The Hydration Debate: Drink Before You're Thirsty? or Nonsense?

Today’s episode might change the way you think about hydrating.

I think I'd rather be hungry than thirsty. There are different degrees of both, so I can't say this with certainty. But I remember a time in elementary school we went on a field trip and at the end of the day, I was so parched from thirst, it was a feeling I have never wanted to experience again. The long-ass drive back to our school would never end and I had visions of jumping off the bus and running straight to the drinking fountain.

I like to overthink things. I often wonder if I need to be more methodical about how I’m hydrating when I go out for whatever it is I’m doing for longer than an hour. Do I need to calculate my height/weight, distance, number of calories needed and then figure out the formula for my water and/or sport drink?

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to hydration while adventuring in the outdoors. Some say drink before your thirsty. Others say it’s better to dehydrate than over-hydrate. You’ll die from the latter, not the former. 

Brian Harder is back, my friends - regular guest, good friend, former Exum Mountain Guide, and he is going to break it down for us.

We had a fun discussion sharing stories of (de)hydration, what packs we use, how we fuel during and after our long workouts. He tackles such topics as to how and if it will affect performance and how to figure out what works for you. We talk about the idea of drinking before your thirsty and sloshy stomachs. Sugar drinks! Why types of sugar are OK?

And as usual, we get a little philosophical balancing the need for preparedness with the risk of adventure. We can't prepare for all scenarios, and uncertainty is part of the adventure. Hint: Brian likes to offer search and rescue guys job security.

Links, Resources, Further Reading:

  • Tim Noakes - The Lore of Running and Waterlogged

Where to find Brian:

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