Please enjoy the guest blog from Nuun Hydration.
We know you’re thinking it: “I don’t sweat in the winter, so I don’t need to focus on hydration.” But colder weather prevents your body from sending the normal signals, and you may be more dehydrated than you realize.
In the summer, sweat is a sign you’re working hard and need to drink up. In the winter, your body is still working hard and you still sweat. But the cold, dry air, evaporates sweat more quickly and you might not even notice it.
Feeling thirsty is an easily-recognizable sign that you need to hydrate. But cold temperatures can actually suppress your thirst. When temperatures drop, your body decreases blood flow to your limbs in order to keep your core temperature up. This can trick the brain into thinking your fluid levels haven’t dropped, even though your body is losing fluid through sweat.
All this means that you could be sweating up a storm, but not feel thirsty enough to grab your water bottle! So what can you do?
When exercising, make sure you bring fluids. Consider carrying a hydration belt, or stash bottles along your route. An electrolyte-rich fluid like nuun active hydrates better than water alone, and will also freeze slower if the temp dips below freezing. If it’s really cold, try warm fluids in an insulated tumbler.
But it’s not enough to only hydrate when exercising. To stay hydrated, you need to hydrate all day, every day. Here are a few tips to help you stay hydrated at the office:
- Find a bottle you love. It really does make a difference.
- Consider drinking from a straw. You’ll find you take bigger sips, and bigger sips = more fluids.
- Find the right temperature. Maybe ice-cold water isn’t your thing and that’s okay. Warm and room temperature water are just as hydrating.
- Try an app on your phone that tracks how much water you’ve consumed.
- Maybe you find plain water really boring. Adding a few slices of lemon or a nuun vitamins tab to your water can keep you reaching for your bottle. Added bonus: nuun vitamins contains the 11 essential vitamins that are most often under-consumed by athletes!
When it’s cold out, dehydration can leave you at increased risk of hypothermia. Make sure you know the signs of dehydration and are listening to your body. Post-workout headaches, muscle cramping, and fatigue are all signals that your body is dehydrated and needs electrolytes!
Photos: Braunwyn Glaser