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Winter Hydration - does water make the cut?

Dehydration is possible even in the long, cold days of winter. It can be dangerous too because the body does not sense thirst as well when it’s cold outside. Mild dehydration can affect mood and mental performance. For example, you may experience increased fatigue, confusion, and anger, as well as decreased concentration, short-term memory, and reaction time. These may lead to an increased risk of injury. The more dehydrated you are, the worse the signs and symptoms can get. Staying hydrated, on the other hand, will keep your blood pressure normal, protect and cushion your joints and organs, control your body temperature, and keep you aware and alert. A common theory suggests that dehydration may worsen muscle cramps – yet another reason to keep sipping, especially when you are physically active. You’re at your best both mentally and physically when you are well hydrated!


Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration

Know the signs and symptoms of dehydration and don’t ignore them. A good rule of thumb is to drink when you are thirsty, because thirst is a symptom of mild dehydration. The colour of your urine can give you some insight too. If it’s pale yellow or clear, you’re likely drinking enough. If it’s darker yellow or amber, you’re likely dehydrated. Other signs and symptoms include dry lips or mouth, tiredness, mood swings, headache, flushed skin, dizziness, and fainting. If you become severely dehydrated, you may experience confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness, putting you at an increased risk of injury during work or play. Children and elders are at a higher risk of being dehydrated in the winter months, as well.

Some tips on how to stay hydrated through the winter months:

▫️ Make it a habit to have a glass of water before your coffee in the morning.

▫️ Aim to drink a glass of water with every meal.

▫️ Flavour your water wth a combination of sliced cucumber, citrus fruits, herbs, melons, or berries for a refreshing taste.

▫️ Warm up your water. (even add in some of the flavours above too).

▫️ Drink tea.

▫️ Set a goal.

▫️ Drink decaf coffee.

Drinks like sparkling water, that eggnog latte do count towards hydration, but unfortunately, alcohol and high sugar soda or juices do not!

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