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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Winter Water Wellness: Recommit to Hydration

Jan 31, 2021 12:29AM ● By Tamara Luck
Optimal hydration often escapes the mind after the summer months end and the cold weather rolls in. However, even though we are not sweating amidst the summer’s heat, hydration is equally important in the winter months to support energy, electrolyte balance, digestion and skin health.

How much water should a person drink per day? The answer is not straightforward. As a general rule, aim to consume half of one’s body weight in ounces. For example, a 150-pound woman, on average, should consume 75 ounces of water per day. Unfortunately, this simple equation does not account for one’s activity level or caffeine intake. Active individuals may need more water per day due to increased water loss through sweat.

In the winter, fill up a cup with room temperature or warm water to keep warm and hydrated. To maintain proper electrolyte and hydration status, consider adding electrolytes to one beverage each day, especially after physical activity. When looking for an electrolyte powder, avoid ones with high amounts of added sugar. Alternatively, electrolyte drinks can be made at home using 16 ounces of water, juice from a half of a lemon, a shake of mineral-rich Himalayan salt and a pinch of magnesium powder. The addition of electrolytes to water aids in hydrating the body’s tissues and skin. This also prevents the elimination of water in the urine shortly after drinking. Electrolytes are especially important when using a water filter at home that may filter out naturally occurring minerals from the water. Hot herbal teas that do not contain caffeine will also contribute to one’s daily fluid intake.

These considerations will ease winter woes from the inside out. Humans are 50 to 70 percent water and its needed for every cell in the body. Water contributes to optimal energy in several ways. It is an important component in many cellular reactions and helps to maintain electrolyte balance. Water also keeps food cravings at bay. Dehydration signals can often be confused with hunger. Sipping on water throughout the day prevents energy crashes and cravings.

Water is also necessary for various nutrition-related functions. Water is needed to break down protein derived from food and aid in bowel movement regularity. Adequate hydration status is more than just nourishing the body on the inside. Water is needed to keep skin looking plump and firm while also preventing dry, flaky skin. This is of increased concern during the winter months when the drier air outside and inside the home can dry out the skin.

Here are a few tips to increase daily water intake:

• Build a morning routine that includes drinking eight ounces of water upon waking.

• Find a mug, water bottle or cup that is enjoyable to drink out of. This will make drinking water that much easier.

• Flavor plain water with lemon, cucumber, mint or an herbal tea.

• Set gentle reminders on smartphones to get a drink of water. This also acts as a great standing break during the work day.

So, grab a warm cup of lemon water and rejuvenate the body by recommitting to hydration this winter.

Tamara Luck, RDN, LDN, is an integrative and functional dietitian in Waltham. She works to uncover root causes of imbalances in the body and takes an individualized approach to wellness with her one-on-one clients. She is currently accepting new patients at Johnson Compounding and Wellness and appointments can be made at