Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Why Should You Stay Hydrated All Year?

Dehydration is not only a risk during warmer weather, but also a significant issue in colder months. Failing to hydrate can cause serious damage to your body and overall health. Here are 4 reasons why you should stay hydrated throughout the year.

Boost Your Immune System

            The colder months are accompanied with much drier air, leading to dehydration. This causes your body to feel sluggish and run-down. Dry air can also increase your risk of catching a cold and/or the flu. Drinking water will help your body prevent and fight off these infections by supplying the body with the fluids it needs.  Water flushes toxins and ensures your cells are well oxygenated and full of nutrients.

Sweat It Out

            Perspiration is more noticeable in warm months, often visible as beads of sweat. Sweat in cold months turns into water vapor quickly, and is therefore less noticeable. To avoid dehydration, it is important to drink water throughout the day, especially before, during and immediately after a workout. Water helps to regulate body temperature.  

Maintain, Don’t Gain

            Your body is more likely to pack on extra pounds during colder months because exercise tends to decrease, and food intake tends to increase. However, with proper hydration, your body is able to turn fat into energy more efficiently. Energy is needed to avoid feeling lethargic during short winter days. Additionally, when adequately hydrated, your body is less likely to retain fluids and more likely to eliminate false hunger cues associated with dehydration. 

Keeps Things Moving

Graphic From U.S. Geological Survey

Hydration is vital to your body’s organs and digestion. Water carries nutrients and oxygen through the body, lubricates joints, and controls blood pressure. If your body is dehydrated by just 1-2%, your heart has to work harder because your blood is thicker than normal. Dehydration can cause muscle fatigue and cramps, loss of coordination and exhaustion.   

Tips & Tricks

·         Carry water around everywhere you go―all year long.
·         Eat water-rich fruits and veggies.
o   Lettuce: 95% water
o   Oranges: 88% water
o   Apples: 84% water
·         Know your sweat rate (see Hydration 411) to determine how much water you need before, during, and after exercise.
·         Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol while rehydrating.
·         Use an air humidifier to add moisture to the air and prevent illness. 
·         Add flavor to plain water such as lemons, cucumbers, limes, or other favorite fruit.

            Water does numerous things for your body. Staying hydrated in winter months may be more of a challenge, but it is important. Athletes and exercisers are particularly susceptible to dehydration due to the varying intensities of a workout. For more information about how much water to drink download these files: Assess Your Hydration and Hydrate Early & Often.