This is probably one of the biggest issues in a 3-day. The volunteers at the event do a VERY good job of being sure we are pushed to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, PEE!
However, when we are training on our own, or before we get to the event, it can be very easy to “forget” how much WATER we have consumed.
I emphasize WATER because sodas, coffee, teas (I’m not referring to caffeine free herbal teas here), and booze are counter productive in this instance.
I train in SW Florida year round. August is one of my bigger training months and it is also one of the hottest, so hydration becomes very important. I must make sure that I am not setting myself up for failure in the days leading up to a big training walk.
I, personally, strive to drink at least 75 ounces of water a day, on non-training day. This keeps things “moving” throughout my body and prevents dehydration and other things. I also pay close attention to my body while I am walking for any signs that I may need extra hydration.
Signs my body gives me to tell me I am moving toward dehydration:
- Sausage Fingers – my fingers swell and my wedding band looks tight
- Tight or Cramping muscles – this is the sign that I need to stretch A LOT, and something more than water is needed to get me back on track
- Thirsty – once you feel thirsty, you have already begun the dehydration cycle
- Light headed, dizzy (more so than normal ) – time to sit down and cool off and drink, drink, drink
I carry 1.5 liters of water with me when training. I know that should get me 6-8 miles into my walk and that I will need a refill at that point. I plan my training walks to give me that option, specifically.
On a daily basis I carry my 16 ounce Tervis tumbler and fill it about 4 times per day with hydrating drinks. (water, fruit infused water, herbal teas) I also know that if I choose to drink coffee, I will need to add more water to my daily total.
I stay away from “bottled” water. The tap is more strictly regulated and enforced, there is less BPA and other plastic leachates in it, and I don’t have to pay to have it shipped anywhere. I do use a filtration pitcher at home to give me more peace of mind and to pull out additional toxins. Choose a brand you trust.
I don’t mean the clear liquid that comes in the gallon jug and burns on the way down. I avoid drinks of that nature. I AM talking about REHYDRATION – electrolyte replacement beverages.
I don’t personally drink, or recommend, the mainstream beverages on the market. If you ask my 6 yr old, the rule is, “if it come’s in blue, we don’t drink it.”
Here’s what I look for in a replacement beverage:
- No artificial colors
- No artificial flavors OR sweeteners
- No caffeine
- Evidence based science
I have a friend’s blog that explains what to look for in an electrolyte replacement beverage, she is much more knowledgeable than I am, I just know it works for me. My choice of mix is Performance, it is rated as one of the top options on this blog as well.
My next blog will be, “Don’t Poison Yourself” hmmm…
For more information, follow me here, or contact me. Until then, Happy walking!