Why Winter Hydration Is So Important

Lack thirst because it’s cold outside? When you’re sweating in the heat of summer, it’s a natural instinct to sip water all day long. Come colder weather, you may drop the habit; you may even mentally interpret signs of thirst differently because you aren’t hot. All the while, cold outside temperatures and heated indoor air (both of which can be drier than in the summer) deplete the body’s moisture faster.

From chronically dry skin and chapped lips to moodiness and irritation, your body may be sending signals that it’s thirsty. Signs you may be dehydrated:

  •         Dry skin/lips
  •         Dry throat
  •         Headache
  •         Dizziness
  •         Irritability

However, there may be a good reason that we naturally shun a tall glass of cold water in winter. According to Ayurveda’s millennia-old wisdom about eating seasonally, it’s wise to consume fewer cool beverages and water-rich raw foods in the winter. Cold beverages and foods like salads take more energy to digest—energy that takes away from the body’s ability to stay warm. Too many cool foods in winter lead to weak digestion and possibly even greater susceptibility to fatigue or illness.

Follow these winter-weather friendly habits to stay hydrated:

1.  Soup it up. Brothy soups made with herbs, vegetables and proteins not only contain a large amount of water; they also offer a rich array of nutrients that may be more easily absorbed when cooked down.

2.  Sip herbal tisanes; go easy on coffee and tea. Try soothing herbal infusions of ginger, chamomile or rosehips instead of that second cup of coffee or tea. Caffeine can be diuretic (and dehydrating) when you consume more than 500 mg.

3.  Stash seasonal fruits. Instead of snacking on dry crackers or granola bars, enjoy a piece of seasonal fruit. Although not as watery as some summer fruits, these winter picks contain a good amount of water: apples, pears, citrus.

4.  Be conscientious with salt and sugar. Salt, of course, can help rehydrate you in small amounts, but too many salty or sugary foods can cause your body to pull moisture from its cells, resulting in dehydration. So go easy!

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