The Real Reason You Have To Pee More During The Winter

Perhaps you've never noticed it before, but the next time winter rolls around, take note of how often you find yourself making a trip to the bathroom. Certain factors can influence how much we urinate on a daily basis, and believe it or not, temperature is one of them. While it may feel like we drink more liquid during the summer, why is it that we actually pee more frequently during the winter?

It's not uncommon for the average person to urinate between four to 10 times daily, although this number can vary based on age, physical activity level, and the presence of certain health conditions, as well as the types and amounts of foods and drinks we consume (via MyMed.com). We as humans urinate for the purpose of ridding our body of its natural waste, and it's our kidneys that are mainly responsible for the production of the urine itself (via InformedHealth.org).

So if the number of times we pee is influenced by the amount of liquids we consume, and we tend to consume fewer fluids during the wintertime, how is it that we're peeing more? Experts say that the increase in urination is due to the fact that we are sweating less during the winter.

How cold temperatures affect urination

Benenden Hospital urologist Dr. Steve Garnett explains via News24 that during the winter, the body still needs to rid itself of waste one way or another, and if it's not through sweat, it's going to find another means. Garnett states, "As we lose less fluid through sweating, we produce urine instead. So, there will be a need to pee more."

Additionally, cold weather increases the body's rate of blood flow, which affects urination output (via AccuWeather). When the temperature drops, our blood vessels constrict to more effectively route blood to our essential organs. This boost in blood flow activity prompts the kidneys to filter toxins from our blood more quickly — hence, more trips to the bathroom.

Lastly, our beverage preferences tend to shift during the winter, some of which can affect how much we pee. Rather than drinking water, many instead opt for a warm cup of coffee to stay snug and toasty. As a result, caffeine can both irritate the bladder and increase its activity, as well as make us more prone to leaks (via News24).

Experts at AccuWeather stress the importance of rehydrating as a response to increased urination during the winter months, in order to avoid dehydration. Additionally, be mindful of how often you experience the urge to pee while outside, as this can sometimes be a warning sign for hypothermia setting in. If you feel the need to pee frequently and experience symptoms such as disorientation, shivering, or difficulty breathing, promptly move inside to a warmer location.