As winter kicks in, you may be experiencing fatigue in the afternoon, perhaps a headache, or even finding yourself stressed more easily. Turns out, you might simply be low in electrolytes.
Winter in our mountain towns finds most of us exercising outdoors—whether we’re downhill or cross-country skiing, on backcountry treks, fat-biking, sledding, or trail running with the dogs, being active is crucial to good health.
But especially during winter, dehydration is an all-too-common problem. To start, the average person consumes less than an adequate amount of water. And while consuming more water is simple enough, it leaves the proverbial glass of healthy hydration only half full.
Drinking water alone leaves out critical electrolytes, denying your body its natural ability to perform well and even manage stress. Introducing electrolytes, such as those found in Drink LMNT’s scientifically formulated product, might just be the missing piece.
“In particular, folks that eat whole foods and exercise regularly tend to be missing out on vital electrolytes,” says LMNT CEO and Big Sky resident James Murphy.
And Murphy is not just talking about hard-charging athletes or endurance endeavors. Research has shown that simple cold-weather exposure can induce diuresis (the loss of electrolytes), in addition, an increased metabolic rate triggered to keep you warm plus a reduction in your thirst mechanism further compound the need for more electrolytes than you think.
You know how you can’t feel your fingers from the cold? A similar thing happens to your thirst, so you end up thinking you’re more hydrated than you actually are.
Replenishing lost electrolytes has a cascade of critical health benefits, one of which is helping your body maintain healthy levels of cortisol, the hormone most directly responsible for stress management.
To accomplish this, health experts like Dr. Kaley Burns and Kallie Harrison (Lac, LMT, RN) at Big Sky Natural Health, suggest incorporating an electrolyte solution throughout your winter activities or your daily routine.
“Choose an electrolyte solution that tastes good, works well, and is not loaded with sugar,” Burns says, adding that many individuals struggle with staying hydrated in winter, and that applies to everyday living, not just during bouts of exercise.
“Enter LMNT,” she says. “It checks all my boxes as a practitioner, and patients really feel it makes a positive difference when it comes to their overall health. We can hardly keep it stocked.”
Harrison, who has a background in acupuncture and herbal medicine, says that many of her patients are dehydrated without even knowing it.
“Winter causes the symptoms of dehydration to worsen,” she says. “I’m constantly reminding my patients to increase their water intake and add LMNT. LMNT is the first electrolyte I’ve felt confident recommending to my patients.”
Callie Stultz (CAS, LMT), founder of Santosha Wellness Center and a Big Sky resident for more than 20 years, says she finds LMNT to be a meaningful addition to her lifestyle and frequently recommends it to her patients.
“While electrolyte balance and supplementation is fairly simple, so many people forgo it,” she says.
As winter holds its grasp on our region for the next several months, hydration is often overlooked. When the mercury is low, it’s crucial we find a balance with our body’s own chemistry.
“Balanced cortisol and electrolyte levels in the human body are vital to managing stress and even a healthy immune system,” says Murphy, suggesting a DIY guide on LMNT’s website. “We’re not precious about how you get your electrolytes. If you enjoy the convenience, try tossing a packet of LMNT in a water bottle and see how it works for you.”
LMNT can be purchased in single packs or bundles locally at Big Sky Natural Health in Big Sky, Santosha Wellness Center or online at drinklmnt.com, where you can also find research on the topic of hydration in cold weather.