Summer Hydration and Salt Intake 101: What You Need to Know to Stay Healthy this Summer

There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to your water and salt intake. For active individuals and athletes, the summer months bring about a whole new regimen for staying hydrated. On today’s quick tips we are chatting about proper summer hydration for outdoor activities.

How Much Water Should I Drink for Outdoor Activities?

On average, people lose 1 liter of water per hour during outdoor physical activity. So if it’s hot and your hiking for five hours during the day you’ll need an extra 5 liters of water. If you’re up at elevation and it’s dry, you’ll need even more. This amount is on top of the recommended 3.7 liters-per-day for men and 2.7-liters-per-day for women. That’s a lot of H2o!

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Tips for Drinking More Water in a Day

Make sure you’re constantly sipping while you hike. A hydration bladder helps you hike and sip as you go. Be sure to bring water filtration for tougher days. Hydrate up before your activity and try to drink a liter with each meal. Have an extra liter before bed too and you should be able to hit your ideal water intake.

Balance Your Water Intake with Salt

If you were to drink 7 liters of water in a day, chances are you’ll get very sick. This is because your cells need to balance all of that water with sodium, or salt in order to function properly. Table salt, or NaCl, consists of fo 40% sodium, meaning 10g of table salt will give you 4g of sodium. So how do you increase your salt intake? Packing salty snacks, such as heavily salted nuts and salty jerky helps. Another way is to use a salt supplement such as Salt Sticks, Nuun, Thermo Tabs or salt pills to increase your sodium. Be sure to track your salt intake and add an additional 5 to 10g of salt on top of the 2.3g recommended dose sodium per day.

Don’t Forget Potassium

Lastly, you’ll want to keep your potassium levels higher during heavy outdoor physical activity. This helps prevent muscle cramps and heart-related symptoms such as palpitations. Fruits and veggies, such as sweet potatoes and bananas are excellent ways to get the added potassium you need while workout out in the heat. Coconut water is another excellent source of potassium and provides a perfect post-workout drink. Just be sure to get your potassium from natural sources, dietary potassium supplements don’t absorb as well. You should always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements to make sure that they are safe and correct for your needs.

With balanced water and salt intake, combined with added potassium, you’ll be able to work out in the heat without worrying about too much fatigue.