Five Tips for Winter Hydration

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in winter of 2016, and has been updated.

As I’ve made losing a few pounds and refocusing on proper nutrition one of my goals for this year, I’ve been taking a close look at where I’ve been slacking. One clear area I need to pay better attention to is my water intake. I find without the heat and humidity of the warmer seasons I can easily let my hydration slip.

Cold Weather Challenges

Staying properly hydrated should be a priority every day, regardless of the season. In the winter, while you may not be contending with soaring temps, you are dealing with dry air – both outdoors and indoors – forcing your body to work hard to humidify the air you breathe, while at the same time, your skin is zapped of its natural moisture. Research shows that you feel 40 percent less thirsty in cold weather thanks to the constriction of blood vessels as your body works to keep your core warm. Maintaining your core temp takes priority over fluid balance, and your body is fooled into thinking it’s properly hydrated. So waiting until you feel thirsty could be too late – you’re probably already dehydrated.

Did you know that dehydration can lead to both brain fog, muscle cramps, and fatigue? Dehydration can also increase the risk of hypothermia and frostbite when exercising outside – no bueno!

So here are some quick tips for staying hydrated this winter:

Carry water during workouts — Stating the obvious here, but I’m still surprised at the number of people I’ve spotted in the gym lately working up a good sweat, but no water bottle in sight. While my runs right now are short enough to avoid carrying a water bottle, if you’re prepping for an early spring marathon or half marathon, you’re going to need to bring water on those long runs.

Keep a water bottle front & center — I keep a water bottle or glass on my desk during the workday. But, if you’re like me and sometimes get too wrapped up in what you’re doing and forgetting to refill, then consider using a water bottle with a time marker.  I’ve been using this Hydr-8 Water Bottle  (Amazon affiliate link!) to help keep me on track- I love that I can take it easily from my desk to my car.

Eat your fluids — Use soups to help boost your hydration in addition to keeping up your intake of water-rich fruits and veggies.

Make it a morning ritual — Many people wake up dehydrated, so start your day off downing a glass of water before you reach for your coffee.

Dress up your water — If straight-up water bores you, try adding fruit, cucumbers or mint to your water.

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Sharing 5 tips for staying hydrated this winter #fitlife #fitness #running Click To Tweet

I’m linking up with Meranda, Lacey, and Rachel for the Friday Five.

 

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Nuun Energy Review & Giveaway

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Nuun. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Since I started my half marathon training plan, I’ve also started testing out different options for fueling my runs. In the past, a big area where I’ve fallen short is hydration. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting better with some help from Nuun.

Nuun Energy

Just as I was getting ready to start my half training, Nuun reached out to see if I was interested in testing out their newest product line Nuun Energy – perfect timing! I had tried the original Nuun tablets out a couple of times last summer and found them to be a nice alternative to traditional sports drinks – which my stomach just wants no part of! So why didn’t I stick with them? Pure laziness on my part truthfully – I got so obsessed with trying to figure which gel/Chomp/etc. to use that my hydration plan kinda took a backseat and I went back to just water.

But knowing my hydration needs some extra attention while training in the summer I knew I wanted more than water. Enter Nuun Energy! I’m happy to say that the best things I liked about the original Nuun haven’t been changed – all natural with no added sugars and less than 12 calories. Nuun Energy provides 40 mg. of caffeine and 5 essential B vitamins for more sustained energy. It comes in Wild Berry, Cherry Limeade,  and Lemon-lime — I tried out the last two flavors and was especially fond of the Cherry Limeade.  Overall, it’s light, refreshing and easy on my stomach – a definite win for my workouts! Additionally, I’ve actually taken to drinking it in the late afternoon when I typically start to fade and begin dreaming of iced coffee concoctions!

Ready to try it out for yourself? One lucky reader will win Nuun Energy tablets. The giveaway will run from now until midnight on 8/16. A winner will be announced on Monday, August 18th. Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Stay Hydrated During the Winter

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The heat of the summer provides an easy reminder of the importance of drinking up – we sweat easily and will quickly grab a beverage to not only replace what we perceive to be losing in sweat but also to help cool off. However, with much of the country now in the middle of a deep freeze, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of staying well-hydrated. In fact, I’ve been struck by the number of people I’ve observed in the gym lately who are working out sans water bottle!

Staying properly hydrated should be a priority every day, regardless of the season. In the winter, while you may not be contending with soaring temps, you are dealing with dry air – both outdoors and indoors – forcing your body to work hard to humidify the air you breathe, while your skin is zapped of it’s natural moisture.

Dehydration can lead to both brain fog, muscle cramps and fatigue. Additionally, during winter months it can accelerate the risk of hypothermia and frostbite when exercising outside. So while you may not want to carry a water bottle with you during these winter months, look for opportunities  to keep your fluids up throughout the day.

For me, I find keeping a water bottle or glass filled on my desk helps, as does eating my fluids in the form of soups in addition to keeping up my fruits and veggies intake. In the evenings, I’ve made grabbing a big mug of non-caffeinated tea part of my daily wind-down. And, I’ve always got water with me when I head to the gym or yoga class. For longer runs, when carrying water in the frigid air seems unthinkable, my husband J has been nice enough to come out and meet me with water – but I also know many runners who will stash a bottle in advance along their route.

Do you pay as close attention to your hydration during the winter?

 

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Thursday Thoughts

Small Changes — I’m a couple of days behind on my #OneSmallChange update. So I was on a roll with Week 1‘s daily planks and then Week 2‘s keeping my coffee table clutter free, but I hit a bump in the road with Week 3’s change to up my daily water intake. Don’t know why I have such a tough time with this one, but I’ve decided to re-commit to this change for week 4 and see if I have better luck.

Race Debate — I’ve done very little running in the past week and half – in fact I’ve run exactly 3 times. I’ve been trying to give my bum foot and knee as much TLC as possible.  And while the knee feels pretty good, my foot was sore after Tuesday’s run. I saw my massage therapist and she treated it and gave me the hairy eyeball when I floated the idea of running in this Sunday’s 5k. The Canton Fall Classic is one of my favorite races – it’s local so I get to see and catch up with a lot of friendly faces – I’d really hate to miss running it. I may hold off till Sunday morning to make the final call on this one.

And speaking of races... I did register for one more half for this year – it’s December 8. Yes I recognize that living in New England the first weekend of December can bring everything from freakishly mild temps to snow, but I’m going to cross my fingers and dig out my Yak-Traks just in case 🙂 My half marathon performance this year has left me underwhelmed to say the least and I’d like to take one last shot at putting together a good race before closing the book on 2013.

So tell me — what’s your best trick for making sure you get enough water? Would you run on Sunday?

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Small Changes – Week 2

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It’s time for the One Small Change weekly link-up! Week 2 is done and I’m happy to say that I managed to keep my coffee table this clutter free all week! The trick was to do a quick “drive-by” every morning while I was grabbing my coffee. I also kept up week 1’s daily planks so I’m two for two on the small changes so far. (OK – in full disclosure, I did take race day off on the planks!)

So what’s up for week 3?

More of this

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I just don’t drink enough water so I’d like to get at least two more glasses in each day.

Are you making small changes?

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Omega Infusion Review

One thing I really struggle with is my hydration – unless it is the dog-days of summer, I have to really make a conscious effort to drink enough water. And I’ll admit, sometimes I just get bored with plain old H2O. Often you’ll find me putting either lemon, cucumber or mint in my water to give it a little umph and keep me drinking.

I was recently introduced to Omega Infusion – a zero-calorie enhanced water that not only provides you with hydration, but also with natural energy from B vitamins and antioxidant vitamin C, and much needed Omega-3s.  Once I heard the description I had to give them a try.

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Omega Infusion comes in berry, fruit punch, citrus, and orange. I thought they all had a good flavor – offering more taste than most “flavored” waters I’ve tried, without being too strong. My favorite was berry. My oldest son got in on the act too – trying all of them with me and declaring them “delicious!” Fruit punch was his favorite, with the citrus a close second. In fact, since they’ve appeared in our fridge, he’s been grabbing a bottle after school, instead of making his usual pitch for lemonade – win!

Each bottle contains 80mg of Omega-3s EPA/DHA. Did you know that the FDA qualified health benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids is a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD)?  It is a fact that our bodies cannot naturally produce the nutrients found in Omega-3 so we must get them from outside sources.  Recent studies have shown several potential benefits of Omega-3’s, including:

  • Improvement of cognitive function in both children and adults
  • Help with psychiatric disorders such as depression
  • Increased mental focus and motivation
  • Reduced stress levels and mental fatigue
  • Reduced macular degeneration
  • Strengthened red blood cells which may improve blood pressure, heart rate and vascular function
  • Possible anticancer benefits
  • Potential to counter inflammation
  • Higher level of satiety and appetite reduction

Omega Infusion provides nice variety when you get tired of drinking plain H2O – with some added vitamin benefits! You can find Omega Infusion in Giant Stores, Stop & Shop and HEB stores – check out their website http://www.omegainfusion.com/ for details. You can also follow them on Facebook (here) or Twitter (here).

This post was sponsored by Omega Infusion. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.

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Lessons learned and training begins again

I’ve started training this week for the Providence Rock ‘n’ Roll Half! As you can imagine, I’ve been thinking a lot about my last race — both the training and the race itself. Where do I make changes? What do I tweak…or throw out?

A couple of things stand out for me….

  • Without question, I need to make a more dedicated effort to strength training, especially where my left leg is concerned. The imbalance between my quads and hamstrings is a major contributor to my knee woes. Additionally, my right leg is so dominant that it is throwing off my gait – especially when I start to get tired. In looking back at my training, I was understandably most focused on building the miles. While there was some strength training, to be honest it was both minimal and inconsistent. If I do not want a repeat performance of my left leg cashing it in shortly after mile 8, then I have to get serious about strengthening the leg!
  • I’ve got to figure out a hydration plan. All of my long runs leading up to the half were done in cool temps – I never carried water with me. Then bam, race day is hot and humid and I wasn’t use to taking in water while running and as a result I don’t think I managed the water stations as well as I could have. Obviously, no one expected those crazy temps then, but the Providence RnR is in August so heat and humidity is a given! In general I know I need to hydrate better, both on days I run as well as off days. But I also need to use my long runs to figure out a hydration strategy for the race.
  • I need to continue to work on pacing and not be afraid to push it. There were moments during my last training cycle where I’d be running and feeling good then glance at my Garmin and think “whoa is that really my pace, I’ve got to slow it down cause I’ll never make it to the end of the run.” In other words I’d psyche myself out! I realize it’s really easy to fall into this rut of thinking of yourself as an XX min/mile runner – I need to challenge myself to not fall into that rut.

So, now with a better mileage base, my goals leading up to the next race are to strengthen my legs (especially the left), learn to hydrate better and embrace a little speed! And I’m going back to posting my weekly plan because it helps to keep me accountable.

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For this week:
Monday — Yoga  (check)
Tuesday — Strength work (check)
Wednesday — Tempo run (4) (check)
Thursday — Yoga or Rest
Friday — Long run (6)
Saturday — Pilates reformer (counts for strength work)
Sunday — Easy 5

Happy Running!
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