Hydration Fundamentals when Running on the Trail

Hydration Fundamentals when Running on the Trail

When running, comfortability directly correlates to performance. Stamina and vigor levels decrease over time. That is why hydration levels should be maintained. Here are tips on how much you should drink, risk of inappropriate hydration and guidelines on staying hydrated.

How much do I Drink?

Hydration Fundamentals when Running on the Trail

The amount one drinks depends on body size, sweat levels, among other factors. Drink some water before running. 0.5-1 liter is enough to keep you properly hydrated. Thereafter, 0.1-0.3 liters are to be taken every 15-20 minutes as you run. Recovery is key to maintaining a fit body and is achievable by taking some fluids even after the stint at the track. For every pound lost during the run, take 0.5-0.7 liters of fluids. Short runs do not necessarily need hydration. For instance, a 45 minutes run wouldn’t need one to carry fluids. However, if it is quite hot out there you might want to carry some fluids. A sodium tablet would also help in maintaining sodium levels as most of it is lost in sweat.

Hydration Advice

Plan your route beforehand to map out some requirements. If well planned, you can even avoid liabilities such as carrying water around. A best water bottle for running might seem light but when carried as you run, it could take a toll on your hand muscles. Plan a route that passes by a fountain or several of them. If not lucky to find one, you can improvise an aid station. You can even set your car such that your route loops around it. That way, you come back after some time to hydrate and maybe grab a snack to revamp energy levels.

Set a timer to keep track of hydration frequency. Preferably, every 20 minutes as at any given time you will have covered quite some distance. Once that is out of the way, you need to make sure the fluid and snacks are within reach. At no one time should the main activity of running get distracted for too long. Purchase a waist belt to carry multiple fluids plus tablets and other necessities. If you are plain old-school and prefer a water bottle, that is alright. Just ensure it has a good strap.

Lastly, electrolyte levels have to be monitored constantly. They are mainly lost through sweating and too much a loss could impede performance on the track. Sodium is key but a boost of potassium, magnesium, and calcium enhances outcome further. They are easily available either in the form of tablets or powder. Just follow instructions when mixing with water. Otherwise, you can buy a sports drink with the electrolytes infused already.

What Stands at Risk if I Hydrate Improperly?

To start with, let us get a deeper understanding on dehydration. Essentially, dehydration is a loss of body fluids that exceeds the amounts taken in. It occurs mainly through sweating. The moment you feel thirsty, dehydration begun way back. Should you not take measures, symptoms escalate from dry mouth and a decrease in energy to cramps, nausea, or headaches. In extreme cases, you will notice deeply-colored urine. While the remedy is as simple as drinking some fluids, it should not get done hastily.

Now, to the other side of the coin. Too much fluids translate into a state of hyponatremia or overhydration. Though extremely rare, the condition has been noted in some long-distance runners. Its symptoms are similar to those of dehydration. It is however easily preventable by taking the recommended levels of fluids and adding electrolytes to the fluids.

Conclusion

Both extremes of fluids spell danger for track runners. Therefore, a balance has to be struck at all times. Never too much nor too little.

Continue Reading →

DIY Pregnancy Tests

You are seeing the early signs of pregnancy, but you still want to make sure that you are really on your way to having a first, even a third or a fourth child. But you are stuck at home with a lot of chores to do, including kids to take care of. You just can’t seem to find the right time to go out to buy a pregnancy test.

Is there an alternative to the best pregnancy test? Yes, there are. You don’t even need to leave the house to get what you need to do each of these tests. These are simple tests that only require basic things that you can just find in your kitchen.

Many have turned to homemade pregnancy tests even before over-the-counter tests were available. They are quick and easy to do and can reliably confirm your pregnancy. These DIY methods are a great option if don’t have the money or if you want to keep your pregnancy a secret.

Uncertain about the accuracy of the tests?

Although homemade pregnancy tests are just about as reliable as over-the-counter tests, none of these tests are 100% accurate. You will always have to go to an OB/GYN to be sure if you are pregnant. You will then be directed to have a blood test to be certain.

Homemade tests are also a bit more difficult to read, but just like OTC tests, you can also have false-negative and false-positive results with these options.

False-Negative Results

A false-negative is a result that negates your actual condition. This can happen if you took the test quite early, you checked the results quite soon, results are misinterpreted, or your urine was too dilute.

False-Positive Results

A false-positive also negates your actual condition. It may indicate that you are pregnant when in fact you are not. This rarely happens and when it happens, it can be caused by a misinterpretation of the results, or you might have taken the test too soon after taking a fertility drug with hCG, or you might have had a pregnancy loss soon after the fertilized egg attached to the uterine wall.

If you are unsure with the result of one homemade pregnancy test, you can always do another test using a different method. You can just wait for a few days or weeks before taking the test again . But you will need to consult with a certified practitioner to verify your pregnancy status and start prenatal care.

How Do Homemade Pregnancy Tests Work?

Homemade pregnancy tests work  just as over the counter pregnancy tests. They detect the presence of the pregnancy hormone known as hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). If you are indeed pregnant, you will observe a chemical reaction between the hCG in your urine and the substance that you mixed with your urine.

Your cells will produce the hCG hormone only when they start creating the placenta. This hormone increases quicky during early pregnancy and enters your bloodstream and urine, hence can be detected using the pregnancy test options.

When is the best time to take the test?

For an accurate result, it is best to wait a week after your missed period. It is also best to take your test with your first morning urine, as it is the time of the day when your urine will have a higher concentration of the hCG hormone. Note, however, that there are women who may experience bleeding, which could be mistaken for a period.

If you can’t wait for your missed period, you can take the test as early as two weeks after an unprotected intercourse. If you see a negative result, just wait for five days to do another test.

It will also be the right time to take a pregnancy test if you are experiencing these early signs of the condition:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Frequent urination
  • Exhaustion/fatigue
  • Food cravings or aversions
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Mild cramping
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Spotting or light bleeding

DIY Pregnancy Tests

Here are some of the homemade pregnancy tests that you can choose to do to check if you are indeed pregnant.

Sugar Pregnancy Test

You will need: three tsp. of white granulated sugar, bowl, morning urine.

How to do the test: Place the sugar in a clean bowl, then add your first morning in it (you may urinate directly in the bowl). Wait for up to 10 minutes to see any reaction.

Positive Result: sugar clumps together

Negative Result: sugar dissolves

Urine In A Jar Pregnancy Test

You will need: a clear jar (or cup) and your morning urine.

How to do the test: Collect your first morning urine in a clean jar. Let it sit for 24 hours.

Positive Result: A thin white layer forms at the top of the urine.

Negative Result: No changes in the urine.

Toothpaste Pregnancy Test

You will need: 2 tbsp of white toothpaste, plastic cup (or any clean container), morning urine

How to do the test: Place white toothpaste in the cup. Add your urine. Wait 5-10 minutes for any reaction.

Positive Result: The toothpaste starts to turn blue and/or starts to foam or becomes frothy.

Negative Result: No reaction.

White Vinegar Pregnancy Test.
You will need: ½ cup of distilled white vinegar, clean bowl, morning urine

How to do the test: Add ½ cup of distilled white vinegar in a clean bowl. Add your urine (you may directly urinate into the bowl). Wait 3-5 minutes for the reaction.

Positive result: There will be a change in the color of the mixture.

Negative result: No change in color observed.

What should you do if you found out that you are pregnant?

You will need to be certain when the first day of your period was as this will help you and the health practitioner calculate your due date. Then, you would need to set an appointment with your OB/GYN to confirm your pregnancy and/or for your first prenatal check up. Make sure that you follow your primary caregiver’s instructions to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Continue Reading →

How much water do you need to stay properly hydrated during day hiking?

Hiking may mean danger and something that should be avoided to the less adventurous. For those who have spent days exploring the vast beauty of nature in spectacular trails and scaling the heights of an uninhabited landscape, this heart-raising activity is something to look forward to. Immersion in such epic routes can be quite fun…and exhilarating too. You use up a lot of energy to push forward, take another step into the unknown and expect more thrills as you go. And as you go, you will need to fuel up your body continuously to be at your best throughout the hike. That can easily be done if you have one of the best water bottles for hiking.

How much do you really need when you hike? This is the question that many beginner hikers would like to know. It’s crucial that you have enough water with you so can hydrate properly as you go day hiking. As the temperatures may change drastically during the day and you’ll probably be sweating more, you will need to consume more water to be properly hydrated. If you do not have enough body water while you hike, you may feel a lot of discomfort, especially if you are hiking during the day.

Having the right fluid carrier is as important as consuming the appropriate amount of water.  If you have one that is not fit for the environment (like when it’s fragile or made of glass) even if it comes with a protective sleeve, you won’t be certain that it will last the whole journey. Another concern will be the size of the bottle. If you bring one that is too big, the added weight and the size of the bottle could slow you down keeping you exposed longer than you intended. Even the design of the bottle is something that you need to consider when deciding which bottle to bring with you. As such, we will provide you with some of the finer details that you need to consider when it comes to proper hydration during day hiking.

Drink at regular intervals to stay hydrated

When hiking, you’ll be needing much body fluid even before you start. That means hydration should begin hours before you head out your home. While actively hiking, you’ll need to consume about a liter (32 ounces) of water every two hours. You might need more or less depending on certain factors, such as the temperature, humidity, your body weight, overall health, as well as your desire to drink more (this will be influenced by the quality of beverage that you have with you). However, that estimated amount of fluid will be just enough that you’ll need to carry if, for any reason, you can’t refill on your route.

Water bottles are best carried where they can be reached from the stretchable side pockets of a backpack instead of burying them inside your bag. If reaching for the water while walking seems to be too cumbersome to do, you can just stop for a while and sip smartly from the water bottle in you have.

How much water do you need to have?

Planning a hike ahead of time will give you a fair estimate of the time that you will need to spend to hike. If you are not sure of this, you will need to check a map to calculate the total distance of your hike. Then, divide that number by your pace in miles per hour. If the distance of your hike route is 9 miles, and you can walk at 6 miles an hour, then you may need to bring 1.5 liters of fluid.

Fluid means that you bring water or anything non-alcoholic, especially the healthy alternatives that won’t just provide you with water but with an electrolyte mix as well. You’ll need both as you will expend not only water when you sweat but electrolytes also.

What could be the best hydration pack to bring for a day hike?

A hydration pack or a backpack with a hydration reservoir pocket will allow you to sip on a hose while you walk is very convenient for day hikes. This also serves as a constant reminder to take a sip. If you have a 3-liter hydration pack, that will be enough for a long day hike. As noted earlier, however, you need to also consider other possible factors that may influence your hydration status and need.

If you prefer to know how much you have consumed or how much is left on your water bottle, you may need to find transparent bottles. Otherwise, you can just open your water container to see how much water you have left.

Hiking actively during the day will make your body flush the extra fluids when you sweat or pee. If you are hiking with friends, make sure that you stop if necessary to take a leek. You will know if you have been consuming enough water if the color of your pee is pale or light yellow. A darker color will only mean that you need to drink more water.

If you rather have just a bottle or two of water bottles, make sure that as you plan your hike, you’ll opt for a route where there are natural sources of water if there are no water stations available. This will allow you to refill using natural sources so you won’t have to waste time looking for a water source.

In that case, bringing a water bottle with a filter such as those made by brands like Grayl, Seychelle, and LifeStraw is a smart thing to do as these water bottles are made with smart filters that remove bacteria and other harmful microorganisms in natural water sources.

Make sure that you hydrate properly as you go. Don’t wait until you are thirsty before  you even take a drink. If you need to pee, don’t wait for a better place to take a leek. Your health is a top priority when you are hiking and making sure that you are replacing every water that you release from sweating and peeing will ensure that you can go further and have a better time exploring.

 

Continue Reading →

Your Water Bottle May Keep You From Getting Properly Hydrated

dehydration

Water is crucial when doing intense activities, like doing exercises in the gym. You can easily top up when necessary if you have one of the best water bottles for gym. However, there are times when your water bottle may also be the reason why you aren’t getting enough water that you need to stay hydrated.

You may trick yourself into thinking that you will need to drink less if you have a smaller-sized water bottle with you. Just the same way when you use a smaller plate, hopefully, to eat less. If you knew that your body needs more water than what you are actually giving it, you will think twice the next time you plan your visit to the gym.

Remember that hydration is crucial to life, much more when you do high-intensity exercises. Note that your body releases water even if you do nothing. Water particles in the body naturally seep out and can evaporate into the air we later exhale. As our body continuously uses body water to perform its function, you need to replace lost body fluids regularly to stay hydrated. It’s not just drinking as much as you want since more or less of what the body actually needs will both be detrimental to your health.

Dehydration

dehydration

When the amount of water that you take is much less than what needs to be replaced (or the amount of water that you lose), you may experience dehydration. Once you feel thirsty, that is your body shouting that you are already dehydrated and your heart is strained causing you to feel too exhausted even if  you are not yet doing much. It will also keep you from concentrating on what you are doing, and would later convince your body that you should just end up your training or routine since you are not feeling well already.

It is important that you start hydration even hours before you head to the gym. You also need to make sure that you have planned your routines so that you won’t be ending up wasting much of your time to rest or to think about what you can do next.

Healthy water consumption should continue throughout your workout. It will be easy to monitor the time that you’ll need to take a sip from your water bottle if you use a phone app or a smartwatch to notify you when it’s time for your next drink. Don’t just be fooled by the size of your water bottle.

How much water is enough?

Healthy individuals may follow the recommendations as set by the American College of Sports and Medicine, a worldwide membership association of more than 50,000 professionals in the sports medicine and exercise science fields. In essence, hydration should be before, during, and after exercises. Make sure that you have enough, not more or less so that you can perform at your best every time.

Before you head out to the gym to do your exercise routine, make sure that you are properly hydrated.

  •   Eat with meals with sufficient amount of water or other healthy alternatives as this will enhance fluid replacement as well as pre-exercise/activity hydration.
  •   Give yourself about 8 to 12 hours or more recovery time from the previous exercise session to enhance fluid replacement.
  •    Track daily weight as this is helpful in determining your hydration status.
  •        Drink 16 to 20 ounces of fluid 4 hours before you go to the gym to exercise.

As you do your exercise routine, top up at regular intervals to ensure that your body is properly hydrated. Make sure that you have just enough, however. More or less of the water that your body needs are both detrimental to your health.

  •   Drinking more than 800 mL per hour is not as safe as this may increase the risk of developing hyponatremia. More on this is explained below.
  •    Your fluid intake and pace may change depending on several factors, such as the weather condition. If you are sweating too much or having too many bathroom breaks, obviously you will need more replacement water.
  •      Drink beverages that contain about 6% to 8% carbohydrate during prolonged exercises as  this will provide additional benefit.

Once you are done with your exercises, continue providing the much-needed water and electrolyte that your body has lost throughout your activity. Drink 16 to 24 oz of fluid for every pound lost. You will also need to take fluids with a healthy post-exercise meal.

Choosing the best water bottle for gym

There are so many brands and designs that you can choose from when it comes to the best water bottle for gym. Consider the material, safety features, even the shape of the bottle before finally deciding which will suit your preference. Consider your water bottle an investment, so take time to find one that will give you the best value for the price that you will pay for it.

Be careful not to overhydrate, however, or it may lead to fatal hyponatremia. This is a condition when the sodium in the body gets too diluted because of the extra amount of water consumed. Although fatal hyponatremia is a rare occurrence, it has claimed the lives of a few professional athletes as well as military recruits. When the blood sodium level in the body drops to an unacceptable level, it can cause rapid and dangerous swelling of the brain, which can trigger seizures, coma, and death.

Symptoms of hyponatremia include fatigue, headache, disorientation, confusion, hallucinations, nausea, restlessness, and seizures. As mentioned, it can also lead to a coma or even an untimely death.

Conclusion

Considering all these, it is important that you make a smart decision when choosing the best water bottle to buy. Opt for one that gives your health, the environment, and even your wallet, the most benefits. Don’t just depend on other water sources or a bottled water for hydration. A reusable water bottle will give you more than just quench your thirst. Maximize its benefits when you choose the best from all shapes and sizes available in the market today.

Continue Reading →