marathon prep: staying hydrated in winter

When it's hot out it's pretty easy to remember to hydrate, but when the weather turns the need somehow doesn't seem so obvious. Intuitively I'll grab a bottle of water when I head out the door in August, in December not so much - and I'm sure you're the same. In the winter I just don't feel parched and sweaty like I do in summer, so there aren't the same prompts to hydrate.

Mindful that I'm about to start some serious winter training I thought it might be a good idea to team up with Nuun and find out a bit more about staying hydrated even when it's cold outside.

Here's a fact for you - dehydration can after just a 2% loss in fluids! 2% is nothing!

Here's another fact - our hydration needs in winter aren't all that different to our needs in summer - and we definitely shouldn't be drinking any less. 

With those facts that in mind, looking at my own habits I am pretty sure I'm more likely to be dehydrated in winter than in summer!

Dehydration doesn't do anyone any favours. Hydration is an important factor year-round to overall health, and studies have shown that proper hydration is the best way to enhance or improve your performance - whether it's mental or physical.

So should you just be chugging tonnes of water? Well no. I mean water is great, but it's not enough. Adding flavour and electrolytes to water can up your intake by 90% compared to plain water. Why? Because it tricks your subconscious to drink more - so it's a quick and easy way to boost your fluid intake by nearly half!

other ways to make sure you stay hydrated through the colder months - 

- keep your fluids up all day, and especially before/during/after working out - I carry a big water bottle around with me all day and aim to refill it at least a couple of times through the day

- if you're thirsty then you're already dehydrated!

- check your wee - seriously, it's one of the best ways to tell if your dehydrated! As a rule, a large amount of light coloured, diluted urine and you're probably hydrated; dark coloured, concentrated urine and you're probably dehydrated. But, lots of wee doesn't mean you're optimally hydrated - clear urine is water that's not being absorbed. Nuun's balance of electrolytes helps make sure that more of what you drink gets absorbed!

Nuun were kind enough to send me some of their lovely hydration tabs, but as always all opinions are my own (I genuinely think it is awesome!).