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The Risk Of Dehydration Can Be Actually Higher In Winter. Read This To See Why

The Risk Of Dehydration Can Be Actually Higher In Winter. Read This To See Why

Do you ever wonder why you can do a physical activity longer in the winter without having to stop and chug that bottle of water? The same recreation in the summer can leave you panting with thirst, but now you only need one bottle of water for that five-mile hike or that seven-mile paddle down the river. Your head may ache a bit afterward and you might be breathing hard, but that 16 oz bottle of water was all you needed, right? Believe it or not, you are wrong. You actually run a higher risk of dehydration in the winter. And you won’t even see it coming.

Cold Weather and Hydration: Switching to the Winter Mode

In the summer when you exercise, your body lets you know when you are thirsty. You feel thirsty. You see the sweat. You drink and everything works. A beautiful symbiotic relationship. However, once those temperatures drop, something changes inside and that lovely symbiotic relationship goes awry.

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In the winter, your body still gets thirsty, and you need hydration, but when faced with cold weather, it switches to winter mode and concentrates on keeping you warm. Your body focuses on pulling blood away from the extremities to keep your internal core heated. In the winter, regulating your body temperature takes priority over balancing your internal fluids. Your body’s program telling you that you are thirsty gets overridden.[1]

Where Does All that Water Go?

Ever wonder why you have to pee more when the weather is cold? When faced with lower temperatures, your body works hard to keep things warm, and a kidney full of liquid is just an extra space that needs heating. Unnecessary heating. So it flushes out that excess water and the result makes you run to the bathroom more than usual. Unfortunately, this extra release of fluids means you should be topping up the tank, so to speak, and drink more to keep those organs hydrated.

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When the air is cold outside, you can see your breath. When that happens, you are actually losing water from your body as it becomes moisture in the air. Couple that with those extra layers of clothes that are making you sweat and you have a clear path to dehydration.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Dry, sticky mouth, cool skin, rapid breathing, elevated blood pressure, headache, fast heartbeat and thirst[2] are all symptoms of dehydration. By the time you actually feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. In the cold weather, due to the winter mode your body has switched to, it gets worse.Your body won’t give you that thirsty feeling. So how do you know if you are dehydrated or not? With the colds and flu that swirl around during the winter months, feeling blah may not be the best indicator either, so your best bet is to check the color of your pee. It should be a clear yellow. If it’s darker, you are in need of fluids, so grab a drink.

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Staying Hydrated in the Winter

You should aim to stay hydrated year round; not only does it give you younger looking skin, it also helps to run your blood more smoothly and keep those organs plumped up and healthy. In the winter you need to work with your body. You won’t be getting the signals that your body will send in the summer- like thirst. Realize that you are responsible for keeping hydrated. Drink fluids with your meals and consume water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. Carry a bottle of water with you throughout the day to keep track of how much you drink. Aim to drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning to rehydrate your system.

How much water should you drink? The average man needs 3 liters, and an average woman needs 2.2 liters of water daily.[3] However, if you participate in rigorous activities or exercise, that amount can change according to your needs. Drinking too much water can leave you feeling bloated and also running the risk of hyponatremia, washing necessary sodium from your blood. Be smart. Be sensible. Stay hydrated and watch the color of your pee.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash at Pixaby via pixabay.com

Reference

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Sally White

writer, artist & blogger

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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