Thursday, January 29, 2015

Winter Hydration Tips - How Much Water Do You Need?

The Goal: x4 - 24oz Polar Bottles per day
Winter air is notorious for being super dry. Today as I'm writing this, the outdoor humidity is only 20%. When I went snowshoeing the other day after Snowstorm Juno, the snow literally was powder. It was so dry that you couldn't even pack it to make snowballs.
Indoors, conditions can be even worse with heating units, fireplaces, etc. all blazing away. It can take humidity levels down to a very unhealthy level.

So just think what these conditions can do to your lungs, skin and overall winter sports performance. Making matters worse, being even slightly dehydrated puts you at greater risk for hypothermia! Nobody needs that. Here are some  simple ways to combat the problem of dehydration during the winter months.

Indoors: Get a Humidifier
Having proper humidity especially in your sleep and workout areas is key. My Nordic Track Ultra Flex is in the master bedroom so that whole area, minus the walk in closet is humidified. Room humidity of between 45-50% will make breathing easier and your skin feel more comfortable.
Traveling? I take along my Air O Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier. Pop a single serve water bottle on top and it pumps out an adjustable ultra-fine cool mist. Can be used at your desk in the office, hotel room. Anywhere! Get one here: Air-O-Swiss AOS 7146 Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier - Cool Mist

Internal Hydration-How Much Water Do You Need?
All the experts say "Drink plenty of water" but they never quite say exactly how much. A lot is going to depend on your size and overall activity. Obviously working out in the cold dry air will likewise put extra stress on your hydration efforts. I'm going to give you the 3 Liter Hydration Challenge as it is a good place to start.

THE PLAN: Drink x4 - 24 oz water bottles per day
You can use any BPA Free water bottle. I also like the thermal, stainless steel bottles as they keep the water nice and chilly for hours.

Pure Inventions Drops to Zoop Up Your Water

1.) First thing in the morning before you even get out of bed, down a 24 oz bottle of ice water. This will boost your metabolism and start things moving along for you. Water on an empty stomach cleanses the internal organs and bloodstream of impurities. You can even add Pure Inventions LLC - Green Tea Extract - Original Flavor, 2 fl oz liquid for flavor if pure water is just too plain for your tastes. So now you are a quarter way through your water quota for the day! 

24 oz Insulated Thermal Water Bottle
2.) Increase Your Intake of Raw Fruit, Vegetables, Smoothies and Soups
My breakfast is usually a smoothie with protein powder added in. I have the Vitamix 5200 Series Blender Super Package.  I toss in frozen berries, carrots, celery, apples, spring greens...whatever. This all goes towards your water totals for the day and the extra fiber + protein will keep you satisfied longer. It all helps the morning cleansing cycle to work at optimum level. Same thing for lunch. Start with some vegetable or lentil soup while you're getting the meal ready. Keep in mind that thirst often masquerades as hunger. Focus on high moisture content complex carbohydrates and you can count this as one half of one of the four - 24 oz servings of water for the day.

Raw fruits and vegetables in my VitaMix

3.) Take it With You
If you are trekking outdoors, just because it's winter doesn't mean you should leave your hydration pack at home. Your body heat will most likely keep the water in your reservoir from freezing (I've not had a problem during cold weather hikes).

Another thing you can do is pack some of that hot soup to help you warm up. Winter hikes are no place for a cold salad! I like to fill my wide mouth Klean Kanteens with soups and stews for the crew. A great way to hydrate and keep toasty while you're out in the outback. Check out all the colors of Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Insulated Water Bottles with Loop Caps

Hot Homemade Cream of Broccoli Soup
4.) Sterilize Water on the Fly
Another thing you can do is invest in a filtering/sterilizing water bottle. That way you can use water available at the parks and recreational areas without carrying in so much of your own. I like the Camelbak All Clear as it can even be used with water from a running stream. The UV light in the All Clear is 99.9% effective on bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Pick one up here:
Camelbak All Clear Bottle Pre-Filter

Camelbak All Clear uses UV light to kill viruses, bacteria and protozoa
Include Fruits and Vegetables with Each Meal + 24 ozs of Water
I really enjoy my grilled salmon! I make it on my panini press and serve it on a bed of spring greens with sauteed mushrooms and peppers. I also like oven baked sweet potato fries as they are loaded with beta carotene. You can mix it up and use oranges and apples to garnish your greens as well. Meal time is also time for another 24 oz bottle of water. Three meals per day plus the 24 ozs you had before arising and you're DONE. See? It's not so hard and your fitness as well as over all performance with soar this winter. Just remember to space out your water consumption throughout the day as I've recommended here.

Panini Grilled Salmon, spring greens, raw mushrooms and sweet potato fries.

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