Whatever the season, whatever climate we are in, it is essential that we increase our water intake every day to maintain a healthy balance.
Being adequately hydrated is crucial to regulate our body temperature, keep our organs and cells functioning properly, protect our immune system, and lubricate our joints. As well as promoting good health, keeping hydrated also prevents the development of urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney stones and constipation, and can benefit our sleep, cognitive function, and our mood!
Research shows that when exposed to the cold, the body’s thirst response is diminished by up to 40%
During the winter months, we may not have the urge to drink water and our instincts aren’t always reliable! This is because when it is cold, the blood flow to our extremities is restricted in order to boost the flow of blood to our vital organs. This tricks the body into thinking that our fluid levels are ok but actually is giving a false water level reading! We also are less inclined to reach for a cool glass of water as we would on a hot sunny day but tend to go for warmer drinks such as tea and coffee!
Key reasons to increase your water intake during the winter months
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What is adequate hydration?
The recommended advice is to drink between 6 to 8 glasses of water a day (around 1.2 litres). However, different people need different amounts of water to be hydrated. Factors that can influence how well we are hydrated are climate, exercise intensity, health/medical conditions and how much a person perspires. One of the quickest signs to tell if you are dehydrated is the colour of your urine. The darker the colour, the more dehydrated you are! According to research, once you become thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Dry ‘Hydrated‘ January
January is traditionally a month when many people choose to abstain from drinking alcohol giving them the chance to reset their wellbeing following a month that many people overindulge! However, it is not just about cutting out the toxins, it is also about making sure our bodies are getting enough water and fluid to ensure we are adequately hydrated.
Drinking water may not be top of your agenda but making sure you are hydrated by introducing the simple lifestyle change to increase your water intake will pay dividends to your overall wellbeing.
References and further reading