It's easy to remember to drink water in the summertime. Warm temperatures, outdoor activities, more sweating. But if you aren't hot or sweating it can be easy to forget the need to hydrate!
In the winter we've typically got the heat pumping, which dries out your environment and sucks the water out from your breath. The first sign of minor dehydration is just noticing that you're thirsty. By this time, your body is already beginning to experience the effects of water loss such as poor concentration, grogginess, and irritability. Pay attention to how often you're using the bathroom. If it's been more than 3 hours since your last trip, you probably need to hydrate. A big clue is in the color of your urine- dark, cloudy, or more concentrated in color? Drink up!
Not all water intake is created equally. We're usually told that we should be drinking 8 glasses of water per day, but this doesn't account for environment or lifestyle! If you're biking to work and getting sweaty, hitting the gym on your lunch break, or relaxing in the sauna to warm up, you need to replenish more water than someone who is mostly sedentary.
Don't force yourself to suck down a gallon of water per day. For starters, our bodies can't process copious amounts of liquid all at once. What the body can't process, it's going to eliminate. Here are a few other ways to get your liquid intake up:
- The foods you eat contribute to roughly 20% of your daily H2O intake! Eat a lot of fruits and veggies? You're well on your way to hydration- many of those can be up to 95% water (think celery and watermelon for instance).
- Since it's winter, you should also know that soups count (just try to avoid ones that are especially creamy or packed with sodium)!
- Big fan of coffee, tea, juice, and seltzers? Yup, these count too (we just don't recommend sipping on loads of extra sugar).
- Instead of chugging your water down, keep a reusable water bottle nearby and sip throughout the day. Need help remembering? Luckily there are all sorts of gadgets to remind you to take a swig (here's a fan favorite).
- Not a huge fan of ordinary water but trying to avoid the sugary stuff? There are plenty of drops, powders, and tablets that can jazz up your beverage with fun flavors (we love the True Citrus brand of water enhancing hydration helpers).