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Feeling Extra Tired? It Could Be Winter Dehydration


Feeling achy and draggy and just generally foggy? Cornell researchers say winter dehydration is making up to 75 percent of us weary. Blame a 40 percent drop in thirst response in cold weather, plus dry indoor air, which triples fluid loss through skin. Luckily, you can restore your vim and vigor with these simple rehydration strategies.

Spoon it up.

Warming up with a delicious bowl of soup will put pep back into your step, whether you dip a spoon into chicken noodle, creamy tomato, or cheesy potato soup.

British scientists say soup is up to 95 percent water, plus it contains minerals like potassium and magnesium that speed water absorption in your small intestine. No wonder their research suggests savoring a 14-ounce bowl of steamy goodness boosts hydration and stamina by 40 percent in 30 minutes.

Pop a mint.

We remember to fill up a water bottle for on-the-go sipping, but then forget all about it. To the rescue: a mint! UCLA researchers say when a small dose of sugar coats the mucous membranes in your mouth, it stimulates the thirst mechanism in your brain. This prompts you to sip an extra 8 ounces of water without a thought. The payoff? A two-hour boost in physical and mental pep!

Sip before meals.

Downing a glass of water before dinner is one of the best ways to keep your hydration level topped up. This simple move boosts fluid absorption by 75 percent compared to drinking with meals, research in Nutrition Reviews reveals. Study co-author John Leiper, PhD says when your stomach is empty, water rapidly passes into the small intestine. That’s key since it’s where up to 90 percent of fluids are quickly absorbed.

Catch a catnap.

Snooze your way to better hydration? Yes! Research in Sleep suggests staying well-rested cuts the risk of dehydration by 37 percent. Neuroscientist Mike Hofman, PhD says the brain makes a hormone called vasopressin that helps prevent fluid loss through the kidneys. The more well-rested you are, the more vasopressin you produce. And sneaking a catnap here and there keeps levels high, Canadian scientists say.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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