BLOG: The long days of summer heat may be far behind us, but with the colder temperatures we still cannot forget the importance of staying hydrated. During the fall and winter months it is very easy to become dehydrated, as we tend to forget about fluids when the weather cools off.
But what exactly is dehydration? Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than it takes in. This makes it difficult to function properly as fluid is needed for just about everything from breathing to keeping the body strong. The consequences of dehydration may appear mild at first, causing dry skin, fatigue or a nagging headache. Yet, over time this can develop into a more serious problem, resulting in hyperventilation or even loss of consciousness.
To prevent dehydration, it is recommended that adults consume 9-13 cups of fluid each day. This includes not only the amount of water you drink, but milk, juice and even some caffeinated beverages. That’s great news for those who are easily bored with plain water! And even better news, for those in upstate New York, every local Stewart’s Shop is full of beverage options to keep you hydrated all day.
Start off a chilly morning with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea. One cup of regular coffee a day, despite the caffeine, can actually be included in your fluid intake. After that, the decaf varieties available at the counter may be more beneficial in preventing dehydration.
Next, check out the cooler for Stewart’s healthy refresher beverages. One 8 ounce serving of Stewart’s 100% orange or apple juice provides more than 100% of the vitamin C needed for the entire day! And of course, don’t forget milk! Milk is not only a source of fluid; but protein, calcium and vitamin D as well. Dietary guidelines recommend that all adults consume at least 3 cups of low fat dairy each day. That means fresh milk from Stewart’s can actually provide you with one third of your daily fluid goal!
Don’t be fooled by chilly weather, to stay healthy the body needs enough fluid all year round. But what could be easier than stopping by your local Stewart’s Shop for a morning coffee and grabbing a few drinks for later as you head out the door?
-Christine Sloat, RD, RDN
Christine Sloat is a Registered Dietitian and life-long resident of upstate New York.
She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware, with clinical training at Albany Medical Center. She has a nutrition consulting business, Nutritious Notions LLC.