We are more prone to dehydration in the winter than in warm weather and I think this is the number one reason most people get sick when the weather turns colder. (Of course there is that wee bit of increased stress during the holidays that many people experience, which really cranks up the likelihood of becoming ill!)
Why are we more dehydrated in winter?
- Heaters in our cars, public places, and our homes pull moisture out of our systems
- Less active/more sedentary living can reduce the thirst reflex.
- “Drinking water” is thought of as cold or ice water,** and this doesn’t sound too appealing when it’s 15 degrees outside, so it’s forgotten or avoided.
- Higher alcohol consumption during the holidays means greater water loss due to alcohol’s diuretic properties.
- Increased consumption of hot caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee and cocoa (all diuretics) as a means to warm us from the inside out, further dehydrate us.
- Being out in the wind lessens our body’s moisture content too.
No matter what the outdoor temperature is, our bodies still need to receive half of our body weight in ounces of good, filtered water per day. For example, if you weigh 140 lbs., you need to be drinking about 9 glasses (72 ozs.) of water each day. (If you think this is an outrageous amount, watch the video Drink Water for Life and learn the outrageous number of health issues result from a lack of water.)
**Drinking ice water isn’t advised in any weather: room temperature water is best and easiest for the body to assimilate. Replace the idea of drinking cold water with hot or warm to hydrate when it’s cold. Not only will you get hydrated, you’ll also warm yourself up from the inside out.
If you want to be well during winter – especially through the holidays – drink your water!