This article was sponsored by Q Hydration
Hydration and energy are key components to a healthy, safe, enjoyable hike. Without adequate energy, completing even simple, short treks can be difficult—and even dangerous. Dehydration can befall all levels of adventure athletes and should always be avoided in the wild.
So, how can you stay hydrated and energized on the trail?
1. Carry enough water
How much water should you bring on a hike? Multiple factors determine the ideal amount of water, from elevation gain and fitness level to terrain and weather conditions. An easy guideline is to carry one litre for every hour you’ll be on the trail, especially when it’s hot or humid. In cooler temperatures, half this amount could be enough. However, it’s wise to bring more rather than less.
If you’re hiking with children or dogs, don’t forget to bring extra for them. You should also carry a water filter or purification tablets in case of emergencies. Always hydrate in the hours leading up to your adventure and fill your bottles or reservoir before leaving the house.
2. Refuel with healthy nutrients
Pack nutrition bars, fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, lean meats and nuts to avoid energy depletion. When choosing hiking snacks and backpacking meals, focus on complex carbohydrates, nutrient-dense foods and sources of fibre and protein. Most importantly, bring foods you like, as you’ll be more likely to eat them. And don’t be afraid of consuming a few extra calories! You’ll burn them off.
Oatmeal with protein powder is a fantastic breakfast option. Fresh salad with tofu makes a delicious lunch. Smoked salmon with lentils, beans and rice is an ultimate camp dinner. Dried fruit, seeds and cheese are awesome snacks to munch at the summit of a day hike.
3. Supplement with natural vitamins and electrolytes
It’s understandable that day hikers and overnight backpackers won’t always carry heavy fruit, vegetables and vitamins on a trip. Instead, you can supplement with a water-soluble powder that helps avoid dizziness, thirst and exhaustion.
Q Hydration—formerly known as Q Energy and, more affectionately, simply “Q”—will give you a boost, but without the nasty stuff in popular energy drinks. The main ingredient—which is found in many fruits and vegetables in small amounts—is Quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. It also offers immune system support. A single apple has four to six grams of this incredible compound. Q Hydration has over 50 apples worth.
Q founder Jason
More than just quercetin, Q Hydration also has rhodiola, gingko, ginseng and green tea extract as well as electrolytes and eight essential vitamins—including vitamin D, because living in Vancouver it rains a little bit. A packet of Q Hydration (which mixes with 700ml of water to make a full sports bottle) has only four grams of organic cane sugar, 15 calories and no artificial sweeteners, colours or anything else.
This Canadian company based in Vancouver was founded nine years ago. The founder, Jason May, is an explorer from Alberta who started noticing his energy depleting on adventures. Given that most sports drinks are loaded with sugar, and energy drinks are almost all full of caffeine, he wanted an option that not only can you feel good about drinking, but one that is actually good for you as well. So, he made one: Q Hydration.
Q Hydration comes in small packets of three different flavours—Orange, Lemon-Lime and Wildberry—and there’s a monthly subscription option so your stash is always replenished. One of the reasons May chose to use dry powder is to avoid shipping single-use plastic bottles. “Most sports drinks are mainly water, and shipping water makes no sense,” he says. “Each Q is one less can or plastic bottle. We’ve only got one planet.”