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Post breakfast hydration?

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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:19 pm

I do most of my hydration after the day's hike. That way I do not have to carry a lot of water and honestly, my digestive system does better with less water when walking. I have one Emergen-C before dinner. I just like the fizzy feel after drinking water all day. Not sure if it really does much in way of electrolytes. I also take one multi-vitamin with dinner. Breakfast is one cup of coffee (instant) and a very large pot of oatmeal (old fashioned, with nuts, whole dry milk, and dried fruit-- I cannot stand instant oatmeal). Nuts, dried fruit, cheese stick and jerky for nibbling all day- and sip water. I do not do a real lunch. I rarely am very thirsty. I do not sweat much. I keep a steady but slower pace with very little stopping - maybe only take a 10 minute break every 3-4 miles or a couple times a day. Once I stop and sit too long, it is hard to get going again. I usually start hiking 7AM and end hiking at 3-4 PM. I actually drink more water at night than during hiking. Yes, that means I have to get up and pee once if not twice, but that actually warms me up and I get to gawk at the sky. I think everyone has to just find what works for them. My hydration routine is pretty odd. But it works for me.



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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby rlown » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:52 pm

Ok.. What doesn't work. My friend didn't drink water all the way on the drive to North Lake (6 hrs), even though I had a 24 pack of water in the back seat. He didn't drink water on the 2 miles to get to a reasonable camp area as North Lake CG was full. I had to make him drink water in the morning as he was showing signs of dehydration. Went to the creek twice to get water so he could hydrate. Cost us a couple of hours until he felt well enough to continue.
That is completely the wrong approach.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby hikerduane » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:19 pm

I guess it's just getting harder for me, I think my peak was in my 40s. Still can make Kearsarge Pass in 2 hours.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby freestone » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:59 am

I only drink when I'm thirsty and that seems to work for me to stay hydrated.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby powderhound » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:47 pm

I'm surprised so many hikers don't pay special attention to hydration or electrolytes! That was really my undoing when I first got into backpacking. I need more water and electrolytes than most people though. I've had heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and hyponatremia, all multiple times. The last one gave me the most trouble honestly--I became physically ill several times before I realized what the problem was.

I take electrolyte pills (Salt Sticks or Rehydr8 usually) every couple hours when I'm hiking, starting a couple hours after breakfast. On really tough hikes, I will take them more often, sometimes right after breakfast. I'm not a fan of electrolyte powders like Gatorade--I want my camelback to stay clean and my high sierra water to taste like high sierra water.

I know I'm not the only out there who benefits from these supplements on hikes. Just about everyone I've given them to has noticed an improvement in their energy and how good they feel.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby dave54 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:02 pm

Do you mean a glucose drink or electrolytes?

Most tend not to need electrolyte supplements. Many, if not most, benefit from a glucose (sports) drink.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby powderhound » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:53 pm

dave54 wrote:Do you mean a glucose drink or electrolytes?

Most tend not to need electrolyte supplements. Many, if not most, benefit from a glucose (sports) drink.


Nope, I mean electrolytes. Sports drinks are designed to provide three things: water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes. Sure, most people won't get sick or pass out if they go hiking without electrolyte supplements as long as they have food, but that doesn't mean they won't benefit from them. Most people won't get sick if they under-eat when they're backpacking either, but they sure will have more energy and feel better if they eat properly. Taking a salt pill when I've been hiking for a few hours in warm weather wakes me up about as much as a small cup of coffee. I've persuaded friends to take them when they're out hiking with me, and they were convinced enough to order their own bottles when they got home.

I really do require more electrolytes and more water than most people, so salt pills make more of a difference for me, but I feel like a lot of hikers would still benefit from them. Just one or two a day would probably be fine for most people if they are snacking. At that rate, you're looking at an extra 0.5 grams per hike, and a $10 bottle that will likely last 2-3 years.

BTW, symptoms of mild hyponatremia can mimic heat exhaustion: fatigue, general feeling of being unwell, and nausea. For most people, it starts off with feeling tired. With advanced hyponatremia, your intestines can't absorb the water you drink, so it just comes out the other end. Water can even leach from your intestine walls into your GI tract and make you sprint for the nearest bush or large rock to hide behind while you drop your trousers. The more severe case is why I won't be going back to that Meetup group that I won't name.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby robow8 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:35 am

I too need more electrolytes than a normal person, and I really like Nuun Active tablets for electrolytes with no calories.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:30 am

I think it makes a difference if you are exerting at an athletic pace, or just walking. Even on hills, just going slowly cuts down on the hydration need. Pack weight also matters. If carrying 50 pounds uphill you will sweat a lot more that a 20 pound pack. I normally do not "push" very hard when backpacking but when I do, I need more water. For me heat is the factor that bumps me into needing electrolytes. As the season wears on, I also get much more efficient- probably use many less calories to do the same amount of work than the first trip out.

I notice that I breath through my nose when hiking. I rarely breath with an open mouth, and when I do, I get much more thirsty.

When I started climbing (and the backpacking associated with mountaineering) I was trained in conservation of energy while moving; the rest step, the concept of pacing, exerting the least effort to put one foot ahead of the other, pacing your walking to a desired heart rate. This is not a competitive athletic pace, but an all-day pace. So I think you can mitigate the need for a lot of water or electrolyte replacement with hiking technique.

But, having electrolyte pills or whatever in your first aid kit is a good idea, even if you do not use it all the time. You cannot always control your environment and sometimes have to really push it, and then, I really appreciate having a cup or two of electrolyte drinks. I am not a fan of simple salt pills, though, because they do not give you a balance of electrolytes.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby longri » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:35 am

powderhound wrote:I really do require more electrolytes and more water than most people...

How do you know this? I wonder if taking a placebo instead of a salt pill might do the same thing for you.

robow8 wrote:I too need more electrolytes than a normal person, and I really like Nuun Active tablets for electrolytes with no calories.

Or you could eat a power bar and a handful of cookies and get more sodium and potassium than a Nuun tablet.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby powderhound » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:23 pm

longri wrote:
powderhound wrote:I really do require more electrolytes and more water than most people...

How do you know this? I wonder if taking a placebo instead of a salt pill might do the same thing for you.


I've never heard of a placebo curing uncontrollable diarrhea, especially when the max dose of Imodium won't even help. I've had issues with overheating my whole life, and long hikes were giving me some pretty serious issues even when I made sure to drink plenty of water. I got desperate and was willing to try anything, and the electrolyte capsules solved my problems instantly.

I don't understand why anyone would argue against the benefit of electrolyte supplements during strenuous activity. The Boyscouts lectured us about electrolytes before every hike, and every Lacrosse coach I ever had lectured us about it too. Doctors usually tell me to take some sort of electrolyte supplement when I tell them I'm a backpacker even if they have no knowledge of my medical history. I do hike at a fast enough pace for it to be aerobic, but I start feeling sick long before anyone else does if I don't watch my electrolyte intake.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby powderhound » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:28 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:I am not a fan of simple salt pills, though, because they do not give you a balance of electrolytes.


Modern salt pills give you a balanced blend of sodium, magnesium, and potassium, or at least the ones marketed towards runners do. They all have an ingredients list that tells you how many mg of each salt is in there. Salt Sticks is the most well-known brand, but plenty of competitors make products that are just as good. Rehydr8 is cheaper and more concentrated, so that's usually what I use.
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