Winter is definitely upon us now, with temperatures reaching new lows every day, and cold winds felt in our bones. Of course, the usual practices for winter will be to cover yourself properly, with gloves, cowls, heavy jackets and other polar bear outfits, while enjoying some comfortable inside heat thanks to your AC and fluffy covers.
One winter phenomenon that is often overlooked however, being usually associated with hot summer days, is dehydration. Why is this phenomenon happening in winter, and what can you do to prevent it? Read more to find out!
What is winter dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t have enough fluid to function properly. While there are a number of factors that affect how much water you need in a day, the average adult needs roughly 2 liters of water on an average day.
Dehydration being associated to summer makes people less likely to realize they need to stay hydrated in winter.
It is completely possible to get dehydrated when it’s cold outside. It is actually easier for people to stay hydrated in summer than in winter. Thirst levels decrease in winter, so people will drink less water inthe winter than in the summer. Being less thirsty doesn’t mean that you’re better hydrated, however.
Why dehydration happens
As we saw in the above paragraph, your body has a different thirst response in winter.
You rbody has a natural thirst response telling you when it needs water, but this response is diminished by up to 40% in cold weather. This is mostly due to your body attempting to conserve heat by drawing more blood to its core. Your body focuses on maintaining your core temperature and as a result does not realize it is not properly hydrated.
Furthermore, sweat levels also decrease in cold weather. Sweat indicates the loss of moisture to your body, which in winter will not be as easily noticeable, and therefore won’t encourage you to replenish body fluids by drinking more water.
Wearing extra clothing is another factor. Wearing heavy jackets, long underwear andother pieces of warm clothing help your body conserve heat, but also add weight to your body. This in turn will make you work 10 to 40% more than you would in normal temperatures, making you sweat more and therefore losing fluids. However, as we saw earlier, sweat evaporates a lot more quickly in cold weather,so you don’t notice it.
Increased respiratory fluid loss happens a lot in a cold weather. A good example of that phenomenon is the “smoky breath” you can get in winter, where the actual smoke you exhale is water vapor that your body is losing.
Symptoms of dehydration
To know the signs of dehydration is important to fight it. Here is a list of the most common signs:
- Thirst 口渴
- Dark-coloredurine 尿液颜色变深
- Dizziness 头晕目眩
- Fatigue 疲惫
- Dryskin 皮肤干燥
- Bloodynose 流鼻血
- Chronicallychapped lips 嘴唇干裂
The intense use of air heating in our homes makes the situation worse as this process tends to dehumidify the air even more.
Check our latest article about dry skin to get more information on what to do to improve this phenomenon:
Tips for staying hydrated
The simplest thing you can do to fight winter dehydration is to drink more water. The quantity required for proper hydration is always subject to debate, but if you drink at least one more glass per day compared to what you usually drink, your hydration level will definitely be better.
Drink more water
It may be harder to drink water when it’s cold, but to drink any warm substances such as tea, hot cider or coffee (preferably decaffeinated one if drank in large quantities) can do the trick!
Alcohol on the other hand should be avoided (yes, even the Christmassy mulled-wine), or consumed with enough water on the side to equilibrate and avoid dehydration.
If you are looking for an easy way to get access to lots of water, go no further and take the leap towards drinking water purifiers!
These water filters allow you to drink water directly from your kitchen tap,making it easier to stay hydrated without having to replenish your water bottles stock! For more information about our drinking water choice, follow this picture:
Moreover, beyond drinking more water, you can also humidify your environment. This will help increase your indoor humidity, which is usually quite low in winter due to the intense use of air conditioners.
Our range of humidifiers is currently on sales, so don’t hesitate to improve your indoor environment now! Do remember to use either bottled water (not mineral type) or purified drinking water from reverse osmosis system for it. Or otherwise, filters for the humidifiers will be dirty.
The last thing you can do would be to heal your skin through the use of moisturizing skin creams. Please check our complete article about dry skin for more detail about that last part!
Stay warm, hydrated and safe
We hope your winter days will be highly enjoyable thanks to our small tips, so remember, cover yourself and drink more water!