KEEPING HYDRATED THROUGH SUMMER ACTIVITIES
It's officially hot weather Season in the Gorge, and as the summer heat beats down, there's never been a better time to prioritize hydration, especially for those of us who love biking down roads, gravel, or mountain trails. Hydration is not only crucial to maintaining our health and existence, but it also significantly impacts our performance and recovery during outdoor activities as well as prevents heat-related illnesses. In this blog post, we'll touch upon the importance of hydration, discuss the science behind optimal hydration practices by introducing electrolytes, and introduce some exceptional Camelbak hydration packs that are perfect for your summer adventures of all kinds.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HYDRATION
Most of us know that water is essential for our bodies to function correctly. When we aren't getting enough water in our system, it leads to different levels of dehydration. Research has shown that even mild dehydration can impair performance and mood in every individual, no matter their lifestyle as it saps energy from your brain's functions. Everyday necessities such as mental clarity, ability to concentrate, motor coordination, memory recall, and more become weakened while feelings of tension, anxiety, and fatigue become more prevalent.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, an average person should aim to consume at least 2.7 to 3.7 liters of water per day (or 91 to 101 ounces) for just being a human doing everyday human things. Then when we introduce the idea of exercising in hot, sunny, and dry (or humid) summer conditions, where we lose even more water through sweat, we quickly have a recipe for fading into a dehydration zone.
So how can we increase our intake to compensate for the additional water loss? We find ways to bring water with us wherever we go, in a variety of manners!
CAMELBAK HYDRATION PACKS: YOUR PERFECT COMPANION
Camelbak offers a variety of hydration solutions designed to meet the needs of every outdoor enthusiast. Whether you're a road cyclist, gravel rider, mountain biker, or a lover of all outdoor pursuits, Camelbak has you covered.
BACKPACK OR HIP BELT? OR BOTH FOR DIFFERENT RIDES!
Deciding between a hydration pack and a hip belt often comes down to personal preference and the duration of your rides. A hydration pack offers a larger water reservoir and more storage space, making it perfect for longer rides or when you need to carry extra gear.
On the other hand, a hip belt provides freedom of movement and is less likely to make your back sweat, making it ideal for shorter or faster rides. The Camelbak Podium Flow Belt, for instance, allows you to carry a water bottle and a few essentials without the weight of a full backpack.
So, no matter what activity it is that drives you outside, a Camelbak hydration pack or hip belt can be your perfect partner in achieving optimal hydration. Whichever choice you make, we've got your back! Or your hip... Both. We cover both.
INTEGRATING ELECTROLYTES INTO YOUR HYDRATION ROUTINE
While water is vital for hydration, when you're sweating on the trail or exerting yourself during an intense ride, your body is losing more than just water. It's also losing electrolytes—minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium that are essential for muscle function and maintaining fluid balance. To stay optimally hydrated, you need to replace both water and electrolytes.
The best practices for water vs. electrolyte intake depend on the intensity and duration of your ride. For short, low-intensity activities, water is typically sufficient. But for longer or more intense rides, especially in hot conditions, integrating an electrolyte solution into your hydration routine can be very beneficial.
An exciting aspect of the Camelbak reservoirs is that you can add electrolytes directly into them. These reservoirs are designed with HydroGuard™ technology, a proprietary antimicrobial technology embedded directly into the reservoir and tube walls, inhibiting the growth of bacteria that can cause odors, discoloration, or deterioration of the reservoir. This ensures that your water supply remains clean and safe, even when enhanced with electrolyte mixes.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ELECTROLYTE SOLUTION
There are numerous electrolyte products on the market, each with their unique benefits:
Hammer Nutrition's Endurolytes Fizz tablets: These tablets dissolve quickly in your water and provide a full spectrum of electrolytes to prevent cramping, spasms, and other exercise-related issues. They are free from artificial sweeteners and colors, making them a great choice for riders looking for a natural option.
Nuun Sport Hydration tablets: These tablets not only provide a burst of electrolytes, but also include a blend of vitamins to support overall health. They come in a variety of flavors, allowing you to choose one that suits your taste buds.
Skratch Sport Hydration Drink Mix: Skratch mix stands out for using all-natural ingredients and being non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. It provides a balanced mix of electrolytes and is great for those who prefer a less sweet flavor.
Camelbak Performance Hydration drink mixes: These mixes are designed to work seamlessly with Camelbak hydration systems. They offer a scientifically-backed balance of carbs and sodium to improve hydration by increasing water absorption.
In the end, the best choice depends on your individual needs, taste preferences, and how your body responds. Whichever you choose, remember that maintaining optimal hydration is more than just about water. It's a balance of water and essential electrolytes. By considering your hydration needs and understanding how different products can aid you, you can take your summer riding experience to new heights.
EXTENDED PLAY IN THE BACKCOUNTRY?
Riding (or otherwise recreating) in the backcountry often means being far from amenities, including reliable and clean water sources. That's where the Camelbak Crux 2L Reservoir Filtration Kit becomes an indispensable tool for any rider. The kit includes a LifeStraw filter, which is highly convenient and easy to use. Simply immerse the filter into a water source and use it like a straw. Or even better, connect it to your Camelbak reservoir for a consistent supply of clean, safe water. LifeStraw's advanced microfiltration membrane technology removes up to 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria, including E. Coli, and 99.999% of waterborne parasites, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It also filters out microplastics and reduces turbidity down to 0.2 microns. This means that no matter where your adventures take you, be it an alpine lake or a mountain stream, you can confidently hydrate without worrying about contaminants. With the Camelbak Crux 2L Reservoir Filtration Kit, you'll ensure your hydration is not only convenient but also safe, even in the most remote corners of the backcountry.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE OF YOUR WATER RESERVOIRS
Maintaining the cleanliness of your reservoir system is crucial, not only for hygiene but also to prolong its lifespan and keep the taste of your water fresh. Here are some best practices:
1. Rinse After Each Use: Especially if you've used an electrolyte mix, rinse the reservoir thoroughly with warm water after each use to remove any residue. Do not use hot water as it can damage the reservoir.
2. Use Cleaning Tablets: (Camelbak offers specially formulated cleaning tablets.) Fill the reservoir with water, add the tablet, and let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse well.
3. Use a Cleaning Kit: For a more thorough cleaning, consider a cleaning kit, which often includes a reservoir brush, tube brush, and cleaning tabs. The brushes can reach areas that simply rinsing or soaking might miss.
4. Dry it Properly: After cleaning, ensure the reservoir is thoroughly dried to prevent mold and bacteria growth. Use a reservoir hanger or drying rack, or simply prop it open and leave it to air dry.
5. Store Properly: Once dry, store your reservoir in the freezer. The cold temperature prevents bacteria and mold from growing. Just make sure it's completely dry before freezing to prevent ice from forming inside.
6. Avoid Strong Flavored Drinks: Strongly flavored drinks can leave a residual taste in the reservoir. Stick to water or lightly flavored electrolyte drinks for best taste results.
Remember, regular maintenance is crucial for the longevity and performance of your reservoir. Cleaning it after every use will help prevent the build-up of residue and keep your water tasting fresh and clean.
Please note that all of the information provided on this page is based on general scientific research and individual reactions to dehydration can vary. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice. We hope this was helpful introductory insight into the world of hydration with some options that might work best for you. If you have any questions about any of the products listed on this page, swing by the shop or give us a call!