Staying Hydrated in Winter

Staying Hydrated in Winter

Staying Hydrated

Did you know that the human body is made up of 50-75% water?

It is important to stay well hydrated, particularly in hot weather and while exercising. Water is crucial in making sure our bodies function at their best.

To learn more about staying hydrated everyday, continue reading!

Hydration in Cold Weather

As the weather cools downs it can become hard to keep up adequate fluid intake. Whether it be the unpleasant temperature or not sweating as much as in the summer months, hydration is still very important over the winter season.

Adequate fluid intake is important for moving digested food through the digestive tract and preventing constipation. Water can regulate appetite, help the body burn more calories, reduce bloating and improve skin clarity.

Dark yellow urine is a good indicator that you need to increase your water intake. Keep in mind that caffeine can alter the colour of urine so if your urine is clear, it may still mean you aren’t as hydrated as you should be. Your urine is definitely a good indicator of your hydration status – try to aim for your urine to be a pale yellow (like the colour of straw!).

As thirst is a relatively weak sensation compared to hunger, by the time you realise you are thirsty, your body may already be dehydrated. This is why it is important to be regularly drinking fluids throughout the day to ensure you are hydrated.

If you do feel thirsty be sure to drink at least 300-500mL to re-hydrate.

Aim to drink at least 500mL of fluid every 3-4 to stay hydrated throughout the day. This is a general guide and extra fluid may be needed depending on physical activity, breastfeeding, age, and illness.

Speak to your dietitian for individual fluid intake recommendations.

Bethany Bambrick, Dietitian for
Exact Physiology

While all fluids do contribute to your daily fluid intake, water is recommended as the best drink to choose. Water contains no calories and is the best fluid at hydrating your body.

Tips on increasing your liquid intake

Carry a water bottle

Having water available wherever you are will increase your chances of staying hydrated and may jog your memory to sip regularly. If you are going out for the day, keep a water bottle in your car or your bag. This way, you can keep up your fluid intake while you are out and won’t have to spend money on purchasing a drink.

Sip on herbal teas

Sipping on herbal teas such as peppermint, green and chamomile tea will contribute to your daily fluid intake.  Not only will they warm you up, but will also increase your daily fluid intake.

Make soups at home

Soups are a great way to increase your fluid intake, particularly in the cooler months. Use water as the soup base, add a few cubes of salt reduced stock as well as a colourful range of vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, leek, and broccoli. This is a great way to keep hydrated and increase your vegetable intake at the same time.

Blend it

Coconut water has received attention in recent times. While it is a refreshing drink, it does still contain some kilojoules. In saying that coconut water can be used as a base to blend fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables. Water can also be used to create juices, this will not only increase your fluid intake but also bring you closer to meet your 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables. Be careful with juices though – they can often be very calorie dense. When consuming juice keep the following recommendations in mind. Avoid consuming large sized juices and limit to only half a glass (125ml) or you could try diluting your juice with water.

Tips to help you drink more water

Sometimes we can get bored drinking water and that’s completely normal.

It is still important that you meet your daily fluid requirements though.

Here are some tips to help you drink more:

  • Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to add a bit of flavour to your water
  • Make up some frozen fruit ice cubes and pop them in your water to add an extra hint of flavour
  • Carry a water bottle with you when you are out
  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink water
  • Try to have a glass of water with each meal and snack you consume throughout the day
  • Make a habit of having a drink of water as soon as you get out of bed

Try adding in some different fruits, vegetables or herbs into your water to give it some more flavour!

Give one of the delicious combinations below a go!

  • Cucumber & mint
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Strawberries & mint
  • Orange

How much water should you be drinking?

Have a look at the table below that lists the recommended amounts of fluids for your age group.

Age Total water (Food and fluids) Fluids (Including plain water, milk and other drinks)

Recommended Daily Water Intake for Men

  • 19-30 yr 3.4 L/day 2.6 L/day (about 10 cups)
  • 31-50 yr 3.4 L/day 2.6 L/day (about 10 cups)
  • 51-70 yr 3.4 L/day 2.6 L/day (about 10 cups)
  • >70 yr 3.4 L/day 2.6 L/day (about 10 cups)

Recommended Daily Water Intake for Women

  • 19-30 yr 2.8 L/day 2.1 L/day (about 8 cups)
  • 31-50 yr 2.8 L/day 2.1 L/day (about 8 cups)
  • 51-70 yr 2.8 L/day 2.1 L/day (about 8 cups)
  • >70 yr 2.8 L/day 2.1 L/day (about 8 cupss)

Hydration in hot weather

Staying hydrated in the warmer months is just as important as staying hydrated in the cooler weather.

During Summer you may tend to find it easier to drink more water due to the weather being a lot hotter. In order to make sure you are reaching your daily recommended fluid requirements, you can employ some of the same strategies as mentioned above.

References:

Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand: Water. (2014)

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