Water, water everywhere and always a drop (or two) to drink.
Yet for most of us, we don’t drink enough water to remain sufficiently hydrated, especially when exercising. And that has a carry over effect into our everyday life.
For the past few months I have been focusing on improving my water consumption. It is one thing to know and another to do. Yes, I know it will make my skin glow, give me more energy and it will aid digestion.
What I didn’t know is how much water we actually lose when we exercise. And depending on the exercise you can lose a LOT. My Christmas present last year was a new Garmin Fenix 6S sapphire watch. It provides lots of information, including how much fluid loss per activity.
Take today for example, a moderate hike, with some hills, stops and starts, over 2 hours, gave me a sweat loss of just over one litre. And that was on a coolish, rainy day.
With my mission in mind to consume more H2O, I set out to explore the different ways I can get more water, pre, during and post adventure.
Here’s a few of the things I discovered or rediscovered in a different way
- Hydration the night before is really important. No, this doesn’t include alcohol. For years, on our multi day hikes, we have been saying how much alcohol dehydrates and if you want to partake – go ahead, although you are sure to notice the impact on energy levels the next day.
- Drink the morning of the hike. Be it a cup of tea, water or electrolyte. Or have high water content fruit such as watermelon or grapes.
- Always take more water with you than you think you need – whether close to home or far away. Most of the time the adventure goes to plan, but sometimes it doesn’t and you can get caught out. Besides, you don’t want to be THE ONE , who doesn’t have enough water, that has to ask others or simply keeps quiet about having run out of water and then you end up in real trouble.
- Dehydration can happen to ANYONE – regardless of skill or fitness level. The best way to avoid it is to be prepared.
- If you are thirsty – well you are past it. Drink BEFORE you get thirsty. In fact, practice drinking from your water bladder as you hike along, instead of waiting for the breaks or rest stops. And if you prefer water bottles to a hydration bladder, then ask someone to get it out for you. Our observations show that more water is consumed when hiking with a hydration bladder than with water bottles. My personal preference for a hydration bladder is the 3l Source.
- A great tip is to have a few extra water bottles in the car – so you can sip on the way and on the way home. Little sips, nothing big, but enough to keep the mouth moist.
- And what about POST HIKE? Of course, if it’s been a challenging hike, there’s always the desire to celebrate. And so you should. But first, make sure you are well hydrated with water, so that any celebrations don’t hang around the next day.
Umm, err but what about peeing out on the trail?
Believe it or not, having to go to the toilet on the trail is one of the biggest reasons women (and men) don’t drink sufficient water on the trail. It’s the thought of having to go to the toilet.
So they limit water intake to avoid having to go to the toilet on the trail, or in the bush.
We’ll leave toileting for another blog….
In the meantime, stay hydrated. It’s your lifeline.
Yvonne Shepherd is the Founder & CEO of Women’s Fitness Adventures. Established in 2014, Women’s Fitness Adventures encourages women to become fitter and stronger for life through fitness, adventure and social connection.
We can take you comfortably out of your comfort zone.