it room temperature is fine. As the temperatures drop, the thought of a crisp, cool drink may be less than appealing.
Make water your companion. In other words, always take water with you. Wherever you go, make sure that you have your source of hydration with you – and carry it along in an insulated container so that it doesn’t freeze.
Don’t forget the soup. During the Winter time especially, soup is a great option for adding to your fluids intake. It also contains much amount of fluid substances that are also very helpful to keep your body hydrated and prevent dryness of skin and other mucous membranes which really needs constant hydration.
Keep eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Just because the local fruit and vegetable stand may be closed for the season doesn’t mean you should stop eating fresh items. Watermelon, pineapple, oranges, tomatoes, lettuce and carrots all have generous fluids to contribute to our liquid intake. They may be a little more expensive to purchase in the Winter, but it is worth every penny!
Keep up with your fluid intake. How many ounces should you be drinking? One rule of thumb is your weight divided by two. A 30-pound 3-year-old should take in 15 ounces a day The total amount of liquid you take in for a day is a combination of beverages you drink as well as food you eat. About 75-80% of your water intake should come from beverages while the other 15-20% can come from foods (fruits and vegetables) that contribute to your total water intake.
• Most people don’t get enough water.
• Other drinks are “liquid” but water is the best source of hydration for your body.
• Children who are well hydrated have more energy, feel better and have fewer wailing, throw-themselves-on-the-floor tantrums. • When a person is dehydrated by as little as 5% their cognitive ability drops at least 30%.
• The first sign of dehydration is a feeling of fatigue, not a feeling of thirst.
• If you have a dry mouth, shriveled finger pads, headache, lightheadedness or dark colored urine, you are probably already dehydrated.
• Caffeine is less than helpful as a source of hydration. Caffeine is a diuretic – it makes you lose even more water.
• In the Winter, we consume less raw foods, which contain around 70% water so we lose some of the natural sources of water we ingest in the Summer.
• It is recommended that a person consumes at least half of his or her body weight in ounces of water per day. • Any sports or physical exertion requires extra intake in order to keep you running at peak performance.
• The average female needs about 11.5 cups of water total (92 ounces) during the typical day (this doesn’t account for extra intake for physical exertion)
• The average man needs slightly more at 16 cups (128 ounces) during the typical day.
• Children need between 5 and 8 cups of water each day (between 40 and 64 ounces) according to a study led by researchers at Queens College of the City University of New York.
• Infants should be given only formula or breast milk unless your pediatrician tells you otherwise.
Here is a Hydration Calculator to help you figure out exactly how much water you need to take in:http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm