Tips for Staying Hydrated in Winter

filed under: nutrition · wellness tips

Staying hydrated in winter is SO easy to forget, am I right? It’s definitely something we have to think about a little more intently than in the warm summer months. We sit in heated homes and offices that slowly dry out our skin. We sweat less, so a tall glass of chilled water sounds entirely unrefreshing in frigid temps. Hands down, hydration is one of the top wellness goals my clients work towards. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite tips for achieving optimal fluid status even in the colder months.

A Dietitian's Favorite Tips for Staying Hydrated Even in the Winter | Chard in Charge

I’ll admit that even for myself, some days are better than others. It’s not entirely clear how much we need, as it’s highly individualized, but when you think about the fact that our bodies are 75% made up of water, it’s obvious we need it often. Adequate hydration is beneficial for exercise, sleep, weight loss, and so many other body functions.

I generally recommend 60-80oz for women and 80-120oz for men and for those who are more physically active. Or, you can go by the theory that we should drink the same amount of milliliters as calories – so, if you eat a 2000 calorie diet try to drink 2000mL. Here’s a few of my favorite tips to ensure hydration remains a key goal all year long, no matter the season:

Start first thing. A timeless recommendation that is so helpful! My husband is the king of this, always keeping a full glass of water (10-12oz size) next to his bedside and gulping it before he even steps foot into the morning shower. An easy way to get started on your hydration goals without really having to think about it – just remember to have that glass handy before bed.

Make mini goals for the day. I coach a lot of my clients who are working on hydration goals to break down the big daunting goal of 60-100+ ounces into smaller daily goals. This way it doesn’t seem as overwhelming of an amount to drink or a task to remember. For example, maybe those mini goals are drinking a glass before even leaving the house for work, then, after that has been met, it could be drinking a full 20oz water bottle before lunch, adding in a 10oz glass with the lunch meal, and another 20oz water bottle before getting into the car to head home from work. When you break it down into smaller steps, it doesn’t seem as unattainable.

Infuse it. Again, not a new recommendation but plain water can certainly be boring day after day. If you aren’t water drinking and prefer some flavor, infused waters can be a great way to cut calories, added sugars and help you maintain hydration. They even make special water bottles with built in infusers!

Use a clear water bottle. I noticed this myself, that after a few days of using my new Christmas present – a teal Swell bottle – that I was totally ignoring my hydration needs. I had went from a clear bottle to an opaque one, and it was seriously throwing off my water game because I couldn’t see how much I had drunk. A clear water bottle can be your best friend in maintaining optimal hydration simply by showing you how much or how little you’ve been drinking. PS – no need to throw away your opaque bottles, but maybe just keep them in your gym bag where you know you’ll end up drinking quite a bit anyways and stick to a clear bottle for your desk or purse!

Warm up with tea! There’s nothing more cozy than a steaming mug of your favorite herbal tea blend. While coffee is technically a fluid, it also has a dehydrating effect – so stick to one or two cups max and try some herbal teas instead. Look for them in your grocery store’s tea aisle.

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