This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label. All opinions are our own.
When I lived in a warm climate, I was constantly told to, “stay hydrated” or make sure you’re drinking water and not just soda. It was kind of obvious as you were constantly sweating and that naturally makes you think, yeah, I could really go for a tall glass of ice cold water. In hindsight, I think it was used more for the cooling effect of the ice cold liquid more than anything.
Living in a cold climate, it may not be so obvious though to keep yourself hydrated in the winter. Especially when there’s snow on the ground, or it’s overcast for 3 months straight. It just “feels” like everything is constantly wet, you’re not really sweating most days, so drinking lots of liquids may not be on the top of your mind. And of course, you’re not hot, so the urge to have an ice cold drink is the furthest thing from your mind. And who wants to drink a lukewarm cup of water?!?
The winter is probably one of the most important times to focus on drinking adequates of water every day. Follow us below as we discuss the best ways to hydrate this winter.
Water Is Necessary For Healthy Living
You’ve heard it time and again to drink more water. Why is water such a big deal?
Water in the human body is vital to keep the body running. Water is like the motor oil in a car, if it’s low, the engine will run poorly, if it gets so low that the motor oil stops flowing, it’s just a short matter of time before the engine completely fails and stops working. Let’s explore more about the important role water plays in the body.
Why Is Water Vital To The Human Body?
- A nutrient required by every cell in our body. Not some cells, not most cells, but every cell in our body. Experts say there are 37.2 trillion cells in our body! That’s a lot of cells requiring water.
- Our bodies are dependent on several functions related to maintaining our optimal 98.6 degree body temperature. Water Primarily is used by our bodies in sweating and respiration, which helps us moderate our body temperature.
- As we have in every house, we couldn’t possibly think of using a toilet without water to flush it down the drain. The body uses water in a similar fashion, as it assists in evacuating waste from our body mainly thru urination.
- Carbohydrates and proteins are metabolized and moved by water thru the bloodstream. Why are these important?
How Long Can You Survive Without Water vs Food?
Have you ever been so busy and you skipped lunch? By the time dinner came around, you yelled, “I’m starving here. I need food!”. Well guess what, you can survive without food alot longer than just skipping one meal. And you can live without food alot longer than you can without water. How long?
- You can survive without food for approximately 3 weeks, according to Scientific American
- But you can survive without hydration (including water) for approximately only 2 days, as noted at Live Science
How Much Of Our Body Is Made Up Of Water?
Approximately 60% of the human body is made up of water! Let that sink in for a bit…. Even though we have skin, bones, and muscles, water is so prevalent in our human body, 60% of it is water. Wow.
What Happens If You Don’t Hydrate Enough?
Early signs of dehydration are commonly observed by the following:
- Muscle fatigue
- Extreme thirst
- Dark urine color
Long-term signs of dehydration commonly referred to as Chronic Dehydration, usually present themselves as:
- Less frequent peeing, or extremely dark urine color
- Irritability (more than your normal level of irritability)
- Very dry skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sunken Eyes
- Rapid breathing
- Lack of energy
Is Water Important To The Human Body?
So we’ve come to realize 2 things:
- Water is SUPER IMPORTANT. It’s a requirement to stay alive and to function properly as human beings
- Proper hydration in the winter is just as important as it is in the summer
The Best Way To Stay Hydrated This Winter
There is no denying it the winter is here and in full force. Itchy skin, dry eyes, chapped lips and a stuffy nose are just the start of winter woes. Drinking more water is the #1 solution this winter.
But there are several things you can do to supplement your hydration efforts. Try these simple tips and tricks to beat the harsh effects of the coldest months.
Moisturize Your Skin
From skating to snowshoeing and snowy walks, winter is full of fun activities. However, we all know the cold can take a toll on our skin. In the harsh winter months, you should be paying more attention to your skincare routine. Try exfoliating more, limiting hot water and using a moisturizer. Dermal therapy body lotion is one option to help relieve dry, cracked, and itchy skin. With alpha hydroxy acids, it helps to replace old dry skin to reveal new skin and will help keep your skin smooth during the winter.
Moisturize Your Lips
Exfoliate your lips twice a week to help prevent chapping. Before you go to bed, make sure you apply a thick lip balm to bring back some of the moisture you may have lost during the day.
Keep Your Nose Clear
A stuffy nose and cold weather go hand-in-hand, and this can dampen your day. Sleeping with an extra pillow to elevate your head, using a humidifier and taking hot steamy showers can help clear your congestion. You can also try a nasal spray like hydraSense Medium Stream. hydraSense is made from 100 percent naturally- sourced seawater and helps to flush out excess mucus to relieve nasal congestion. Free your nose this winter!
Hydrate Your Eyes
Cold winds and dry indoor heating are a recipe for eye discomfort. Make sure to give your eyes breaks during the day by looking away from your electronics or wearing glasses instead of contacts. hydraSense Advanced for Dry Eyes is one option for effective, long-lasting relief for your irritated eyes. It is preservative free and contains a clinically proven naturally sourced lubricant.
Use A Refillable Water Bottle
If you’re like me, I’m a bargain shopper, and I have a hard time paying for water. You know what I mean, you’re out and about, you’re thirsty, so you drop in some place to get some water and you find out a bottle of water is going to cost you $1.00 or even $1.50 in some places. Yowza! When you compare that to getting a cup of soda for $.99, doesn’t it seem like the soda is a much better value??? Or in other words that bottle of water seems expensive?
The Cost of Bottled Water
My spouse would often say, “stop being cheap, $1.50 for a bottle of water is nothing“. You won’t even notice it. This is the same person that was screaming about the price of gas when it jumped to $3.00 per gallon one summer. So let’s compare the cost of that “cheap” bottle of water to other things that are commonly bought in every household:
You can overcome the cost of bottled water drastically by buying in bulk at the local warehouse store. Oftentimes seeing prices around $0.10 per bottled water when you buy a case of 48 at a time. That drastically changes the chart above, dropping the cost of bottled water down to roughly $0.80 per gallon of bottled water bought in bulk. But now you need to consider the quality of water you’re getting from bottled water in general.
Drinking Bottled Water At Home is $$
For many years we bought cases of bottled water. But cracking open a bottle to drink at home? Now that just seems really expensive. I don’t know why. I have no problem opening a can of soda that costs roughly $0.42 when bought in a 12-pack. That bottle of water bought in a case is roughtly $0.10. Why do I feel like it’s too much of a luxury to drink that bottled water at home? It’s probably because at home we have a faucet, that pours out water at $0.005 per gallon. Now that’s an amount that feels like nothing!
So we found ourselves drinking more soda at home because it just felt like bottled water was too expensive at home. Or if we did drink it at home with a meal, we often limited ourselves to just one bottle. Even though we may have been more thirsty. Now that’s just craziness. Self-limiting consumption of water! Yeah, you’re probably thinking we’re just silly, but this is the realization we were living in, whether we realized it or not.
Our Drinking Water Solution
We thought our cheapest and safest route was to buy bottled water in bulk at our local warehouse store. Then stock them in the car so we always had them available. It still didn’t solve the “expensive” feel when drinking bottled water at home, but it was the best solution we could find at the time. Then we started hearing about more and more problems with bottled water quality, how it might be affected after being left in a hot car, etc, etc, etc.
So we went looking for another solution.
About 5 years ago we realized that the only way to ensure we had:
- Clean drinking water that we knew exactly what was in it
- Cost effective as possible so we don’t feel we need to self-ration our portions
We decided we had to filter our own water at home. There are various types of filters but the big requirements we had were:
- Heavy metals like mercury and lead
- Other dangerous chemicals like cyanide
- Super dangerous compounds like Hexavalent Chromium, popularized by the Julia Roberts Movie, Erin Brockovich.
- Low maintenance. Filter changes no more than once per year.
So that ruled out the typical “Carbon Filter” as while they make water taste great, they don’t get some of the other contaminants like Fluoride and Hexavalent Chromium.
The most popular, easy-to-use, and cost-effective solution we found was a permanently mounted Reverse Osmosis system by The Perfect Water. It mounts under the sink, and we were able to put a dedicated spigot on top of the sink as well as run a line to our refrigerator. So from our refrigerator, we now have filtered drinking water AND filtered ice. Water never tasted so good or cheap!
Doing the math, with the initial cost of the system and 4 years of filter changes (one time per year), the added cost to a gallon of filtered water at home is $0.058 over a 5 year period. Adding the cost of tap water $0.005, brings the total cost of reverse-osmosis filtered water to a whopping $0.063 per gallon.
What Makes McDonald’s Coke Taste So Good?
In the past couple of years, there’s been recognition of McDonald’s for providing Coca-Cola that tastes better than most places. And what do they use to make great tasting Coke and coffee, a reverse-osmosis system.
How To Carry Your Water Away From Home
Now the convenience of bottled water, and also one of the many dangerous things about bottled water, is it comes pre-packaged in its own plastic bottle. We didn’t have that with our home-based water solution, so we invested in a set of quality, 100% stainless steel water bottles. These are our favorites, with some of them lasting over 10 years of weekly usage.
Our daily routine consists of filling up a bottle for each of us before we leave the house. When we get home, we bring it in. That way we always have fresh water with us that never has a concern about being left in a hot car time and time again.
They’re not the cheapest bottles out there, but they work and are extremely durable. To us, they are worth every penny.
Using Filtered Water In Ways You Never Thought Of
If you’ve been with us this long, you might have noticed we’re very conscious of the water we put into our body! Seeing that our body is made up of 60% of water, we believe there’s nothing more important for you and your family to be concerned about than clean, reliable, drinking water.
With this system, we do things we’d never do with bottled water at home. Like, use filtered water to make spaghetti noodles. Or to make rice. Or to make soup. Or to use the ice we put in our super-healthy smoothie. You get the point, every recipe that we make at home also gets the benefit of super clean water now and it may be our imagination, but we think the food tastes better too.
We also conserve water as best we can. At the end of the night before bedtime, we empty out the water bottles into our household plants. We don’t have a green thumb, so this has really helped us keep our plants hydrated as well (our normal routine was to water them when they looked droopy!).
You may be great at staying on top of your water intake during the summer because of the heat, but it is just as important to stay hydrated during the winter. Don’t forget to carry around a water bottle and drink regularly throughout the day.
With fun outdoor winter activities, and the holidays, the winter is an exciting time of year! Don’t let the harsh weather hold you back from doing what you love. Make sure you stay hydrated this winter!
What are your best winter care tips?
This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.