It's important you stay hydrated during your and walks hikes. Even on shorter routes, make sure you follow our tips to avoid dehydration.
How to Stay Hydrated on a Hike?
Before You Hike
As always, plan your hike and take appropriate provisions for the length of the hike, plus extras in case of emergency.
How much water you need will depend on the climate, the intensity of the hike and your personal needs (generally the bigger you are, the more water you will consume).
Generally, you will need around half a litre of water per hour during moderate exercise in moderate temperature. But no two people are the same, and while this may satisfy one person’s hydration, another may need twice this amount to feel adequately hydrated.
Always take more water than you need, and plan for extra requirements such as water for cooking, or for your dog, for example.
# Energy Drinks
Before you hike, an energy drink can be a useful way to load up on carbs and electrolytes.
# Caffeinated Drinks
You’ll also want to limit caffeinated drinks, although a thermos full of hot coffee or tea can be a great addition providing you drink adequate water alongside it. Just don’t go too mad, and avoid drinks like red bull and cola, particularly when its replacing water.
On longer and more strenuous hikes alcohol, of course, is the last thing you want to be drinking. Although on more gentle, pathed routes with plenty of country pubs along the route, you may want a few cheeky ales or wines along your trek.
# Fluid Intake
While you are hiking you want to take in about half a litre per hour, though as stated, this will change from person to person.
# Warm Weather
In warmer weather you will want to take up to a litre per hour or more. Listen to your body. You can also drink too much water, though this is pretty unlikely out during exercise, thirst generally underestimates your bodies fluid needs, but be sensible.
Energy drinks or bars can be great to top up your glycogen stores, as well as electrolytes sodium and potassium. You can also include potassium rich foods such as:
After a Hike
# More Fluids
Following a hike make sure you continue taking in fluids, your body will need to rehydrate following your exertion.
Of course, country pubs are always a lovely ending to your trek, but remember your body may be more dehydrated than usual. Start with a nice pint of water or a glass of fruit juice, and take it easy on the alcohol.
Here is another great time to top up your sodium and potassium whether its with an energy drink, bar, a piece of fruit, or a nice meal.
What to Look Out for
Always assess your hydration by keeping an eye out for danger signs:
Dark urine, or painful urination
Rapid heart rate
If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention and take a break, take in fluids, eat something and take deep breaths while your body rehydrates. Continuing to hike whilst dehydrated can lead to much more serious complications, so always play safe and be prepared.