5 tips for staying hydrated in the cooler months
Expert advice on how to keep your fluids up this Autumn and Winter – the benefits are worth it!
Now that the temperature has dropped, you can be forgiven for not reaching for your water bottle quite so often.
In fact, many people forget to drink regularly throughout the day without obvious cues such as hot weather or bodily sensations like sweating or overheating.
What’s more, it’s a common misconception that people don’t need to drink water unless you feel thirsty or are overheated.
“This is incorrect,” says Natalie Logan, Accredited Practising Dietitian at Casey Allied Health, “as your body uses water for many purposes other than just to cool you down or quench thirst.”
So, just because you don’t feel thirsty during the cooler months, doesn’t mean you should not try to drink the recommended amount:
- 1500 – 2000mL/day for adults
- 1000 – 1500mL/day for children.
If you do become dehydrated the side effects can be debilitating including tiredness, headaches, dizziness, reduced urinary output and dry skin, warns Catherine Standley, BHSc (Naturopathy) and owner of Naked Wellness.
“You should also seek urgent medical advice if you experience any of these more severe consequences of dehydration: low blood pressure, dizziness or light headedness, confusion, shock or seizure,” she advises.
To help stay on top of your fluid intake this Autumn and Winter, here are five simple tips from our experts.
TIP 1 >> Receive reminders on an app
There are apps to help remind you when drink water throughout the day. If you are one of those people who needs constant reminding to have a sip of water, then this might be a great way to stay hydrated. Catherine suggests ‘Plant Nanny’.
TIP 2 >> Add variety to your water
Enjoying your drinks will help entice you to sip more often, says Natalie. “If you need to, add some variety to the taste of your fluids. I do not encourage the use of soft drinks, fruit juices or cordials as a main source of hydration due to their high refined sugar content, however adding some flavour in other forms is a great idea! ”Try slices of lemon, lime, orange, strawberries or cucumber or a cold infused tea bag.
TIP 3 >> Set smaller goals
“Break your hydration goals down to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the task of drinking up to 2000mL a day. Aim to consume at least six to eight glasses of water per day, but spread these out; perhaps try for two glasses between each meal if you are working on increasing your water intake”, says Catherine.
TIP 4 >> Counter coffee and alcohol
Remember, drinking coffee or caffeinated teas will dehydrate you – as will consuming alcohol. “Make sure you are replenishing your water intake while drinking alcohol and replenishing your electrolytes the next day too,” suggests Catherine.
TIP 5 >> Use a visual aid
Why not buy a reusable stainless steel or glass bottle that you can carry around and refill – after all, approximately 373 million plastic bottles end up as waste in Australia each year! “Having a large drink bottle handy helps to give you a visual guide of how much fluid you have consumed throughout the day,” says Natalie. “Plus, placing it on your desk at work, your bedside table or on the kitchen bench serves as a constant reminder to drink and stay hydrated.”
So, how do you tell if you’re drinking enough water?
“To gauge whether or not you are adequately hydrated, check the colour of your urine,” says Natalie. “Generally, a darker and stronger smelling urine indicates higher levels of dehydration in comparison to a paler colour.”
Remember, while water is the best option to help you stay hydrated, hot drinks and foods such as soups and yoghurt do count towards your fluid intake!
“Research shows high-water content fruits and vegetables can contribute up to 20 per cent of fluid intake per day. They also contain electrolyte minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, and sodium to help us absorb the water,” concludes Catherine.
Allied Wellness Pty Ltd
PO Box 962, Berwick Vic 3806
IMPORTANT: The information on this website does not replace a face-to-face relationship with your medical professional or healthcare practitioner. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided in this website.