Waukee Activities Blog

Staying Hydrated in the Winter-Ellen Davis, Hy-Vee Sports Dietitian

Winter Hydration

We all know maintaining hydration is crucial during hot, humid, summer months. It is no problem to gulp down a glass of ice-cold water after a long, hot workout. But what about now, when it is so cold that your nose hairs freeze when you step outside?

During the cold weather of winter months, it is just as important to remain hydrated. It is common for busy adults and kiddos to forget to drink water throughout the day, easily leading to becoming mildly dehydrated.  Dehydration has the potential to cause muscle cramps, nausea, headaches, dizziness, confusion, weakness, inability to concentrate, and many more unfavorable things.

Water is essential for our body to function. Being well-hydrated lubricates joints, helps move nutrients in the body, and maintains body temperature. Consistent hydration also helps to improve recovery time after a competition or intense training.

It is suggested to consume half of your body weight, in ounces, of water every day.  For example, a 160-pound person would need about 80 ounces of water.  If you consume far less than is recommended, start slow with ¼ – 1/3 of your body weight in ounces of water and work up to the recommendation.  Maintain a balance of vital electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium) by incorporating a balanced intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy products.

Consider these tips to keep hydrated all year long:

  • Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day.
  • Determine a hydration schedule and stick to it.
  • Look for zero-calorie flavored beverages such as Vitamin Water Zero.
  • Beverages such as Smartwater in larger bottles may help increase water consumption.
  • During the cold months, try warm drinks such as a lower-calorie cocoa mix or hot tea.
  • Add strawberries, lemon, or cucumbers to your water for natural flavor.
  • Avoid waiting until you are “thirsty” to consume liquid. You are likely already slightly dehydrated when feelings of thirst arrive.
  • Try adding electrolyte replacement options like Nuun or SkratchLabs ‘Anytime’ (located in the HealthMarket) to your water bottle.

Contact a registered dietitian if you need help developing a hydration plan that is specific to your needs.

Ellen Davis, RD, CSSD, LD


Hy-Vee Sports Dietitian

**This information is not intended as medical advice.  Please contact your dietitian or physician before making any changes to your food or beverage intake.