If you have lived in Colorado for any time at all, you likely know the dangers of winter dehydration. We see the results of dehydration regularly with dry skin, cracked lips and static cling. But why does winter bring dehydration, and how can you protect yourself?
What Causes Winter Dehydration?
With its snow-covered mountains, crisp air, and stunning views, winter is a beautiful time in Colorado. But winter can also bring its challenges – including the increased chance of dehydration. What factors especially contribute to winter dehydration?
One reason dehydration in winter is an issue for many Coloradans is that our beloved state has an especially dry climate, and in winter, the atmosphere gets especially dry.
Because Colorado is at a higher altitude and has lower atmospheric pressure than many other states, the dropping temperatures common in the winter months decrease relative humidity. This effect is even more apparent in the surrounding mountains.
Additionally, homeowners tend to keep their houses closed in the winter, with forced-air furnaces adding to the dryness.
Weakened Thirst Reflex
There is nothing like a cold glass of water on a warm day. But on cold days, do you find yourself avoiding that glass of water and choosing that premium hot coffee drink instead? A study from the University of New Hampshire found that in colder temperatures, the body’s thirst reflex is weakened, decreasing the desire to drink. As a result, people may become chronically dehydrated during wintertime.
Lack of Visible Sweat During Exercise
And while you might associate dehydration while exercising outdoors as a summer problem, doing so in the winter months can be just as problematic. In the summer, you remember to drink water because you are sweating. But sweat is not always visible in colder temperatures, so you may not see the need to replenish fluids. This can lead to winter dehydration.
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The above factors all result in winter dehydration. But what are the common signs of dehydration to be on the lookout for?
Common Signs of Winter Dehydration
The signs of winter dehydration are much the same as the indicators during any other season. They include dry mouth, skin, lips, nasal bleeding, dark urine, headaches, fatigue, and lack of focus.
Tips For Avoiding Winter Dehydration
Winter dehydration is a serious condition that Coloradans can avoid with just a few changes to regular routines.
The easiest solution for winter dehydration is (no surprise) to ensure you’re getting enough fluids, with water being your number one go-to drink. The easiest way to ensure you are consuming enough water is to always have water with you. If you do not like drinking cold water during the winter, you can switch to healthy hot drinks, such as hot lemon water, herbal teas, and decaf black coffee.
You should avoid drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.
Additionally, you should ensure you’re eating foods high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables. Stews, soups and other so-called comfort foods can be a great source of water-rich foods, especially when they contain celery, tomatoes, broccoli, green cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant and spinach.
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Wearing layers of clothing (especially a winter jacket for mountain sports) can help keep you warm and prevent your body from losing fluids. Additionally, keep your skin covered when you’re outside in the cold. Doing so will protect your skin from the cold air and prevent you from losing fluids.
Get Lots of Rest
Next, make sure you’re getting enough rest. When you’re tired, your body works harder to stay active – making you more likely to become dehydrated.
Continue to Exercise Regularly
Yes, winter is generally the time of year when we want to stay inside under a blanket. When the days are dark and cold, finding the motivation to exercise is difficult in the extreme.
But there are good reasons to continue our regular exercise routines in the colder months – and the fact that individuals who exercise regularly tend to drink more water is one of the best reasons. So even if it means just doing stretches in your jammies, get moving!
Year-Round Hydration is Possible with Clearly Colorado
Coloradans are no strangers to cold temperatures, but that does not mean we need to be best friends with the dehydration that comes along with winter weather. In fact, with water delivery services from Clearly Colorado, there is no need for winter dehydration to be more than a passing acquaintance. We deliver great-tasting, pure water to homes and offices throughout Southern Colorado. Contact us today to receive a free quote and schedule your regular bottled water delivery.