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Hydration During Cooler Months

Sports Nutrition Certification

Hydration is just as important during the cooler months as it is during the warmer months.  It is easier for individuals to become dehydrated in the winter months because they associate needing fluids with being hot. It is still necessary to stay on top of your hydration when working out during the cooler seasons. 

Many trainers will share their hydration secrets for cool weather training on a health and nutrition blog.  When the temperature is below freezing, extra attention needs to be given to hydration needs.  For distance runners and endurance athletes who train outdoors in the winter, the elements can create additional challenges for staying hydrated.  If you run or train outdoors using a hydration flask or hydration vest, ice crystals can quickly form in the mouthpiece of the hydration flask and within the hoses or tubes of the hydration vest.  Setting a timer to take a sip of fluids every five minutes or blow out the ice crystals from the mouthpiece can help ensure that you will have access to water or sports drink to stay hydrated.  Sometimes the interior bladder of the hydration vest can freeze too.  Having an insulated foam lining around the interior bladder of the hydration vest can help prevent freezing.  Some athletes have kept their hydration flasks inside wool socks to help keep the temperature above freezing. Trainers who have a health and fitness job and work with year-round athletes can help share additional tips for prevention of hydration gear from freezing.  Training outdoors during cooler months requires additional care to make sure your hydration gear is functional and appropriate for your training.

Holistic nutrition takes a personalized approach to help consider other factors that may have an impact on your ability to stay hydrated.  Holistic nutrition programs can help make sure you’re getting the right kind of hydration.  Just like in the summer months, if you wait until you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  Consuming foods such as fruits that have a high-water content can help you get nutrients and hydration into your body.  Sports drinks work well too and can help replace lost electrolytes that may have been lost in sweat.  Sodium, magnesium, and potassium are the minerals that are lost in sweat and if the lost minerals create an imbalance in the body, your training could suffer, and you could feel ill. Sometimes, medications that we take can also impact our body’s hydration and create an electrolyte imbalance.  Working with a holistic nutritionist or with a sports coach that has completed their holistic nutritionist certification can help you create a personalized hydration plan for individuals who struggle with hydration. 

Proper hydration also helps our body recover faster from a challenging workout or athletic competition.  Nutrition coach programs are important because they help give guidance during cooler weather training so that we can fully challenge ourselves to our full potential. Nutrition, health, fitness, and coaching all impact our training and our ability to reach our personal fitness goals.  Perfecting a hydration plan can be a very personal endeavor. No two athletes are the same and you have to listen to your body to make nutritional choices based on what your body needs.  If you’re not sure where to start, a fitness coach or sport specific coach, and any nutritionist or sports nutritionist, can help you create a diet plan and hydration plan that best supports your fitness and personal goals. Hydration can be tricky during winter training due to environmental factors and gear that can freeze during long outdoor training sessions.  Making a plan and following a training plan for winter hydration can help reduce many of the challenges associated with hydration during cooler months.

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