Winter Water Needs

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Many people feel they need to drink less in the winter because they sweat less. It’s important to understand that our need to be hydrated isn’t less in winter. We still deplete our fluids. The clouds of steam we exhale when walking in the freezing weather is even more noticeable when sitting in a cold car watching windows quickly fog up. Indoors dry, heated air pulls moisture from our skin, adding to the risk that we may suffer from dehydration. Our view of winter water needs is further confused when our body’s thirst response is reduced substantially — up to 40 percent in cold weather — as our blood vessels constrict to conserve heat by limiting blood from flow to hands and feet to conserve heat! Remember, chapped lips and dry skin are the most common symptoms of dehydration in the winter.
 
Water makes up approximately 60 percent of our body weight and serves many important functions. It is vital for the proper function of all our organs and cells and moves nutrients to our body’s cells as it clears the body of toxins. Water lubricates our joints and keeps our ears, nose and throat moist. Water is needed for perspiration, which keeps body temperature in balance, and it moves the food we eat through the intestines, alleviating constipation and other digestive problems. Water is vital in the formation of saliva, mucus membranes and maintaining eye health. Consistent dehydration can severely reduce all these vital functions, possibly with lasting effects … and don’t forget the damage dehydration causes to your skin!
 
Pay attention to your water needs in winter, the basic rule is the same as during the summer — rink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day!
 
Start every day by drinking 1-2 glasses of water in the morning.
 
• Keep a water pitcher in the refrigerator.
 
• Drink water before you feel thirsty; if you feel thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated.
 
• Drink pure water — tap water is the bargain of the century. If water in your locality is questionable, there are plenty of excellent, reasonably priced filters.
 
• Avoid processed juices and sodas that are high in sugar content.
 
• For every eight ounces of a caffeinated beverage or alcohol you drink, supplement with an additional eight ounces of water.
 
• If your lips are dry or chapped you are dyhydrated, have a drink!
 
Water is vital for all our bodily functions helps keep us looking AND feeling good ALL year round!
 
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