Whether it’s your car’s tires and engine or your home heating system, it’s no secret that the winter months can be incredibly taxing. What you might not realize is that low temperatures can take their toll on your body as well. While sipping from a thermos of cocoa and wearing extra layers can stave off the chills, health concerns brought on by winter can be addressed by simply adding a little more water to your diet.
Protecting Your Skin
Your heater may keep you warm and comfortable, but all that dry, hot hair can wreak havoc on your delicate skin. This can be especially painful if you have a preexisting condition like psoriasis, which tends to worsen in cold weather. Along with other health benefits, drinking your eight glasses a day can protect your skin from winter dryness, as well as prevent the negative impact dehydration has on your skin’s health and appearance as you age.
Prevent Winter Weight Gain
Winter brings with it the holiday season, which often means indulging in sugary snacks and drinks. Sugary drinks are packed with calories, but unlike baked treats and other snacks, they fail to leave you full. Therefore, you should switch out cocoa, eggnog, and other fattening beverages for water and instead save your snacking calories for treats that won’t leave you feeling hungry. As an added bonus, most people often interpret the first signs of thirst or dehydration as hunger, so getting enough water means you’ll likely consume less food when you do choose to snack. If your local water lacks the crisp and refreshing taste you’re looking for, simply add a water purification system from a company like Dupage Water Conditioning to your tap and you won’t be missing those sugary drinks for long.
Immune System Support
Winter flus are all too common, especially in the workplace. Thankfully, all that time spent around the water cooler can actually keep you from getting sick, provided you’re actually drinking. The mucous membranes of the sinus and lunges are essential for keeping out winter bugs, but they require ample water to function. Staying hydrated during winter will keep these vital barriers against germs intact, protecting your body from flus and other illnesses.
Keeping your body warm when venturing outdoors during winter requires hard work from your metabolism. While the body derives its energy from food, that process can only be accomplished through healthy digestion, which invariably hinges on proper hydration. Related to this is that bundling up in warm layers can lead to intense sweating despite the cold, further complicating this issue and leading to dehydration. Winter dehydration can often creep up without warning, so drink water regularly even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Whether it’s extended Christmas shopping trips, ice skating, or simply shoveling your front walkway, the winter season gives plenty of reason to go out and get moving. However, the lack of sunlight and hours spent cooped up indoors due to storms can often leave you feeling sluggish and tired even by midday. While daytime fatigue can result from other underlying health conditions, in many cases it’s simply a sign of dehydration. Keep your energy levels up so you can indulge in all of winter’s unique activities by hydrating regularly.
Hydrate for the Holidays
While the importance of hydration in hot weather is well-known, the body needs water just as much during the winter months. Without out you’ll be left feeling sluggish, more prone to winter illnesses, suffer from skin issues, and face a host of other discomforts. Apply the same caution you would during the summer to your water intake and you’ll be able to fully enjoy the holiday season.