Why Dehydration Is Still a Risk During the Wintertime [Episode #740]
This week’s topic is: Why Dehydration Is Still a Risk During the Wintertime
It’s easy to let good old basic hydration slip by in the winter where it’s easier to think about hydration in the summer, when we’re thirsty, sweating, and we’re outside more. Of course, the sun is beating down and we’re doing all these outdoor activities. However, the fact remains, there are many different factors that contribute to dehydration in the colder months.
Dehydration has detrimental effects which are very expansive in our wellbeing. Leading to everything from fatigue, insomnia, muscle cramping, dryness in our hair and skin, possible breakage and slow down in our detoxification, our organ functionality, which of course can contribute to weight. A lot of us tend to gain a couple extra pounds in the winter.
As you can see, there are many reasons why we want to stay on top of hydration. And we’re going to get into some of these factors today on our show. And leave you with some very powerful takeaways and tips to make hydrating in the winter an easeful goal. Something that you can really start to create in your own life and benefit from tremendously starting today.
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Namaste loves, and welcome back to our Thursday Q&A show where our topic this week is on a very powerful step that we can all take to improve our energy, our wellness, our skin health, our detoxification, our feel, feelings of focus and energy and concentration. And that is on hydration. But today, the way we’re framing it is on why dehydration is still a risk during the winter time. And we framed it this way because we want to put the focus on how easy it is to let good old basic hydration to slip by in the winter where it’s easier to think about hydration in the summer, we are thirsty, we are sweating, we can see the sweat. We’re outside more. Of course, the sun is beating down. We’re doing all these outdoor activities. But the fact remains, as we will get into in our show today, there’s many different factors that contribute to dehydration in the colder months.
And the issue with dehydration is very, um, the detrimental effects rather, are very expansive in our, in our wellbeing, leads can lead from everything from fatigue, insomnia, muscle cramping, dryness in our hair and skin, possible breakage and slow down in our detoxification, our organ functionality, which of course can contribute to weight. A lot of us tend to gain a couple extra pounds in the winter. So there’s many, many reasons that we wanna stay on top of hydration. So we’re gonna get into some of these factors today on our show. And we’re also gonna leave you with some very powerful takeaways and tips to make hydrating in the winter an easeful goal. Something that you can really start to create in your own life and benefit from tremendously.
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Question around the topic of: Why Dehydration Is Still a Risk During the Wintertime: I like to stay active outdoors in the winter exercising and doing activities, do I need to be concerned about dehydration like in the hot summer months?
Okay, all that being said, let’s get into our show today. Our question comes from Jennifer, who lives in Minnesota, and she writes, I like to stay active outdoors in the winter, exercising and doing activities. Do I need to be concerned about dehydration like I am in the summer months when it’s hot?
So this is a very great question. And first of all, Jennifer, thank you so much. Sending you a big warm hug out there in Minnesota, which I know gets very chilly. I know there’s a lot of ice fishing and things that take place out there in the winter. My dear friend Dan Buettner, who just came out with a new book, by the way, Blue Zones American Kitchen is from Minnesota. So I applaud you that you’re still doing things outside. Maybe you got some snowshoe, maybe you’re a big skater or whatever you’re doing. I applaud you because I know when I feel really cold outside and I grew up in Connecticut on the east coast, I, you know, like to stay inside more for sure. Stretching, yoga, things that are inside seem, you know, a little bit more accessible to me. But, um, but that’s wonderful.
And so to answer your question, dehydration is a concern. I wanna reference a study from the University of New Hampshire that found that dehydration can actually increase during the colder months. So this is really interesting because we sort of link dehydration in our minds, a lot of us to heat. We link it to summer. We say, oh, I’m sweating, I’m thirsty, so I must be getting dehydrated more easily. But this actually isn’t necessarily true. The issue in the, in the winter is that we don’t necessarily feel as thirsty because the temperatures are lower. So we tend to forget drinking, drinking water, these basic human functions that keep us going. So some other reasons that we may be chronically dehydrated in the winter and don’t necessarily know it, is we, um, indoor heat. So there’s a dryness in indoor heat that comes from heaters, this exposure when we’re inside working, when we’re sleeping, it’s 24 7.
This, this dryness could be coming at our bodies and this will definitely dehydrate us more. Of course, we tend to bundle up, we’re wearing lots of layers and sometimes the sweat is wicked away so much in our layers that we don’t realize we are really losing a lot of liquid here. So in the summer we feel it more, we can see it for some of us, there’s just more humidity in the summer. And so it’s not wicked away as much as in the dryness of winter that tends to be there. So it can be very deceptive. Sometimes we’re just not thinking about water as much in the winter, so we don’t carry our water bottle around. We’re more clinging to a hot cup of coffee rather than a water bottle. And so that leaves us in a chronic deficit.
And then there may just be a lot more, um, uh, respiratory fluid loss, just the way that sweat is evaporated more in the, in the, in the dr temperatures of winter. We may be breathing, um, and losing more. Well, we’re definitely breathing, but there’s intensity and exercise. There’s a little bit more panting. Our mouths, our skin. We’re just losing, um, fluids in a, in a, in a strong way in the winter. And that needs to be combated with, with more hydration. Otherwise, again, we’re at that ratio of loss, which is not where we want to be. When we are dehydrated, we tend to have more headaches. Our bodies are trying to tell us, Hey, there’s something going on here. You may notice a dryness in your skin. Your skin just looks dehydrated. So remember, our skin is always giving us messages. Our skin gives us a lot of internal cues about the inner state.
And if we’re noticing patchiness and literally flakiness in our skin, it’s a big sign that we need to do something. We may feel dizzy, we’re just not sleeping as well. We may experience more sugar cravings. Our bodies are trying to, to grab for energy wherever we can. We may feel a lack of energy. We may feel like, oh, we’re starting to feel those aches and paints, which means that there’s less blood flow in our bodies. I mean, there may be more stagnation, more stagnant energy. We’re just not going to the bathroom. So we can just start to tune in right here and right now as we’re listening to the show. Hmm, where am I on the scale of hydration? And of course, there’s the more obvious, we notice that our pee is darker colors. We need to start paying attention to these signs. There’s so much wisdom, there’s so much intelligence, and it really is, this is where our cornerstones start to really link together with this heightened awareness that comes from spirituality, that comes from meditation.
Some of the things that happen in our everyday life. We start to really notice, you know, something that could feel subtle, like the, the more dryness in the mouth is something that we just start to perceive more. We start to have a higher vision as we move through life. And this gives us the ability to use our will and our energy to make shifts and to make changes that are very powerful.
#1. Tip for Staying Hydrated During Winter and Prevent Dehydration: Carrying your water bottle with you all the time
So it’s really important to make sure, number one, that you are going back to carrying that water bottle with you all the time. My water bottle comes with me when I do my mid-morning hikes. It comes with me in the car when I’m picking up my son from first grade. I try to always have it around me. And there’s a practicality to a water bottle as we know as moms because regular glasses get thrown around all the time and break or just get tipped over.
So we are a water bottle family. And the other great thing about a water bottle is it helps you monitor how much fluid you’re drinking every day. So as you’re refilling that water bottle, you can start to keep track. Generally speaking, we can cut our weight in half, and that’s sort of the bare minimum I find for ounces. So if you weigh, you know, 200 pounds, we could say at least a hundred ounces is what you need to get into your system. That’s around how much my dad weighs. He’s, he’s pretty tall. He could lose a few pounds, but he’s, you know, 6 2, 6 3. And so while he was here visiting, we had this water bottle and I was just sort of teaching him this is really how much water you need, which is surprising for some people because they’re not used to drinking water. My dad drinks a couple cups of coffee a day, not water.
So we really, you know, it’s important. Um, and that’s why a water bottle can be really powerful. You can really start to say, Hey, I feel like I’m hydrating, but when I monitor how many ounces I’m drinking in the day, I’m actually not drinking as much as I think.
#2. Tip for Staying Hydrated During Winter and Prevent Dehydration: Replenishing your electrolytes
Number two, replenishing your electrolytes is really important. So I started learning about this as well because my dad started, this is years ago, he had a heart arrhythmia and he was chronically dehydrated. And we realized the extent in which these simple practices can go deep, in effect, very important organs, including our hearts and cardiovascular functioning. And he was getting leg cramps. And so I started to, to really dive into electrolytes. And one of the things that I learned is that we need to replenish our electrolytes. This is similarly to how we need to take SBO probiotics every day, day in and day out.
If there’s one thing we always wanna do, it’s stay consistent with that because if we don’t have our gut health, pretty much everything is gonna suffer. And even though we eat a great diet, we may eat a really great diet, we may avoid alcohol and do all these things. There’s pollution, there’s stress, there’s many things that wipe out our electro, our probiotics. And it’s the same thing with electrolytes. Our electrolytes help to maintain fluid balance, and our electrolytes do get wiped out. So we wanna make sure, number one, that we are eating foods that contain this mix of electrolytes, um, potassium, magnesium, sodium in, um, natural forms. So for instance, celery is a great food to incorporate cucumbers. Some of these things that we wanna include in our GS as well as, um, avocados, just a lot of the, the different plant foods that we eat are gonna be full of natural electrolytes.
It’s also a great idea to get some hydration packets. And I’ve partnered here on here before with a brand that I like a lot because it’s very clean and I got a bunch of it and I sent it back with my dad to Thailand this past trip, a brand called Element. So you can check it out. Um, lmt is how it’s spelled. So I like to put an electrolyte packet in my water when I hike just for that insurance, right? So I just want, I’m eating healthy foods, I’m drinking my GGS, I just wanna make sure that I have my electrolytes.
#3. Tip for Staying Hydrated During Winter and Prevent Dehydration: Keep water interesting
So then my third tip is just to, to keep water. Interesting. You can, you can make jugs in your fridge and flavor it with natural slices of cucumber basal, get creative with the herbs because sometimes this was the, you know, my dad’s become a theme in this podcast today.
Wasn’t planning on that, but I, I observe, right? Observe in my clients, I observe in those around us. And if it’s not tasty, water is just, it gets old to him. So lots of different flavored waters can help to keep things new and exciting and, and most importantly, consistent.
#4. Tip for Staying Hydrated During Winter and Prevent Dehydration: Eating water-rich foods
And then the next fourth piece of advice that I wanna mention is that we wanna make sure that we are eating water rich foods. So this is another way that we can put hydration in our body for two reasons. Number one, if we’re eating a lot of dense foods that don’t have water, our bodies are taking water to help break them down and digest them and assimilate them. So ratio wise, if we’re having our GGS, if we’re, you know, when my kids come home from school or my BU does, Moses doesn’t go to school yet, we just have the raw veggies out on the table and they’re just eating them without necessarily even thinking about it.
So that’s putting those, the salary, the carrot, the cucumber sticks, the zucchini sticks, whatever it is into the body, and you can do that as well for yourself while you’re cooking dinner, while you’re, you know, feeling like you need to not on something. The good old veggie sticks besides our smoothies are really wonderful source of electrolyte and hydration replenishing compounds.
#5. Tip for Staying Hydrated During Winter and Prevent Dehydration: 1:1 Water Rule
Okay, then my last and final tip is to practice the one to one rule. So whenever you’re drinking, not water, meaning coffee, tea, even alcohol, you wanna make sure that you are drinking a glass of water. Because some of these beverages can be, um, they can be, uh, dehydrating in the sense that they will leach fluids out of your system. So it’s important that we keep that balance. We keep these basic ratios in our mind. How many ounces am I drinking this one-to-one ratio without getting obsessed?
We wanna keep it natural lifestyle. We don’t wanna go down into too much quantitative measuring, but we wanna stay aware that hydration, again is a very important focus in the winter. In order for us to really feel their best, our best. I just wanna reference another study which we’ll link to in the show notes. This is from the Medicine and Science and Sports and Exercise Journal. And they, there was a meta-analysis of 33 studies that found that hydration affected cognitive performance, attention, executive function, and motor function. And all of these were impaired from dehydration. So in the winter especially, we wanna stay, you know, as resilient as possible. It’s already hard enough with the coldness and the darkness. We wanna really give ourselves the best possible chance of feeling our best. So please stay hydrated. Please incorporate some of these tips. Let me know how you do.
Let me know other ones that are working for you. We are here to support each other and I’m always listening. And thank you again to Jennifer for your question today. If you’re listening to this and you have something else that’s on your mind, something you would like to ask, something you’re wondering about, please submit your question as well over on our website, mysolluna.com. We have a whole website or podcast tab where you can write in there. So we will be back here Monday for our next interview show. Take great care of yourself. Please reference the website for the show notes where we include other podcasts. I think you would enjoy the research studies, recipes, articles, meditations, many different things. Remember, I am back to writing my Kim’s Corner articles, my very raw blogs. So if you would like to check those out, those are also on the website now as well. Sending you so much love. Take care, stay warm and cozy and I’ll see you back here Monday. Namaste.