How To Stay Hydrated For Outdoor ActivitiesBy Angelica Malin
When you’re exercising or doing activities outdoors, it’s vital that you’re well hydrated. This is especially true if you’re doing outdoor activities, particularly during hot weather.
There are a number of ways that you can stay hydrated for outdoor activities, such as having some of the best hydration packs with you, and drinking fluids regularly throughout the day. If you’re looking to stay hydrated for outdoor activities the next time you’re having fun outside, read on for our tips!
Know How Much You Need
The first thing to know is how much water you actually need in general. You should be trying to drink around 2-5 cups of water a couple of hours before you do your workout or before you do your outdoor activity. If this is too much for you, then you should take a bottle with you and drink periodically throughout the day. There are many water bottles on the market that will tell you how much water to drink and by what time, which can be handy if you’re never quite sure how much you need to drink throughout the day. Remember if you’re particularly sweaty, you may need to drink extra water, and you will also need to drink more water if you’re dehydrated too.
Drink the Right Kinds of Drinks
If you’re going to be doing outdoor activities such as sports, you will want to make sure that you’re drinking the correct types of liquids. Generally just having some decent quality tap water will be completely fine for the vast majority of outdoor activities.
If you’re going to be doing the activity for quite some time, however, you can also bring something like fruit juice with you that has been slightly diluted with some water. This will give you some extra carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up throughout the activity.
You can also drink various sports drinks, but you need to make sure that the drink is right for you. You don’t want anything carbonated, since drinking things with bubbles in when you’re doing activities outdoors can result in you feeling sick.
Eat to Stay Hydrated
When you’re participating in outdoor activities, it’s worth trying to eat the right things in order to stay hydrated. For instance, fruits and vegetables have a high water content, and they’re high in lots of delicious nutrients that are good for you! Since fruits and vegetables do have a high water content, they can keep you hydrated in the summer – it’s part of the reason why smoothies are so popular! Some good suggestions include strawberries, watermelons, zucchini, and pineapple.
Watch Your Timing
If you’re planning on doing trips during the warm weather, you should watch out for your timing. If you’re going out to do things that eat up a lot of energy such as rock climbing or hiking up steep mountains, you should try to do this during the cooler parts of the day. If you go out when it’s cooler, you’re less likely to lose as much fluid through things like sweating. As a result, you can avoid dehydration much more easily. If the weather is still very warm and you want to enjoy the weather, you can do lighter activities such as a simple walk, or water-based activities such as swimming.
Stay Away From Alcohol
There’s nothing like a hot day to make you want to reach for the beers. With that being said, it’s best to reach for a non-alcoholic beverage when you’re doing outdoor activities in hot weather. This is because drinking doesn’t give you a lot of key nutrients, and you could end up having a hangover. As a result, you can become dehydrated because the fluids get drained out of your body. If you’re going to drink, try to be responsible.
Stay Cool in Your Clothing
If it’s hot outside and you’re going to be sweating a lot doing outdoor activities, you don’t want to be wearing stark black, long-sleeved clothing. This is sure to make you feel even hotter, meaning that you sweat more and are thus more likely to get dehydrated. Instead, you should try to wear clothing that’s very light and airy as this will help you to stay cool throughout the day. You can also wear accessories that will keep you cool, such as scarves, hats, and umbrellas.
Drink in Advance
Got your activity planned for later in the day? Give your body a heads up and start filling it with fluids earlier on in the day. You should make sure that you have plenty of water in your system before your outdoor activity so that you will already be well hydrated before it even starts.
It’s also worth noting that you have the lowest fluid levels in your body just after you wake up from sleeping overnight, so drinking a large bottle of water first thing in the morning is a good idea if you’re doing your activity earlier in the day.
Know Your Body
You know your body better than anyone else does. This means that you can base the hydration levels on your own physical signs. Make sure that you drink when you’re thirsty, and if you’re starting to feel hydrated you should take a few minutes out of your activity. The last thing that you want to do is deal with the effects of dehydration – you may completely ruin the activity for yourself.
Know The Symptoms of Dehydration
Whenever you’re doing outdoor activities – or indoor activities, for that matter! – it’s important to know the symptoms of dehydration to make sure that you don’t get caught out with an otherwise preventable illness. Now, it’s important to mention that most of the time people will actually think that their signs of dehydration are signs of hunger. This is because the manifestations of the two can be similar to each other in many respects. There are a number of different symptoms of dehydration, including:
- Having a dry mouth
- Tight skin
- Urine is dark in color
- Light headed feeling
The elderly particularly those with chronic illnesses as well as young children especially need to be careful to stay hydrated when partaking in outdoor activities since they are more likely to get dehydrated, which can make them sick.
Know What Drinks to Stay Away From
You may think that in order to stay hydrated, you can just drink anything. This is not necessarily the case. Not all fluids can be helpful for hydration purposes. There are some beverages that you should try not to drink in excess when partaking in outdoor activities. The first thing you should limit is caffeinated drinks. This is because it has a slight diuretic effect – which stimulates your body to release more water through your urine. Furthermore, it can cause you to feel anxious. This may mean that your heart rate increases, which isn’t the best when you’re doing outdoor activities.
You should also stay away from energy drinks if you can. Also, limit your soda and carbonated drinks intake. This isn’t specifically because of their hydrating effects, but rather because they don’t help very much in terms of athletic performance.
Staying hydrated is important for outdoor activities, and thankfully it’s easy to do so long as you follow the tips mentioned above! When you’re well-hydrated you also perform a lot better at your activities because your body is in its prime condition, so make sure that you keep that bottle of water or diluted fruit juice on hand!