Quench Your Wanderlust: The Vital Importance of Hydration During Your Travels

When we embark on time-intensive business travel, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of squeezing in client visits and networking events. However, amidst the commotion, it’s crucial not to overlook one of the most fundamental aspects of our well-being: hydration. Whether you’re hopping planes, weaving traffic, or entertaining clients, staying hydrated is vital for maintaining your energy, health, and overall travel experience. In this blog post, we will explore the vital importance of hydration during your travels and share practical tips to help you quench your wanderlust while keeping your body nourished and energized.

The Importance of Hydration:

Hydration plays a pivotal role in supporting your body’s functions, particularly when you’re on the move. It helps regulate body temperature, aids digestion, supports nutrient absorption, lubricates joints, and keeps your skin glowing. Proper hydration is essential for maintaining energy levels, preventing fatigue, and optimizing your travel experience. We all want to be on our A game when interacting with our customers, so taking advantage of this easy win is a must!

Know Your Hydration Needs:

Different factors affect your hydration needs while traveling. Consider the climate, altitude, duration of your trip, and the activities you’ll be engaging in. Hot and humid environments, higher altitudes, and increased physical activity require additional attention to hydration. Tailor your hydration plan to accommodate these factors and ensure you’re adequately replenishing fluids. I’ve ranged from being out and about in the blazing sun in an open pit mining operation to walking the convention halls in Salt Lake City. Different working scenarios, but both providing a different environment than I’m used to in my daily routine.

Carry a Reusable Water Bottle:

Invest in a sturdy, reusable water bottle to accompany you on your travels. Having a water bottle at hand serves as a constant reminder to hydrate throughout the day. Choose a bottle with a secure lid to prevent leaks and spills, and opt for insulated options to keep your water cool in warm climates. Get a water bottle that fits in your backpack bottle pocket without much trouble. Too large or small creates the issue of always having to adjust, and at some point you don’t bring it along because it’s a nuisance! Also, watch out bringing the water bottles that have the flip straws on plane rides. I’ve had the pressure change cause my full water bottle to over half empty straight into the air upon opening it. It’s a little awkward when you’ve covered your own and neighbors laps with water!

Drink Plenty of Water:

Make it a habit to drink water regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Sip water throughout the day rather than waiting until you’re parched. Aim to consume at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water per day, adjusting based on your individual needs and the environmental conditions. Don’t get too gassed up on the exact amount though. Just set a general goal of how many times you’re going to fill up your bottle. Plenty of whole foods that we eat also contain water content that we don’t usually consider, so that helps us as well. I have a daily goal of 128 ounces when I’m in my normal routine. This is more than most need, but I like having to use the restroom every half hour! When I travel, I don’t even try to shoot for that much. Crawling over your sleeping neighbor on the plane 7 times for a 2 hour flight isn’t what I call fun. But even cutting my water in half still leaves me in a good position. Get used to drinking more water during your normal days not traveling so that getting in that half gallon while traveling seems like cake!

Pack Electrolyte Supplements:

In addition to water, consider packing electrolyte supplements or rehydration powders. These can help replenish essential minerals lost through sweating and exertion. Electrolytes help maintain fluid balance, prevent muscle cramps, and support overall hydration. Another good option is to grab some coconut water at the airport or on the road. If anything, finding a store upon getting to your destination that has coconut water will be helpful to replenish those lost minerals!

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine:

While it’s tempting to indulge in cocktails or exotic caffeinated beverages during your travels, remember that alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate the body. Limit your intake of these beverages, and when you do consume them, make sure to hydrate with water in between to offset their dehydrating effects. Easier said than done when on business with clients and colleagues, right? This tug on what’s best for my health during my travels versus ensuring that you are maintaining the right social level inspired me to write a whole post just on the topic. Check it out (Balance Your Cheers and Sweat: Navigating Alcohol’s Impact on Your Fitness Journey While Traveling)!

Monitor Your Urine Color:

Monitoring your urine color can serve as a helpful indicator of your hydration status. Aim for a pale, straw-like color, which indicates adequate hydration. Dark-colored urine is a sign of dehydration, signaling the need to increase your fluid intake. This is the easiest check in the book, and you don’t have to read into it that hard. At the coal mines, they used to have the urine color chart and there were like 15 levels of coloration on it. You don’t need all of that! If it’s light in color, you’re doing OK. Looking dark? Then bust out that handy reusable water bottle and get after it!

Hydrate Before, During, and After Activities:

Before engaging in physical activities, ensure you’re properly hydrated. Drink water before, during, and after your adventures to maintain optimal hydration levels. Carry a water bottle in your backpack/work bag to have easy access to fluids while you’re on the move. Most places will have a place to fill up. This way you’re not the guy asking for 10 waters from your customer at their place! Remember that if you are getting in an intense workout in the morning, you’ll likely need to aim for a higher amount of fluids than what you were shooting for as a goal (that 64 ounces may turn into 80-90).

Explore Hydrating Foods:

Incorporate hydrating foods into your travel diet. Fruits like watermelon, oranges, grapes, and cucumbers have high water content and provide a refreshing way to stay hydrated. Enjoy local salads, soups, and dishes that incorporate vegetables and fruits to boost your hydration levels. This bounces back to us preaching eating a clean, whole foods diet as best as you can while traveling. This is going to require you to make a few extra pit stops for these kind of snacks. Some rare places will serve a nice fruit platter for the meetings that you’re in, but most stick to the donuts, which will definitely not hydrate you!

Be Mindful of Water Quality:

When traveling to destinations with questionable water quality, opt for bottled water or use water purification methods like boiling, filtering, or using water purification tablets. Ensure the water you consume is safe to drink to avoid potential health issues. If you’re not traveling to questionable water source destinations, you should still take head to this advice. I used to be so focused on getting in 16 ounces of water first thing upon waking, that I wouldn’t take the time to get clean water. It came straight out of the bathroom sink. No, it won’t kill me, but you just don’t know what is in the pipes or local water sources where you are staying. My move now is to make sure I have my water bottle filled up already when I wake. So stopping into the gym, where there is usually filtered water, the evening before is a big part of my game plan. Also, if you’re stopping in at a store for those healthy eats, grab one or two 1-gallon jugs of filtered water. It’s cheap enough that it’ll be OK if you don’t consume it all, but will leave you in a good position to stay very hydrated!

As you embark on your business travel adventures, don’t underestimate the vital importance of hydration. Staying properly hydrated enhances your energy, mood, and overall well-being, allowing you to fully immerse yourself into your work or passion. By prioritizing hydration, carrying a reusable water bottle, monitoring your intake, and incorporating hydrating foods, you can quench your wanderlust while nourishing your body from within. Remember, staying hydrated is the key to unlocking memorable travel experiences and embracing the joys of exploration. So, let your thirst for adventure be matched by your commitment to hydration, and let the world become your well-hydrated playground.

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