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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Ashby

Five Tips For Staying Hydrated - Even in an Emergency!

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Whether you’re running, climbing or walking this summer, it’s essential you stay hydrated. If you’re not adequately hydrated, your endurance will be negatively affected, and you will become more tired. And, if you do become dehydrated, your health could be at risk. Here are our top five tips for taking on fluids when you’re on the move.

1. Before you hit the mountain or trails, hydrate

Verywellfit recommends drinking three cups of water for every pound you lose during and after exercise. Of course, athletes will want a precise calculation, but the most important thing you need to know is that you should hydrate before, during, and after exercise.

Drink water two hours before, 20 mins before, and then immediately before exercise, as well as during and after your workout. If you are working hard for more than 90 minutes, you should consume sports drinks to replenish glycogen with easy-to-digest complex carbohydrates and electrolytes lost in sweat.

2. Use electrolytes in your water

After exercise, or if you become dehydrated, you can experience low levels of electrolytes. This could cause a range of symptoms, such as feeling faint.

Electrolytes are minerals that have an electric charge, and they include sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphate and bicarbonates. Everyone needs electrolytes to survive; they are essential for a number of functions. You can purchase drinks and powders that contain electrolytes to consume during and after exercise. Check out our ambassadors Mountain Fuel and take advantage of our discount code.

3. Have your water readily available when walking, climbing or running

You’re less likely to drink if you have to keep stopping to take your bottle out of your rucksack. So, it’s all about planning. Make sure your drink is easily accessible so you can grab it when you’re on the move. Stow it in an outside pocket of your rucksack or at the very top so someone can grab it for you.

You might want to use a camel back, or hydration backpack, to save on time and effort. Camel backs are great as they make it easy to drink without losing a beat, so you’re more likely to take regular sips.

4. Be prepared and be sensible - know what to do in an emergency

You might be wondering whether you can drink water from a stream? Water from rivers and streams can include water-borne infections that can make you ill, including E Coli, Shigella, Salmonella, Weils Disease, Giardia and Amoebic Dysentery. Other hazards include blue-green algae and chemical pollutants.

There are four ways to purify water to make it safe to drink: boiling, filtering, chemical treatment with water purification tablets or liquid, and ultraviolet treatment. And various easy-to-carry products are available to buy to purify water, including UV Pens and Water Bottles.

However, if you’re out on a mountain and you run out of water, you might not have these options. So, you will need to use your common sense.

If you find yourself in a situation where your health or life depends on drinking fluids in the wild, take water from a stream - above habitation if possible. It’s better to take flowing water than still water from a pond or lake. Remember though, it’s not guaranteed that even this water will be clean and safe to drink. For example, an animal carcass could lie in the water upstream. You can’t see it, but it’s polluting the water.

If you do decide you need to drink water from a stream, and you have no way to purify it, if possible, boil it for at least five minutes to kill as much bacteria as possible. Later, when you’re safe, if you experience symptoms like the rapid onset of diarrhoea and flu-like symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

Although water from streams can be safe to drink, for example in a remote location in the Scottish Highlands from a stream above habitation, it’s best not to risk it.

5. Keep water in the car for when you finish

Always have extra water in the car ready for when you return. Having a drink when you get off the mountain or finish a run is important, and it’s always worth throwing in some extra drinks. Pop in some electrolyte powders as well so you can mix up a drink to aid your recovery.

Water is heavy, so people tend to skimp on what they carry. But it’s essential that you carry enough for your entire trip. Don’t put yourself at risk of hydration; be prepared.

Let us know if you've got any tips to stay hydrated when walking or running in warmer weather.

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