5 Tips to Stay Hydrated This Winter
It is no secret that water is a key nutrient to life. In fact, roughly 60 percent of our bodies are made up of water, and it's a key contributor to our day-to-day functioning. Did you know water helps maintain normal body temperature and lubricates and cushions our joints? It also helps in detoxifying our body of wastes through perspiration, urination and bowel movements.
So, how much water is enough? Water needs are impacted by age, gender and activity level, so it is tough to say there is a universal amount. The 8x8 rule can be a good place to start -- this means drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day (or roughly 64 ounces total). If you are unsure whether you are drinking enough, signs of dehydration include thirst, dark-colored urine, dry skin, chapped lips, fatigue and dizziness. You may also notice improvements in these areas when drinking enough water (dilute or clear urine, more energy, etc.). Often times the importance of hydration in colder weather can be forgotten. Check out these easy tips to maintaining hydration throughout the winter!
1. Keep a reusable water bottle near you at all times. If you don’t have water in front of you, you might not remember to drink it regularly. Try keeping your water near your desk, in your car's cup-holders and at your nightstand for all-day hydration. Sometimes we need reminders to stay hydrated; don’t let your water be out of sight, out of mind.
2. Add flavor to your water. If water doesn’t seem like an exciting choice for your taste buds, try adding fresh fruits or herbs to your bottles. Some examples of flavor-boosting additions include oranges, lemons, limes, cucumbers, strawberries, and even basil and mint. Consider a combination of watermelon and basil or cucumber and mint for a subtle, yet noticeable addition of taste.
3. Eat your fruits and vegetables. We know eating more fruits and vegetables will do a body good, but did you know it will also help hydrate you? While drinking fluid water is still necessary, consuming more fruits and vegetables is a great way to go above and beyond your hydration goals. High water containing fruits and vegetables include: cucumbers, celery, watermelon, zucchini, cauliflower and strawberries.
4. Hot beverages count too. If drinking a glass of cold water doesn’t entice you when it's freezing outside, try switching to warmer beverages. Sipping on hot water with lemon, unsweetened/decaffeinated teas, and even bone broths or soups will contribute to your daily fluid intake – and warm you up!
5. Steer clear from dehydrating beverages. Not all fluids help to hydrate your body. Drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine can actually cause dehydration. Limiting your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, sports drinks, etc.), alcoholic beverages, and coffee/caffeinated tea can help ensure your body is utilizing all fluids for hydration.
Remember to keep your water with you throughout the day and use the tips above to get creative with additional fluid intake. Winter is a great time to create hydration habits that you can carry through warmer months!
Learn more about healthy winter habits and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays.
Written by: Claire Rudden, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern.
1. Mana MD