Depending on your situation, staying hydrated can prove easy enough, or very difficult. For most, it is a simple balance of the right amount of fluid, and the right amount of solid intake. Below are a few useful tips for staying hydrated.
Drink plenty of water
The most obvious solution would be to drink lots of water. During a high-intensity workout, you could lose up to a liter of fluid from your body per hour. When you take weather into account, this can be heightened. Ideally, you would be drinking more than you are losing. Or at the very least, catching up on the amount soon.
To prevent overnight dehydration, have a glass of water before going to sleep, and before waking up. This should keep your body going during the resting hours. In continuation of this, try to avoid having a cup of coffee, or any other form of caffeine for at least 2 hours upon arising.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Talking about caffeine, this is never a good option when you are thirsty. Really, it is only going to make matters worse. Certain types of tea can actually contain more caffeine than coffee does, so even this is not a safe option. The same goes for soft drinks or sodas.
Alcohol is a large contributor to dehydration. It is recommended that when drinking any form of alcohol, have a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage. This does slow down the process of getting drunk if that is your aim, but it also drastically improves the morning hangover.
If you do find yourself suffering from dehydration, and water alone is not doing the trick for you, total hydration electrolytes can offer a handy solution.
Electrolytes are a vital part of keeping your body hydrated, and you can be lacking in them for several reasons.
– Intense exercise
– Illness including vomiting or diarrhea
– Heat (sweating too much)
– Not eating or drinking enough
Electrolytes can be found in a range of natural food products, largely known in watermelon and coconut water. Both of these items are highly recommended whilst suffering the impacts of dehydration. Counter to this, white poultry and dairy products are also sufficient.
For an extra boost, electrolyte infused water-based drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade are designed to heighten performance and help the body remain hydrated. There are also electrolyte supplements available to purchase if you feel necessary.
Let’s briefly discuss the options for staying hydrated whilst in an emergency, survival situation.
Avoid over sweating
Try to keep yourself as sheltered from the heat as possible. If there is not a known nearby water source, sweating will drain your remaining fluids faster.
Purify water sources
Whilst in the wild, there can be many drinking options such as puddles, streams or rivers. Sadly, these sources come at a price. If you have the tools, bring the water to the boil before drinking. This will kill off any lingering bacteria or parasites.
If boiling is not an option, try filtering it through clothing fabric. This will not eliminate microorganisms, but it will make it somewhat safer. It is not a permanent solution, and it can make you very ill. Where possible you should be provided with medical treatment afterward.
Drinking ice and snow
This concept is bittersweet, as when your body is exhausted, turning ice into water inside your mouth whilst in freezing temperatures, can actually take away more from your body that it will gain. However, it is a short-term solution.
Remember to never drink saltwater, it will only dehydrate you more and it is likely to cause unwanted side effects such as hysteria and hallucinations.