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Staying Hydrated in Winter

18 January, 2019

winter
, Benefits of water

While Sankranthi has heralded the waning winter, for the northern parts of India and the higher altitude areas, it may still take another two months for the winter to recede fully. In fact, in many regions, as we see, the snow has just started falling. One of the things that people usually ignore in winter is to stay hydrated. During summer, the body feels the need for water, and dehydration symptoms are often easily identifiable. However, in winter too the body needs to stay hydrated, even though we don’t lose fluids by way of sweat.

Also, it is possible that even if we are losing some sweat, we may not be aware of it as we would usually be in warm clothing, which absorbs the same. At times, we feel a faint smell, that indicates that the body is sweating in winter too. The dry air in winter aids dehydration of our body, but we don’t feel thirsty as we do in summer. As a result, we almost always drink lesser water in winter but do not realize it.

How does water help?

So, is it necessary to drink water in winter, especially as much as we do during summers and will it harm in any way if we don’t? The answer is yes, as drinking water has a lot of benefits. For one, it helps maintain our body temperature. So, it keeps our body temperature as it should be during winter and helps avoid issues like hypothermia.

When your body is hydrated, your immunity is maintained, and as such, if you drink enough water in winter, it can help you keep many diseases at bay, especially the seasonal allergies. Also, water is what helps break down fats in the body, and hence, so that one does not gain excess weight in winter, we should continue to drink water. Remember that, in winter, we also do less of exercise, as we feel lazy, and the climate adds to the gloominess.

Most of us develop dry, itchy and scaly skin during winters. While we surely need to use some moisturizers or oils to keep the skin smooth, drinking sufficient water can help in this cause as well. A point to be noted is that one should not drink cold water, and preferably should take warm water, or at least at the room temperature.

The options

You may set a reminder to drink water at intervals; many phones and apps have that option now to remind you at the time set. Other than drinking water, you may also eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, especially the seasonal ones that contain water content. For example, fruits like strawberries, oranges, limes, and pineapples help in this endeavor. Also, veggies like fresh greens, carrots, spinach, and cucumber also help improve the water intake. While these kinds of fluid intake should be increased, it is also a good idea to avoid or limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption. These add to your dehydration, so it is better to take in limited quantities. We all love our hot cup of tea in the winter, however, let’s not overdo it!

You may instead opt for hot soups and broths that can add to the water intake of your body. The soups will also help in feeling good and fresh and keep you healthy as well. Along with all this, it is important not to exercise too much, and ensure intake of immune boosting foods and herbs to keep yourself healthy. If you must have tea, make it herbal with mint, honey, and Tulsi, etc. All these steps can help us tide through winter safely and healthily.

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