Few things are as satisfying as an ice-cold glass of water on a hot day. But, it’s a lot more difficult to get the same satisfaction when the temperatures outside are freezing and the last thing on your mind is enjoying a cold beverage. Nevertheless, staying hydrated during the winter months is crucial if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There are plenty of reasons to increase your daily water intake, no matter what the season. But most importantly, your body needs water to function properly. Not only does water help you stay hydrated, it also helps regulate body temperature and is essential to the function of cells, tissues and organs.

As winter nears and temperatures begin to drop, the air becomes drier and our bodies receive less moisture than they do during warmer months. A major reason for this lower level of moisture in our bodies is that we tend to stop drinking as much water in winter months. During the summer months, it is easy to keep up with our water intake; our bodies’ thirst is a side effect of the heat and very few of us can go several hours without being thirsty

I Am Not Sweating

While we may not have the sunshine to keep us thirsty and craving water, the warmth from heaters, furnaces, and fires brings its own heat. Our bodies are mostly made of water – about 70% overall – and regardless of the time of year, requires good hydration. And while thirst is a good indicator of dehydration, it is a late indicator. During winter, symptoms include chapped lips, a dry cough, nosebleeds, mild headaches, and acne.

Keep the Winter Weight Away

When we are hydrated, our appetites are much more controlled. However, when we aren’t drinking enough fluids, we don’t have the energy required to break down fat; thus, we often mistake thirst for hunger, leading us to eat more than needed. Water is required for most of our bodily functions including regulating body temperatures, flushing toxins, and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

How Can You Ensure That You Stay Hydrated Through Winter?

As the temperature continues to drop, we find ourselves preferring a hot beverage to warm ourselves up. In the blistering winter, a glass of ice water seems less appealing. Luckily there are many other ways to get water into your system that don’t include a cold glass of water. Here are some suggestions:

  • Try warming up with a nice cup of hot green tea, or even hot water with lemon. These two hot beverages will keep you cozy on a chilly winter’s day.
  • Water-based foods – Fruits and veggies are a natural source of water and can also provide an invaluable source of vitamins and minerals. Watermelons, apples, grapes, and berries are just a few fruits that will keep your water intake up.
  • Eat your soup – Clear soup is a great source of water. Brothy soups will warm your body and fill you up while providing you with the water you need to get through the day.
  • Get a humidifier – Humidifiers release water into the air, helping to keep our bodies moisturized.

When you’re trying to get enough water, sometimes it’s just as important to know what not to drink. Both caffeine and alcohol can make your body even more dehydrated. Limiting your intake of soda, coffee and alcoholic beverages can help keep that needed hydration in your system where it belongs.

While drinking a glass of water during the summer months seems like a no brainer, it’s just as – if not more – important during the winter. By realizing just how important water is, supporting our bodily functions will keep you as healthy as possible, regardless of the season.