How To Stay Hydrated For Winter Workouts

Jan 31, 2020
By: Lauren Keating

It might be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean that athletes don’t risk dehydration when working out. Staying hydrated is important no matter the temperature, even though many tend to associate dehydration with the hot summer.

If you are sweating and not drinking water and replenishing electrolytes, dehydration can occur.

And it can be harder to detect the signs of dehydration in the winter because of the cold weather. In the frigid temperature, the blood vessels constrict to keep more blood at the core to conserve heat.

The body actually thinks its properly hydrated so athletes tend to drink less water when working out in the cold.

Urine production increases in cold weather. So not consuming fluids plus losing fluids is the recipe for dehydration.

Having layers on means the body gets warmer quickly and thus sweating occurs. But some sweat less because it is cooler out compared to the summer.

Sweat combined with water loss from water vapor via our breath further contributes to not staying hydrated.

Hydration Tips for the Cold

There are ways that athletes can make sure they are properly staying hydrated.

Even being slightly dehydrated—a mere two percent—can decrease performance. And this is huge for those competing outdoors in the winter months.

Here are the top tips for staying hydrated for those winter workouts.

Drink More

Even though the athlete doesn’t feel thirsty doesn’t mean they don’t need to hydrate. In fact, since many don’t get thirsty plus don’t associate dehydration with the winter, it’s even more important to make sure to drink up.

This means drinking before, during and after the workout. Aim to drink half your weight in ounces.

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men should drink about 15.5 cups (124 oz) of fluids and 11.5 cups (92 oz) for women daily.

Aim to get about 100 oz of water daily, drinking about 20 oz two to three hours before the workout, eight oz 30-minutes before exercise and up to 10 oz every 10 to 20 minutes during the workout. Drink more water when at a higher altitude when skiing, snowboarding or running or hiking in the mountains.

Make sure to then drink at least eight oz of water after the workout is completed.

Some athletes prefer to drink sports drinks during their workout to get electrolytes as well, which aid in hydration.

Fuel Right

However, sports drinks do have a downside. Some options are high in calories and added sugar. This can cause the athlete to crash.

It’s best to properly fuel for winter workouts that last longer than 45-minutes with sports nutrition products. Kramp Krusher energy chews are ideal for workouts because it serves as a source of energy (fuel via glucose) to power through endurance exercise.

But it also contains natural sea salt meaning it's packed with electrolytes thanks to its sodium, magnesium, and calcium to help keep the athlete hydrated.

Kramp Krushers also contain potassium, which works with sodium to balance fluids and increase muscle hydration.

These energy chews prevent cramps thanks to its calcium lactate. Interestingly enough, cramps during exercise can also be a sign of dehydration. So drink up and fuel right.

Signs of dehydration include dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, dry mouth, lack of sweating, vomiting and increased heart rate.

shutterstock 722057539

Dress Right

It’s important to dress appropriately for winter workouts in the outdoors. Of course, the athlete should wear layers, but dressing too warm isn’t a good thing.

This increases body temperature which then will result in more sweating. More sweating means more fluids lost.

To avoid this, wear breathable clothing with moisture-wicking properties. Dress appropriately with the option to take off the outer layer.

Other Tips

Carry a hydration pack, vest or water bottle when working out to have water on hand.

Stay away from caffeine which can aid in dehydration. Instead opt for decaffeinated hot tea, hot cider or even hot chocolate which is great for recovery.

Many foods can provide a boost in water include fruits like apples and clementines as well as soup. The bonus is soup also helps the athlete to warm up post-workout.

Sources:

8 Tips for Hydrating in Cold Weather, Felicia D. Stroler,Healthhttps://[www.health.com/fitness/8-tips-​for-hydrating-in-cold-weather](http://www.health.com/fitness/8-tips-for-hydrating-in-cold-weather)

Kenefick RW, Hazzard MP, Mahood NV, and Castellani JW.Thirst sensations and AVP responses at restand during exercise-cold

exposure. Med Sci and Sports Exerc. 1528-1534 (2004).https://www.ncbi.nlm.​nih.gov/pubmed/15354034

Dietary reference intake: Electrolytes and water. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.http://www.nationalacademies.​org/hmd/Activities/Nutrition/​DRIElectrolytes.aspx. Accessed July 13, 2017.

Water: How much should you drink every day?, Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Clinic,https://www.mayoclinic.org/​healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-​and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256