The weather doesn’t have to be sizzling to get dehydrated. Some people are mildly dehydrated throughout the year. During the winter, however, it’s just as important to stay hydrated as it is during the summer months, but often a little more difficult. When it’s almost freezing outside or even colder, it’s hard to get excited about a tall cold glass of water, but that doesn’t mean hydration isn’t important. Here are some tips that can help and reasons why you need to stay hydrated.
Drinking adequate water can help you lose weight.
While you can get hydrated by drinking fruit juice, why not do it in the no calorie way, with plain water. Don’t even consider zero calorie soft drinks, as recent studies showed that they may add to visceral fat—belly fat. Not only will hydration boost your energy and metabolism, it also fills you up, so you eat less. If you don’t like water, try infused water. You make it by adding sliced fruit, herbs or vegetables in water to impart the flavor and a few nutrients, but very few if any calories.
Your body needs water to perform many functions.
Dehydration can impede the body from functioning at its peak. Even mild dehydration for a long period can have consequences. Water is the basic building block of all cells. It regulates the body’s temperature and keeps joints lubricated, acting like shock absorbers to avoid pain. It also forms a barrier in the brain to absorb shocks and prevent injury. If you’re dehydrated, it also can cause constipation and the bloating that occurs when you’re constipated.
Schedule your water breaks.
If you’re finding that it’s difficult to remember to drink more water, let your cell phone do the job. There are apps to remind you to drink water every few hours. If you hate plain water and it’s too cold to consider a pitcher of infused water, why not make it into tea by heating it. One of my favorites is a sliced orange with the peel removed, a stick of cinnamon and a few mint leaves that are allowed to steep in water for about four hours. You can add a teaspoon of honey if you need sweetness, but I don’t recommend it. The orange makes it sweet enough. Drink it hot or drink it cold.
Drinking water not only makes you feel better, it makes you look better. It plumps your skin and if you stay adequately hydrated, can make you look years younger and avoid premature wrinkles caused by drying.
The older you are, the more water you need, since older people dehydrate faster. It can cause symptoms that resemble dementia and often result in UTIs. Drinking extra water causes the bacteria to flush out of the urinary tract so it doesn’t build up and cause an infection.
Create a goal to drink eight glasses of water a day and track your progress. By setting a goal, you’re not only making yourself more aware of drinking water, you’re turning it into a game and be more likely to succeed.
One rule of thumb to determine how much water you need is to drink half your weight in fluid ounces. If you weigh 140-pounds, drink seventy fluid ounces of water.