The winter can be a doozy for a number of reasons. One that you might not think about is hydration.
After all, what do you need water for? It’s cold out, so you’re not sweating and you’re spending most of your time indoors. But winter provides a unique set of challenges that make adequate water intake very important.
Cold weather, for example, causes the kidneys to excrete more urine. This can be extremely confusing because regular urination is typically a sign of adequate hydration. Further, sitting inside warm rooms pumping heat creates a very dry setting where you’re essentially losing water with every breath you take.
Even minor dehydration can be problematic and cause bad moods, trouble concentrating, and memory troubles. Chronic dehydration can even lead to kidney troubles like chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, or urinary tract infections (UTIs).
It might seem like you need a lot more water in the summer than winter, but the difference is not as drastic as you might think. Even though you’re not sweating, the temperature can cause you to lose more water through urine or breath than you might realize.
You can boost water intake a number of ways, including simply aiming for the 8–12 eight-ounce glasses per day. Fruits and vegetables are also a great source of water, as are winter warm-ups like coffee and tea.
Kidney and bladder health are heavily affected by your ability to remove urine in a timely fashion, and water helps accomplish this feat. It flushes potentially harmful bacteria, and other compounds, out of the area so that there is less risk of infection.
Generally speaking, you should be urinating about six or seven times per day, and the color should be clear to light yellow. If it has a dark yellow or orange-type of color, you need to drink up!