Our need for hydration is greater now that the intense, cold, dry air has reached most of us. The desire for hot chocolate, hot coffee, hot tea – hot anything is in demand, but drinks with caffeine,, deplete the body of water. Layering our clothes for added warmth can also create increased sweating, another way we dehydrate the body during winter. Many people with stuffy noses or chronic sinusitis may be mouth breathers, loosing precious moisture with each breath. Warming our feet next to a fire or cranking up the thermostat may feel good, but also sucks the moisture right out of us through our skin. We need to drink more water!

How much water should we drink? There are many opinions about this topic!

Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, says this, “Conventional wisdom calls for six to eight large glasses per day, but Oriental medicine teaches that this is a dangerous practice that puts undue strain on the kidneys. In fact, when we drink plain water with few electrolytes, the body tries to excrete it as quickly as possible in order to maintain homeostasis in the blood.” She goes on to state, “A good rule is to avoid drinking too much liquid from one-half hour before a meal to two hours after and sip beverages slowly with meals…water to which a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice has been added will quench thirst and aid digestion better than plain water.”

Surendar Selvan, wrote in her article, How Much Water Should You Drink in Cold Climates? “Don’t trust your thirst mechanism at extremely cold temperatures.” She believes our thirst mechanism is weakened in cold temperatures and we have to drink more than our body tells us. She also explains that water helps you to maintain body temperature and reduces the risk of hypothermia and frostbite.

Please consult with your doctor for more information that is specific to your personal needs.

I believe in taking a practical approach; drinking more water between meals, not drinking an excessive amount of caffeine, keeping the thermostat around 68-70 degrees, wearing light weight layers in your clothing choices and unless you are used to outdoor physical exertion in cold temperatures walk inside a mall or join a gym.

How do you stay hydrated during cold weather?