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5 Tips to Prevent Dehydration During Hiking

5 Tips To Prevent Dehydration During Hiking

 

Hiking is a pleasurable pastime and a good way for people to stay healthy and happy. The activity presents ample scope to get sunshine, fresh air and exercise.  However, it is important to stay hydrated while exploring hiking trails because a hiker is susceptible to dehydration.

 

For senior hikers it is even more crucial to stay hydrated because, on an average, older adults have 10% less fluid in their bodies as compared to younger adults. In addition, seniors also experience a diminished sense of thirst that leads to a reduced fluid intake. But young or old, it is necessary for each and every hiker to stay hydrated before, during and after a hike.

 

  1. Drink Water Before Hiking

Before embarking on the hike, a person should drink one or two cups of water, a sport drink or juice. An individual feels thirsty only when the water level in the body is low, therefore it is not advisable to wait for the body’s signal to get water. Do not let the water level drop in the first place, by staying adequately hydrated to begin with. This goes hand in hand with developing better eating habits including long-term hydration, so you are at your fittest and healthiest before going on a hike.

 

  1. Steer Clear Of Caffeinated Drinks and Alcohol Prior To A Hike

A hiker should limit or refrain from having caffeinated drinks like coffee or cola before the hike as it can increase fluid loss. Consuming alcoholic drinks prior to hiking should be absolutely avoided because they also contribute to dehydration. These drinks are also not suited as drinks to be taken on a hike either.

 

  1. Carry Food And Water

Any person going on a hiking trip should carry ample food and water. Individually wrapped snacks, energy bars, dried food and bottled water are good enough for a person embarking on a hike, unless the trip involves meal times. Moreover, a hiker should balance food intake with fluid consumption to avoid becoming severely ill and dangerously debilitated. Food is the body’s main source of fuel and salts (electrolytes). The necessary provisions can be easily packed in an adventure medical kit for hiking, which in itself is among the most important items that a hiker should not step out without.

 

  1. Drink Water Before Feeling Thirsty

A person should not wait until they are thirsty to drink water, because that means dehydration has already set in. An individual should start to replenish fluids and electrolytes by drinking ½ to one quart of fluid every hour they are hiking. One can alternate between plain water and a sports drink with electrolyte beverage. This will retain fluids, maintain energy, balance electrolyte levels, and thereby also make hiking more enjoyable.

 

  1. Stay Hydrated After Hiking

One should continue to intake fluids even after completing the hike, to replenish water and electrolyte loss. An individual must drink more water than necessary because thirst always underestimates fluid needs.

 

A hike, when done correctly and safely, has many medical benefits such as reducing the risk of diabetes, colon or breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart attack, as well as decreasing disability risk and increasing overall physical function. Besides, hiking gives a sense of adventure and a rush of adrenalin by visiting and discovering new places or being amidst nature, all of which is wonderful for mental well-being. Therefore, to hike successfully and get optimal benefits, hikers must stay adequately hydrated to prevent dehydration.



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