Even though the weather is turning colder, staying hydrated is still very important. Maintaining proper fluid levels is critical during the chilly days of winter.
During the dog days of summer, it is easy to stay strapped to a water bottle; we easily sweat and often feel thirsty. In the winter, however, we don’t have these obvious reminders to drink water throughout the day. The indoors may be warm, but it is a dry environment, and the dry cold outdoor air can also suck the moisture from our skin.
Did you know, when you’re dehydrated by as little as 5% your cognitive ability drops at least 30%.
The old adage of 8 glasses a day is no longer true. Instead, think about how much you weigh and divide that number in half. That’s how many ounces of water you should drink per day. For example, a person who is 200 pounds, should drink 100 oz. of water per day to stay adequately hydrated. (That’s 12.5 glasses of water!) And athletes with a high level of muscle mass should drink even more, about two-thirds of their body weight in ounces per day. That amount of water is separate from coffee, tea, and any caffeinated and sugared drinks. Avoiding alcohol is also advised as it can actually deplete your system of fluids. If you’ training hard (which we all are), you should be replacing lost electrolytes in your system such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium; this is especially important if you’re following a Paleo diet which is usually lacking sodium.
So be mindful of your body and hydrate–drink water frequently, and often. Track your intake, see where you are at, and add nutrient dense, high-water content whole foods for optimal performance.
And if you find the taste of water too boring, get creative by adding a slice of fresh citrus or mint to boost the taste.