There are plenty of articles talking about the importance of drinking water during the hot summer months. However, many people don’t realize that it is just as important to drink enough water when it’s cold outside. So how important is it to drink water during winter months and how much water do you need?
General Guideline for Adults
In general, for adults, the recommendation is eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This is a good place to start, but the amount of water you need will change based on your diet, activity level, and weight. The environment that you are in will also have an impact on how much water you drink. While you may not be sweating as much during the winter, the indoor air tends to be drier.
Dry Winter Air
Now that winter is upon us, the average temperature has dropped and people have turned on the heat. In general, the outdoor air is less humid in the winter months. Inside, the heat evaporates some of the moisture from the air. Not only is the air drier, but people also stop drinking as much water. When we aren’t sweating, we tend not to be as thirsty. Without the cues from our body to drink more water, we may forget the importance of staying hydrated in the winter.
Drink Even if You Aren’t Thirsty
Even though we may not feel thirsty when the temperatures drop, it is still important to drink water during winter months. The key is to make sure that you are fully hydrated. This can be hard to do when its cold outside. When you’re feeling cold, it’s hard to find a glass of ice water appealing. The good news is that you can hydrate with fluids other than water. A nice cup of hot chocolate or brewed tea may be just the thing to warm you up, and it will help you to hydrate. Even a bowl of soup will help to keep you warm and hydrated.
When you are trying to determine the amount of water you need to drink water during winter months, the 8×8 rule is a good place to start. You can also monitor your urine to make sure you are getting enough fluids. The lighter it is in color, the more hydrated you are. If you start to notice that your urine is a darker yellow, this could be an indication that you need to increase the amount of water you’re drinking.
Winter Hydration Tips
If you aren’t really feeling thirsty, you can try some of these tricks to help stay hydrated.
- Make your drinking water fun. Add some sliced fruit for flavor. Transport yourself to someplace tropical with slices of pineapple or kiwi in your water.
- Keep a glass of water at your desk and refill it often. Even if you aren’t thirsty, you may surprise yourself at how much you will drink when you keep a glass of water nearby.
- Skip the ice cubes and try some room temperature water. Or heat it up and add some honey and lemon for a warm soothing treat.
- Make it a habit to have a glass of water with each meal. Not only will this keep you hydrated, but you may also even find that water fills you up and helps you eat less.
- Eat juicy fruits and vegetables. They’ll help keep you hydrated and you’ll get the extra benefits of their vitamins and nutrients.
Test Your Water
Whether you are whipping up homemade soup or melting marshmallows in hot chocolate, it is important to make sure that the water you are using is safe to drink. With more and more cities making headline news related to poor water quality, you can’t take your water quality for granted. You can quickly and easily test the quality of your tap water and get results in minutes. There are a number of home testing kits that offer an affordable way to quickly test your water for a variety of contaminants. Whether you have city water or well water, you may find that your tap water is the same, or in some cases, better than bottled water.
Drink for Your Health
Remember that dehydration can cause you to feel a little under the weather. It may make you drowsy and can cause headaches and cramps. If your starting to feel under the weather, you might want to think about how much water you’ve been drinking. Just because it’s not hot out, doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need water. No matter what the weather is, drinking more water is an easy way to feel better.