When it’s hot and sticky out and the sun is beating down on you, you know you have to stay hydrated —even if you usually don’t follow-through.
But what about when it’s freezing out? Do you still have to worry if your body is getting enough H2O? Absolutely!
Follow the 12 strategies below and you’ll feel the difference in no time. Moisture is our friend!
Set a Daily Goal
Do you need eight glasses a day? Maybe. But how often do you drink that much water?
Consuming water is the best way to stay hydrated. Sorry, that soda’s not going to cut it. It’s full of nasty things are not only bad for your health, but they interfere with your body’s ability to absorb any water it contains.
An easy way to determine how much water you should drink daily is to halve your body weight and convert it into ounces. If you weigh 120 pounds, you should aim for 60 ounces of water a day. Divide the result by eight, and that’s how many glasses you should aim for. Your target is 7.5 glasses per day.
Use a Water Tracker App
Who has time to keep track of how much water they’re drinking? You don’t have to. Download an app to do it for you.
If you work out, or if there’s some other reason the simple calculation above isn’t right for you, the app can calculate how much water you need. You can set it to remind you to drink up throughout the day. Since you’re probably often on your phone anyway, it’ll become a normal part of your day.
Drink It Warm
The last thing you want to do is drink something cold on a cold winter’s day, right? Well, don’t.
When it comes to drinking water for hydration, it’s best to chug it at room-temperature or warm. Why? Your body absorbs cold water fast and releases it quickly. Tepid water takes time for the body to absorb, keeping you hydrated.
Check Your Skin
Dry, flaky, chapped skin? No, it’s not just a winter thing. It’s a lack of hydration thing. Your skin is showing you what you’re lacking inside. Chug down that H2O! Your complexion and your mirror will thank you.
Increase Your Intake at Higher Elevations
Going skiing or for a winter getaway in the mountains? You’ll need to increase your water intake.
The air at higher altitudes is drier and has lower pressure. Moisture evaporates rapidly from your skin and lungs.
Once you’re there, do you notice the following symptoms?
- Shortness of breath
You could be suffering from dehydration, not altitude sickness.
What’s the cure? Drink an extra quart of water every day you’re at your mountain retreat.
Eat Foods That Aid Hydration
There are two types of food you should get plenty of when it’s cold out:
- Fruits and vegetables with high water content. Grapefruit, cranberries and apples as well as cucumbers lettuce and celery. Besides being another source of H2O, these fruits and veggies contain vitamins and micronutrients that can help keep winter bugs away.
- Foods high in potassium. White beans, dried apricots, baked acorn squash, yogurt, salmon and avocado. The potassium in these foods helps spread water throughout your body.
The following are superstars that fit into both categories: bananas, spinach and potatoes. Eat up and stay quenched.
Skip the Energy Drinks
Energy drinks look like a good way to satisfy your thirst, but don’t be fooled. The energy comes from a lot of sugar and a lot of caffeine.
You already know too much sugar isn’t good for you, but too much caffeine isn’t, either. Caffeine is a diuretic in any amount. But at energy drink levels, you may have to drink about four eight ounce glasses of water to replenish the lost fluids.
A Little Salt Goes a Long Way
Broths and soups seem created to provide cold weather hydration — and they can, as long as they are of the low-sodium variety. That means ignoring most canned options.
Most people believe because salt makes you retain water, which naturally means you’re hydrated. But salt actually keeps water from entering your cells, which is the exact opposite.
Make your own soups and broths, using low-sodium ingredients.
Make Sure to Drink Enough When You Exercise
Working out in the cold can fool you into feeling you don’t need to drink anything. Body fluids move from your limbs to your core so you urinate frequently. Heavy clothing worn during intense exertion leads to a lot of sweat. The result is dehydration.
Don’t wait to feel thirsty. Drink water before, during and after you exercise for an effective workout and to prevent injury.
Check for Signs of Dehydration
The first place to check is your commode. How often do you need to urinate? Is there a strong flow? Is the result almost clear? Or is there just a trickle that is a dark yellow? If you can answer “yes” to the latter, you need to hydrate pronto.
Another way to check is to weigh yourself before your workout and after. You’ll want to consume 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight lost.
Keep Warm but Don’t Overdo It
Sure you want to stay warm, but skip the heavy clothes. Dress in lightweight, breathable layers. Even better, choose clothes made of sweat-resistant fabrics. Perspiration can lead to dehydration.
Also, don’t forget to wear a hat, gloves and a scarf. If it’s really cold, cover your face. These will help keep you toasty — without the bulk of heavy clothes.
Take a Pass on the Alcohol
We know know you’re saying, “But what about my eggnog? My hot toddy? Isn’t liquor supposed to warm you up?”
It might warm you up, but it will also definitely dry you out. Alcohol is a diuretic.
If you must indulge, remember to drink eight ounces of water for every alcoholic drink — and alternate the water with the alcohol. You’ll not only stay hydrated, but it’ll help you skip the hangover.
Follow the approaches above, and you’ll stay healthy and have plenty of energy when it’s cold outdoors!