Winter Cold Can Mask Your Thirst. Stay Hydrated!

January 21, 2021

Quench Your Thirst in Cold Temps 

It sounds counterintuitive, but most people don’t realize that proper sports nutrition is even more critical during winter than it is during summer. But when you consider that as temperatures drop, your body works harder (ie: use more energy) to maintain a safe body temperature, it starts to make sense. Hydration, rehydration and energy are all critical components for maximizing your performance during the winter – be it on skis, snowshoes, the treadmill or in the driveway shoveling snow.

Hydration: It can be difficult to stay hydrated when it’s cold out because you just don’t feel as thirsty. This means you’re likely already starting at a deficit when you head out for a workout. More than likely you’re also packed under layers for warmth causing more potential for overheating and sweating. Additionally, your body loses more water through breathing when it's cold out, even further tipping the scales towards potential dehydration. Therefore, it’s critical to have a focus on maintaining hydration during winter workouts. Whether a vest, waist pack or flask, the best bet is to always have fluids on-hand to maintain proper water balance.

To maximize your fluid intake, remember that drinks with a bit of glucose and electrolytes will help your body retain fluid better than water alone. A simple trick to drink more fluid in the winter is to make sure your drink has a light, pleasant flavor that you’ll enjoy throughout the day. A squeeze of citrus can do the trick. 

Rehydration: Replenishing fluids after a workout or good snow play session is also very important, for many of the reasons mentioned above. Recovery products that include a mix of protein and carbohydrates are great for helping your muscles repair, but proper hydration is still critical to help digest these vital nutrients. 

Energy: Did you know that cold temperatures can actually increase your metabolism? Your body has to work harder to maintain your body temperature in the winter.  Shivering uses a lot of energy! A simple way to keep your energy levels topped off during winter activities is to plan ahead and bring easy to digest foods with you. Liquid energy gels can be a lifesaver (we recommend Glukos!) They take up way less space and give you energy much more quickly than other pre-packaged snacks.

Nathan has a wide range of hydration solutions available from vests to handhelds to waist packs. No matter what you’re running preference is in summer or winter, there’s guaranteed to be water on-hand with us, when you need it.


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