How (and Why) to Stay Hydrated Through the Winter

Staying hydrated is one of the easiest things you can do to support your overall health, and yet, it’s easily forgotten and neglected. The time of year can also derail your attempts to stay hydrated during the day, especially during the winter.

At Wise Care Urgent Care, our medical professionals team, led by Dr. Perry Weisman, knows how important hydration is to your health. That’s why we’ve compiled our best wintertime hydration tips to help you stay healthy and hydrated this season. 

How to stay hydrated in the winter

It’s not as easy as drinking a glass of water now and then. The cold air can wreak havoc on your ability to stay hydrated. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the winter chill. 

Keep your beverages at room-temp

The colder the drink, the faster your body absorbs it. Keeping your drinks at room-temperature slows the rate at which your body absorbs the liquid. This helps you stay hydrated longer. Warmer drinks also optimize your internal temperature.

Snack on fruit

Fruits contain tons of water. Popular winter fruits like pears and clementines are 84% and 87% water, respectively. This means that you can stay hydrated without sipping on water all day — you can eat your way to hydration. Pears and clementines also have high vitamin C levels, which may help you avoid getting the flu. 

Eat plenty of salt

Salt is key to hydration because it helps your body retain water. The easiest way to get your fill of salt this winter is to eat soup. Soup broth is chock full of salt, is a super-hydrater, and keeps you warm during the cold winter months. 

Match your drink to your level of activity

If you keep your workout under an hour, you can rehydrate your body with just water. Over an hour, you should add electrolytes and carbohydrates to your hydration regimen. Sports drinks and even chocolate milk provide the substances you need to stay hydrated when working out in the winter. 

Replace what you lose

Every time you sweat, exhale, or urinate, your body loses water. That’s why you should always have access to a steady supply of water during the winter, especially if you’re exercising regularly. A good rule of thumb is to check your urine. 

As unpleasant as that sounds, your urine tells you a lot about how hydrated you are. If your urine is clear and there's a lot of it, you’re well-hydrated. If you struggle to urinate and it’s darker in color, you need to focus on getting more fluids in your body. 

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

You might depend on your morning cup of coffee or that stiff drink after a long day at work, but alcohol and caffeine are diuretics. That means they dehydrate you and flush out the fluids in your body through increased urination. Do your best to limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption. 

The importance of hydration during the winter

You’ve probably been told all of your life the importance of staying hydrated, but it becomes even more critical as the temperature drops. Here are a few reasons why.

Weight management

It’s a simple fact that you’re less likely to go out for a run or head to the gym during the colder months. This means you’re at risk of gaining extra weight. Staying hydrated helps you regulate your weight by keeping your metabolism firing on all cylinders. 

Body temperature regulation

If your body doesn’t have the fluids it needs, your internal temperature drops. Replacing your fluids regularly during the winter will help you stay warmer. 

Immune system support

Winter is the time when viruses that cause the flu and the common cold run rampant. You can protect yourself against illness by staying hydrated and supporting your immune system, which keeps you from feeling sluggish and run down. 

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