When people think of dehydration, they think about working out or standing in the blistering heat. If you’re not sweaty, you’re probably not dehydrated, right? Actually, dehydration isn’t just a summer thing. Winter dehydration can often be more dangerous, mainly because not many people know about it or think about it.
It’s pretty simple when you think about it; winter activities also give you a workout and increase your heart rate, but people also tend to drink less water, making the risk of dehydration even higher. Who wants to carry water when out in the cold? The following are five things you should look out for during the colder months to prevent dehydration:
1. Lowered thirst quench. Cold weather means that your blood vessels constrict, sending blood to the core of your body. This tricks your body into thinking that you are hydrated, when in reality, you may not be.
2. Cold water slows your body’s communication to the kidneys which then tell your body that it does not need to conserve water. This means that your urine production is increased which lowers the water retained in your body.
3. Sweat evaporates faster in cold weather. Because of this, many people don’t think about hydration lost through sweat in the winter.
4. Wearing too much clothing can be a negative. When you wear too much clothing, you are carrying more weight which will make your body work harder, in turn causing you to sweat.
5. The dry air in the winter time can cause dehydration. When you can “see your breath” in the winter you are also losing water vapor. Your skin usually feels over-dry in the winter; this is a telltale sign of dehydration.
Knowing that winter dehydration is a problem is the first step in counteracting its effects. Making sure that you are drinking an adequate amount of water is essential in maintaining a normal water level in your body. If you have other questions about winter dehydration and the benefits of drinking plenty of water, visit our website at mnawwa.org.