WHATS ON TAP
Baby its cold out there and it’s still only FALL! Unfortunately, it’s true; cooler fall and frigid winter weather is coming down from the north - - and soon we will be off participating in our favorite winter sports: skiing, snow-shoeing, and long walks in the woods. But in addition to remembering to bundle up for the cold weather, hydration is another important consideration.
We don’t often associate cold-weather exercise with dehydration. The body doesn’t get as hot, and sweat evaporates more rapidly in the cold air. Thus, we’re tricked into thinking we aren’t losing fluids as rapidly.
Dehydration is still a risk when playing in the snow, albeit for different reasons than summer exercise.
What Causes Winter Dehydration?
In cold weather, the body’s thirst response is dramatically reduced- - the result of the body’s blood vessels becoming restricted to prevent blood from flowing freely to the extremities. This enables the body to conserve heat by drawing more blood to its core.
Because of this, the body is tricked into thinking that it is properly hydrated, Thus, in cold weather, we are less likely to drink water willingly, and moreover, our kidneys aren’t moved by hormones to conserve water and urine production increases - - a medical condition call cold-induced urine diuresis.
These are two contributing factors. Yet, there are several others that can lead to winter dehydration, including:
Wearing extra clothing. Heavy jackets, long underwear and other pieces of warm clothing help your body conserve heat. But the added weight is one factor that makes the body work harder. By working harder, the body produces more sweat, contributing to fluid loss.
Increased respiratory fluid loss. In cold weather, we lose more fluids through respiratory water loss. For example, when you can see your own breath, that’s actually water vapor that your body is losing. The colder the temperature and the more intense the exercise, the more vapor you lose when you breathe.
Sweat evaporates more quickly in cold air. We often think we aren’t sweating in cold, dry weather, because it tends to evaporate so quickly. This is another factor that can contribute to a diminished thirst response.
So the answer is a clear “Yes.” The dehydration risk remains in cold weather. Whether you’re hitting the slopes or spending an afternoon cross-country skiing – don’t forget to hydrate!
Water Pure & Simple “Your Winter Neighborhood Water store.