One of the challenges you will
encounter outdoors is finding a way to keep yourself well hydrated. Making sure that you bring along the best hydration drink for your body type and activity will ensure that your body can perform at its peak at any given time.
Before we dig into want kind of energy drink you should bring, we must first understand what dehydration is, how it affects us in the long run and what signs to watch out for.
Dehydration is the physical condition your body goes into when you deplete the fluid that is circulating around your body. It is classified as mild, moderate and severe, each type defined by how much liquid is lost and how much time has occurred since you last hydrated.
The different stages of hydration can bring about different complications starting with a decrease in blood volume, affecting your overall body system. This in turn will decrease your blood pressure even if your heartbeat is racing. This type of cardiovascular activity will generate heat that the body cannot dispose of since the fluids needed to cool it down is no longer present, this is called overheating and may lead to further health problems like a heart attack, or worse, cardiac arrest.
What are the signs of dehydration?
Thirst is usually the first sign that your body needs more fluids and, as you continually neglect to address it, the stronger the desire to replenish your body’s fluids will become leaving you with a parched mouth. As your body continues to function without additional fluid intake you will soon feel lightheaded and fatigued with your muscles starting to grow sore and cramped. Prolonged dehydration will also make you confused and disoriented.
Choosing the Best Drink for Hydration
Fighting dehydration is no laughing matter and making sure that you have the right kind of fluid with you will provide you with more benefits than just keeping hydrated.
1. Nutrient Content – in order for the body to replenish its fluids better, certain nutrients have to be present in order for the body to absorb the fluids better. Nutrients like potassium, sodium and carbohydrates are essential for maximum fluid absorption.
2. Electrolyte Balance – electrolytes are the minerals that your body needs to function properly and some drinks have electrolytes thrown in the mix of ingredients.
3. Effect on the Kidneys – most hydration drinks is chemically formulated and our kidneys are in charge of cleansing the body of any impurities. Continued consumption may cause irreparable damage to the kidneys.
The Best Drinks for Hydration
Given the considerations we listed, here are some of the most common drinks you can use for hydration.
· Water – the universal solvent, water can replenish you body’s fluids better than most drinks without any nasty side effect. It is relatively cheap and the only bad part about it is that it has zero taste which some may find unappealing.
· Fitness Water – it looks like water but tastes nothing like it. Fitness water, however, is not really ideal for replenishing fluids after exercising as they are designed to supplement diets more than anything.
· Sports Drink – these drinks are specially formulated to hydrate better than water but not all of them do so but they do provide the body with essential nutrients and electrolytes.
· Fruit Juices –the fructose found in juices make it harder for the body to absorb the fluids but it has more flavor than water and the nutrient that come with are more natural and easier for the kidney to process.
· Coconut Water – the nutrient content of coconut water is equivalent to that of most sports drinks and is much cheaper too. Coconut water though is hard to come by fresh and the package ones may contain some added ingredients like sugar and flavorings.
· Soda – sodas in general are full of sugar, even the sugar-free ones. They may make you feel hydrated especially when drank cold but they don’t have enough nutrients for the body to absorb, sometimes leaving you thirstier.
· Coffee – coffee and tea have long been thought of as agents of dehydration but recent studies have shed some light into this and it was found out that they can actually replenish your body’s fluid requirement and gives you a boost of caffeine to energize you.
Hydration is slowly becoming a science in itself but it shouldn’t leave you confused. Choose the right hydration drink that fits your taste and kind of physical activity and make sure to bring enough to keep your fluids in check.