Today’s guest blog is from Dr Emma Derbyshire from The Natural Hydration Council, with some top tips on how hydration can keep you and your family feeling at their best this winter. Read on to find some ideas to keep your children safe and hydrated, especially if you are traveling.
It’s cold outside. Winter is officially here, and with it bitter wind, frozen fingers and the compulsion to crank the central heating up to ‘max’. Everyone knows how important it is to keep warm and wrapped up at this time of year, but not everyone remembers that hydration is just as important in the winter as it is in the balmy summer months. Whatever the weather, adults need between 2 litres and 2.5 litres of fluid a day from food and drink(1), and as central heating, air conditioning and festive partying can all contribute to dehydration, it is a good idea to keep topped up.
Cold weather during the winter months can make it harder for us to feel thirsty (2) so drinking fluids regularly can help to avoid dehydration.
Children often need to be reminded to have a drink and are at a greater risk of dehydration than adults as they have higher water requirements in relation to their body weight. During the summer months when it is warm, hydration is usually front of mind for parents, but when the cold sets in and noses start running, it can get forgotten.
So, here are my top tips to ensuring you and your children are kept healthy hydrated this winter:
- Keep warm, but if you start to feel hot, bothered, or thirsty, a few sips of water may help you too cool down.
- If you are planning a busy shopping day consider taking a bottle of water with you to sip throughout the day.
- If seeking some winter sun, or fun in colder climates make sure you drink enough water before you fly and throughout your journey.
- Try to alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks at parties, and have a glass of water next to your bed to drink whenever you feel thirsty.
- We all feel a bit weary towards the end of the year. One possible reason may be that you are dehydrated as symptoms include feeling tired and sluggish. Try having a glass of water which may reduce these feelings and boost your alertness.
- Follow the Natural Hydration Council’s Healthy Hydration guides – and remember water is one of the healthiest ways to hydrate as it contains no sugar, calories or additives.
For further information visit: naturalhydrationcouncil.org.uk
Dr Emma Derbyshire, PhD, RNut, Advisor to the Natural Hydration Council.
EFSA Journal 2010; 8(3):1459, Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for water.
National Research Council. Nutritional Needs in Cold and High Altitude Environment; Washington DC