Could you be dehydrated in the fall and winter?
We talk about hydration mostly in the summer, due to the outdoor heat and activity levels being in the upper range. However, it is equally important to keep hydrated all year round, every single day.
Winter often means less ways we take in water - here are some reasons why:
1.) We may not be as prone to consuming high amounts of plain old water in the cooler months as we naturally drink cool beverages in the summer and warm beverages in the winter.
2.) We tend to drink more dehydrating beverages, like hot coffee, in the cooler months.
3.) Our building furnaces are now active, so we are creating dry indoor air in our homes, offices, schools, malls, stores, etc.
4.) Cooler air outdoors holds less moisture than warm air, so when we are outdoors we are taking air that is less humid.
5.) We tend to eat less fruit (and possibly less veggies) in the fall/winter, and those foods have high water content for our bodies.
So, we have a potential risk of becoming dehydrated and not really know it.
How do you know if you are dehydrated?
One sure way is the color of your urine. Pale and clear is what a hydrated person should see. Darker color indicates concentrated urine output. Note if you take B vitamins, your urine will be a bright yellow, which is not the same as the dark color found if you are dehydrated.
Other dehydration signs and symptoms can be headaches, constipation, muscle cramps, fatigue, and brain fog, to list a few. Maybe your mid day slump is due to being dehydrated? Imagine if just adding more water could help with those symptoms?
Finding ways to take in more H2O is essential.
In additional pure filtered water, there is Coconut water, such as Everland or Blue Monkey Coconut Water, which is equally as helpful in the winter as it is in the summer. Coconut water is not the same as coconut milk, as coconut water is the almost clear substance from the centre of the coconut. Due to its natural electrolytes/minerals, it can be a quick way to address dehydration as well as boost absorption of water. There are numerous studies since the 1940s looking at the health benefits of coconut water.
Another beverage high in natural electrolytes comes from lemons in lemonade. You can easily make your own lemon water, which is best for controlling sugars, as commercial juices can be high in sugar. Or, you can look for high quality bottled options such as Santa Cruz Organic Lemonades at Quality Greens. Even though these quality juices can be high in sugar, they do not use high fructose corn syrup or colours, which a very poor ingredients. High quality lemonade can be a great swap for pop if you want to try and get pop out of your diet.
And a 3rd option would be to mix (dilute) coconut water with lemonade to create a nice combination of flavour and about half the amount of sugar.
Try adding more water and electrolytes into your day, every day, and see if you can reduce any annoying dehydration symptoms. **The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Lisa Aschenbrenner, RHN - Registered Holistic Nutritionist
For more information please visit RealFoodForThought.ca