It’s official. Winter has really hit – the days are short, the nights are cold and the flu season is upon us. However, just because you aren’t getting hot and sweaty, it doesn’t mean you can forget about your fluid intake.

While dehydration is often associated with summertime, it is just as vital to stay hydrated during the colder months. With feverish sweats around and a decrease in thirst triggers, you might become dehydrated – just because you don’t realise you might not be getting the fluids you need.

Virus season

This year, of all years, it would be hard to forget the dangers of flu viruses – which reach their peak in the winter months. Colds and flu often come with fever and sweating, which can result in a loss of fluids, therefore management of your hydration is important. It is generally advised to keep your fluids up when you are unwell or your symptoms can get worse and you will take longer to recover.

Oral rehydration solutions such as Hydralyte can relieve symptoms of dehydration and help replace water and electrolytes – lost due to vomiting, diarrhoea, and heavy sweating – faster than water alone. This is especially important for young children who can lose fluids rapidly and can become dehydrated easily1. Hydralyte contains a properly balanced amount of water, sugars and salts to help the body absorb fluid. It can even be given to children in the form of an ice block – a solution that will help with dehydration caused by illness and will win favour with the young, no matter whether it’s winter or summer.

Thirst triggers

Cold weather can mask the effects of a lack of fluids2, so it’s important not to just rely on when you feel thirsty to decide if you need to rehydrate. Thirst receptors decrease during colder months because of the constriction of blood vessels, so they are not always the best indicators. It’s better to keep an eye on your urine to make sure it doesn’t become dark. Dark urine in smaller amounts than usual indicates dehydration. Ideally, your urine should be light yellow.

During exercise

If you are a bit of a gym junkie, you might find that you don’t seem to be breaking much of a sweat on your morning workout during winter, which means you might not realise you are still perspiring. Sweat evaporates quicker during the colder months, which tricks the body into thinking it’s not dehydrated. The combination of heavy clothing – winter running tops; hoodies etc – and high-intensity exercise can also add to your risk of dehydration2.

It’s the same with those who enjoy winter sports such as soccer, rugby and netball. All of those use sharp bursts of energy that can cause us to perspire, yet dry easily, so we might not be aware of it. Skiers also use a lot of energy when they are out on the slopes, but may not realise they need to hydrate regularly.

Products such as Hydralyte Sports can help keep your fluids up – before, during and after exercise to make sure you stay at peak condition. And remember that Hydralyte Sports is HASTA certified3, meaning it is free from banned substances – making it the perfect rehydration companion.

One last word…

However tempting it might be, it’s good to avoid drinking alcohol in cold weather. It might give you a nice initial glow, but it’s also diuretic, meaning that it’ll make your trips to the bathroom more frequent4. And you guessed it, that’s a recipe for dehydration.

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