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Water in Winter

We all know we need to drink plenty of water, and most of us need to drink more than we do. But that is harder in the colder months when we don’t necessarily feel thirsty to remind us to drink water, and a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate may seem more appealing!

water_in_karate1However, we need to drink the same amount of water all year around, perhaps even more in Winter. When the temperature drops and the wind increases, the air becomes drier, meaning that our bodies don’t get as much moisture from the air as in warmer months.

As water is our body’s principal chemical component and makes up 60-70% of our body weight, every system in our body depends on water to function properly.

For your body to fight illnesses, including avoiding winter colds and flus, it has to create mucous, which requires water. Mucous membranes act as a barrier to catch and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses that want to enter your body.

Good hydration has many health benefits in addition to boosted immunity, including enhanced skin complexion, weight loss, flushing out of toxins, improved digestion, more regular bowel movements, lubrication of our joints, eyes and spinal cord, and increased energy. Dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue and problems focusing all result from reduced water levels, indicating just how damaging a small lack of water can be.

If you suffer chapped lips, flaky skin, a dry cough, nosebleeds, mild headaches and acne, you’re also someone who needs to increase your water intake.

So how much water should we be drinking?water_in_karate2

Men should consume 8-10 glasses of water a day, 10-14 glasses if exercising.
Women should consume 6-8 glasses of water a day, 8-12 glasses if exercising, and 7-10 glasses a day if breast feeding.

If you need a little encouragement to drink more water in winter, try these tips to get the hydration your body needs:

• Add a squeeze of lemon juice in warm water first thing each morning for an extra boost and liver detox;
• Infuse your water with fruits and herbs to make the ritual of drinking water more appealing if needed;
• Try a herbal tea such as peppermint or green tea instead of your usual coffee;
• Match caffeine and alcohol intake with water, or switch to decaffeinated teas and coffees; and
• Drink clear soups – this will also fill you up if you have a bowl before each meal.

 

Refs:
How much water to drink in the winter. Accessed 7 August 2014. http://coolefitness.com/blog/how-much-water-to-drink-in-the-winter/

Water in Winter, Stirling Health Professionals, Your Chiropractor Newsletter, July-August 2014

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