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Hydration Reminder


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I did look at the calculator quickly and I calculated that, for a six hour paddle (common for many NSPN trips), you would need to add almost 2.5 liters of fluid to your daily intake. I don't know about all the different hydration systems out there, but the Kokatat holds about 1.5 liters. Is anyone bringing a second bladder with them and finishing both by the end of their paddle?

I remember talking to my doctor once about hydration. He repeated the same ol' rule of "drink plenty of clear liquids". I don't understand his exacerbation over my suggestion of vodka! :haha: Anyway, his recommendation on how much to drink was this: "Keep your pee as clear as possible." That's it, and it's true. Three different people who weigh the same amount and have the same activity level will require three different amounts of hydration each day simply because they have different diets, metabolisms, and genders. While I recognize that if you always wait to pee to see if you need a glass of water is not a good idea, it is a good barometer of how well you are drinking. My general understanding is that no one drinks enough anyway, so if you are unsure if you have drank enough, have some more.

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I often go through 2.8 liters on a hot day or during a long "brisk" paddle. I use a 1.4 liter Camelbak, refilled at lunch (with ice from my insulated lunch bag), or 2 Camelbaks if not stopping for lunch. In that case I usually have one of the bladders filled with half water, half sugary drink, and sometimes I freeze half of that so that it's still cool during the second half of the paddle. Cool water is a good motivator to keep drinking, as is sugar :-)

I am much better at drinking enough when I have the Camelbak with me. A bottle's OK on cool off-season days.

For me, the very first symptoms are loss of energy and a little sleepiness, and, of all things, hunger. Apparently that's normal - we have evolved to get hungry because some food is a source of water, too. It complicates things, because if the hunger is really hunger it's better to eat something - drinking lots of water with no carbs or electrolytes has its own problems. A ranger once told us during a hike down into the Grand Canyon that most rescues they do there are for low electrolytes, not dehydration. People have learned to bring plenty of water, but not enough food.


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Always good advice to stay hydratedl, but I've heard that it's better to drink a little bit at time. Why? Because your body cells can onlly aborb water at a given rate--something like 8 fluid oz. per half hour (or is it one hour?). Anything more gets flushed out in your pee. So clear pee can be misleading if you've not had much to drink all morning, then chug a liter or more. Bettter to have a cup or so of water every 20-30 minutes. In other words, if your pee is the three Cs (copious, clear and constant) you'll eventually become hydrated, but you're wasting a lot of water.


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