Winter can wreak havoc on our bodies leaving our skin feeling dry and our body dehydrated. Here are 5 simple ways to stay hydrated in winter.
Stay Hydrated in winter with these 5 easy steps
1. Establish a daily drinking goal
This is an easy one to do. Research indicates we need to drink 2L of water a day. There are many apps available to track your water intake. A simple way to track your water intake is to carry a water bottle with you. We have a black insulated water bottle if you are looking for a new one. It keeps your drinks icy cold and feels great in your hand due to the rubber feel coating.
Set a target number of glasses or cups of water throughout each day — for example, five glasses at meals during the day and two glasses before bedtime. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink throughout the day instead of waiting until you're thirsty before sipping some water from the tap (which can be too late).
2. Replace the water that you lose
During physical activity we loose water through sweat. Before you undertake any exercise ensure you are adequately hydrated.During the workout drink consume some fluids. There is no magic number of how much to drink as it depends on the duration, intensity, weather and type of clothes worn. As a general rule the goal is to prevent fluid loss of greater than 2% body weight. Post workout the goal is to replace lost water and electrolytes. If you are looking for a hydrating post workout drink Protein Water is a fantastic option.
Staying hydrated is important year-round, but especially during the winter months when we're losing more water through sweat and breathing. So it's important to replenish your body with plenty of fluids — water, coffee, tea or even hot chocolate (as long as you steer clear of the sugary syrups).
3. Layer your clothes
Whether you are working out or just rugging up, the golden rule is to layer yourself in breathable clothes. The key goal of this is to prevent perspiration, thus dehydration.
If you layer your clothes, you won't have to worry about taking them off every time you go inside because they will provide insulation while still allowing your body to breathe. If you do get too hot or need a break from the cold, just take off one or two layers!
4. Eat hydrating foods
There are many healthy hydrating foods to eat during the cooler months, homemade soup is a great example. Certain fruits and vegetables also contain a lot of water such as apples, pears, citrus, brocolli and celery. The added benefit of these consuming hydrating fruit and veg is many contain Vitamin C which helps boost immunity.
Instead of reaching for salty snacks or sugary treats after dinner, reach for fruit instead! Fruit contains plenty of vitamins and minerals that will keep your body happy through the cold months ahead. Make sure you're eating enough raw fruits and veggies — they contain lots of water too!
5. Drink warm fluids
The benefit of consuming warm fluids during winter is that one it increases your fluid intake, but it also has the benefit of warming the body up. Fluids such as green tea or VPA®s own Hot Protein Delightare great choices. Having said that drinking a lot of coffee is not the answer!! Caffeine is a diuretic and will make you got to the toilet more frequently therefore dehydrating your body.
Drinking warm liquids (such as soup) or eating foods that contain liquids (such as soup) helps keep your body temperature up. This will help prevent you from losing too much water through evaporation of sweat on your skin or breath.
In winter the thirst response decreases due to the cooler temperatures, but as you can see from the 5 simple steps above, it’s easy to keep your body hydrated in winter and functioning at its optimum.
Anna Timms (BSc) is a university qualified scientist and VPA staff member. Her favourite VPA product is Sour Worms Protein Water.