Think dehydration only strikes on the hottest days of summer? Nope. Sorry, it’s a thing all year round, meaning you can easily become dehydrated in the fall and winter. It’s an especially significant health concern during the winter because the cooler temperatures can trick you into thinking you’re well hydrated. Plus, the body’s thirst response is lowered during these months.
Dehydration can result in migraines, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and lack of energy. The elderly, small children and those with Type 2 diabetes can especially feel the effects of dehydration. But, anyone can become dehydrated if you aren’t cognizant of the signs and are sure to drink the water your body needs.
Remaining hydrated is simple, yet about 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. It’s important to know that it’s recommended you consume 8-10 glasses of water per day, however, check with your doctor if you have any health concerns that would change this number for you. If you have a hard time getting this amount of water down, try infusing your water with fruit flavors you love. Cucumber and lemon water is a popular choice among those who find chugging water to be a little difficult.
Keep in mind that some fruits, such as watermelon, strawberries and grapefruit have a high water content so simply consuming these fruits will increase your water intake for the day. You may also find it helpful to use a mobile app to get you motivated or to remind you that it’s time to drink water. If you aim for one glass an hour, you’ll hit (or come close to) your goal. Many apps even make it into a game.
Caffeinated drinks may have a mild diuretic effect — which means they may cause more frequent urination. But studies show that these types of beverages don’t appear to increase the risk of dehydration. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea can contribute to your daily fluid goals, but since caffeine also can cause headaches and insomnia, water is still the best choice for combating dehydration. Soda is probably the worst, with all that added sugar. Seltzer water can provide a bit of variety if you’re tired of plain water. Plain seltzer without additional additives can be as hydrating as water.