Staying Healthy and Hydrated When Hiking in Mpumalanga
To make the most of your hiking experience, eating the right kinds of foods and staying hydrated is of the utmost importance! It can be all too easy to become dehydrated and start suffering from otherwise avoidable heat-related illnesses when you plan ahead.
When working up a sweat on a trail, you need to be well hydrated before, during and after hiking. The easiest way to do this is to keep water on you by using a hydration bladder. You get several different bladders in different sizes depending on your needs.
It’s not only hydration that you need to take careful care of, but also nutrition. Putting fuel in your body is very important for staying energised during your hike. So take a look at our top tips for eating and drinking when hiking in Mpumalanga.
Top Eating and Drinking Tips for Hikers
- Drink 250-500ml of water, fruit juice or a sports drink before you start your hike.
- Coffee and soft drinks containing caffeine should be avoided during hiking as caffeine increases the loss of fluid. Alcohol can also cause you to dehydrate quickly and should also be avoided.
- One litre of fluid should be consumed every hour on very strenuous hikes or if the environment you are hiking in is excessively hot. Remember to drink your fluids in small amounts throughout your hike as this will keep you more hydrated.
- To help retain fluids, it’s a good idea to replace some of your fluids with a carbohydrate/electrolyte sports drink. This will ensure your energy and electrolyte levels are well maintained. Do however alternate the sports drink with plain water.
- Always remember to drink more than you think you need to and keep drinking after you finished hiking for the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Make your snack food rich in potassium and sodium. This will enhance your rehydration when consumed with fluids. Snack on bananas or citrus fruits and drink juices like tomato or orange juice.
- On an average hike, you can burn between 3000 to 4000 calories in a day, a healthy snack should consist of a variety of nuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, raisins or dried fruit and chocolate chips. Vegetables are great to satisfy your crunch craving, so packing baby carrots or celery sticks are an excellent choice. And a far better choice of sweet treat along the way is to munch on some fruit. Apples, grapes, bananas or plums will satisfy your sweet craving. A couple of hard boiled eggs for the road are an excellent source of protein.
A Quick Snack Bar Recipe
- 1 cup Pitted dates
- ½ cup Raw Almonds
- ½ cup Peanuts
- ½ cup Dries Cranberries
- ½ cup Unsweetened Coconut
- 3 tablespoons Water
Simply combine all the ingredients in a food processor, pour the mixture into a dish and pat down firmly. After 4 hours in the refrigerator, cut into bars size fingers, and you are ready to go!
A Quick way to assess your State of Hydration
Keep a look out for these signs, they could easily tell you if you are becoming dehydrated.
- Excessive Fatigue
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Dark Concentrated Urine
- Painful Urination
- Rapid Loss of Body Weight.