Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink! That’s exactly what it will be like on your kayaking trip. Even though you won’t want to drink the water surrounding you, you will want to stay hydrated, particularly if you’re out on a warm, sunny day. Traditionally, the body needs a certain amount of water in order to be fully hydrated, and that amount increases when you participate in physical activity.
As you begin your exciting water adventure, make sure you are staying hydrated. Use these tips to help you get the right amount of water.
1. Know How Much Water You Need
You’re probably familiar with the rule “drink eight ounces of water a day.” However, that’s not the perfect rule for everyone. It’s an easy rule to remember, but the amount depends on your size and even gender. In fact, as a general rule, you should drink 1 liter per 1000 cals used. For men, this generally means 3 liters, or 13 cups, and for women, that’s about 2.2 liters, or 9 cups, per day. Knowing how much water you need beforehand is one of the best things you can do to avoid dehydration.
2. Invest in a Water Backpack
Kayaking isn’t exactly a hands-free sport. It will be difficult to set your paddles down every time you need a drink, which will discourage frequent hydrating. A water backpack offers a hands-free way to hydrate. You’ll fill the pouch inside the backpack with water and drink through a connected rubber tube. The backpack is lightweight and the perfect accessory for any outdoor activity.
3. Pack Water-Rich Snacks
Drinking fluids aren’t the only way to get your daily dose of water. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of the necessary liquid. By packing water-rich snacks alongside your trail mix and carb-loaded snacks, you’ll have an easier time getting your daily dose of H2O.
4. Listen to your Body
If you pay attention, your body will tell you when it’s time to drink more water. If you’re drinking enough, your urine will be clear and odorless. If you are nearing dehydration, it will be dark in color.
You’ll also notice a difference in your muscles. Lean muscle tissue consists of 75 percent water or more. Your muscles are easily tired out when you don’t replenish the water supply. This is particularly important to recognize when on your kayak trip. If you recognize any of these signs, it’s time to take a hearty drink of water, and continue to hydrate throughout the day.
5. Get Ahead of the Thirst
If you wait until you feel thirsty, it’s already too late. The way to beat dehydration is to stay ahead of the thirst. Plan ahead with a schedule in order to ensure that you drink enough water. Before you get in the watercraft, drink at least two cups of water. Then, drink at least two cups every two hours. You may have to relieve yourself more often, but that’s better than being rushed to the hospital because of dehydration.
6. Recognize the Signs of Dehydration
Before embarking on any outdoor adventure, it’s important to know the signs of dehydration. Some of the most common signs of dehydration include:
- Dry skin
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Low urine volume
- Dark colored urine
- Stiff skin
- Fatigued muscles
If you begin showing any combination of these symptoms, it’s important to drink water and seek treatment immediately.
8. Be Prepared for Treatment
Dehydration is not to be taken lightly. Thousands of people die from dehydration during recreational sports every year, and that risk is heightened when you’re out in the wild, away from civilization and even cell phone service. The best treatment is prevention, but if dehydration hits, it’s important to know what to do. Research home treatments beforehand to ensure you’re prepared for the worst.
Don’t risk the dangers of dehydration on your water trip. Stay hydrated and prepared before you venture out this summer.