Winter Dehydration: Is It Real or Is It a Myth?

Can you get dehydrated in winter? It turns out that the relationship between winter and dehydration is fairly complex. Here's what you need to know about cold weather and proper hydration.

Are People Really More Dehydrated During the Winter?

If you're like us, you probably associate dehydration with sweaty summers and long, outdoor workouts. However, did you know that you can get dehydrated when you're simply snuggled up indoors during the winter?

According to a study from the University of New Hampshire, people are more likely to become dehydrated when it's cold outside. Bringing awareness to this issue can help reduce the risk of winter-related dehydration.

Why Winter Causes Hydration Issues

Understanding the link between winter and hydration can help you take better care of yourself. Several factors contribute to increased levels of dehydration during the winter:

You Feel Less Thirsty When It's Cold

Did you know that thirst is often a mental response? Your brain sends cues to your body reminding it to drink all the time. However, due to the way the body works, cold air doesn't trigger the same thirst response.

This makes it hard to drink enough water. Without the natural thirst response, the idea of drinking enough water might feel super unappealing. So if you question how to stay hydrated in winter, remember to guzzle down more water than maybe you’d like to.

Air Is Naturally Less Humid During the Winter

If you're asking yourself, "why am I so dehydrated in winter," your environment might be part of the problem. Not only is winter air naturally less humid, but heaters running indoors pull even more water out of the air.

This becomes an issue when you breathe. With every breath, you exhale a cloud of moisture. When the air is dryer, it will absorb more of it instead of your body, so you lose more water overall.

It's Harder to Recognize Signs of Dehydration

In the dry winter air, any sweat on your skin evaporates almost immediately. Being less sweaty might sound like a good thing, but it makes it harder to notice when you're losing water.

Without the cue of a damp shirt, you might not realize you are getting dehydrated. However, the reality is that you can lose water just as quickly as you would during the summer. This makes it hard for people to remember to get enough water while exercising.

The Dangers of Winter Dehydration

A dehydrated woman sitting on the couch with her hand to her forehead on a wintry day

During the winter, hydration might not seem as important to stay on top of. The reality, however, is that dehydration causes all sorts of problems during the winter:

  • Dehydration causes dizziness and confusion. This can make it harder to recognize if you become dangerously cold outside.
  • When the membranes of your throat are drier, you are more likely to catch the respiratory illnesses that are so common during the winter months.
  • Dehydration lowers your blood volume, which ends up making it even harder for your body to keep itself warm.
  • Just like in hot weather, cold-weather dehydration can cause headaches, seizures, unconsciousness, or fatigue.

How to Stay Hydrated in Winter

Now that you know you can get dehydrated in winter, it's time to take action. A few simple steps can reduce your risk of dehydration. Follow these three things:

#1. Make Reminders to Drink Water

A bulk of winter dehydration simply happens due to sheer forgetfulness. Without your body telling you to drink water all the time, you might need to set some manual reminders.

Fortunately, with modern smartphones and smartwatches, this step is easy. Just set a recurring reminder on your device to ensure you have enough water.

#2. Get a Humidifier for Your Home

Dry air tends to worsen dehydration, so you might also want to take some steps to adjust the air in your home. A humidifier adds some moisture to the air so that you don't lose as much hydration with each breath.

This can be especially useful if you work out in a home gym during the winter. However, even if you aren't actively exercising, it can still help.

#3. Find the Right Hydration Supplement

When it's harder to develop a thirst for water, make sure every sip counts. Adding a hydration supplement to your water makes it easier to balance your hydration levels.

Our HYDRATE powder here at MANTRA Labs is a simple, easy, and tasty option. All you have to do is add a scoop to 12-24 ounces of water for desired taste, and you’ll receive a combination of broad-spectrum electrolytes, plant-based minerals, vitamins, and prebiotics.

One of the best things about HYDRATE is that it encourages you to drink more water because it tastes great! HYDRATE helps your body to stay hydrated with an optimal natural combination of electrolytes, minerals, and vitamins, all with no sugar, fillers, or artificial anything.

Ready to get hydrated and enjoy a healthy and happy winter? Explore HYDRATE and our other supplements to take your health to the next level.