Are you drinking enough this winter?

By Nicole Parmenter and Katie Jeffrey, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, RDN

The winter months are approaching and if you’re anything like me, you love outdoor sports. For those of you who think winter is for hibernation, it’s time to kick it up a notch and take your workouts outside! Even though we bundle up to stay warm, it’s important to remember that you can still become dehydrated while participating in outdoor activities, not only from the activities themselves, but also the from the harsh winter atmosphere which can be very drying.

Overall, whether you’re indoors or outdoors, hydration is a key component to optimum performance. When beginning any activity, make sure you begin the activity well-hydrated. This will prevent early signs of fatigue and headaches (which are your body’s first signs of dehydration). It is important to stay well hydrated during your activity, practice or game by drinking water and/or sports drinks. And finally, after your activity, replace the fluid and minerals lost in your sweat by drinking water and/or sports drinks and enjoying a well-balanced snack or meal that contains sodium and potassium-rich foods, minerals that are lost in sweat.

For a snack try water with all-natural yogurt and a banana or orange. Even though sports drinks are specifically formulated to include carbohydrates and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to help provide energy and replenish what is lost through sweating, whole foods provide more nutrients (i.e. carbohydrates, protein, sodium, potassium, vitamin C, etc.) for optimal recovery and health.

Hydration Goals
• Clear or pale yellow urine
• Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go
• Hydrate before, during and after physical activity
• Fruits, veggies, soup, tea and juices help
meet hydration needs

Benefits of Proper Hydration
• Reduce muscle cramping and injury
• Decrease fatigue
• Maximize performance

Signs of Dehydration
• Fatigue, headaches and muscle cramping
• Declining performance
• Decreased blood pressure
• Nausea and vomiting

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