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In general, it's important for ostomates to stay hydrated, but that can be easy to forget when it’s cold outside. During wintertime, you may not experience the same thirst sensations as you do in the summer. The same goes for people who have poor thirst sensations. You may feel fine with drinking less water, but your body disagrees!

Hydration is essential to health and one of the most significant ways to nourish our bodies. Adequate fluid intake helps regulate body temperature and is vital to the function of cells, tissues, and organs. It’s also beneficial for sleep, exercise and can even give your immune system a boost during the cold and flu season.

Here are three easy ways that ostomates can stay hydrated during the winter:

1. Start first thing in the morning.


Keep a full glass of water on the nightstand and gulp it down before you step out of bed. Starting your morning by drinking water is a great way to begin the day hydrated. Plus you can stay warm and bundled in bed and avoid the cold kitchen tile!

While coffee is technically a fluid, it also has a dehydrating effect so be sure to follow up with some refreshing water — I recommend filtered water. And don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle with you before heading out the door.

2. Set mini goals throughout the day.


Make a plan by knowing how much you’re going to drink and when. For example, take a few gulps of water before you leave the house, then a few more during your commute. After those mini-goals are met, next you can drink a small glass of water before and after lunch. Breaking daily hydration down into small steps makes your goals attainable.

To stay hydrated while keeping up electrolytes you can drink water while munching on fruit. Many fruits are packed with water, like strawberries and watermelon. Broths and soups are also great for sneaking in some extra water and a delicious way to stay warm.

3. In the evening, add some flavor.

herbal tea in a glass cup

Plain water can certainly be boring day after day. Warm-up with tea! There’s nothing cozier than curling up in a warm blanket while sipping a steaming cup of your favorite herbal brew. Peppermint tea is sometimes referred to as "the stomach healer" because it's known to soothe digestive issues. 

Try a pinch of Himalayan salt added to warm water. According to 'food is medicine' doctor, Josh Axe, MD, this pink salt is really good for your health. A squeeze of lemon in club soda can aid digestion, and fruit-infused water has the added benefit of vitamin C.

So, how much water do you need each day? Everyone’s fluid needs are different, but whatever you do... don’t wait until it’s too late. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Prevention is key to staying healthy and hydrated throughout the year.