You might think that dehydration is an issue that’s more prevalent during the summer. However, it’s a problem you can face during the winter as well. Cold weather can dry out someone’s skin and reduce their overall hydration. Dehydration, no matter the season, is a very serious risk to your health.
Some of the negative effects of dehydration might include lower energy, high blood pressure and even serious problems, such as organ failure. Occasional dehydration may not have such potent effects. However, continual dehydration likely will. It is best to avoid dehydration at all costs.
Put a Hydration Plan in Place for Winter
During the winter, many of us have a tendency to be less active than at other times of the year. Not being active may reduce how much we feel thirst. However, inactivity doesn’t necessarily reduce the chances that someone will become dehydrated.
So, even if you stay inside a lot this winter, you still need to maintain your hydration. But don’t worry! There are things you can do to stay hydrated without having to think twice.
- One thing that many people don’t realize is that they can get hydration from multiple sources. Many foods – such as soup and fruits like strawberry or watermelon - are water-rich. It often takes very little adjustment to incorporate water-rich food into your diet. For example, when you eat certain types of broth, the sodium in the broth can help you retain water in your systems.
- Avoid certain types of beverages. Some of these might include alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks. Such beverages can dehydrate you.
- Keep a schedule to help you remember to drink water. For example, drink a glass of water when you wake up, with every meal and before bedtime, at minimum. Most health experts recommend you drink between two and three liters of water per day.
- Always remember to hydrate throughout the day. Even when you aren’t exercising, your body still loses hydration. Make sure that you drink fluids at regular intervals. If you undertake strenuous activity or spend a lot of time in the cold, replace fluids afterwards. Set goals to pace your daily water consumption. For example, strive to drink a glass of water by 10 a.m., another glass before noon, and so on throughout the day.
Remember that daily fluid consumption is part of a healthy diet. If you need diet counseling, many health insurance plans cover this service for free. Talk to your doctor about your diet and hydration needs. Your physician can often help you understand how much hydration you specifically need.