Proper hydration during fall and winter
A crisp fall morning may call for a pumpkin spice coffee and a snowy winter afternoon can mean hot chocolate all around, but mindful hydration in cooler months should go beyond the occasional seasonal beverage.
Hydration is important all year long. Not only does it help your overall sense of wellbeing, but specific benefits include:
- washing out of waste
- transportation of more nutrients throughout the body
- flushing of kidneys and lymph
- movement of blood through the cardiovascular system
- regulated elimination process with prevention of constipation
- supple skin for resistance to infection
- moist mucus membranes in the nose and mouth for less risk of sickness
Keep in mind that even though sweat may not be as apparent this time of year, hydration is just as important in cooler months as it is in hotter ones.
Ideally, daily hydration intake should be at least half of your body weight in ounces plus an additional 8 ounces for every 30 minutes of activity (such as a workout, walk, yoga session, etc.).
This can include a variety of liquids, although filtered water and herbal tea are most optimal.
Here are five ways to properly hydrate in fall and winter, helping you to feel your best.
1. Hydrate first thing in the morning. As soon as the alarm clock goes off, enjoy a full glass of fresh water. This can help replenish the loss of liquids from sweating and detoxification that may have occurred during sleep.
2. Drink warm beverages. Opposite of the temperatures outside, cooler months beg for consumption of warmer liquids. Opt for herbal teas and coffee that bring cozy comfort to the body for an easy warm up.
3. Cook more broths and soups. Packed with nutrients as well as fluids, a cup of homemade bone broth or a bowl of your favorite soup can offer the body sustaining nourishment and hydration at the same time.
4. Keep popsicles on hand. Autumn and winter are cold and flu seasons, which makes hydration even more important. For when sickness hits, have herbal or electrolyte popsicles available in the freezer (particularly helpful for kids).
5. Eat water-based foods. Greens and apples in fall followed by citrus in winter are all examples of foods that provide hydration.
Although liquids can be enjoyed any time of the day, a few tips to keep in mind are:
- Drink most fluids outside of a meal; a small amount of liquid can be consumed with food, but not too much as it can dilute digestive acids and enzymes
- Reduce liquid intake 3 to 4 hours before bedtime if urination is disruptive during sleep
- Eliminate caffeinated beverages at least 6 to 11 hours prior to bedtime for less interrupted sleep
Hydration may seem like a simple concept – and in some ways it is – however, it is one that has a variety of positive effects on the body so conscious choices can make a big difference.
Are you thirsty yet?