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Creative And Delicious Ways To Stay Hydrated While Paddling

There is arguably nothing more important to a paddler than water. Not only is water essential for the act of paddling itself, but it is also crucial for hydration. Without water, a leisurely paddle can go from fun to dangerous in a matter of hours or even minutes. Dehydration can be a severe and even fatal problem when paddling, but it is something you can easily avoid when you have delicious and easy ways to hydrate.

To make hydrating more tasty and refreshing remember an insulated water bottle so you can have cold water throughout your paddle. Consider adding fruit or herb infusions to your water including citrus and mint. Pack fresh fruits as many have a high water content, and remember to consider electrolytes on longer paddles. Opt for caffeine-free and non-alcoholic beverages when on shore. Remember to hydrate before and after your paddle as well.

The key to a healthy paddling session is to stay hydrated throughout your adventure. Finding delicious and creative means of hydration is a great way to ensure you keep your thirst quenched on any paddling trip. While nothing beats ice-cold water when you are thirsty on a short paddle, you need to think about electrolytes and nutrients when paddling long distances. Bringing creative and delicious means of hydration will encourage you to stay hydrated and enjoy yourself while doing so.

Great Ways To Stay Hydrated While Paddling

1. Fresh Nutritious Fruit Over Dried Snacks

If you love fruit, then pack plenty of it any time you plan to paddle. Many fruits, including most melons, apples, and citrus have a high water content. This means if you pack fresh fruits you are also assisting your hydration.

Fruits not only have loads of water, but many fruits also offer electrolytes and vitamins. This makes fresh fruit one of the best snacks you can pack on a paddling trip. Dried fruits might be great food for longer paddling trips, but they won’t offer the hydration benefits.

2. Insulated Thermoses Make Everything More Refreshing

If you have a large insulated water bottle then make it your companion on every paddling excursion. Sure, an insulated water bottle is often heavier and a bit more cumbersome than sleek light-weight water bottles or water bladders, but they keep water cold.

Cold water is a treat when you paddle on a sunny day, especially if it is warm. Remember that cold water not only tastes refreshing, but it can assist in lowering your body temperature. This is a great way to fight off both dehydration and heat-related health issues. On colder days you can choose warm beverages like hot cider or herbal tea to warm you up on long cold paddles.

3. Find Your Favorite Flavorful Electrolyte Beverages

While there is nothing better than fresh clean water on a short paddle to combat dehydration, longer paddles require more than just basic H20. This is because over time our bodies become depleted of both water and nutrients - most notably electrolytes.

The good news is that in this day and age, there are countless ways to replenish your electrolytes, whether it's a popular sports drink, a gel, or even using natural ingredients you hand-pick yourself.

The key is finding your preferred method of consuming electrolytes and making sure you pack accordingly. If you pack your favorite electrolyte-rich foods and beverages you won’t forget to consume them.

4. Start Your Day With Hydrating Fluids

One common mistake paddlers make when it comes to hydration is only hydrating once they pick up a paddle and head into the water. The key is to start your hydrating journey well before you start your paddle. This means drinking plenty of fluids before your paddle.

Try to have limited caffeine in the morning before your paddle, and opt for non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages. Remember that alcohol and caffeine can add to your dehydration. Instead, opt for your favorite thirst-quenching beverages like sparkling water or herbal tea to ensure you are filled with healthy fluids before you paddle.

5. Find Tasty Non-Alcoholic Alternatives

As mentioned previously, alcohol might be a liquid but it can easily dehydrate you. Not only is alcohol a substance that can affect your judgment and motor skills, but it can also add to your dehydration problems. For these reasons and others it is best to refrain from alcohol consumption before and during your paddle.

This does not mean you can’t have fun or enjoy yourself around others who are drinking alcohol. There are numerous non-alcoholic alternatives for those who want to enjoy socialization but don’t want the negative effects alcohol can cause while paddling.

6. Get A Premium Filter So You Can Drink From The Source

One potential dehydration cause is running out of water. It sounds crazy, as paddling puts you face to face with an endless water supply, but often the water on which you paddle is not fit for human consumption. This is, of course, unless you have a water bottle with a premium filtration system.

Purchasing a high-quality water bottle with a water filter is a great option for those who like to travel light. This is particularly true for those who paddle mostly in freshwater environments. Many water bottles can filter fresh water and make it safe to consume.

Shop our kayak water filtration buyer’s guide for great products.

7. Add Herb And Fruit To Infuse Your Liquids

If you have all the means to stay hydrated but just get bored with water, then consider spicing it up. Infused water is a popular feature at many spas and hotel lobbies, but is something you can incorporate into your paddling routine as well. Adding citrus slices, cucumbers, or even herbs like peppermint or rosemary can make your bland water more exciting. Some herbs and fruits can add nutritional value, while others simply make your water taste better. Either way, if it helps you consume more water, it is an option you should consider.

8. Find A Bladder Or Bottle You Enjoy

Lastly, one of the best fun and creative ways to stay hydrated on the water is to find a bottle or bladder you love to use. There are endless vessels for water consumption, but each person has his or her unique preferences. The key is taking your time and making an educated decision on what type of water bottle or bladder you like best.

If you find the best option for you then you are more likely to use it more. Find a bottle or bladder that is comfortable and easy for you to use while paddling. This way you won’t get slowed down, and you will use it more frequently and with more satisfaction.

Six Hydration Safety Tips For When You Are Paddling

1. Always Have A Water Bottle In Arm’s Reach

The reason it is important to have a functional water bottle or a bladder you love is because you must always have it nearby. A water bottle is only as good as its functionality. An impressive vessel that you can’t hold with one hand, or can’t be clipped in isn’t going to work.

Find a water bottle you can use with one hand, clip into your boat, and access without losing your momentum. This will ensure you can take water breaks easily without slowing down.

If you are racing or going a long distance, a bladder is often best. They offer hands-free drinking so you can stroke your paddle and stay hydrated at the same time.

2 Begin Your Paddle Hydrated

Paddling success starts hours before you enter the water. Just as it is important to put time and energy into packing your bag and stretching your body, you must also take time to hydrate your body before a paddle. Make sure you make good hydration decisions the night before your paddle and in the morning.

This means avoiding too much alcohol the night before and avoiding drinking too much caffeine or eating foods that remove moisture from the body. Instead, start your paddle fully hydrated, so you only have to maintain this level, instead of playing catch up.

3. Set A Hydration Timer

Staying hydrated on a paddle, especially a longer one, requires consistent water consumption. If you are a seasoned long-distance paddler you may have developed a healthy hydration schedule. If you have not established such a schedule then a timer is your best option.

On average you should consume a little more than one liter of water for every hour you paddle. One liter is a lot of water to consume at once, so setting reminders every thirty minutes or so to consume just over half a liter of water is a good place to start.

4. Long Paddles Require Electrolytes

Remember that while water is the best for short paddles, longer paddles require electrolytes and further nourishment. It is easy to forget that our bodies get depleted of more than just water, but when paddling for long distances you need to plan accordingly.

Pack plenty of your favorite electrolyte beverage like a sports drink. You can hydrate with mostly water, but incorporate an electrolyte-rich beverage into the mix to ensure you don’t deplete your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive throughout the physically demanding task of long-distance paddling.

5. Consider The Weather When Packing Water

Remember that the amount of water you require can depend heavily on the weather conditions. Naturally, sunny hot conditions require more water than cloudy mild ones. Therefore, when you pack your paddling gear, and your water, you need to check the weather first.

Always pack more water than you need. This is because even the most detailed plans can change, and even great navigators get lost from time to time. Packing more water than you need and paying close attention to your surroundings will all but ensure you have all the liquids you need to keep hydrated.

6. Don’t Wait Until You Feel Dehydrated

One of the worst things you can do is take a reactive approach to hydration. Don’t wait until you feel weak, dry-mouthed, and have a headache before you start drinking water. Once you are dehydrated your body requires time to recover, meaning if you feel dehydrated you need both water and rest.

Instead of waiting until you have signs of dehydration, you should instead remember to hydrate on a schedule and also listen to your body. If you are thirsty you should drink water. Don’t ignore your urges, as they are often your body is usually telling you something important.

Final Tips On Fun And Delicious Ways To Hydrate While Paddling

Paddling and hydration go hand and hand. But sometimes drinking water all day can get boring, resulting in hydration getting overlooked. To stay hydrated sometimes you need to come up with creative, and even delicious, ways of staying hydrated.

One tasty way to stay hydrated is to pack nutritious and water-filled fruit like melons and citrus. These fruits are loaded with water and vitamins. You can also consider infusing your water with your favorite fruits and herbs to make it tastier. Try and find a non-alcoholic beverage to enjoy instead of an alcoholic one, and don’t drink too much caffeine before or during a paddle. Try and find a water bottle you love so you will remember to drink from it often, and remember to pack tasty beverages and electrolytes in addition to water on your longer paddles.


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