How Can I Stay Hydrated?
Today's question comes from Maria, who writes:
“Hi Tori – I saw your name in an article about staying hydrated in the winter, but I still can’t seem to get myself to drink enough water each day. I know I should be drinking more – my skin is dry, my lips feel chapped - but I just don’t feel thirsty. Should I be drinking more water? How much should I drink and how can I do it?”
Maria, your question is valid and one that we should definitely talk about.
WHY WINTER HYDRATION MATTERS:
So much emphasis gets put on hydration during the summer, but not getting enough fluids in the winter season is important too because in the short term, lacking fluids could mean dry, cracked skin, headaches, and even a GI tract that doesn’t move as efficiently.
Your concerns about not feeling as thirsty in the winter are not surprising. In cold temperatures (like when we’re exercising or working outside), our sense of thirst may diminish by up to 40%! (Source). You’re probably also less likely to be drinking because you don’t feel you are “losing” water through evaporation on your skin (aka: sweating).
So should you be drinking more water?
The quick answer: most likely. If your skin is dry and your lips are chapped, they’re lacking moisture, so internal hydration will likely help as will external hydration (i.e lip balm).
How much water should I drink each day?
Well, that largely depends on who you are and what you do each day. Rather than give you a blanket recommendation to have 8 cups per day or to drink half your body weight in ounces, use the color of your urine as a guide. If it’s clear, you’re in the clear – but if it’s golden yellow, that's a sign you need to get better hydration.
To include more water in your day, of course you can opt for the tried-and-true H20. But for a little more excitement and variety, say YES! to these tips:
Eat more water. You read that right…you can EAT water by choosing more vegetables and fruits, which are most times more than >75% water by weight. What’s in season in the winter? Brussels sprouts, broccoli, collard greens, endive, oranges, pears, and pomegranate. Eat up!
Have it warm. Drink hot water, warm water with lemon, or herbal tea. Try Brassica Tea with truebroc. Drinking this green or black tea means that not only do you receive the hydration from the H20, the EGCG from the tea leaves (green tea will contain more EGCG than black), but also a healthy dose of glucoraphanin – a super phytochemical allowing your body to engage in its innate beneficial, natural detoxification pathways.
Carry it. Tote around a glass water bottle – or better yet – a glass cup or jar of water. Having a constant reminder to sip can be a helpful strategy to encourage you to drink it more often…and carrying a glass cup or jar rather than a bottle can be a game-changer for some…many of my clients find that if the lid is open (as in a cup) and sitting on their desk at work, they’re more likely to casually sip throughout the day.
- Sip on it. You don’t have to sip just H20 to get hydrated. Other fluids, like greens juices, almond or hemp "mylks," smoothies, and soups will lend healthy hydration. Though be careful - it can be easy to overdo these if you're not thinking about how they fit into your overall eating plan since they do contribute energy (calories). Also watch drinks like soda, "diet" beverages, and sports drinks...they'll of course give fluids to help with hydration, but will also contribute unwanted sugars, artificial colors, and/or artificial flavors. Stick to what you know is real, really!
Have nutrition questions? Just let me know! I love hearing from you.
This post was sponsored by truebroc. Thank you for supporting brands that support YES! Nutrition.