(NC) Winter sports from skating to skiing or even shoveling the driveway are part of the quintessential Canadian experience. One of the most neglected, yet crucial aspect of winter activity is hydration. While we typically associate hydration with the balmy days of summer, when the heat is reminding us of our thirst, not staying properly hydrated regardless of the time of year can make your heart work harder, decrease energy levels and make you feel weaker.
If you want to optimize your winter workouts check out these tips for proper cold weather hydration:
Set a water goal
Pay attention to signs and symptoms of dehydration and inadequate liquid consumption. If you’re experiencing headaches, muscle cramping, or fatigue, it could be a sign that your body needs more fluid. Grab of bottle of water, or any other beverage like tea or juice to stay hydrated.
Match your drink to your activity
The Canadian Beverage Association suggests aligning your drink selection with your activity level and caloric needs. If you’re exercising for an extended period of time, look for options that will keep your body fueled at peak performance. Science shows that the water, carbohydrates and electrolytes in sports drinks provide significant hydration and athletic performance benefits for active individuals. Look for front-of-package caloric labelling and low- and no- calorie beverages for smart hydration choices.
Opt for warm beverages
Just the thought of an ice cold glass of water can send chills down our spine during the winter months. Try warming up with a thermos of hot water with lemon or green tea. Not only are these great hydrating options, but calorie-free too.
The beverage industry has set a goal through their Balance Calories initiative to reduce non-alcoholic beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20 per cent by 2025. More information is available at www.balancecalories.ca.