Weather Center

Stay Hydrated This Winter

By Brian Kendall 2.8.17

Texans are no strangers to getting parched during the summer months. But, while triple-digit days can cause a great deal of sweat and exhaustion, they aren’t the only months you need to protect yourself from the sneaky dangers of dehydration. Whether it’s bone-chillingly cold outside or a pleasant spring day, your body is always in need of that precious H2O.

Why You Get Dehydrated When Its Cold

You’re naturally less thirsty when the temperatures drop. This is due to your body’s thirst response being diminished by up to 40 percent. However, just because your body isn’t responding to a craving for water doesn’t mean you aren’t dehydrated. This is the inherent danger of exercising and doing physical activity during the winter, because reaching for that water bottle just doesn’t seem as appealing. However, your body is essentially fooling you into thinking you’re well-hydrated when, in fact, you’re not. This lack of response to your natural thirst can lead to dehydration.

How to Tell if You’re Dehydrated

While it’s unsettling to think you could be walking around dehydrated and not even know it, there are ways to determine if you require an H2O refresher. Here are symptoms of dehydration to watch out for:

  •        Dry and sticky mouth
  •        Bad breath
  •        Headaches
  •        Muscle cramps
  •        A craving for sweets

Tips for Staying Hydrated

Of course, the best way to combat dehydration is to replenish fluids. This means drinking plenty of water consistently throughout the day. But how much should you drink to stave off the dangerous effects of dehydration?

According to health authorities, you should try to consume 2 liters of water every day or about eight 8-ounce glasses. The typical adult is awake for 16 hours a day, so to combat dehydration, fill one 8-ounce glass with water every two hours and sip on it until it’s time to fill the glass again. To help you remember to fill the glass, you can set a calendar reminder every two hours, or there are cell phone apps available that ping you when it’s time to hydrate.

Ultimately, it’s important to not let dehydration sneak up on you. The moment you feel thirsty, you’re likely already dehydrated. Just be sure to keep a healthy diet and sip on water throughout the day.

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