The weather is chilly and the days are darker, while the season of feasting and spending time with loved ones is behind us.
What is the most crucial healthy habit we tend to neglect during the colder months? The answer for almost all of us is, hydration.
What most of us don’t realise is that a lack of hydration in the winter can wreak havoc on our bodies and poses just as much of a threat as in the summer months.
The benefits of drinking water are endless as our bodies essentially need water to carry out almost all functions effectively. With benefits including, radiant plump skin, weight loss, fewer headaches and regulated body temperature. Hydration can even help us keep a clear mind and improve mental function.
We’ve asked doctors the best ways to hydrate in the winter months and why they matter.
Here’s what they said…
1) Carry your water bottle with you and set a drinking goal!
Establishing a daily drinking goal is one of the easiest ways to keep track of our hydration levels. The best way to do this is to carry a water bottle everywhere (If you do this in the summer, continue the habit in the winter months too). Remember to drink little and often to see the most benefits. Sometimes when we feel hungry, this is our body telling us to drink more water.
2) Stay warm and stay inside when you can
Keeping warm and avoiding being exposed outdoors when it’s cold helps us preserve more fluids and minerals because warm air holds more moisture. Remember, hot drinks count too, stay warm and hydrated with a herbal tea or try infusing hot water with fruits and herbs. Coffee is a diuretic so stay clear of drinking too much if you’re not drinking other hot drinks.
3) Watch what is coming out too
Keeping an eye on the colour of your urine can help you monitor your hydration levels. It might be worth basing your fluid input on your fluid output. If you are urinating frequently and your urine is a light colour, you are effectively hydrated. If your urine is less frequent and darker, you need to hydrate.
Knowing when to re-hydrate can be harder to recognise in the winter. As the temperature drops, we typically see our thirst response diminish and we sweat less. However, the body continues to lose water through other bodily functions. Without sweat as an indicator, we don’t realise we need to replace lost fluids quite so often.
4) Eat hydrating foods
Loading up on hydrating foods is a major trick for sneaking water into your diet without actually drinking water! Cucumbers and tomatoes are the richest foods when it comes to water content, consisting of 96% water. Berries, watermelon, citrus fruits, and greens all have a high-water content too. Next time you reach for the Christmas pudding or mince pie try to incorporate a healthy alternative too! Remember, drinking water isn’t the only way to hydrate.
5) Elevate your water… add O.R.S Hydration tablets
It’s a common misconception that water alone can help you effectively hydrate. If you only drink water you won’t replace electrolytes lost through everyday bodily functions, and if you’re low on electrolytes you can’t absorb fluids as readily.
An easy solution is dropping 1-2 tablets of O.R.S in a glass of water. These add a balanced mix of electrolytes combined with a small amount of glucose (only 17kcal) and allows water to flood into your bloodstream and stay there.
So, if you don’t have the time to incorporate more hydrating veggies into your diet or can’t carry a bottle of water around with you all day, an easy solution to boost your water intake is taking O.R.S Hydration Tablets. These delicious tablets come in a range of tasty flavours and you can even pop a tube in your bag, for all your hydration needs on the go.