WeatherTalk: It is important to hydrate in winter, too

We spend most of our winter indoor time in desert-like air.

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We all know to take in more fluids during hot, summer weather, but winter cold can be just as dehydrating. When we bring cold air inside our homes and heat it to 70 degrees, the relative humidity drops from 60-90% down to 5-20%. This means we spend most of our winter indoor time in desert-like air. When we breathe in this air, our lungs humidify the air greatly.

Lungs are a network of smaller and smaller vessels eventually getting small enough so that the oxygen in the air can come into contact with blood cells. The air we breathe into these tubes may be very dry, but exhaled air has a relative humidity near 95%. This added moisture comes from our own bodies, and we lose it as we exhale, which is why it is important in winter to drink plenty of water. It will help keep out skin, throat, eyes, and other susceptible parts more lubricated and comfortable.

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