Adequate hydration is needed all year round
Everyone has their favourite season. No matter what yours is, make sure your body is properly hydrated all year round, as hydration is one of the most important prerequisites for the normal functioning of the body and it directly affects the physical and cognitive abilities. Factors that influence the increase of the body’s needs for water includeclimatic conditions i.e. air temperature, and humidity, the number of clothes, the intensity and duration of physical activity and diet.
Learn more about the peculiarities of each of the seasons in terms of hydration, and see for yourself how important it is to take care of sufficient water intake on a daily basis.
For many people, the actual beginning of the year happens with the awakening of nature, which begins in the spring. Days are longer, with more sunlight, and greater temperature fluctuations during the day. Temperatures that suddenly reach 20 degrees or more often “catch” us in winter coats and winter jackets. In the spring many people tend to feel signs of fatigue, low energy levels, headaches, having a hard time concentrating, which are all symptoms that can be attributed to what is known as the so-called spring fatigue. And the cause of all these symptoms might be the lack of water in the body.
A simple way of finding out whether you are adequately hydrated is the colour of your urine, as it can indicate the degree of body hydration. Light yellow colour is appropriate, while darker colours may indicate insufficient hydration.
The hot days of summer effectively remind us of the need for water intake by activating a strong sense of thirst. The loss of water through sweating while being at rest in moderate temperature environments is small; however, the temperature increase during the hot summer months makes this loss very prominent, particularly if related to physical activity. Outdoor temperature, air flow intensity, and air humidity, exposition to sunlight and the amount of clothes significantly impact the loss of water from the body (it may amount to the loss of multiple litres of water per day, which means the compensation of electrolyte loss needs to be borne in mind). Inadequate water loss compensation leads to reduced physical and cognitive abilities, and to disorders in the maintenance of normal body temperature.
Signs of inadequate water intake include the feeling of thirst, dry and sticky mouth, drowsiness and fatigue, reduced urination, dark colour of urine, crying without tears, dry skin, headache, feeling of confusion, and dizziness. Children and the elderly are particularly sensitive to insufficient water intake at higher temperatures. It is not wise to wait for the occurrence of the said signs to start drinking more water. It is a good idea to begin hydrating your body as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, making sure you drink 8–10 glasses of water during the day (approximately 1.6–2 litres). Additional needs for water while spending time doing outdoor activities should be planned in advance, and it’s a good idea to have a bottle of water at hand, so that it is always available.
After the hot summer, days of autumn arrive which can still be very warm, but with a broader range of temperature values during the day. With the onset of wintry weather comes the heating of the rooms where we spend most of our day. The feeling of thirst is not as pronounced as during the hot summer days, but the body still needs water.
So proper hydration remains a relevant autumnal topic that should always be taken into account.
The sudden surge of liabilities that tend to follow annual leave and summer holidays is oftentimes an exceptionally intense and demanding period. Increased professional commitments and activities often raise our stress levels and can negatively impact our immune system. Water is a medium where the biochemical reactions in our body take place, so adequate hydration is an important and integral part of our general health condition.
A regular intake of 8–10 glasses of water (approx. 1.6–2 litres) will provide a foundation for the proper physical and cognitive functioning of our body at the beginning of a new work cycle which, for most people, happens in autumn.
Don’t forget that coffee and alcohol consumption has a diuretic effect and requires additional water intake.
Adequate hydration is most commonly linked to increased activities and thirst in the hot days, and particularly during the heat of the summer, when we are aware of how much we actually sweat.
However, hydration is also exceptionally important in the winter months. Spending time in heated rooms and wearing warm clothes leads to increased loss of water through breathing, moistening of the mucous membranes and sweating. Apart from that, the feeling of thirst in low temperatures is not as pronounced as is the case in warm or hot weather, so it’s easy to forget about it during winter activities. The time spent skiing, sledging, snowboarding or the tedious cleaning of snow will, apart from depleting your energy levels, also cause the loss of water in the body, which needs to be compensated for.
Compared to summer heat, during winter activities the perspiration rates are lower, but the loss through breathing and urination remains considerable. So when you opt for long hours of activities in the snow, a bottle of water will prove to be your most useful ally.
Particular care should be taken of water intake, and it should be done on a daily basis, as this is the only way of ensuring the optimal functioning of the body. Pristine natural mineral waters are an excellent choice for natural hydration all year round.
Keep in mind that the adequate daily water intake for a healthy adult person with a sedentary lifestyle living in moderate ambient temperature conditions should range from approximately 1.6 to 2 litres (8–10 200 ml glasses) of water. This basic amount of water is recommended all year round, regardless of the season.