5 Best Practices to Avoid Dehydration During Hiking
Hiking is an ideal recreational activity for people who enjoy the outdoors. However, since our bodies are made up of 60 percent water, hiking may result in dehydration. The physical activity can make participants sweat profusely, causing quick water loss in the body. But how do hikers prevent getting dehydrated during the hike? Here are some ideas.
1. Hydrate Before Hitting the Trail
Dehydration is when the body loses too much fluid or not enough fluid. People should be well hydrated before hitting the trails as it prevents dehydration. Excessive sweating will trigger dehydration, possibly preventing hikers from giving the level of physical activity needed during a hike. They should drink plenty of water since it serves as a source for maintaining the body’s hydration. While sweating during the trek, hikers must replace water lost from the body.
2. Avoid Drinking Alcoholic Beverages
Alcoholic beverages can cause dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, promoting the production and secretion of urine, making the body lose water. Alcoholic beverages may also irritate the stomach lining, preventing it from absorbing water in the body. Seasoned hikers recommend avoiding alcoholic drinks before or during a hike.
3. Keep a Dependable Water Source
Hikers need to walk to a water source back to the trail. They should keep a water source that is equivalent to their body weight. In other words, they should carry water equivalent to one liter per 20 pounds of body weight. It will help them replenish the body’s fluid loss. Hiking may sometimes be an all-day activity, making the body lose water slowly. That is why it is essential to keep a dependable water source.
4. Constantly Hydrate Throughout
The body needs water to maintain normal function and to regulate internal temperature. Hiking may cause the body to lose water, including simple sweat and other liquids. During a hike, hikers should take frequent fluid breaks to replenish the water loss. Some hikers carry water with them, but they can also just get water in stores along the trail. Meanwhile, water fountains, water bottles, and coolers are typical water sources.
5. Avoid Food Causing Water Loss
Food can also cause water loss during a hike. Some foods and drinks are diuretics, which promote the release of urine and water. That is why hikers need to avoid them to prevent water loss in the body. Seasoned hikers warn against eating cheese and salty snacks before or during a hike to prevent water loss. Meanwhile, it's best to pack fruits rich in water content such as watermelons, oranges, peaches, or pineapples to promote hydration while energizing the body.
How to Address Dehydration During a Hike
Hikers suffering from dehydration will start to feel weak and tired. Headache and dizziness, along with the inability to urinate, will be experienced. Someone in the team should know how to perform the needed, first-aid procedure to ease water loss. Oral hydration salts should come in handy while trying to rehydrate outdoors.
Hiking is a fun activity for people who enjoy the outdoors. But it is essential to know how to avoid dehydration, especially if the hike will be an all-day activity. Seasoned hikers suggest avoiding drinking alcoholic beverages since they can cause dehydration. They also recommend keeping a dependable water source and drinking water constantly during the hike to prevent water loss in the body. However, above all, make sure to enjoy the activity while staying safe and hydrated.
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