The Crucible Hike
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Hydration is one of the most important aspects of activity. It should be considered before, during and after an event. Included in this tip sheet are some guidelines to consider and to follow before hitting the trails.
If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. It is a well-known fact, however many athletes fail to recognize it. Also, all athletes and participants sweat at their own unique rate. The weather and temperature can affect the bodies sweat rate. Please adjust hydration strategies for each day accordingly.
For every 1 pound of weight lost – drink 20-24 oz of water.
For every 2 pounds of weight lost – drink 40-48 oz of water.
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Muscle cramps can occur in the body when there is an imbalance of water volume to electrolytes. Sports drinks are popularly utilized to restore this balance. However salty snacks or salt packets can be used for a quick fix.
It is crucial to eat a well-balanced meal in order to restore the nutrients lost during activity. Hydration and nutrition work hand in hand to prevent muscle cramps. Granola bars, protein bars, and trail mix are just a few examples of a snack that can help restore the salt lost during activity. Also electrolyte supplements can be added to drinks consumed during activity. Please have a snack or back-up plan incase muscle cramps occur.
The easiest way to see if you are hydrated is by urine color. If it appears to be a pale or a lemonade color, you are properly hydrated. Dark urine, like apple juice, indicates that you need to drink more fluids.
Please consider how your body will react to the activity you will embark on. Pack plenty of water and sports drinks to refuel. And always remember to rehydrate at night for the fluid that was not replaced during the day.
Philip Hensler, MS, ATC, LAT. PES, EMT-B
UPMC Sports Medicine