Winter is here and with the colder weather comes all manner of nasty bugs. We spend much more time indoors in the winter and, as such, cold and ‘flu infection numbers start to ramp up at this time of year. We all have our methods of staying healthy during this time, but did you know that water can help you fight off illnesses as well?
How can water stop you getting sick?
We can become particularly vulnerable to winter illnesses through dehydration. The mucous membranes in our nose and sinuses are the front line against preventing viruses and bacteria from entering our bodies. Breathing the dry, artificially-heated air that surrounds us indoors, as well as the cold air outside, in winter dries out these mucous membranes, making them far less effective at capturing bugs and therefore preventing infection. This harsh air also draws more moisture out of our bodies, making us just as susceptible to dehydration in the winter as we are in the warmer months of the summer. Fluid loss in colder temperatures can be just as high as warmer climes, we will often perform more physical activities in the winter and we will certainly be wearing more layers of clothing, in order to stay warm, which can increase perspiration and also mask the amount of sweat we are producing.
Some people also feel much less thirsty in the winter than they do in throughout the rest of the year. Many of the usual signals of dehydration we would look out for in the summer, such as sweating, are harder to detect in the winter. Meaning that often people just will not drink as much water in the winter, even though the body’s need for water is exactly the same.
Drinking plenty of water regularly will help you avoid those winter bugs and can also help boost your immune system
What else can water do for me in the winter?
It might sound counter-intuitive but drinking plenty of fresh water can also help keep you warm – something we all need as the temperature drops and the nights draw in. Water has a large heat capacity; this means it can help regulate the body’s temperature and prevent large, and potentially harmful, internal temperature fluctuations that could be caused by cold (and hot) weather extremes.
Water is also integral to blood flow which, as well as providing vital nutrients to your cells and removing waste, will make sure all your extremities (fingers and toes – the first parts to feel the cold) stay nice and warm!
And if you don’t want to drink a cold glass of water on a cold day? Hot water can hydrate you just as well.
The key for good hydration, though, is clean, fresh drinking water. Our water filters are used in millions of homes, all over the world, to cleanse drinking water; keeping people from over 140 countries safe and well every day. Visit the Doulton store to see how we can help look after you and your family’s health this winter.