The Importance of Good Hydration Even In Winter
Just because it is Winter doesn't mean that it isn't possible to suffer from mild dehydration.
Now that it is colder and the days shorter with less activity, we generally experience thirst less often and so may drink less fluids. However, with central heating drying out the atmosphere it is just as important to drink regular fluids as it is in the summer. Elderly patients may start drinking far too little fluids and are a higher risk group for dehydration.
Remember, we depend on water for survival - as humans we are mainly composed of water and this is vital for organ, joint and mental health. Osteopathically, it is possible to palpate when a patient is starting to dehydrate - skin texture is dryer and muscular tissues don't have the 'bounce' resilience of healthy muscles which are usually about 70% water. We may comment upon this during your treatment session and it can be an indicator that you just need to increase your fluid intake.
We recommend for sedentary normal activity 8 glasses of water per day. A couple of these as a caffeinated drink is okay but at least 4 drinks should be decaffeinated. Space them out regularly throughout the day with more in the morning/lunchtime if you are worried about suffering from urinary frequency at night.
Obviously, if you are exercising regularly or suffer from kidney/urinary problems then you will need a greater fluid intake.
Foods to enhance fluid intake are fruit, vegetables and in the winter a good soup should go down well. Try adding a lemon slice to water to make it more palatable or use a No-Added Sugar fruit squash. Also, when hungry, drink a glass of water before eating as we often mistake thirst for hunger.
Symptoms of Mild Dehydration Can Be:
- Muscle/Joint Aches and Pains
- Dry Mouth
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Lack of Skin Elasticity
- Little or No Urine Output
So please, keep your healthy fluid intake up over the next few months despite the colder weather.
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From Carragh, Mark, Lucy, Colette and Anna.