Sunday, November 06, 2005

Why does the cold weather make us pee?

After we got out of the Raptors game that we watched two weeks ago, I went to the washroom. I asked my two boys if they wanted to go before we head to the bus stop. They both said, “No.” I asked them, “Are you sure?” You see, they both had each a bottle of soda and I just had a sip and I needed to go. “No, I don’t have to,” said Ryan grumpily. He doesn’t like it when I ask him questions twice.

So we headed to the front doors of the MTS Centre where we usually wait for the bus. We got there at 9:30 p.m. Our bus wasn’t supposed to come until 10:08 p.m. (Or so I thought.) It was quite cold outside and instead of waiting at the bus stop, which was just right in front of the MTS Centre, we stayed by the front doors since we could see the buses through the glass doors.

At around 10:00 p.m., we got ready and stood by the doors. Then I noticed that Ryan was pacing in front of me. I knew he had to pee. I asked him once again if he wanted to go to the washroom. He looked at the gates of the arena and saw that they were closed. (I used the washroom inside the arena.) He said he needed to go just a little bit but he could still hold it. I told him that we could go inside Moxie’s Restaurant, which was inside the MTS Centre and he could use the washroom there. “It’s okay,” he said. “Are you sure you can hold it for 30 minutes more? That’s how long we’re gonna be in the bus,” I told him. That’s when he realized that of course he couldn’t hold it that long. So we hurriedly went inside Moxie’s thinking that we only had a couple of minutes until the bus came.

Why did Ryan waited too long to go in the washroom? I waited impatiently for him to get out of there. I thought that we might miss the bus. I hoped that the bus would be late so that we could catch it. It turned out that our bus was to come at 10:18 and not 10:08. When I looked at the schedule and read 00:08, I thought that was 10:08. Silly me. I should have been looking at the one that read 20:18. We were able to get on the 10:18 bus and we were home by 10:45 p.m.

The next morning at breakfast, I reiterated to Ryan that whenever I ask him if he has to go in the washroom, like the night before, that he better go, especially now that we have cold weather. I explained to him further that before I leave the house, I go in the washroom. I also tell my boys to go pee. When Ryland comes home from school, I tell him to go pee before he goes outside to play with his cousins, lest he wets his pants. Likewise, if we are out shopping or we are at someplace else, I use the bathroom before leaving that place. I always ask the boys if they have to go, too. It’s usually Ryan who says, “I don’t have to,” and he gets mad when I ask him twice. I can still make Ryland go tinkle even just a wee bit since I can still bring him with me to the ladies room. (He’s only seven.)

“Why does the cold weather make us pee?” Ryan asked me. I thought I knew the answer to that question but I couldn’t come up with one that morning. So I just said to him, “It’s just the way it is. When it’s cold, it makes us go pee a lot.” Have you ever been in a situation like that when you get stumped with a question like this? I knew there was a better explanation that I’ve heard or read somewhere. But my failing and aging mind couldn’t come up with it.

A few days later, I was talking to my friend Elaine about it and asked her that question. She gave me an answer right away. When it’s cold, we don’t sweat. Well, maybe only a little. So the excess water in our body needs another outlet to get out. And how else? To pee. I knew that. That was exactly what was in the back of my mind when Ryan asked me.

Elaine is 11 years younger than me and she still has a good memory. She also doesn’t have any children yet. This reminds me of a magazine article that said, “When you start having children, your level of concentration goes down.”

I don’t know if it’s having children or if it’s aging that’s making my memory weak. Here’s another instance. Ryland and Ryan were watching Survivor with me last week, but Ryan missed the last 10 minutes. The next morning, Ryan asked me who got voted out. I tried to rattle my brains for an answer and then Ryland blurted out, “Amy!” before I could. I remembered the challenges and other incidents that happened in the episode but couldn’t remember who got voted out. How could I forget what I just watched the night before? Pretty scary, huh?

I later on searched the internet on a more scientific explanation of why the cold weather makes us pee. Here’s what I found out.

"A common symptom of cold weather is its effect on urine
Exposure to cold causes a reduction in blood flow to the
surface of the skin by constriction of blood vessels. This reduces the overall
volume of the circulatory system so increasing the blood pressure. The body's
response to this is to reduce the fluid volume by getting rid of water in the
urine. So when you get cold, you want to pee. "



earthember said...

Yeah, we often have to check with the girls when we're out, especially the 7-year-old.

My reasoning for wanting to pee in cold weather is the same as Elaine. But interesting to find that the scientific reasoning is not quite the same.

Yes, it may be due to age that your memory is not as sharp as before. I'm starting to have that problem too. It takes me a while to remember names, as well as something I just read before. It could also be due to overwork, too many things to do, to remember & to take note, hence, you miss out some.

Anonymous said...

That's interesting... and that's why I prefer to commute with the GO train in winter because they have washroom in every other car !