Dr. Matthew Gianforte

Summer is almost here, and with this bright new season comes sunshine, heat, and a lot more outdoor activities. Hiking is one of the most popular activities for summer enthusiast to participate in. There are numerous benefits associated with hiking and it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. With that being said, making sure that you are prepared for your hike or any other outdoor activity is essential.


Before heading out for the great outdoors, always be aware of the terrain, difficulty, and duration of the hike or activity you are pursuing. This will determine the amount of water that you should pack. The climate, season, and distance of the hike are all things that can influence the amount of water that you may need on your adventure. If you are planning on backpacking or going on a longer hike, it is a good idea to research possible clean water sources on your trail. 


Symptoms of dehydration

Dehydration is a very common and serious health condition. The most common symptoms of dehydration are listed below.

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Concentrated urine
  • Lightheaded


Tips to prevent dehydration

According to the American Hiking Society, in extremely hot and humid weather simply drinking water may not be enough to prevent dehydration. If you are hiking in similar conditions, taking salty snacks such as nuts will help better maintain the body’s salt and water content. Another way to prevent any electrolyte imbalances is to take sports drinks for longer hikes. Sports drinks are typically very high in sugar, however, they also contain valuable electrolytes such as sodium, potassium.


If you are hiking with children, be sure that they are consuming water periodically. Checking the amount of water they have in their water bottle may be helpful to get an idea of how much water they are drinking.


Caffeinated drinks should be avoided before any long hikes. Caffeine is a diuretic, therefore it will cause you to use the bathroom more often.


 When in doubt, always listen to what your body is telling you. If you are thirsty, your body is already on the dehydration path. To avoid dehydration make sure to drink lots of water before, during, and after your hike or any other activity. Some hiking experts say that a good rule of thumb is to drink one liter of water for every hour of strenuous exercise. If you lose too much water, your body will start to become inefficient. 


While hiking is a very enjoyable activity, it can also be strumous. Preparing for your journey is the best way to prevent dehydration and any injuries. 


If you are experiencing back pain or suffering from an injury, consider a consult with a chiropractic doctor Shawnee, KS who can help create a healing treatment plan for you. Chiropractors are trained in providing treatment plans to help manage pain and heal injuries in a holistic manner.


Thanks to LifeWorks for their insights on hydration tips,  as well as alternative medicine.



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