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Rethink Your Winter Drink: How Cold Weather Affects Your Hydration

hydrationHalloween has come and gone. Jack-o-lanterns are being replaced with snowflake decorations, and light sweaters are being layered with fluffy parkas. Winter is just around the corner, which not only means bundling up, but also, that additional considerations need to be taken regarding recovery and especially hydration throughout your workouts.

During the summer, it’s very easy to tell when we feel dehydrated. The drenched shirts communicate to us that we have sweated during our workout, and in-turn, we must replace those fluids in order to replenish what we have just lost. We tend to feel more thirsty, and start imagining flowing waterfalls when the sun beats down on us. Subsequently, the brain yells out to us, “I need water right now!”

In colder temperatures, however, dehydration may not be as evident nor easy to feel. Thirst is typically not an indicator of dehydration when it is colder, and as a result, it is important to hydrate regularly. In cold weather, the thirst response is actually diminished by upwards of 40% when dehydrated compared to in warmer conditions. Below are some tips to help ensure that your body is getting the liquids it needs:

  1. Hydrate with liquids that are at room-temperature– when in cooler climates, hydrating with room temperature fluids can keep your internal temperature at the ideal state. Colder liquids can actually be absorbed more quickly by the body.
  2. Munch on fruit– winter fruits are packed with water, which can allow for proper hydration while eating. To put it into perspective, apples are made up of 84% water and clementines are made up of 87% water.
  3. Incorporate salt– salt helps the body retain water, and one way that you can easily incorporate both salt and fluids is with soup. Broths contain salt and water, and combined with a variety of winter vegetables, you have yourself a tasty dinner that allows our bodies to recover properly. Did someone say butternut squash soup or mushroom potato soup?
  4. Hot chocolate for recovery and hydration– chocolate milk has been shown to be an effective method to reduce kinase also known as post-workout damage to muscles. Heat chocolate milk up and you have a tasty warm treat pumped with the flavonoids from cocoa to help your muscles repair and recover. Try making a hot cocoa with almond milk or rice milk with a touch of vanilla for a warm, frothy delight!
  5. Decrease alcohol and caffeine consumption– both alcohol and caffeine have diuretic effects which can affect hydration. Try waiting until after your workout to hit the coffee shop, or the bar.
  6. Carry a water bottle– you are more likely to hydrate post-workout when you have a handy water bottle right by your side. Add some cucumber or orange slices to your water for a bit of flavor to encourage you to drink more during the day, or even when hooked up to your Marc Pro. Talk about recovery and hydration all in one!

How do you make sure that you stay properly hydrated during the winter? Tweet @theMarcPro with your favorite recovery tip and win a Marc Pro t-shirt that you can layer for some winter workouts!