My mom and I were recently talking about the emphasis of hydration in the summer, but not so much in the winter. Even though it's freezing outside and the last thing you want to do is down a glass of ice-cold water like in the summer, hydration is very important at any time of year.
In the warm summer temperatures (how much I miss those warm days), you're likely sweating and feel prompted to drink more water. In the winter, you may not necessarily be sweating all the time, but you still are losing water vapor through your breath (that steam you see coming from your mouth in cold temperatures).
No matter the season, dehydration can cause exhaustion, muscle fatigue, headache, dizziness, and many other symptoms. Here are some tips and guidelines on how to stay hydrated in the winter:
Thirst is a signal that your body is already nearing dehydration, so don't wait until that point to grab some water. Additionally, a well-hydrated person has urine the color of lemonade (light-colored); if your urine is a dark yellow, that is a sign that you are likely dehydrated.
Drink HALF your body weight in fluid ounces. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be drinking roughly 70 fluid ounces in water each day (almost 9 cups of water).
Avoid diuretics such as caffeine or alcohol, which can cause more water to be lost through urine. If you still choose to drink caffeine or alcohol, be sure to drink extra water to counteract this dehydration. Try decaffeinated coffee or tea instead.
Water-based foods, like fruits and vegetables, are a natural source of water and also contain a slew of vitamins and minerals. Especially in the winter, vegetable soups can be a great way to stay warm and hydrated (just be sure to watch the sodium).
If you hate drinking water all day, add a bit of lemon or lime to change things up. You can also try a water infuser and put a piece of your favorite fruit into your water for a way to up the flavor. I'm not a big fan of the flavor water additives, but if you are going to choose a liquid or powder flavor boost, choose the one with fewest ingredients and avoid artificial sweeteners.