8 Tips for Hydrating in Cold Weather
Although we tend to think of it as a summertime concern, dehydration doesn't disfavor the cooler months.
In fact, the likelihood of dehydration is accelerated when you train in cold weather—and at higher altitudes. In these conditions, the air you breathe is drier, and your lungs have to work harder to humidify that air and warm it up. The harder your body works, the more you need to drink.
Use these tips to stay hydrated this winter.
Sweat can reduce your body temperature and force your heart to work harder to maintain blood flow and body temperature. Wear layers of clothing that will absorb perspiration.
Replace What You Lose
Water exits the body through exhalation, perspiration, and urination. If your urine is pale and plentiful, you're well-hydrated. If it's dark and scant in volume, you need to drink more fluids.
Match Your Drink to the Duration of Your Activity
If you're exercising for up to 1 hour, you can rehydrate with water alone. However, after an hour, add electrolytes and carbohydrates. If you're doing a sport at higher altitudes, increase your fluid requirements.
Hydrate With Room-Temperature Beverages
Cold liquids are absorbed quicker. Warmer or room temperature drinks, on the other hand, are better at keeping your internal temperature optimal. Choose the latter when you're exercising in cold temperatures.
Winter fruits are excellent sources of water. To name a few: apples are 84% water; pears are 84% water; and clementines are 87% water. Plus, these fruits contain vitamin C, which helps fight off the flu.
Eat Salty Foods and Soup
Foods that contain salt will help you retain water. And soup, with all its broth and vegetables, is hydrating. Some great winter options: tomato soup, butternut-squash bisque, or minestrone.
Drink Hot Chocolate
You've likely heard that chocolate milk is the ideal post-workout recovery drink because of its 4:1 carbohydrates-to-protein ratio. Hot chocolate provides the same benefits—with added warmth.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Caffeine and alcohol have diuretic effects. Save them for after your cold-weather workout.