Winter & Dehydration: Understanding the Risks

Winter Dehydration - Pryme Australia Making The Workplace A Better Place

When it comes to dehydration, most people assume it’s only a problem during hot weather. However, the reality is that dehydration can be just as prevalent in the colder winter months, especially on work sites where workers just do not drink enough fluids to replace electrolytes.

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. During winter, the cold and dry air can cause the body to lose more fluids than usual, leading to dehydration. In addition, people tend to drink less water during the winter months because they don’t feel as thirsty as they would during the summer.

Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and muscle cramps, as well as decreased productivity and increased risk of accidents on work sites. It can also cause other serious health problems like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – leading to depression, low energy, difficulty sleeping, irritability and anxiety. The symptoms of dehydration are also harder to detect in the colder months.

When it comes to Winter Dehydration – here is a list of signs to watch out for:

Our bodies behave very differently in the cold months. According to The Conversation, when we experience sudden cold exposure, our body employs several mechanisms to protect our internal organs. One of these mechanisms is known as “cold-induced diuresis”, which refers to an increase in urine output in response to the cold. As soon as we become cold, blood is redirected away from the skin to prevent heat loss to the outside environment. As a result, a greater volume of blood flows through the internal organs, leading to an increase in urine production. Cold diuresis can complicate the matter of dehydration in the colder months.

To prevent dehydration on work sites during the winter months, workers need to take proactive steps to stay hydrated. Here are some tips:

  • Replace Essential Electrolytes: It’s important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, and its important to replace essential electrolytes with the help from Sqwincher.
  • Dress Appropriately: Dress in layers to keep warm and dry when working outside in cold weather and take advantage of our warming PPE with the N-Ferno Winter Warming range.
  • Take Breaks: Take frequent breaks to rest and rehydrate. This can help you stay refreshed and energised throughout the day.
  • Monitor Your Urine Colour: Urine colour is a good indicator of your hydration level. If your urine is dark yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated and need to drink more fluids.

Winter dehydration is a serious concern on work sites during the colder winter months. By taking proactive steps to stay hydrated, workers can stay safe and healthy on the job.

To find out more about working in cold environments visit SafeWork NSW. Get in contact with the Pryme team to discuss our Sqwincher & Hydration Toolbox Talks today –

RELATED: Humidity & Heat Stress Management


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