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The dangers of dehydration in cold winter

Dec 27 2022
If you often feel light-headed, tired, or irritable during the cold winter months, you may think it's a mild form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). However, the real culprit may be something as simple as not drinking enough water.

While we don't typically associate cold weather with dehydration, the risk increases during the colder months, according to a University of New Hampshire study. Since we don't feel thirsty when the cold hits, we may forget to drink enough water. In addition, the body will not be as hot as in the hot summer, and sweat evaporates faster in the cold air. But as this article explains, our fluids can be lost quickly, even when we snuggle up in bed or wear extra layers of clothing outside to keep warm.

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in—and winter dehydration can be a bigger, more common problem than most people realize. So even if the temperature drops, you still need to make sure you're drinking enough water throughout the day.

What Causes Winter Dehydration?
Various factors contribute to increased levels of winter dehydration:
1. You're less thirsty when it's cold
2. Signs of dehydration are not obvious in dry, cold air.
3. Drink less water when it is cold.
4. Putting on winter clothes can make you sweat profusely.
5. Indoor heat reduces humidity.

Signs of severe dehydration in adults include:

Lethargy, lack of energy, confusion, or irritability
Fever over 103 degrees Fahrenheit
decreased skin elasticity
altered mental status
Difficulty breathing
feeling dizzy or dizzy
chest or stomach pain
sunken eyes
chapped lips
epileptic seizure

Tips to Help Prevent Winter Dehydration
Given the aforementioned winter dehydration symptoms, start paying close attention to the amount of fluids you consume each day, and take action if you're drinking too little. If you're ready to start (or continue) taking care of your health, we've put together a list of simple and creative tips to help you stay hydrated throughout the cold winter months and hopefully make it a daily habit.

1. Keep a water bottle handy.
Whether you're on the go or at home most of the day, it's a good idea to fill up a reusable water bottle and take it with you. Since you can't tell if you're dehydrated based on your thirst alone, keeping a water bottle handy can make it easier to rehydrate on time and more often. It also reminds the body to stay hydrated. Plus, you're likely to drink more water when it's close to you.

2. Set water drinking goals, develop a routine, and track your daily water intake.
Another great way to make sure you're drinking enough water throughout the day is to set water purification goals and track every ounce you drink. Scheduling your water intake, such as two glasses each for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is an easy way to know you're getting enough water.

3. Set water replenishment reminder.
You won't always remember to hydrate, especially if you're busy during the day, but one thing you can do is set reminders to make sure you don't forget to drink. With modern smartphones and smartwatches, setting a "hydration reminder" is easy. Set recurring reminders on your device so you don't have to do it every day. You can also post reminder notes on your desk or draw lines on water bottles to mark when to drink throughout the day.

4. Add flavor to your water.
If plain water is not your thing, adding fruit can add flavor and make it tastier and healthier. Cucumber, mint leaves, lime, lemon, and orange are popular choices, but you can try other flavors. Not only will you get hydration from the water, but the antioxidant-rich fruit can help flush out toxins from the body, help fatigued muscles, boost your metabolism, and fill you up so you're less likely to eat unhealthy foods.

5. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Water-rich foods can help maximize hydration and provide many other incredible benefits. Watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, cucumbers and celery contain over 90% water. In addition to boosting your water intake, some fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, nutrients, electrolytes, and fiber that keep your body refreshed and your skin radiant.

6. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
While soda, iced tea, sweetened coffee, alcoholic beverages, and other beverages may taste better than plain water, they can dehydrate you. Soda and fruit juices are high in sugars, such as fructose and glucose, which can cause tooth decay and inhibit the body from absorbing the water it needs. Alcohol is a diuretic, which can make you urinate more often and help fluid loss.

If you're looking for flavored or soda, try drinking flavored soda, but make sure you understand the benefits and side effects of carbonated water before making the switch. You can also try mineral water. If you like caffeine, unsweetened herbal teas may be a good choice.

7. Drink healthy hot beverages.
If cold water isn't your thing in the winter, there are healthy, warming alternatives like green tea and cinnamon tea, if you're one of them.

8. Layer, but not too much.
Wearing layers of clothing can help regulate body temperature and keep you warm in the cold, but be careful not to overdress. We recommend wearing layers of breathable fabrics rather than strong fleece or similar materials.

9. Filter the water.
How well you hydrate depends on the quality of the water you drink. Untreated tap water can contain a wide variety of potentially dangerous pollutants, chemicals, impurities and other elements—many of which can cause serious illness, disease, and even death. So, you need to eliminate them before taking a sip.

The safest and easiest way to ensure your drinking water is free of harmful elements is to filter it with a whirlpool refrigerator water filters w10295370a, such as a kenmore refrigerator filter 9081. Each filtration system provides your home with healthy, great-tasting water that you can drink straight from the tap or bottle, or take with you.
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