An exciting day of skiing, a challenging winter hike, a demanding cross country trail are just some of the ways we can push the limits of our body during the winter. Dressed properly, we sweat but remain dry, as chilly winter weather is not the time when we want to be out in wet clothes. Push ourselves well and we’ll be at the same risk of dehydration that we experience when we exercise in the summer heat.
There are a few unique considerations for the winter to keep in mind that could put us at greater risk for dehydration. First, there is the dry heat that most of are exposed to in our homes and at work. Then there are the decongestants many of us use at one time or another to manage cold symptoms. Lastly, there is the chilly weather that may not inspire us to drink as often as the summer heat reminds us to.
A few reminders about remaining hydrated during the winter months:
Decongestants: Exercise boosts your immunity, however even an athlete gets a cold or flu. If symptoms require decongestants, keep in mind that they are designed to dry you out…so they do. If you need them, be sure to increase your fluid intake to make sure it’s only your sinuses that benefit.
High Altitude Skiing: If you are lucky to be visiting the Rocky Mountains this winter or any other high elevation, you are at greater risk for dehydration as you actually expel more water vapor when your breath changes to keep up with the thinner air.
On a jet plane: Regardless of the month on the calendar, airplanes are dehydrating. Drink water and other low/no calorie fluids before, during and after travel and be sure to account for other factors that may influence your hydration status.
When you hit the gym: When your winter exercise happens indoors, your fluid needs remain the same as the same as they are at any other time of the year. That said, adhere to this basic hydration guideline to ensure the winter weather you endure throughout the rest of the day doesn’t leave you dehydrated.
Hydrate and Warm Up with these Winter Drinks
- Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
- Warm Cinnamon Almond Rice Drink
- Apple Cinnamon Almond Smoothie
- Peanut Butter Banana Cocoa Smoothie
Sip Some Soup
- Curried Squash and Apple Bisque with Leek
- Fresh Tomato Soup
- Creamy Parsnip Soup
- Thai Butternut Squash Soup
A few more tips to remain hydrate…
- Herbal tea, hot cocoa and coffee contribute to your daily hydration.
- Enjoy fruits and vegetables with a high water content such iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, celery, oranges and grapefruit.
- No-salt-added broths contribute to your daily fluid intake too.