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Staying Hydrated In The Winterime

The sun. In the heady days of summer it makes us think of taking a swig off a bottle of water with no trouble. But hand us a crisp wintery morn without the sun beaming down in Wyoming and we may be reluctant to think of staying quite so hydrated. During these dry wintry months staying hydrated is just as crucial a concern as any other time in our calendars, especially in Wyoming where the arid climate can be more extreme in the months where nights come on more quickly.v

We've all heard to get 8 glasses of water per day or 64 ounces. It's been drilled into our public conscience since bare minimum the mid 90s. But you may not realize the why. Why is drinking a healthy amount of water so crucial to our health?

Hydration and Dehydration continue to be concerns in one's overall health and which side of the line your body is can mean so much in your given day, but you may not realize it. For example, studies have shown that the more water consumed per day the less headaches we have, the better our systems overall respond to stress, and hydration can be counted upon for small things like not craving sweets.

Here are some simple signs of Dehydration:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness
  • Fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output

And yeah, keep an eye on your urine, the clearer the better. But if it becomes dark, deeply concentrated yellows or even amber in color you may be dehydrated.

Illness can also heighten or cause dehydration. Viruses like the Rota or Noro viruses mean increased fluid output, so push fluids if you or someone you care for is ill. Children with these viruses can become dehydrated very quickly, so pushing fluids and/or seeking medical advice is of the utmost importance.

What are some ways to stay properly hydrated:

  • Drink Water
  • Eat Fruit
  • Have Soup
  • Lessen your caffeine consumption, which can be a challenge in these winter months. Coffee for example is made of water, but actually due to the caffeine can act with the opposite effect on your system.
  • Reduce your sodium intake
  • Know how much water/fluids your body needs and throughout the day check in with those efforts to make sure you are on track.

In all, staying hydrated is a year round endeavor and shouldn't be limited to just those months where we think it is a larger concern. But certain factors obviously change the intensity at which dehydration can effect us: illness, age, temperatures/weather, and so on.

The more we stay on top of our hydration the better!