Health Advocate Blog

This winter, don’t forget the water…

You may remember that “drink 8 glasses of water a day” rule in the summer, but do you also remember to stay well-hydrated in the winter?  Because it’s chilly out, you may not be as excited about carrying around a cold bottle of water like you did in, say, July.  But it’s equally important to stay properly hydrated in the wintertime, too–believe it or not, you should be taking in about the same amount of water in the winter that you do in the summer.

SELF magazine reports that the average female needs about 92 ounces (11.5 cups) of water daily, and men need 128 ounces (16 cups) each day. Don’t worry, you don’t have to start chugging water to reach this number–the number is based on the beverages you drink as well as the foods you eat.  75-80% of your water intake should come from drinkables, while the other 20-25% should come from water-rich fruits and vegetables.  If you exercise intensely, though, you should drink more–because you will be sweating more due to both exercising and wearing more/warmer layers of clothing, your body is working harder and therefore needs to have its fluids replenished.

During the winter months, you may want to swap some of your cold beverages for hot ones so that you stay hydrated and also stay warm.  Hot tea is a good choice–add a little lemon juice or honey for a low-cal, healthy and hydrating drink. Bored with plain ol’ water?  Consider sipping mineral water instead.  Or thinly slice some lemon, lime, or cucumber that you can use to flavor your tap or bottled water. For a festive holiday twist, swirl a candy cane in your water for a minute or two to give your water a slightly minty kick!

If you have specific questions about being safely hydrated throughout the winter, talk to your family doctor or nutritionist.