You’ve probably heard of the importance of hydration during warm weather, but what about your winter hydration? Whenever you sweat, you lose important water content and electrolytes that your body needs to stay healthy.
It’s just as important to stay hydrated in December as it is in July, regardless of the climate you live in. Replenishing your body with healthy liquids throughout the day is a necessary part of staying healthy.
If you’re one of the many people who don’t hydrate properly during the colder months, you could face health effects from it. There are four major benefits to keeping a healthy drink with you during wintertime.
1. Keeps Your Immune System Strong
Winter is synonymous with sickness because cold weather can weaken your immune system. That, combined with being indoors more frequently, is the perfect recipe for norovirus, influenza, and respiratory illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
These illnesses are an inconvenience for most healthy adults but can lead to serious complications or death for some.
Your immune system relies on nutrients from your bloodstream, which needs water to properly transport those nutrients to the necessary systems throughout your body. Getting enough liquid throughout the day can help you fight off these illnesses if you encounter them.
2. Keeps Your Skin Healthy
Adult men should get no less than 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of water per day, and women should get at least 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) per day while replenishing any water lost from sweat. You can do this by drinking decaffeinated beverages and eating moisture-rich foods.
With the dry and cold air of winter, your skin has a harder time staying hydrated. While proper hydration can keep your skin soft and glowing, it doesn’t just affect your looks.
Your skin is the largest organ your body has and serves as the protective barrier for everything you have inside. Lotions, serums, and creams can help with this, but hydration begins from the inside out.
Without necessary hydration, your skin dries, making it much more vulnerable to cracks and cuts that can let in harmful viruses and bacteria. It can also lead to pain and bleeding.
By keeping your skin moisturized, you ensure you’re able to do the things you want throughout the winter months.
3. Keeps You Mentally Strong
Your mental and physical health are linked together. Without proper hydration, both suffer.
The winter months are the most common time to see seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a mental illness that leads to depression during certain times of the year. It’s always important to practice self-care – especially when you’re mentally vulnerable.
Without proper hydration, you’re less likely to get quality sleep, which can impact the severity of mental health issues. Insufficient hydration can also cause you to eat more, which may lead to a poor diet – another factor that can impact mental health.
4. Keeps Your Body Energized
Winter hydration is essential if you exercise, as you need to stay hydrated when you’re active in cold weather, even when you don’t sweat as much as you do during hot weather.
When you work out in warm temperatures, you drink more water because of your excess sweating. However, many people think this excess amount of sweat is normal, so they don’t replenish as they should whenever they sweat less.
During workouts in cold weather, you sweat about your normal amount, and that water loss needs to be replaced through water and other healthy beverages.
Once your body has less water than it needs to stay active, it can make you feel weak and unable to perform as you usually do. This feeling can discourage exercise, leading to even more unhealthy habits.
Hydrating During Colder Months
It’s easy to forget to hydrate when you aren’t as hot or sweaty as you are during warm months. However, it’s just as important to stay hydrated during winter as it is during summer. To maximize your winter hydration be sure to drink plenty of healthy beverages to stay physically and mentally strong throughout the season.