How to quench your thirst while hiking?

How to quench your thirst while hiking?

Poor management of hydration can be responsible for severe problems, ranging from mild dehydration accompanied by cramps, to hyperthermia due to failure of the body's capabilities, which can lead to death.

Water is in fact one of the essential elements of our body. Its quantity represents approximately 70% of the body weight and must remain as constant as possible to:

  • bathe all cells;
  • ensure the fluidity of the blood and therefore its better circulation;
  • transport nutrients to cells;
  • eliminate waste;
  • finally, play an essential role in the fight against heat.

Here again, we will establish the water balance between outputs, needs, and inputs constituted solely by inputs, since, in this case, the organism must not use its reserves.

At rest, the body already needs to compensate for its usual daily losses:

  • in stools: 100 to 200 ml;
  • so-called “insensible” losses (normal sweat, expired water vapor): 800 ml;
  • the minimum diuresis to eliminate waste such as urea, creatinine: 500 ml.
  • The total already gives 1,500 ml!

Stay hydrated while hiking

  • We know that, to produce mechanical effort, 75% of the energy produced is transformed into heat. To eliminate it, one of the only means available to the body is sweating.
  • If the outside temperature is high, sweat will be even more abundant.
  • Finally, breathing is faster and if we are at altitude where the atmosphere is drier, the insensible losses will be greater.
  • Depending on the duration of the hike, the outside temperature, the effort made, the altitude, the daily needs which will be added to the basic needs often reach several liters, the estimation of which is very difficult to estimate. rate (3 to 5).

It is therefore better to drink too much (because the excess will be eliminated) than not enough.

The foods consumed obviously contain a good proportion of water. To this, you will have to add drinks. During a long hike, 2 to 3 liters seem necessary. It is not always easy to transport such quantities of drinks, but you can most often find water points along the way or streams. In the latter case, do not forget to add a disinfectant tablet to the container.

Hydration management

  • You should definitely not wait until you are thirsty to drink.
  • During the hike, stop every 30 minutes (or more often if necessary) to drink a few sips (200 ml, which corresponds to a small glass of water).
  • Restock as soon as possible.
  • In the evening, upon arrival, drink abundantly because there is always a deficit, dehydration which must not be allowed to persist.

Dehydration (and we must avoid getting to this point!) manifests itself by signs of fatigue, thirst, a reduction in diuresis, a darker color of it; it can cause cramps and sometimes have more serious consequences.

Finally, we must remember this rule: when the water deficit reaches 2% of body weight, the available energy decreases by 20%.

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