Getting Proper Hydration31-Aug-2011
"The body is made up of 70% water." In my mind, that is rather close to just melting away on a really hot day. But essentially, that's what your body does. Here's some tips for proper hydration:
1. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day, more if you're exercising or hiking.
2. Drink water throughout the day. Don't wait until you feel thirsty.
3. Have water handy, carry an aluminium water bottle in the car or at the office.
4. Beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, or alcohol are not a substitute for water.
5. Monitor urine volume output and color. A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are hydrated; dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.
6. Sweating. Some athletes sweat more than others. If you sweat a lot you are at greater risk for dehydration. Weigh yourself before and after exercise to judge sweat loss.
7. According to sportsmedicine.about.com, "it's really not necessary to replace losses of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes during exercise since you're unlikely to deplete your body's stores of these minerals during normal training. If, however, you find yourself exercising in extreme conditions over 3 or 5 hours (a marathon, Ironman or ultramarathon, for example) you may likely want to add a complex sports drink with electrolytes." Water is still king!
8. Backpacker's Aquapac is the best way to store water and be on the move. http://www.backpacker.co.za/aquapac
9. Snack while you are hiking. Eating carbohydrate-heavy foods will keep your energy level high.
10. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water to rehydrate yourself.
Take care, and enjoy your hike!