The Myth of Hydration in Winter Months

MYTH: Cooler Temperatures Mean I Don’t Need To Drink As Much Water Because I’m Not Sweating As Much…

We don’t often associate cold weather with dehydration.

If you’re working or exercising outside on a cool fall day, or even a cold winter day, you’re just not as aware of losing fluids as you are when you’re sweating buckets in mid-August. First of all, humidity tends to be lower and as your sweat evaporates, you feel cooled off and fairly dry. Secondly, the colder it is, the more your body works to protect you from the cold. Nuun (a hydration drink) explains it this way: “blood (rushes) away from your extremities to your core to keep you toasty so there is more fluid than normal in your core. Your brain reads this core blood and can mistake it for water, and when it does your thirst doesn’t effectively grow at the same rate with which you’re losing water!

It’s just as important to maintain hydration in cooler, drier winter conditions as it is in steamy summer conditions, and it can be harder to recognize that you need water!

Tips for staying hydrated during winter:

1. Have a hydration plan and carry a reusable bottle wherever you go.

2. Pay attention to signs and symptoms of dehydration such as headaches, muscle cramping, or fatigue.

3. Drink warm water when the weather is cool to stay hydrated without dropping body temperature.

4. Sip on water every 15-20 minutes throughout the day and never wait until you are thirsty to drink as thirst means you are already dehydrated.

This fall and winter – stay hydrated; stay safe!


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