3 (Dumb) Reasons We Aren’t Hydrated for Winter Runs

Just because it's cold out doesn't mean you're not sweating

Gia Alvarez— We’ve talked about the importance of layering and properly accessorizing for cold weather runs, and we all know that hydration is of the utmost importance when we’re exercising. Yet the funny thing is that most of us don’t properly hydrate for our winter runs. Why? Most times it comes down to three super simple reasons.

1. We don’t think we’re sweating that much
It’s hard to imagine that you will be sweating at all when you head out the door for a run in -7ºC/20ºF weather, but all of the layers you’re wearing can be deceptive. They prevent you from knowing how much you are actually sweating. And even though you may not be dripping in sweat you are still losing water and electrolytes.

Pro tip: Drink fluids even when you don’t feel thirsty or think that you are sweating. It may be chilly outside, but your body still gets hot hot hot during your workout.

2. We don’t realize—or aren’t being realistic—about how dehydrating the winter air is
Winter air has a drying effect because cold air has less moisture than warm air. This means that each time you inhale and exhale the dry air steals a little bit of moisture from your lungs, increasing your risk of dehydration.

Pro tip: Drink fluids before, during and after your run. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink; keep your hydration levels up. Thirst is an indicator of dehydration.

3. We flat out forget to bring along fluids
As most public drinking fountains are turned off in the winter, you’ll have to carry a hand-held or belt water bottle. I prefer a handheld vessel over the belts, because if by chance you have any leaking on a belt pack, yikes!

Pro tip: Fill your bottle with warm water before heading out and keep it close to your body. It will take longer to freeze.