During the hot summer, it’s a no brainer to reach for a cold glass of water. But when winter starts settling in and the temperature drops, many people become a lot less likely to drink the amount of water their body needs.
For our bodies to function properly, they need water. Here are some reasons why getting your full daily intake of water is essential:
- Water helps regulate body temperature, so cells, tissues, and organs stay healthy.
- Water can increase your metabolism, helping you feel full longer.
- Drinking water can also help boost your immune system during cold and flu season, helping you fight off illnesses.
Now that you know a little bit more about why water is essential, here are some tips for staying hydrated during these winter months!
Layer Your Clothes: Rather than wearing heavy-duty woolens, wear multiple layers of breathable fabrics to minimize your water loss caused by perspiration (sweating). Sweat reduces your body temperature and forces your heart to work harder in order to maintain blood flow and body temperature.
Use a Straw: A lot of people find that using a straw helps them drink more fluids at a faster rate. Reusable silicone or metal drinking straws are great to keep at home or in your bag for drinking on the go!
Eat Salty Foods & Soups: These foods will help you retain water, and soup is very hydrating since it has broth and vegetables. Some great soup options for winter might be:
- Butternut Squash Bisque
- Tomato Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
Eat Fruit: Another excellent source of water is winter fruits. Here are some examples of fruits and their water contents:
- Apples: 84% water
- Clementines: 87% water
- Pears: 84% water
These fruits also contain vitamin C, which is great in fighting off the flu!
Eat Fluid-Filled Foods: One of the best ways to sneak some hydration into your diet is by eating fluid-rich foods, such as:
Meanwhile, you’ll also want to limit your intake of fried and processed foods. While we did mention above that eating salty foods can help you retain water, eating too much can siphon the moisture from your body. Soups are great, but you should avoid things like potato chips, frozen pizza, and pastries.
Drink Hot Chocolate: Did you know that chocolate milk is one of the best post-workout recovery drinks? This is because of its 4:1 carbs-to-protein ratio. Not only is hot chocolate an excellent winter treat that can warm you up, but it provides those same benefits!
Limit the Caffeine: Caffeine is dehydrating because it is a diuretic, making you pee more frequently. By cutting back on caffeinated drinks, you can help your body retain more water.
Warm fluids not only help you stay warm, but they can also keep you hydrated. Try drinking some caffeine-free hot tea in the morning with breakfast!
Add Some Flavor: You might not be too enthused about drinking more water because it can seem bland and boring. Another way you can hydrate effectively is by adding flavor to your water. You can do this with flavor packets that can be found at your local grocery store, or you can add some juice, or infuse your water with fruit!
You can also switch out your tap water for seltzer or sparkling water if you’re craving some carbonation.
Bring a Gallon to Work: When you bring a full gallon of water with you to work, you can easily monitor your intake for the day. You can even draw lines on the jug as markers for how much water you want to drink during different times of the day.
Carry Water with You: It can be easy to forget to drink water when you don’t have a reminder. Forgetting is one of the most common excuses for not hydrating properly. Avoid this by bringing a water bottle with you wherever you go.
Consider Your Water Needs when Working Out: The more intense your workout is, the more hydration you’ll need. It’s recommended that for every 15 minutes of exercise, you should drink half a cup of water (4oz).
To replenish lost fluid after your workout, you should aim to drink 1 ½ times what you lost while exercising. But instead of drinking it all at once, try spreading it over the next 2-6 hours after your session is over.
Reward Yourself using Water: Are you craving some cookies during your lunch break? Don’t treat yourself to them unless you have had 4 glasses of water in the morning. After you’ve reached your goal, you might find that the water filled you up and has left no room for dessert!