Drinking enough water in the colder months can be challenging for many. Here are a few ways to remember to quench your thirst this winter.
BY: DIANNA SINNI DILLON, RDN, LD
Staying hydrated in winter is so easy to forget. During warm summer months, it’s definitely something we consciously think about as we sit in heated homes and offices that slowly dry out our skin. In the winter, however, we sweat less so a tall glass of chilled water sounds entirely unrefreshing in frigid temps.
When you think about the fact that our bodies are 75% made up of water, hydration is clearly essential and one of the most important ways to nourish our bodies. Adequate hydration is beneficial for exercise, sleep, and so many other natural body functions. A general recommendation to keep in mind is 90 oz for women, and 125 oz for men and for those who are more physically active.
Here’s a few tips to ensure hydration remains a key goal all year long, no matter what the season:
1. Start first thing in the morning.
Keep a full glass of water (10-12oz size) next to your bedside and gulp it before you step foot into your morning shower. It’s an easy way to get started on your hydration goals without really having to think about it – just remember to have that glass handy before bed. You can even stay bundled and warm in your bed as you drink it, so there’s no need to step onto the cold kitchen tile first thing in the morning
2. Make mini goals for the day.
Work on hydration goals by breaking down the big daunting goal of 90-125 oz into smaller daily goals. This way, it doesn’t seem as overwhelming of an amount to drink or a task to remember. For example, maybe those mini goals are drinking a glass before even leaving the house for work. After that has been met, the next goal can be to drink a full 20 oz water bottle before lunch, adding in a 10oz glass with the lunch meal, and another 20oz water bottle before getting into the car to head home from work. When you break it down into smaller steps, it doesn’t seem as unattainable.
3. Infuse it.
Again, not a new recommendation, but plain water can certainly be boring day after day. If you prefer some flavor, infused waters can be a delicious way to help you maintain hydration with the added benefits of some nutrients. Buy a special water bottle with a built-in infuser!
4. Use a clear water bottle.
A clear water bottle can be your best friend in maintaining optimal hydration simply by showing you how much or how little you’ve been drinking. However, there’s no need to throw away your opaque bottles! Simply keep them in your gym bag or bring them with you to any events where you know you’ll end up drinking quite a bit anyways. Just stick to a clear bottle for your desk or purse!
5. Warm up with tea!
There’s nothing more cozy than a steaming mug of your favorite herbal tea blend. While coffee is technically a fluid, it also has a dehydrating effect – so stick to one or two cups max and try some herbal teas instead. Look for them in your grocery store’s tea aisle.
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Dianna Sinni Dillon, RDN, LD is a Registered Dietitian based in Kansas City, MO with a passion for all things whole grain, green, and homegrown. She focuses on empowering and inspiring others to take charge of their wellness through simple plant-based recipes and science-powered advice.