How to Hydrate on the Trail

5:29 p.m. on August 10, 2009 (EDT)
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This thread is for comments on the article "How to Hydrate on the Trail"

Whether you’re hiking, backpacking, trail running, or fastpacking, it’s important to monitor your fluid levels. Poor hydration — before, during, or after your outdoor activities — can cause dehydration and ruin a day on the trail.

Full article at http://www.trailspace.com/articles/hydration-on-the-trail.html

5:57 p.m. on August 10, 2009 (EDT)
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Nice article Mackenzie it is very informative. When im backpacking I drink at least 1 gal of water + 1 quart of Gatorade minim per day. Then ill have coffee & tea with my meals or just a hot drink winter or summer. So by the end of a 24 hour period I consume about 2 gal of liquid. Any way I am going to have to do some calculations on a hot day with strenuous activity I am interested to see the results because I am a heavy sweater in the summer and I sweat pretty heavy in the winter also.

7:09 p.m. on August 14, 2009 (EDT)
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I agree, very informative. It is easy to get all excited about new gear or trails, and forget things like hydration.

12:35 a.m. on August 15, 2009 (EDT)
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I agree, very informative. It is easy to get all excited about new gear or trails, and forget things like hydration.

This a good point and very true.

2:44 p.m. on August 19, 2009 (EDT)
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Good article. I remember in the military that we used a chart based off of urine color to know at what level you at in the hydration zones. This chart, from what I have seen lately, has been proved to be inaccurate. With that said, we were taught to drink until your urine was clear, never realizing that we were diluting our sodium levels.

Thanks again for the article.

3:28 p.m. on August 19, 2009 (EDT)
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"If you will be hitting the trails for longer than one hour aim to consume 8 to 10 ounces (200-250 ml) of a sports drink with electrolytes every 15 to 20 minutes. Talbott describes his own routine saying, “I try every 15 minutes to take two really good mouthfuls from my bottle. "

 

Two mouthfuls is not 8 to 10 ounces. I've never seen any serious hiker or racer, even ones who correctly drink early and often during races, actually follow that standard recommendation by "experts" per amount. 8 to 10 ounces per 15 minutes or so is a lot.

The other thing that needs adding about water is the osmotic effect. Research has shown that plain water during exercise increases thirst and leads to overdrinking.

11:41 p.m. on August 19, 2009 (EDT)
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Good article, when I was guideing we would stop every hour and have everyone drink and eat some carbs during a short break.

11:09 a.m. on August 21, 2009 (EDT)
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I'm curious about water temperature. One of the sidebars recommends "Afterward: Have a cold sports drink waiting for you", but as I was always told, you ought to drink water and hydration fluids at room-temp so your body can absorb them more quickly. Drinking cold fluids requires effort to warm them before they can be used, which diminishes the effect.

8:28 p.m. on August 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I do not know. My trail involved climbing mountains in a rain forest. That amounts to at least three significant factors: hot, humid, and excersise. I ommit altitude because we stayed below 7000 ft. However, being at the mountain tops exposed us to intense sun and that was definately significant.

Before the trail, I would have an isotonic drink such as coconut water. On the trail, I took a mouthful of plain water every 10 minutes or so. After the trail, I may have chugged some more water.

For 3 months in the tropical rainforests, I did not experience any signs of dehydration. Perhaps the more demanding use of body resources inherently enforces a routine that mitigates risks of dehydration?

In contrast, I experience signs of dehydration every day in the city. It's all the sitting around and typing on computers with looming deadlines that does it...

10:58 a.m. on August 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Great point. I truly think that most of us going through our everyday routines are stressed and suffer a bit of dehydration to some extent. I have friends that absolutely will not drink ANY water and live off of coffee and soda pop. They are in bad shape in many ways but maybe just drinking a " little" water daily might get them on track. I manage to drink almost 3/4 of a gallon per day- and over a gallon while doing activity. I truly think that water consumption is a very powerful need. Ignore and folks will suffer. Drink and be happy and healthy-Thanks

2:26 p.m. on August 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Great point. I truly think that most of us going through our everyday routines are stressed and suffer a bit of dehydration to some extent. I have friends that absolutely will not drink ANY water and live off of coffee and soda pop. They are in bad shape in many ways but maybe just drinking a " little" water daily might get them on track. I manage to drink almost 3/4 of a gallon per day- and over a gallon while doing activity. I truly think that water consumption is a very powerful need. Ignore and folks will suffer. Drink and be happy and healthy-Thanks

Good point a good amount of water each day will make you feel better and you will be healthy-er than people that don't drink water. I have friend that will only drink Pepsi and that's it but she is always sick. She states she cant drink water it makes her sick lol what a BS answer.

8:52 p.m. on August 23, 2009 (EDT)
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My grandfather used to say: "If God made anything better for you than water, he kept it for himself." Well, my grandfather was trying to get us to cut down on sodas and such, and to that extent, he was right on.

Many people seem to take an emotional approach to their choice of beverages, just because you may desire or crave something, does not mean that your body will function best with that fluid.

I enjoy coffee, tea, beer, etc. but with limits. I drink lots of water and I can tell a difference in my bodies performance when I drink too many sodas etc. and not enough good ole water.

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