Dehydration Occurs During Winter Too!

Water is the one of the body’s most important nutrients. Water accounts for about 70% of body weight in adults and we can only go a few days without it. Adequate water intake allows our bodies to perform at peak level. We consciously think about staying hydrated during the summer, but it’s often overlooked in the winter. Whatever motivates you, whether its for your workout, energy level, skin or mood, winter hydration should be a priority.

Winter water consumption

As temperatures decrease and we stop sweating as much, the emphasis on hydration seems to disappear. Do we need less water in the winter? Our body might not appear to be as thirsty in the winter months, but we still need the same amount of water. Some possible causes for winter dehydration include:

  • Cold-weather clothing- nothing keeps you warm like your favorite chunky sweater and sweatshirt, but we can lose water from heavy clothing.
  • Metabolic cost of winter activity– you burn more calories in the winter because your body has to work harder to regular your core temperature among the cold outdoor temperature.
  • Central heating- heat is an absolute necessity during a cold winter, but it makes the environment really dry. The dry environment can lead to increased water loss when breathing.

Dehydration tips

Here are some tips to help prevent dehydration from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and allow you to continue to perform at your best this winter:

  • Consume 17-20 fl oz of water or sports drink 2-3 hrs before exercising.
  • Consume 7-10 fl oz of water or sports drink 10-20 minutes before exercising.
  • Consume 7-10 fl oz of water or sports drink every 10-20 minutes while exercising. (keep in mind you may require more depending on how your sweat rate and the weather conditions)
  • To calculate your sweat rate:  Weigh yourself with as little as possible on prior to exercising and again afterwards.  a 2% loss would require additional fluid intake prior to your next workout. (2% loss equals 3lbs for someone weighing 150lbs, 4lbs for someone weighing 200lbs)
  • Every pound lost equals 16oz that you should drink to rehydrate.
  • Your goal should be to finish exercising and weigh within 2% of the weight you started exercising at.
  • Another quick guide would be to look at the color of your urine.  If it is dark yellow to tea like that would indicate you are dehydrated.  Urine color should be light or pale yellow to almost clear.

Dehydration prevention

Finally, if you feel any of the symptoms of dehydration speak up.  Talk to your workout partner, coach, or athletic trainer immediately as dehydration is the first of other heat related illness that could require greater levels of medical attention. If you have an questions, give us a call or stop by! Direct Access in NJ allows you to come in without having to see your Doctor, probably quicker than you could get that appointment, while also saving you both time and money!  

Please, call us to schedule your student’s evaluation at one of BeneFIT’s locations, Bridgewater (908.203.5200) or Chester (908.879.5700)  with one of our highly trained Doctors of Physical Therapy!