Staying hydrated is vitally important for optimal winter wellness, even if we don't feel the need to drink water as often as we do in summer.
Keeping off the kilos
What many people don't realise is that it's as easy to become dehydrated in the winter as it is in summer, and because few people recognise the signs of dehydration in winter, it can be equally dangerous.
Not drinking enough water can also make it harder to keep extra kilos off during the shorter days when we tend to exercise less and eat more. When hydrated, your body is better able to break down fat for energy, your appetite is better controlled. (It’s important to note that we often think we're hungry when we are really just thirsty.)
Also, if your body doesn’t get adequate water, it holds the water it already has, so sufficient hydration is key to avoiding fluid retention. Winter dehydration can make you sick, cause exhaustion, muscle fatigue, cramps, loss of coordination and even a stroke. When dehydrated, you can also become more susceptible to winter colds and flu.
A previous Health24 article states that while water needs vary from person to person, it's advisable to drink around eight glasses of water a day.
There are several steps that you can take to improve your water intake in colder months without the need for an icy glass of cold water that will leave you shivering:
- Drink your water hot.
- Flavour your water with lemon, orange wedges and cucumber
- Have soup
- Tea and coffee are diuretic; thus, it is better that you drink a glass of water before and another glass a few minutes after your tea or coffee. This way, you will replenish your body's water needs well.
- Drink green tea. In winter we are tempted to drink more tea and coffee, which is not a good idea from health perspective. Replace some of your teas/coffees with caffeine-free green tea. This will satisfy your urge to drink something warm, without overdosing on caffeine and sugar. It will also help you achieve your required daily water intake.
- In winter, we often feel that our thirst is quenched with a smaller amount of water than in summer. Keep a bottle of water near you and take small sips. Drinking a glass or two at one go may be quite difficult, but taking small sips every 15 minutes should be no problem.