The importance of staying hydrated for our overall health and well-being is pretty common knowledge. Still, there are some more specific, lesser-known reasons to stay hydrated year-round. No matter the season, staying hydrated should be a priority. 

Not a big water fan?

Before we dive in, let’s address the elephant in the room – some people really find it hard to enjoy drinking plain water. If that’s you, don’t despair, you can still get plenty of hydration without having to chug down copious amounts of boring old water. Soda, juices, and other drinks packed with sugars and other nasties sadly aren’t the solution, but there are still some tasty options to consider. 

Flavored waters can be a great alternative – refreshing, easy to drink, and low in the sugar and calorie department. Another good idea for the chilly months is to make your own non-caffeinated tea by heating up some lemon-infused water. This will not taste pleasant but also provide you with the additional benefits of lemon, such as Vitamin C – which is especially important in the winter months. Other ways to boost hydration without drinking plain water is to eat more foods that have a higher water content, such as succulent watermelon, cucumber, and celery.

Now you know that you’ve got hydration covered, whether you’re a fan of plain water or not, let’s look into some of the lesser-known reasons that hydration is important all year round.

Winter dehydration is a real thing

Many people presume that dehydration is only a concern during the summer months, but that’s simply not true. Winter dehydration is a very real thing, and it can potentially be just as dangerous as summertime dehydration. In fact, the dry air and cold temperatures of winter can increase your risk of dehydration. This is because your body has to work that much harder to maintain its optimal core temperature when it’s cold outside, and this can cause you to lose more water through your breath and skin than you realize.

Additionally, it’s all too common for people to drink less water during the winter simply because they aren’t triggered to do so by the sensation of thirst. The bottom line with thirst, however, is that if you’re waiting until you feel thirsty to drink some fluids, you’re already starting to become dehydrated. 

Staying hydrated can improve your mood

Dehydration can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms, such as fatigue, brain fog, headaches, dizziness, and more. But what’s far less commonly understood is that it can also affect your mood. Studies have shown that even a mild case of dehydration can lead to feelings of irritability, anxiety, and a decrease in cognitive function. So, if you want to keep feeling chipper, make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. 

 Water can help you maintain a healthy weight

If you’re on a mission to lose weight or otherwise maintain a healthy weight, drinking plenty can make a surprising difference. Not only does drinking water help keep your tummy feeling full, but it can also give your metabolism a boost, assisting your body in burning calories more efficiently. Plus, when you’re properly hydrated, your body can flush out toxins and waste more efficiently, helping to improve overall health.

Water can improve your skin

If you want to improve the look and feel of your skin (and frankly, who doesn’t), drinking plenty of water is a great place to start. When we’re properly hydrated, our skin is better able to maintain its elasticity and suppleness, which has the knock-on effect of reducing the appearance of pesky fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, staying well-hydrated can help flush out toxins and impurities from our skin, which can help reduce the incidence and severity of acne breakouts and generally improve complexion. 

Dehydration can affect your athletic performance or running

Whether you’re a fully-fledged athlete or simply someone who enjoys running, working out and staying active, staying hydrated is especially important. A dehydrated body is less able to regulate its temperature, which can lead to fatigue and decreased performance. Dehydration can also lead to cramping and other muscle issues, which can be especially problematic for athletes.

Water can help prevent headaches

If you’re prone to suffering miserable headaches, staying hydrated could help to reduce and even prevent them. Dehydration is a common trigger for headaches, yet many people fixate on why they may have a headache when the answer is actually simple. Of course, there are many reasons for headaches, but the first step in addressing them is to up your hydration and see how it helps. 

Final thoughts

Come rain or shine (or hail, or sleet, or thunder. You get the picture), staying well-hydrated is a key ingredient of good health. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water – make it a habit to sip on water (or a tasty variation) throughout the day to ensure that you’re getting enough. Additionally, try to limit your consumption of sugary drinks like soda and juice, as these can actually dehydrate you and contribute to other health problems. By throwing a little effort and attention into your hydration needs, you can reap the many benefits of staying hydrated year-round.