How to stay hydrated while walking: Hydration tips

Heather Campbell
 min read

How to stay hydrated while walking is important, but is often neglected.

How to stay hydrated while walking: Hydration tipsYou can carry water or isotonic beverages in a bottle or a hydration pack, or you could plan stops on the way to refill.

You should also discover, through training and experience, how much you need to drink and how often to hydrate while walking.

Staying hydrated during walking is key to maintain optimal performance and keep going. Drinking enough is always important, especially when you go for a (long) walk in hot weather. Know your fluid levels and what to drink.

How much fluid should you take in and how do you make sure you drink enough on the go? Read on for some useful and practical tips.

How to stay hydrated while walking: How much fluid do you need?

How much fluid needed during your walk is different for each person. Environment concerns such as temperature and humidity also play a role.

So it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many gallons you should drink during a hike to keep your hydration levels up.

In any case, it is important not to wait to drink until you are thirsty. By then it’s too late and you may suffer from symptoms such as muscle cramps or fatigue.

If you drink far too little, you may even experience dehydration symptoms like headaches, dizziness and nausea. Adequate drinking is vital, especially in hot weather.

As a rule, keep drinking a few big sips every 15 minutes.

Preferably choose water or an isotonic sports drink. Alcohol is out of the question because it actually drains moisture from your body.

You also lose moisture in low temperatures, especially through your breath. So make sure you drink enough even in the winter.

How do you know if you are drinking enough?

There are a few ways to check if you are drinking enough, for example, by checking your urine.

If your urine is dark or you can’t even urinate at all, then you haven’t had enough to drink and it’s important to replenish your fluid deficit.

Drink regularly but not in huge amounts at a go. If you drink too much too quickly, you may experience stomach discomfort.

Practical tips to stay hydrated while walking

You can carry your drink with you in different ways, such as in bottles or in a water bottle in your backpack.

The disadvantage is that you have to open your bag every time you want to drink. There’s a solution, called drinking belts or bottle belts on the market.

The advantage of this is that your drink is constantly within reach. The disadvantage of the drinking belt in particular is that the weight is only in one place, which can feel uncomfortable.

If you want to carry a large amount of drinks, then a hydration pack is useful.

A hydration pack is a backpack with a water tank which allows you to drink through a tube while walking.

It’s ideal if you are going on a long hike where you are not sure if you can easily reach your supply.

Plan rest stops along your hike

Most organized hikes have rest areas set up along the route where you can get drinks along the way.

Check in advance how many stops there are and fill your water bottle or bottle at these places. If you are hiking a trail on your own initiative, check to see if there are any restaurants or stores along the way.

Make sure you always have access to drinks along the way, especially in warm weather (including between rest stops).

Experiment with beverage consumption during training

Are you training for a long or multi-day hike? Then try out how much you should drink and what kind of drinking you like.

It is better to experience stomach discomfort during a workout than during a hike itself.

Bring cash to buy drinks

On long trips, make sure you have cash in your pocket. In the unlikely event that you run out of drinks, you can still buy something to drink somewhere.

Drink before and every 15 minutes during the hike

If you are going to hike a long trek or a multi-day trek, drink plenty of fluids the days beforehand as well as during.

This will ensure that your fluid balance is already well established at the start.

Drink after the hike to recover

Also, drink plenty of fluids after your trip. This is also important for your recovery. Make sure you drink well after each stage on a multi-day hike so your fluid balance is back up to par the next day.

Do not drink too much

Don’t overdo it or drink too much at once. Like drinking too little, drinking too much is also unhealthy.

It is best to drink smaller amounts regularly before, during and after your hike.

Like what you’re drinking

Do you find it difficult to drink enough on the go? In that case, at least make sure you drink something that you find pleasant in terms of taste (not alcohol, of course).

In this way, it remains pleasant to drink even after you have already drunk a liter. When traveling long distances, alternate between different types of beverages.

How to stay hydrated while walking: Conclusion

This post shows the importance of  knowing what your body needs in terms of hydration.

It is always good to carry water with you in bottles or a hydration pack, but to ensure that you stay hydrated while walking, you should check the route to see if you can replenish your supplies at any point.

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About Heather Campbell

As a dietitian, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More