Thursday, January 5, 2017

You may not feel like it, but here's why you should be drinking extra water right now!

When it's cold out, we often don't feel like drinking lots of water. And we're not sweating, so why should we?

During the usual Pacific Northwest Winter weather, when it's cold, damp and rainy, drinking your normal amount of water is just fine. But right now things are different: It's cold and dry.

Do you notice chapped lips? Dry hands? A drippy nose that tends to get sore when you blow it? All of these are external signs that the dry, cold air is sucking the moisture out of your skin.

What is less obvious is that with each breath you also lose moisture out of your lungs. That cloud of steam that you see when you exhale? That is the water you're losing. To make matters worse, the heater in your house is creating warm, dry air that is even more thirsty for water than the cold, dry air outside.

Losing all this water not only causes the dry skin, but will also make you tired, more prone to headaches, more susceptible to colds and more likely to get lightheaded and dizzy. Dehydration can even cause constipation and increase your risk of kidney stones or a stroke.

Still don't feel like drinking plain water? There are plenty of options that may feel better to you this time of year: Hot tea always feels good, or there are plenty of recipes for flavored water to be found online (cucumber is an easy one). Clear soups are an excellent way to hydrate and a perfect addition to a winter meal. Fruits and veggies naturally contain water, and are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, too.

If you feel the effects of the dry air strongly, are susceptible to colds, or have small children in the house, you may also want to invest in a humidifyer for your home. Just run it during the night next to the bed.

Whichever method works for you, just remember: If you notice that you are getting dried out on the outside, the same is happening on the inside, and it's time to hydrate!

Yours in Health,
Dr. Claudia

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