Guide to Staying Hydrated as the Weather Gets Colder

The winter months often bring faster race times and easier training sessions without the sweat. The reduction in sweat can be a bit deceiving, and it’s why there is usually little talk of the importance of hydration when temperatures fall. During the summer, runners are inundated with reminders to carry water and keep an eye out for salt rings on clothes that mean high sweat rates and dehydration. But just because you aren’t a sweaty mess doesn’t mean you aren’t dehydrated.

During colder months, the air is drier and your body has to work a bit harder to warm the air and add humidity. That means you actually need more water than in warmer, humid months. You may not feel as thirsty when you’re colder, but don’t skip the water.

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It may seem odd that you would need more water in the winter months to stay hydrated than in the summer, however, the air and temperatures affect your body in different ways.

Even if you aren’t feeling thirsty, it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Researchers discovered that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. That will absolutely affect your workout. If you start a workout in a dehydrated state, it will make it even harder to achieve a proper level of hydration, even while constantly sipping water throughout a run.

A very simple place to start is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day as a baseline. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, then you should aim for 70 ounces of water per day. If you exercise, you will want to drink additional water.

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AN EASY WAY TO TRACK HYDRATION

In the summer months runners are often told to keep an eye on our clothes for a ring of
salt that indicates just how much you sweat and how much fluid you lose.

In the winter months, however, this isn’t usually as visible as your body is exposed to the cold air and covered by multiple layers. In this case, “the pee test” is the easiest way to keep an eye on your hydration.

This test is really just examining the color of your urine. Aim for a watered-down lemonade color, not tea. It really is as simple as it sounds. You should be aware of the color of your urine throughout the day, and not just before or after a run.

The winter months often lead to drinking less water in general, so consider this your gentle reminder to get your water in. In the morning your urine will be a bit more yellow than it is throughout the day due to the effects of dehydration during the night, so starting off your day with a big glass of water is a great habit.


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