Most people guard against dehydration in the sweltering summer months. But, did you know it is much more common when it is frosty outside? It’s true. Respiratory fluid losses increase in the winter, and sweat evaporates more quickly when it is cold outside. Couple increased losses with decreased thirst cues and you have perfect conditions for dehydration. You have most likely heard health professionals address your daily water intake, but do you really know why it is so important? Water does everything from regulating your blood pressure and electrolyte balance to maintaining your core body temperature. It also helps with detoxification of cells and elimination of waste. Staying hydrated also curbs hunger, prevents fatigue, brightens skin and revitalizes muscles which are about 75% water by the way!
Of all the recommendations that are made for better health, increasing or maintaining your water intake is one of the easiest to implement and a great choice for change in the New Year. If you’ve noticed headaches, dry skin, chapped lips or muscle cramps it is especially important for you! Some people aim to consume half their body weight in ounces of water daily; however, the true goal is pale, odorless urine with elimination at least every two hours. Fruits, vegetables, and other beverages do contribute to your fluid intake; but aiming for more good clean water is always a good idea.