Dehydration is for summer, just like hypothermia for winter – but wait, maybe not. Dehydration is certainly a threat in the hot summer months, but it is just as dangerous as the temperature drops. You can dehydrate just as easily in winter as you do in summer, if not more, and the threat increases if you regularly exercise outside in the cold.
This is largely the case because, in cold weather, you don't notice how much water you lose. And if you are not thirsty, which is often the case in winter, you cannot top up the lost water. In the course of a few days or weeks this can lead to serious dehydration.
Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluids than you consume and your body is struggling to perform its usual – and critical – functions. Dehydration often presents itself first as a slight headache and tiredness, symptoms that you might initially be able to compare with something else, such as a lack of sleep.
As dehydration progresses, you may find that you feel dizzy when you get up too quickly; experience random muscle cramps and cramps; get a severe headache or migraine; and lose your concentration.
Severe dehydration can lead to dry skin and lips, sunken eyes, fainting, rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing.
During all these stages, a common indicator is that you are dehydrated, do not often urinate or have a dark-colored urine. Kelly Barnes, a senior scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, tells CNET that monitoring your urine is the easiest way to monitor your hydration status during rest (not while exercising).
"If you don't go to the toilet often, don't produce enough when you go, or if your urine is dark in color, then you should probably consume more fluids on a more regular basis," Barnes says. But on the other hand: "If your urine is almost constant and clear, you may need to drink less or regularly drink smaller amounts." ]] gettyimages-155073322 “/>
Hydrate with an electrolyte-enriched drink to maximize replenishment of sweat-lost nutrients.
Why is it easier to get dehydrated in the winter?
Dehydration is more of a threat in the winter because most people do not notice that the fluids leave their bodies. That, in combination with reduced thirst, can cause dehydration faster than you might think.
Reduced thirst response
When it is cold outside, people tend to be less thirsty, Barnes says. There are physiological shifts that make this possible, but often reduced thirst occurs just because it's cold, so you naturally don't crave cold (or even room temperature) water.
Increased loss of breathing water
Every time you "see your breath" when it is cold outside, water leaves your body and evaporates. The drier the air, the more water you lose in this way, says Barnes. Airway water loss also increases as the intensity of your exercise increases: the heavier you breathe, the more vapor you produce with each breath. The faster you breathe, the more vapor you produce per minute.
Less obvious perspiration
In sweltering summer weather, sweat is clear – the air is hotter and damp, so sweat does not evaporate quickly from our skin. In cold, dry weather, Barnes says that your sweat evaporates faster, so less accumulates or drips, if present. Because we usually rehydrate & # 39; equating to & # 39; sweat & # 39 ;, this can lead you to think that you don't have to replace as much fluid as normal, especially while exercising, Barnes says.
How to Defeat Dehydration in Winter
"The best precaution against dehydration in the cold is to be prepared," Barnes says. "Make sure you are well hydrated all day and prepare to replace fluid loss during your workout."
Your training outfit is also important, says Barnes: "Make sure you wear the right equipment for your training and for the weather to help you retain your body heat and allow sweat to evaporate."
struggles with dehydration because you are just not thirsty, Barnes recommends hydration based on body mass change during exercise. Weigh yourself before training and then replace enough fluid to keep yourself within 2% of your body weight before training.
However, you still have to make it a point to stay hydrated throughout the day and prior to your workouts. Choosing flavored drinks, such as sports drinks with electrolytes, is a good way to consume more liquid if you do not want ordinary water. If you want to drink something warm, try decaffeinated herbal teas or decaffeinated coffee. Drinks with caffeine are also fine, but can work as a diuretic in some people, so it is usually best to drink them moderately.
If you find that you are still unable to get enough fluids, try eating more foods with high water content. All fruits and most vegetables contain high concentrations of water, and this can count towards your total daily water intake.
Make it fun when everything else fails: buy a bottle of water that you love and engage a buddy or colleague for daily competitions to drink water. Friendly chatter can make even the most boring things – even drinking water – more enjoyable.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.