Hydration in cold weather | Vatn í köldu veðri

Are you running in the northern hemisphere? Are you aware of this?

Are you drinking enough during exercise? I’m almost sure that the following facts, on fluid needs in cold weather, were not known to you!

Did you know that our sensation for thirst is greatly compromised during cold weather? Still it is very important to remember that we do have needs for additional fluids and actually the need for additional fluids increases quite a bit during exercise in cold weather. This is due to the fact that cold air contains less water compared to air at normal, comfortable temperature, even if relative humidity is the same. So indeed we need to warm up this cold air inside our bodies and that requires, among other things, that we have water at our disposal. Therefore, during exercise in the cold most athletes have a substantial increased need for fluid consumption.

It is important to remember, especially for longer workouts (more than 7-10 km runs or 45+ min workouts), that dehydration is a condition that has the fastest and greatest negative effects during practice and competition.

The big challenge is to try to drink during cold weather and carry a drinking belt or other adequate equipment for water during exercise. The body is quite limited when it comes to sensation of thirst in cold weather and a good hydration plan is always a must! ;)

References
Arctic Medical Research
Military Medicine
Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology
Undersea Biomedical Research

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