Dehydration in the fall and winter is a real thing. We can see it manifesting in our bodies with more dry, scaly skin. Some may even observe dryness in their hair and eyes. During the cooler months, perspiration evaporates more rapidly in the cold, dry air, and that can lead to dehydration. But without the sweat, we assume we aren't losing fluids as quickly as during a warm, summer day. In addition, the cooler temperature can reduce the body's thirst response, so the body can then trick itself into thinking it's hydrated when it's actually not.
But how do you hydrate when your body's thirst response is diminished, when you think you don't feel the need for more hydration? Your body is sending you signals to stay hydrated in the fall and winter, but the signals are different than what we may feel in the summer. In addition to moist, cooked foods prepared with healthy oils, there are other important and simple life changes to integrate to reduce dryness and maintain healthy hydration.
1. Drink lots of water as soon as you wake up in the morning, when your body is often craving lots of fluid as soon as you wake up. This is a good time to drink 2-3 cups of water or tea. The increased fluids will also support healthier bowel movements.
2. Sip on hot tea throughout the day. Make it be a tea that you enjoy. A coriander/fennel/ginger tea is a wonderful blend that supports healthy circulation and digestion. Chai tea is delicious in the colder months. You can even make your own non-caffeinated blends of chai spices. On a side note, I like to drink my loose leaf tea blends with a straw traditionally used in Argentina for yerba mate. I use it for all my tea blends and it makes drinking tea just a little more simple and enjoyable. I'll add a heaping spoon of chai spices in the cup and continuously refill it with hot water throughout the day.
3. Add a pinch of Himalayan sea salt or Celtic sea salt to your water. This is a good source of electrolytes, helping you maintain healthy water balance.
4. Make lots of soup, which may be the form of hydration that we actually do crave in the colder months. You can make delicious soups with an Instapot and have the soup ready to eat when you get home.
5. Minimize caffeinated drinks because they are diuretics. A cup of green tea a few times a week can have benefits, but any caffeine that exceeds more than a cup a day certainly won't help in preventing dryness and promoting overall hydration.
6. Avoid cold and bubbly drinks in the cooler months, which can actually increase dryness in the body. Cold drinks are rarely ideal and as for bubbly drinks, save that for the spring time.