Hiking is a fun pastime for those who love the outdoors and a great way to get and stay in good physical shape. There’s plenty of planning that needs to go into a hike especially if it’s more than one day. One of these considerations is to make sure you prevent dehydration. The following are a few tips that can help with this.
Avoid Foods or Drinks That Dehydrate You
One of the basics of preventing dehydration is avoiding foods that are known to cause this condition. You should intuitively know what many of these foods are. You’ve certainly noticed that you get thirsty when eating pizza. This is because salty foods have this effect. Sugary foods and drinks can also give you this problem.
Two big culprits when it comes to dehydration are coffee and alcohol. Since they are liquid, it may seem counter-intuitive that they’d cause this problem. Elevated intake of caffeine can act as a diuretic in many people. This means it increases urine production, which causes your body to lose fluids at a higher than normal rate. Alcohol is also a diuretic. If you absolutely need your cup of coffee to get you going, just make sure to have plenty of water with it.
Eat Hydrating Foods Before Your Hike
This tip is the natural corollary to the first one. When eating breakfast before going out on a hike, be wise by making food choices that hydrate your body. There are many fruits and vegetables that help with this. These include:
- Watermelon – This healthy fruit is over 90 percent water while also helping with weight loss with its low-calorie density.
- Strawberries – Also over 90 percent water and plenty of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals.
- Cantaloupe – This nutritious fruits one-two punch of water and fiber helps you feel full longer.
- Peaches – They are nutrient-dense and great at keeping you hydrated.
- Oranges and Grapefruit – These citrus fruits are naturally hydrating while also packing a nutritional punch.
- Cucumbers – They are one of the lowest-calorie water-rich vegetables that you can eat.
- Lettuce – It has many healthful benefits including keeping you hydrated
The above list is far from exhaustive and also only includes fruits and vegetables. There are also other foods, such as plain yogurt, broths and soups, and cottage cheese, that can help with your battle against dehydration.
Drink a Glass of Water or Juice Before Your Hike
This is the simplest suggestion you can follow to get off on the right path when trying to avoid dehydration. By drinking a glass of water or juice before starting, you’ll know it will be sometime before dehydration will be a problem.
Know the Signs of Dehydration
In order to prevent anything, it certainly helps to know the warning signs of what you’re trying to prevent. Be sure you know the most common signs of dehydration. These include:
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Dizziness or Lightheadedness
- Feeling Unusually Fatigued
- Feeling Weak
- A Low Volume of Urine With a Dark Color
Especially when it comes to symptoms such as weakness or fatigue, you could be tempted to just chalk it up to the physical activity of the hike wearing you down. This might be the case, but if it has been a while since you had some water, you might want to take a drink to make sure it’s not dehydrating.
Bring Water and a Sports Drink With You
It’s a no-brainer to bring water with you when you go hiking. You should also bring a sports drink along. This will help replenish your electrolytes lost through sweating. This combination should keep you hydrated while also keeping your body rich in the minerals it needs to function optimally.
Don’t Stop Replenishing Yourself After Hiking
This tip may not help in preventing dehydration during your current hike, but it can still help. If you are on a multi-day hike, you’ll get off to a good, energetic start the next day. You need to keep drinking fluids after your hike to ensure your body fully recovers.