Support Your Hydration During the Colder Months‡

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Support Your Hydration During the Colder Months‡

By: Heidi Harris, RD-N, CD-N, LD-N

What You’ll Learn: In this blog, we will talk about why it’s important to support your hydration during the colder winter months and discuss how to support your hydration during winter fitness.

Winter Fitness at its Finest:
As athletes, we know how important it is to stick to our exercise training and fitness goals. Exercising in the winter can really be a challenging time, filled with many obstacles we wouldn’t otherwise experience during the warmer weather months. Getting the motivation to go exercise in the cold temperatures can be a challenge, from dealing with that cold air burn in your lungs to starting your workout in darkness – because let’s be honest, it starts getting dark at 3:30pm.

One way to help your winter fitness be a success is by supporting your hydration. It’s a common misconception to think dehydration may only be a risk during the summer months. While, it may not feel like it, athletes may also run the risk of dehydration during the colder weather months because of not being properly hydrated. Hydration is an important part of any fitness routine, even during the winter months and especially when exercising in colder temperatures. Keep reading to find our why your body needs to be properly hydrated before winter exercise and how you can help support your hydration before your next workout.

The Importance of Water:
Water is essential.1 Not only does it make up approximately 60% of your body weight, but your body also relies on water molecules to help regulate and perform all the necessary enzymatic processes to help maintain homeostasis.1 Not providing your body with enough water can limit the body’s efficiency of transporting nutrients, inhibit eliminating cellular waste and affect hydration of the body’s vital tissues and organs. A lack of proper hydration may lead to a risk of dehydration.1

Why is this important? When you exercise, you are partaking in an activity that inherently makes you sweat. This is a type of fluid loss. Those fluids that are lost during exercise ultimately need to be restored or replenished.2 That’s part of the reason why you’ve probably heard your trainers or coaches remind you to drink water before, during and after exercising. You’ve probably also heard them talk about replenishing your electrolyte stores too. That’s because in addition to water being lost as you sweat, exercise uses electrolyte stores in order to create energy and electrolytes such as Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium and even Chloride are necessary for activity and recovery and require replenishment.2 Our Klean Electrolytes are specifically formulated to help replenish electrolytes and retain hydration to help support your hydration.

Winter Fitness: How to Prep Your Hydration:
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a few ways an athlete can help prepare to take on the colder climate and support their hydration. First and foremost, it’s recommended to dress in layers. The Mayo Clinic guidelines suggest first a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws heat and moisture away from the body. They recommend avoiding cotton clothing as this may soak up moisture and could feel cold and wet against the skin. The next layer should be an insulation layer. The Mayo Clinic recommends either a layer of fleece or wool before adding on the final layer which should be a waterproof, breathable windbreaker for the outer most layer. Plus, don’t forget to protect those ears with either a hat or earmuffs and those hands with mittens. These guidelines are generated to help find the combination that will help you stay warm during the cold weather months without overheating during exercise and leading to a potential risk for dehydration. The beauty of dressing in layers is that they can be taken off and added back on as needed.3

Another way to help support your hydration is by matching your fluid intake to your activity level. For example, if you’re exercising for about an hour, you may plan to rehydrate with water. If you’re planning on an endurance training that’ll last longer than an hour, you may need to rehydrate with water and electrolytes.4 A nice feature about our Klean Hydration is that it contains 6% carbohydrates with additional minerals for the replacement of fluid and electrolytes lost through sweat during physical activity.

It’s also suggested to drink room temperature water when preparing to exercise in colder temperatures. The reason for this is because room temperature water helps keep the internal body temperature optimal, so this is less work your body has to do to help maintain homeostasis.5 Remember, the ideal body temperature for maintaining homeostasis is 98.6 °F.6

Finally, when in doubt, look at your urine. Sounds gross, but I promise there’s a reason behind it. Whether it’s before or after exercising, check your urine color. If your urine is pale to a light yellow and there is a plentiful amount, this generally may be a good indication of being well hydrated. If your urine is dark in appearance and it appears very concentrated, it may indicate it’s time to start drinking up that water and help support your hydration.4

Hydrate for Peak Performance:
There you have it my fellow athletes! These are some helpful ways to support your hydration during the colder months to help optimize your winter fitness and to keep on track for your optimal performance. Drink some water, bundle up, keep electrolyte replenishment on hand and remember to have a good workout!


  1. The Water in You: Water and the Human Body | U.S. Geological Survey. (n.d.).
  2. Maughan RJ. Fluid and electrolyte loss and replacement in exercise. J Sports Sci. 1991 Summer;9 Spec No:117-42.
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2019). Winter fitness: Safety tips for exercising outdoors.
  4. USADA. (2019). Fluids and Hydration | U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
  5. Fujihira, K., et al. Eur J Nutr 59, 103–109 (2020).
  6. Osilla, E. V., et al. (2019). Physiology, Temperature Regulation.

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