Winter Weather & Dehydration: Know the risks.
November 18, 2020
When we think about dehydration most of us think about the hot and humid weather of summer. We don’t often affiliate dehydration with wintertime, however, dehydration is just as much of a risk during cold weather for different reasons.
What is Dehydration? Our bodies are made up of 60% - 65% water which exists both in and around our cells. We lose water daily through perspiration, respiration and bodily function, despite the outside temperature. When our bodies have not been replenished with the appropriate amount of water, we become dehydrated.
Dehydration in the Winter: As the weather turns cold we tend to find ourselves cranking up the heat and layering on clothes to remain warm. The heat retained by the additional clothing contributes to an increase in body sweat. Coupled with the fact that both artificial heat and cold air evaporates sweat at a faster pace, we have a harder time recognizing when we need to replenish lost fluids.
Our bodies also respond to the cold weather by narrowing blood vessels in our body, pushing the blood way from the skin and to our core to conserve heat. Because of this our brains do not detect the onset of dehydration, so we don’t feel as thirsty which tricks us into thinking we are adequately hydrated.
It's as equally as important to remain hydrated in the winter as it is in the summer so remember to hydrate even if you are not thirsty. Plus, you get to enjoy the additional benefits such as alleviating chapped lips and dry skin, increased energy levels and curbing the holiday weight gain.