Hydration is an important part of staying healthy. Without warmer temperatures to remind us of the need to consume water, it’s easy to slip on our intake during the winter months. Yet it’s equally important to stay hydrated when it’s cold outside. Here’s why.
Boosts Your Immune System
The common cold and flu have taken a backseat in many conversations this year with the onset of COVID, but these viruses continue to attack the immune system. Feeling tired and sluggish can lead to the onset of these viruses and make you more prone toward sickness. Water will help boost your ability to fight them off and improve recovery times if you are infected.
On average, your body is made up of 60% water. We lose roughly the same amount of moisture in the winter as we do during the warmer months and our body requires water to maintain the health of your major organs, including your brain, heart, and lungs. Without adequate hydration, you are at risk of doing harm to these vital life-givers. You are also at higher risk of developing kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and constipation if you become dehydrated. In addition, the health of your skin, hair, and nails are also reflected in your water consumption, so it’s important to stay hydrated to maintain good health inside and out.
Regulate Your Body Temperature
Water helps maintain your body temperature. Without enough water, your core temperature can drop dangerously low. If you stay outside for too long without consuming enough water, you are at a higher risk for hypothermia. Colder temperatures draw your body heat to the core of the body, so limbs are more prone toward hypothermia with prolonged exposure to the colder elements. It’s important to stay hydrated with warm beverages to keep your body temperature well regulated during the colder months.
Dopamine and serotonin balance the brain’s ability to regulate anxiety and depression. When this balance is thrown off, you are more susceptible to feel anxious, depressed, have low energy, and have trouble thinking clearly. Sometimes you may be experiencing brain fog without being adequately hydrated or turn to sugary foods for a quick boost when your body is craving water. It’s important to stay hydrated to ward off these mood busters for better emotional regulaion.
Improves Physical Performance
Whether you’re an athlete or not, good hydration will help improve your physical performance during your workouts. This is partly due to the impact dehydration has on decreasing motivation and mood disruptions, so you may skip workouts completely if you’re not hydrated. But your body will benefit from being fully supported during your workout which is why it’s important to stay hydrated all day long.
So, keep an eye on your hydration. Knowing why it’s important to stay hydrated is step one, but now it’s time to go and do it! Aim for half your body weight in ounces as a start and increase if you are highly active or in a warmer, non-winter climate.