Winter hydration

Staying hydrated is important no matter the season. Use these tips to stay hydrated this winter.

Drinking ice-cold water in the dead of winter does not always sound appealing, but staying hydrated even in the cold months is crucial to our health. When hydrated, our body is better at doing its job.  Water helps our body to break down fat for energy and assists in controlling our appetite.

Despite what many may think, our hydration needs do not actually change with the seasons. In cold weather, our bodies lose water the same way they do in the summer, through sweating, breathing and urinating. Though it may not feel like we are sweating much during our outdoor winter activities, drinking water is crucial.

How much water should you drink? Typically, a person should be drinking half of their body weight in fluid ounces. This would mean that a 160-pound person should try to drink 80 ounces of water each day. 

If you are not getting enough water, your body will tell you. You may feel thirsty or have a dry mouth, be unable to focus, or feel lightheaded or tired. Are your lips chapped or your skin dry? Is your urine dark? These are also indicators that you need more water.

Since that ice-cold water may not seem so appetizing, try other ways to stay hydrated. Think about some warm beverages like tea and even soup. Fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, celery, spinach, citrus and carrots are also a natural source of water and provide valuable vitamins and nutrients.

However you plan to enjoy this winter season, whether it’s snowshoeing, sledding or curling up by the fire, be sure to keep your body hydrated.

Visit Michigan State University Extension for more health-related articles and for programming happening in your community.

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