If you think cold climate requires less
water intake than temperate climate, you are wrong. Extreme cold temperature
requires you to drink as much water as in warm and humid temperatures. You may
not feel thirsty or sweat excessively in a cold climate but that doesn't mean
you are well hydrated. Studies have found that extreme temperatures either hot
or cold require you to drink more water than in temperate conditions to keep
yourself from dehydrating.
In extreme cold
temperatures, to stay warm, you may have to be physically active or your body
begins to shiver to generate heat. Your metabolism increases and this burns a
lot of calories. If you are not drinking enough water you may feel even colder
as dehydration reduces your appetite and weakens your shivering response.
Dehydration also makes you sluggish and holds you back from doing any physical
activity that can help you stay warm.
Don't trust your thirst
mechanism at extremely cold temperatures. It is
weakened at cold temperatures and you may have to drink more than how much your
thirst mechanism tells you to drink. You need more water because every time you
breathe your body is forced to warm and humidify the cold, dry air you inhale
and you lose significant amounts of water for every exhalation.
is important in cold climates. Food provides fuel for your working muscles and
helps you accumulate fat that insulates your body from the cold. Eat warm foods
so they can warm you up. Cold foods and cold fluids can chill your body and
keep your teeth chattering a lot. Avoid eating unmelted and unpurified ice or
snow. They lower your body temperature and increase the risk of diarrhea. It
may also damage the lining in your mouth. So along with protective clothing and
shelter make sure you have enough food and water to help you fight against the
cold. Extra salt intake should be avoided as salt increases your need for
water. Caffeine and alcohol consumption has to be decreased since they dehydrate
your body. Alcohol not only dehydrates your body, it also dilates the blood
vessels leading to heat loss.
Water helps you
to maintain your body temperature and it reduces the risk of hypothermia and
frostbite, which may develop at abnormally low body temperatures. Hypothermia
is a condition in which body temperature drops very low for normal metabolism
of the body. It can lead to confusion and make you go clumsy and sleepy.
Hypothermia is very dangerous and life threatening. Frostbite happens when a
part of your body gets frozen and it can even lead to amputation. So drinking
enough water in cold weather is as important as it is in hot weather. You may not feel thirsty when it's freezing
outside, but drink plenty of water anyway!