We’ve been having many hot & humid days in the summer and the humidity requires more hydration than usual. If you plan on doing a 6-mile walk, play golf or a 3-hour bike ride, here are some tips about hydration.
- Drink plenty of water (about 2 cups) an hour before the walk or bike ride. This does not mean just coffee or tea.
- Carry at least 1.5 quarts of water with you (six 8-oz.cups).
- It is absolutely necessary to carry some water in an accessible location, not only in your backpack. Keep one of your bottles in a sling pouch, in a waist pack, in a hydra-pak or on your bike water bracket so you can “drink on the run” (or “ride.”) You should not have to stop what you’re doing to get the water out because you won’t always take the time to do it when you need it. This is very common amongst our TOHG members!
- Do not worry about drinking so much water that you’ll need the restroom. We plan our walks and bike rides where you can find places, even if it means the woods!
- You may want to consider carrying a bottle of a sports drink if you need to replenish your electrolytes. (Loss of sodium can be a problem.)
- Be sure to eat a good breakfast (enough calories) before setting out! Don’t be obsessed with dieting if you’re going to be walking or riding. Don’t overeat, though! Bring a protein bar or a snack in your pack to prevent a loss of energy while exercising.
- If you know you have a problem with the heat or high humidity, do not venture out or prepare ahead of time to shorten the walk or ride. Know your limitations! If you’re not used to a 6-mile walk or a 20-mile ride, work up to it weeks in advance. It will prepare you especially for the hot, humid days.
- Everyone is different --- some people need to drink either more or less than what has been suggested here, but you need to know what is best for you. It is better to carry more water than you’ll actually need to drink. If you’ve been having a problem with your energy level this summer when walking or bicycling, try drinking more (water)!