It's hot, you're outside, and you're sweating. Time for some water! Pretty obvious, right? But what about when it's cold? Great hydration is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer, but it's not always as easy to obtain. Harsh winter weather can leave your body and skin dry and hurting. Make a point to stay properly hydrated, though, and you'll feel great through even the most frightful of weather.
The Do's and Don'ts of Winter Hydration
DO Know How Much to Drink: Knowing how much hydration your body needs lets you know what to aim for. A decent enough rule of thumb is to drink half an ounce for each pound you weigh. So if you weigh 150 pounds, your goal would be 75 ounces a day. This includes both the water you drink and what you get from your food. Increase your intake in proportion to dehydrating factors like coffee, alcohol, or exercise.
DON'T Ignore Symptoms of Dehydration: Thirst isn't always the only indication that your body needs more water. In fact, you may feel less thirsty in the winter than you do in the summer. Keep an eye out for dehydration symptoms, including headache, dizziness, fatigue, dark urine, and dry skin.
DO Enjoy Drinks Hot or Cold: A glass of water is the classic way to stay hydrated, but it's by no means the only way. Winter is the season of hot drinks, so why not take advantage of it? Avoid dehydrating choices like coffee, black tea, and drinks with alcohol in them. Reach for a cozy mug of herbal tea or steamed milk instead.
DON'T Limit Your Idea of Hydration to Liquids: Not all hydration comes from a glass. Your body is hydrated by the foods you eat as well. Don't neglect your fruits and veggies throughout the winter. Opt for hydrating fruits like melon, strawberries, and oranges as you're able to get them. Vegetables like zucchini, celery, and tomatoes will also hydrate you as you eat. If you're looking for something a bit more substantial, bring it all together into a warming, hydrating soup.
DO Vary What You Enjoy: Hydration doesn't mean drinking the same thing over and over again. Of course, there's nothing wrong with going back to your favorites, but it's also a great excuse to try new things and support your body with new nutrients. Try an unusual tea. Make a smoothie with fruits, yogurt, and greens powder. See what beet root powder is like in a soup. Mix it up!
DON'T Overindulge in Alcohol: A final don't when it comes to winter hydration: be mindful of how much alcohol you consume. Those long, cold days make it tempting to add a little something extra to your hot drink. But alcohol can be dehydrating, and it lessens the hydration of whatever you're drinking it with. We're not saying don't indulge, but be careful to balance it out with hydrating foods and drinks.