In Australia, some people may not be aware of how dangerous dehydration caused by the heat of summer can be. Water is essential to keep our body temperature regulated and maintain normal bodily functions. It is easy not to consume enough water when out enjoying nice weather. When the temperature drops, it can be easy to forget to drink enough water because we aren’t visibly losing liquid.
Something you may not have considered is that the very act of breathing releases a fair amount of water. And the more you breathe, the more water you lose. So when you are out exercising or playing a sport, it is still important to focus on hydration and electrolyte intake. It’s even more important to keep in mind during the winter months.
How Much Water is Enough?
It is difficult to drink too much water, but it is possible. This is especially true if you aren’t taking in electrolyte elements such as sodium. Getting too waterlogged can cause swelling of the brain and other negative effects related to the nervous system. This is a rare occurrence and usually only seen in endurance athletes.
Experts recommend that males intake 3.5 litres of water and around 2.5 litres of water for females. However, these recommendations vary widely based on lifestyle and environmental factors. If you are active or have a high-intensity job, obviously you will need to drink more water. In the winter, central heating can create drier conditions in the house, making it easier for water to evaporate and dehydrate you.
How much you should be drinking is up to how you feel. There are ways your body tells you to drink water. Some signs include dizziness when standing up, dark yellow urine, and lethargy. Usually, all you need is a tall glass of water to start feeling better.
How to Stay Hydrated in the Winter
Everyone has goals. And your new goal should be to drink more water. There are several different ways you can keep track of your water intake. There are apps available where you can track all different types of fluid intake like coffee, beer, tea, and water of course. You can also find water bottles that help you track how many glasses you drink throughout the day.
Other ways to get fluid are through food. Fruits and vegetables are mostly water, and they are great sources of nutrients to keep you healthy. Think of foods such as apples, pears, broccoli, and watermelon. In the winter, hot dishes are good to warm you up and make you feel good. Be sure to include plenty of vegetables and low sodium ingredients. Soups and stews are especially notorious for being high in sodium.
Warm Drinks Count, Sometimes
The liquid will hydrate you. But some are better than others. Drinks that are high in caffeine or alcohol won’t do as good of a job as others. Your best bet to get good hydration is water, but coffee and tea work well, too. Whatever you drink, make sure it is healthy without much sugar or artificial sweeteners. Also, be aware that diet soda isn’t as healthy as it might be advertised to be.
Staying hydrated in the winter can be a challenge sometimes. Taking into consideration some of these tips will help keep you functioning at a high level and make it easier to consume enough fluids. It isn’t something you should have to think about all of the time because your body has many ways to communicate to you what it needs.
When in doubt, it is hard to go wrong with a nice tall glass of water.