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Staying hydrated in winter | Tips and sources of hydration

Water is part of our lifeblood. Almost every major function our body performs depends on it. Consequently, it is vital that we actively replenish what we lose throughout the day.

The chilly weather, alongside minimal visible indicators of water loss (like sweating), makes winter a particularly challenging season for staying adequately hydrated. This can compromise our immune systems (which already have to work harder in winter!) and negatively affects a host of other factors such as body temperature regulation, brain function, and flushing out bodily waste.

While actually drinking water takes the prize when it comes to hydration, there are a few additional sources of H2O you can incorporate into your diet to increase your daily intake.


Why is it important to drink water in winter?

Consuming adequate amounts of water in winter is fundamental for ensuring that our bodies are still able to carry out their essential functions.

When we drink water, we protect our bodies from ‘winter dehydration’, which can easily be brought on by artificial warming and sweating under layers of clothing. 

Water ensures that we have enough energy to complete our tasks each day, that our skin stays healthy, and that our immune systems are strong for fighting the rise in circulating illnesses during winter. 


Consider these 5 water-rich foods to supplement your everyday hydration:

1. Cruciferous vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, and several others are all part of the cabbage family. Collectively, they are known as cruciferous vegetables. Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like folate, these greens have a particularly high water content. Some reach up to 90%! 

Winter is the time to shine for these vegetables, so consider trying out some warming recipes to take advantage of all they have to offer. 


2. Soups and broths

Collagen broth

Clear soups and broths are often used to cure dehydration, because of their watery base and rich electrolyte content. Broths have a host of other benefits too, such as restoring gut health, strengthening joints, and improving skin. 

Give our cosy winter soup a try!


3. Plant-based milks

There are two main forms of manufacturing plant-based milks, both of which leave the end product with a high water content and a considerable hydration factor. Some milks involve soaking and grinding the nuts, seeds, or legumes they are made of, whilst others are produced by drying and milling the base material, later formulating the flour into a drinkable beverage. 

Plant-based milks can be made at home, but it is important to not solely rely on your own creations, as the water content of a substance alone does not determine its hydration quality. Vitamins and minerals play a key role in ensuring our bodies are top-fit, so it is a good idea to include fortified plant milks in your overall consumption. 


4. Oats cooked in water or soaked overnight

Oats soften as they absorb liquid. When soaked or cooked in water, this power food turns into an additional source of daily H2O! 

Oats are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and fibre, making them an excellent breakfast choice in winter (who can resist a warm, creamy bowl of porridge when it’s cold out?!). 


5. Smoothies

Drinking a smoothie packed with fruits like blueberries (85% water), strawberries (91% water), cucumber (96% water), and veggies like kale (84% water) and spinach (93% water) is the ideal way to boost your daily hydration levels. Adding a dash of water to your fruity drink alongside plant-based milk will up its H2O content even more.

Smoothies are perfect for a breakfast-on-the-go but also come in handy during the day when you are looking for something to tide you over long working hours or time spent with your family.


Motivation to drink water

Of course, nothing beats a good glass of water. To make drinking water more appealing when you are battling with the cold weather, add some boiling water to your bottle. You may dislike the idea of drinking ‘warm water’ at first, but you’ll be surprised how soothing a glass of water at room temperature can be when it’s freezing out.

Keep your water bottle or a glass nearby, like on your desk, to constantly remind yourself to take a sip.

Make it a habit to have water before every meal – not only does this help you establish a hydration schedule, it also prevents overeating, as we sometimes mistake our thirst for hunger.

Apps and challenges are also a great way to maintain your motivation to stay hydrated and to keep you accountable.


Simple hydration checks

Being thirsty is not the only way our bodies tell us they’re drying up. There are several symptoms that may accompany dehydration, including fatigue, headaches, dizziness, dry skin, and poor concentration.

Two simple checks you can do at home include:

  1. Looking at the colour of your urine – darker urine may be a sign of not drinking enough water, as your body conserves its H2O for other functions. 
  2. Pinching the soft skin of one of your knuckles and observing how quickly it falls back down. If the skin stays up for a while, it may be time to rehydrate. 

Of course, these checks are very elementary and it is important to stay alert and read your body. Always check with a medical professional if you are concerned or unsure about your symptoms.



Water is undeniably vital to our daily functioning. It can be trickier to hydrate in winter, making these 5 additional sources of H2O a great complement to the glasses you are consuming in between.

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