All summer long we search for cold beverages and replacement liquids as we sweat through our workouts and daily tasks. When winter chill finally arrives, we feel relieved and switch the water bottle for a latte. This is one of life’s greatest deceptions. The risk for dehydration in the body is actually greater in winter than in summer, and for this reason you may be running on empty and not even realize it!
The fact is, we lose more water in winter than we do in summer. With central heating all around us, the dry air leeches water from our bodies. This is the cause of chapped lips, dry, cracked skin and dry coughs. All of these things can be helped and even avoided with proper hydration. We also lose more water through our breath during the winter. Quite often over a pint a day dissipates from breathing! In cold climates, the lungs have to heat up the air we take in to be the same temperature as our body. This natural humidification process takes up more water and is the reason we see our breath come out as a vapor in the air.
Another overlooked factor in cold weather hydration is sweat. If we’re not sweating, we don’t think we need to drink as much water. The body is always losing water through the skin, but it’s not always as a liquid. Quite often the cold causes water to leave the skin via a vapor. Have you ever seen someone look like they’re steaming? This is especially common if you participate in outdoor sports or exercise in the winter months. Without heat and sweat to trigger our thirst, we are psychologically tricked into believing we don’t need that water bottle.
To add to the mental mind game, our bodies react differently in the cold. Typically, a hormone is released to make us aware of thirst. This hormone is not triggered as often when the body is cold, so you are simply unaware that you are thirsty.
No matter the time of year, it only takes a 1-2% drop in fluid levels for your body to enter dehydration. In the winter, dehydration can be mildly uncomfortable to extremely dangerous as it increases your risk of fatigue, frostbite and hypothermia. So, all of this is to remind you to always drink your daily water, 2-3 liters as a general rule. When working out, drink more. If you are more sedentary during the winter, you may get away with less.
For the super-efficient, well hydrated and mentally alert individuals, keep drinking your Avitae! The all-natural caffeine will keep you going on those lazy winter days, and the pure, clean water will have your hydration levels at maximum!