Water is an essential part of the human body. About 60 percent of your body is water. The body needs it to function properly. Even the blood contains water (about 80% of your blood is water). However, even with the lightest exercise, the water content in the body can be depleted. You perspire, urinate, and defecate. All these will flush out some of the water in your body. If you are doing a regular exercise and forget to hydrate frequently, you will soon feel exhausted and your performance level will suffer.
Whatever you are doing – whether you’re hiking, biking, skiing, running, climbing, or just walking across town, it’s vital that lost body fluids are replaced properly. If you can bring one of the best water bottles for hiking , you wouldn’t have to worry much. But if you still don’t know the basics of hydration, then you have landed on the right page. Here you will learn what you need to do to stay hydrated and some important guidelines to avoid improper hydration.
How much do you really need to drink?
There are several factors to consider when it comes to proper hydration. These include the following:
- the intensity of your effort (you perspire more if you are biking than when you are just strolling around town)
- duration of the activity
- weather condition
- your age
- your body type
- your sweat rate
As your activity level increases, you need to hydrate more will also increase.
Some Hydration Tips
Keep your water source available at all times
Keeping a bottle of water where you can access it easily is a smart way to remind you to hydrate regularly. Hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers are quite aware of the importance of water throughout the activity. There are so many bottle options that you can choose from either online or at your local store. Find the best water bottles for hiking, cycling, at work, or for just about any activity that you will do at any time of the day.
Choose a high-quality bottle that will allow your beverage to remain hot or cold longer and will not mess your stuff with spills from the spout or from its lid. If you are hiking, one of the best options that you can have is one of the Lifestraw bottles and water filters, as you can have clear water wherever you are even when the only source of water is the river or a brook nearby. Lifestraw products come with ultralight and durable filters that can clean up to 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water. They are made to effectively and efficiently filter protozoa and bacteria, so you can have a safe drinking water any time and anywhere.
Rather than drinking to thirst or chugging water infrequently, it is better to take many smaller sips to hydrate continuously. However, you should also know when you have drunk enough as drinking more than what your body requires can also cause a serious condition. Hyponatremia is a case when your sodium level becomes depleted because of excessive drinking. Here is a link to one of the studies indicating several athletes who have suffered from this condition during the Ironman European Championship held from 2005 to 2013.
Here are some signs of this condition: nausea, lethargy, muscle cramps, weakness/fatigue, headaches, and restlessness. Hyponatremia may also cause seizures and can also lead to death.
Don’t just drink, replace electrolytes
When you sweat, you don’t just lose water, you also lose electrolytes. You will need to compensate for any lost sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium in the body. The easiest way to do this is to drink an electrolyte replacement sports drink. Convenient powders and tablets can be mixed with water as well. Drink some of this before you head outside. You can also place them in one of your drinking bottles and carry with you while you’re on the go. Just make sure to follow the directions on the packaging.
Drink more when you’re hiking and have more climbs to do
Your body will require 28% more energy when you are walking in an uneven terrain than when you just have to walk on a flat surface or a paved ground, so drink more at altitudes.
Drink whatever the weather is
It doesn’t matter whether the weather is cold or hot. Your body loses fluid whenever the body systems do their functions, so you have to drink up to replace any lost fluids in your body.
Hydration should not begin only when you are thirsty. It is best to pre-hydrate even before you exercise, go out to walk, run, hike, or do whatever activity that you need to do.
Plan your hike
You don’t have to bring too much water when you are out. Make sure that you plan a route where there will be water sources or water fountains where you can refill your bottle. You can also set to hike on a trail where you can stop by your car to refill your water bottle or to take a quick snack.
Include sun protection in the essentials that you will bring
Lather up with a full-protection sunscreen or put on a sun-protection clothing before you hit.
Set regular drinking intervals
You can set a timer so you’d be automatically be reminded to drink about every 15- 20 minutes.
Don’t get dehydrated while on the go. Note that feeling thirsty can also be a sign of dehydration. When you are already feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated. When you are dehydrated, your blood volume drops as well as your blood pressure. Anything can happen. Your performance will be affected. You won’t be able to focus and do as you would like to. You will also feel your head pounding and will become dizzy. Don’t wait until you faint. It is best that you hydrate regularly and don’t wait to be thirsty to hydrate.