Hydration concerns shouldn’t stop when the temperature drops; dehydration can be just as common in the winter as in the summer. Because your body is not sweating as much, it’s easy to overlook the signs of dehydration. A dehydrated body can lead to exhaustion, muscle fatigue, cramps, loss of coordination, and even stroke. Dehydration can also leave your body more susceptible to colds and flu, which are both more common in the winter.
The rules of hydration are basically the same no matter the weather. Pay attention to the warning signs of dehydration and make sure to drink plenty of water. Keep a bottle of water handy and drink even before signs of thirst appear. Thirst is a signal that your body is already on the way to dehydration.
Monitor your urine, which should be light to clear. If you’re taking supplements, expect your urine to darken in color for several hours after consumption.
Drink before, during, and after exercise. Drink 1 to 2 cups of water at least one hour before the start of any exercise. Drink 4 to 8 ounces of fluid every 20 to 30 minutes during exercise. This is harder to do when it’s cold outside since you may not sweat profusely or feel particularly thirsty.
Drink water throughout the day and at every meal. If you want hot chocolate or coffee to warm you up, pair it with a glass of water without ice. Lukewarm water won’t make you feel too chilled, and it’s also easier for your body to absorb than a cold drink.