donation
To request Mental Health
Services or to access Mental
Health Crisis Services Call:
1-800-375-4357

Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Healthy Heart in Your 20s, Healthier Brain Decades LaterMore Than 4 in 10 Americans Are Now Obese: CDCIs Your Smartphone or Tablet an Injury Risk?How Safe Is It to Fly?Variety is Key for the Fittest AmericansFor Tracking Steps, Patients Stick With Phones, Not Wearable Devices: StudySocial Media Stokes Myths About Vaccines5 Expert Tips for Preventing Winter Sports AccidentsMany Americans Lack Knowledge, Not Desire, to Eat Plant-Based Diets'Couch Potato' Lifestyle Poses Danger to Women's Hearts5 Secrets to an Allergy-Free Valentine's DayRestful Romance: Smelling Your Lover's Shirt Can Help You SleepHow Does Social Media Shape Your Food Choices?AHA News: How a Happy Relationship Can Help Your HealthTexting While Walking Is Risky BusinessShovel That Snow, but Spare Your BackSpring Time Change Tied to More Fatal Car CrashesHealth Tip: Healthy Ways to Deal With SadnessEating Out: A Recipe for Poor Nutrition, Study FindsHealthy Living Helps Keep the Flu at BayNew Clues Show How Stress May Turn Your Hair GrayHealth Tip: Warning Signs of Drowsy DrivingAHA News: Can Social Media Be Good for Your Health?Sunscreen Chemicals Absorbed Into Body, Study FindsCould a Switch to Skim Milk Add Years to Your Life?Many Americans Are Inactive, With Southerners Faring WorseWhy Tidying Up Is Sometimes Harder Than ExpectedProbiotics: Don't Buy the Online HypePot-Using Drivers Still Impaired After the High Fades'Burnout' Could Raise Your Odds for A-fibHealth Tip: Healthier Ways to Use Social MediaMany Americans Sleep More in WinterProcessed Foods Are Making Americans ObeseSo Long, 98.6: Average Human Body Temperature Is DroppingHow Does Missed Sleep Affect Your Appetite?New Year's Resolutions Didn't Stick? Try a Monday ResetHealth Tip: Is Worrying Out of Control?Tips to Keep New Year's ResolutionsAHA News: Get Started on the Path to Better Health in the New YearYoga May Bring a Brain Boost, Review ShowsSome Solid Advice on New Year's Resolutions That Might StickFestive Foods Can Leave Those on Restricted Diets Out in the ColdGet Ready for the Sleepiest Day of the YearYour TV, Smartphone Screens May Send Toxins Into Your HomeHealth Tip: Resolutions for a Healthier New YearDo Your Heart a Favor: Bike, Walk to WorkRegular Exercise Cuts Odds for 7 Major CancersHow to Stay Fit When You're Traveling for Work or FunDespite Danger, Tanning Beds Still a Fixture in Many GymsAHA News: Are You Drinking Enough During Winter Months?
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Smoking
Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Weight Loss

AHA News: Are You Drinking Enough During Winter Months?


HealthDay News
Updated: Dec 19th 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Remembering to drink enough water is easy during the summer, when higher temperatures and outdoor activities drive the point home. But staying adequately hydrated is just as important during the winter.

Environmental humidity plays a role, said Stavros Kavouras, who directs the Hydration Science Lab at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Central heating causes drier interior environments during the winter, which can lead to increased water loss simply from breathing.

That's not the only challenge. In cold environments, the kidneys actually excrete more urine, said Joseph C. Watso, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas.

"It's a small change that could potentially make a difference," he said. "If you're not sweating, you might forget to drink adequate water."

Dehydration sets in when the body loses more water than it takes in.

Even minor dehydration – the level at which people begin feel thirsty – is linked to difficulty concentrating, poor memory and bad moods. And studies have shown people who chronically consume a low amount of water seem to be at higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease, kidney stones and urinary tract infections. "High urine flow seems to be protective," Kavouras said.

Kavouras and his colleagues found mild dehydration impaired the function of cells that line blood vessels almost as much as smoking a cigarette. Dehydration also has been linked with inflammation, artery stiffness, blood pressure regulation and other factors that can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Research also has linked poor hydration to diabetes. "Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that's associated with what we eat, what we drink and how physically active we are," Kavouras said. "Hydration seems to be part of this recipe."

Exactly how much water people need can vary.

"Our water needs change from day to day based on factors such as environmental temperature and activity level," Kavouras said. "If you are an Ironman athlete who trains four hours per day, your water needs are higher than somebody who is sedentary."

In general, the federal Institute of Medicine suggests women take in 2.7 liters and men 3.7 liters of water per day. That might sound like a lot, but because food contributes about 20% of the daily water total, women should drink 8, 8-ounce glasses and men 12, 8-ounce glasses.

"It's underappreciated that many fruits and vegetables are 90 to 95% water," Watso said. "Eating more fruits and vegetables can certainly help you stay hydrated." Soup, an old winter standby, also counts. "Just be sure to avoid soups with very high amounts of sodium."

Watso recommends people keep a refillable water bottle with them and sip on it all day. "Your body can only process water at a certain rate, and if you drink too much too (quickly), the excess will be excreted," he said.

Experts say fluid from tea and coffee – even that eggnog latte – counts toward hydration. Even soda and juices technically contribute to one's daily fluid intake, although experts do not recommend them because of their high sugar content. Alcohol, however, doesn't make the cut.

Kavouras advised people to pay attention to how often they use the bathroom. Adults should urinate six or seven times per day. Dark yellow or orangish urine is a sign to drink up.

"Drinking water throughout the day is one of the most effective things you can do to improve health and well-being."