How to Stay Hydrated While Hiking
Drinking enough water before, during, and after hiking ensures you are adequately hydrated. Water speeds up the metabolism rate and regulates body temperature. Water also lubricates the joints making you feel less tired during the hike. When you hydrate right, you will perform optimally and ultimately recover better after your hiking experience.
Here’s how to keep your body well watered.
Drink Before You Hit the Road
Take at least two or more glasses of water an hour before you begin the journey. You feel thirsty only when your body requirement is already too low. It is, therefore, important to hydrate before the system sends the dehydration warning.
Drink Up Little Amounts of Water More Frequent
Sip from your water bottle every so often. In the long run, you’ll have taken a lot of water as opposed to drinking all at once. You’ll keep the hydration levels at optimum for the entire hiking period. Keep a reminder on your watch, for instance, to remind you to sip from your bottle.
Add an Electrolyte Sports Drink to Your Fluid Backpack
This kind of beverage helps to sustain a balanced fluid and energy levels. However, do not substitute sports beverages with water. When you engage your muscles during hiking, the body’s source of fuel is carbohydrates. This is because carbohydrates are efficient in transferring energy to the fatigued body muscles.
Sports drinks are made to give carbohydrates, fluids, and electrolyte to the body in a way that has minimal stomach discomforts. Their formulation also helps the intestines to maximize absorption so that energy can be supplied to the muscles.
Take Meals High in Sodium and Potassium
Minerals such as potassium and sodium enhance rehydration. When eaten days before the hike, the body will have absorbed these essential minerals and give the benefits when need arises.
Sodium intake stimulates thirst. It also helps the small intestines in the absorption of carbohydrates and water. High consumption of sodium results in higher fluid retention. So revamp your body electrolyte levels and enhance your performance.
Foods rich in sodium and potassium include milk, fish, salted nuts, and sweet potatoes. Most green leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots, and radish have these essential minerals.
Reduce Your Intake of Caffeine Beverages
When you take drinks such as coffee and cola, the rate of fluid loss also increases. Caffeine has a diuretic effect on the body. Therefore, when taken in high quantities, it facilitates water loss due to increased blood flow to the kidneys. It also increases the reabsorption of sodium in the body.
Add Fresh Fruit in Your Drinking Water
You can enhance the taste of the water by adding a twist of fruit flavor to it. The water gets an improved taste, and you also add vital minerals to the body.
Check Your Hydration Levels
The body will always tell you how well you are keeping yourself hydrated. Look out for these signs that signal dehydration:
•You feel thirsty. This is how your body communicates that you need more water. You probably have gone for too long without drinking some water.
•The mouth gets dry. So take your bottle of water and drink up.
•The energy levels diminish with every next step. You can easily assume the exhaustion the hike is taking on your body. So take out your compact water purifier and gulp the water down to hydrate.
Know When You are Severely Dehydrated
Should you not drink enough water, you can adversely be dehydrated. The symptoms below are a warning sign.
•Experiencing muscle cramps
•The urine turns dark
If you experience these symptoms, you should:
•Find a cool resting spot and take a rest.
•Rehydrate your body with an energy drink and water from your compact water purifier.
•Apply damp clothing around the forehead and the wrist to help bring the body temperature down.
Water is readily available, inexpensive, and your best bet to keep you well hydrated and energized to finish your hike. So, always drink water before you feel thirsty.