(I discussed in the first section of eating and walking how important it is to stay properly dehydrated, but I feel that there is a good bit of information that I left out, so this section is being added to help provide that information in further detail.)
While you wont get pulled over and arrested for walking and drinking, like you will for drinking and driving there are some things that will definetly put you in an arresting development. Below is a list of some of the rules you should follow when walking and drinking.
1. Avoid going too long without a drink, but do not over do it either. Drinking something every thirty minutes is a good rule, so long as you dont force yourself to drink if your not thirsty.
2. Dont drink Untreated Water from a natural source such as a Lake or river.
While the river or lake may appear refreshing, natural water sources while in their pure form are naturaly safe, there are many contaminents that pollute these waters. There are also many parasites that thrive in these waters that are not safe for human consumption. If you are going on a long hike and know that you will be relying on natural water sources then you should carry with you a filtering system that can remove these parasites from the water. You can also carry along tablets that will pruify the water and make it safe to drink.
2. The water boy was wrong! water is not always the beverage of choice. Water does not provide enough electrolytes, for this reason it is a good idea to carry along commercial products that provide a good amount of electrolytes. carrying these products can be cumbersom and so it is a good idea if you going on long hikes for more than a day, to carry these products in the powder form and then purrify natural water sources and add the powder to the water.
3. Never!!! consume Alcoholic Beverages when on a long walk! (while many of you that read this may not partake of alchohol at all, I feel that this comment needs to be included)
Beer, wine and liqour will dehydrate you and impair your athletic ability, not to mention what it will do to your judgement. These beverages mixed with the rays of the sun and the heat can be extremly hazerdous and possibly even deadly. It is also a good idea to avoid alcholoh the evening before a long walk such as a marathon. Celebrate after you have crossed the finish line if you must use alchohol to celebrate.
If you are hiking for more than one day, you may desire coffee cooked over a campfire in the morning after sleeping under the stars. While the caffiene will shake the cobwebs out of your head and give you a boost to get started on your hike, it is improtant to rememeber that caffeine can act as a laxative, which is the last thing you want when going for a long walk. if you are a habitual coffee drinker you may get a headacche if you dont drink coffee, so it is not a bad idea to consume some caffeine, but do it in moderation. If you have to have some coffee, drink it black, rather than adding milk or sugar.
As mentioned above if you are going to drink coffee you should drink it black rather than add milk to it. You actualy should avoid milk and dairy products all together when planning a long walk or cross country hike. Milk and cream can cause stomach cramps, gas, nausea and diarrhea.It is a good rule to avoid milk products for 12 hours before your walk.
6. Limit or avoid Carbonated Beverages!
Gas, belching, and stomach cramps are often caused from drinking carbonated beverages, this can really effect your walk.. Save these drinks for after the walk.
7. Do not drink Too Much Water!
As mentioned in the opening of this article, drinking too much water is not a good idea. You should drink when you are thirsty. Drinking too much water can cause cramps.
8. Replace the salt you will loose during your walk.
When walking for more than an hour you will most likely sweat out the salts that are naturaly contained in our body. These salts are improtant to your staying hydrated and healthy. For this reason it is a good idea to replace the salt lost in your sweat with electrolyte-replacement sports drinks. You can also replace the salt by consuming a trail mix that contains nuts and other salty snacks.For my recipy for a good trail mix see my other walking and eating article.
Following these 8 rules will help you to stay hydrated and prevent your body from arresting you for walking and drinking. The results of avoiding these rules can include disorientation, dehydration and serious illness or death.