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Staying Hydrated During the Heat Wave

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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Given the extreme heat warnings and expected hot weather walking, I wanted to repost some information related to fluid intake and maintaining adequate hydration levels. The following is from a previous post I made:

-----------------------------------------

I would like to talk about electrolyte replacement and sports drinks as it relates to heat stress injuries, like heat stroke.

Prolonged dehydration can create hypovolemia of the circulating blood. Most people are familiar with hypovolemia -- or decreased blood volume -- as it pertains to a heavy bleeding injury, but this condition also occurs when dehydration removes the fluid content from the bloodstream.

Hypovolemia via dehydration is one of the big reasons why people who are doing constant physical work, like walking in the sun, experience a crash of energy levels and seem to feel weaker: while not stoking the engine with enough calories is one concern, the other half of that equation -- which is even more important -- is water intake.

Electrolytes do not provide protection against heat stroke or exhaustion. In fact, the overuse of sugars and salts (electrolytes) in sports drinks and replacement additives can make heat stroke and exhaustion more likely, depending on the amounts of electrolyte intake.

Too many electrolytes can interfere with the ability of water to cross from the gut to the bloodstream, as well as decrease the ability of the kidneys to function as they try to deal with an overload of salts and sugars. Additionally, overuse of these salts and sugars can cause diarrhea, which will further complicate the prevention and treatment of these heat injuries as it exacerbates dehydration.

If one is trying to avoid heat stress injuries, limit the amount of electrolyte supplements or sports drinks that are consumed. Focus on water. Staying hydrated is the most important factor in the prevention of hypovolemia. And this is the reason to try and avoid giving electrolytes if treating someone with heat stress injuries: what is needed is to rapidly treat hypovolemia as well as reduce body core temperature. Since electrolytes can make it less efficient to treat dehydration/hypovolemia, it is best to stick to water.

Evidence of the loss of significant levels of electrolytes will typically involve symptoms of heart irregularities, or nervous system impairment. These can also be signs of hypovolemia as well. In this instance, a diluted sports drink can help, but it is likely that it will take an IV infusion of electrolytes to deal with this cardiac irregularity.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Great advice! I would add, stay away from - or limit - alcohol intake.

Electrolytes are a good thing to add, as long as water intake is sufficient, as excess water intake can flush electrolytes out of the body but although they are very good one doesn't necessarily need to take the electrolyte salts as a sachet dissolved in water - added salt on food is excellent, as are bananas as they are high in Potassium.

But - stay away from sugar! so called "sports drinks" tend to be very high in sugar and those trekking "nutrition bars" are mainly sugar.
All that happens with sudden sugar intake is that the blood sugar level rises, giving temporary energy, but within 20 minutes the blood sugar level is markedly lower than it was before taking the sugar - leading to a roller coaster of highs and lows - so stay away from sugar!!

Be safe out there - stay covered, walk slowly and in a relaxed way, hydrate .... keep an eye out for other pilgrims having difficulties.
Don't only drink when thirsty, drink regularly before you get thirsty - and if you stop sweating and/or your urine is dark or you aren't passing water at all, then you are in trouble - take it easy, rest, hydrate.

A great way to cool is to hold wrists together, insides upwards, and get someone to pour cool water slowly over the inside of the wrists - better with a fountain or tap - the blood vessels there are close to the surface so it quickly cools the blood as it pumps round the body - try it!

Buen Camino!!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Many years ago a doctor told us that it was best to lick the salt off your hand as you would naturally take what you needed and not an excess.
Also with the diarolyte type of powders - we sometimes share a sachet. We have a small plastic bottle with the correct cc /ml level marked on the side to ensure it is mixed correctly. If it tastes good you need it, if it doesn't then stop drinking it and keep it for later in the day. It will keep for a short time.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Many years ago a doctor told us that it was best to lick the salt off your hand as you would naturally take what you needed and not an excess.
This would work in normal circumstances for the casual city dweller but if the body is low on salt then there won't be any on the skin, or hardly any.
When I was in the navy we had to take daily salt tablets when in the tropics and I have seen strong men collapse through lack of salt.
For a healthy person it is extremely difficult to take too much salt. Our bodies are the ancient ocean in a bag, a salt water bag. When we take salt the body fills every cell with it then we feel thirsty and the body takes the liquid and puts it into every cell, then we have happy fluid cells. Any extra salt the body doesn't need is disposed of through our urine (and sweat - so beware if your sweat isn't salty!) so a healthy body cannot have a "too much salt" problem - it is lack of salt that is a problem - animals will walk many miles to find a salt lick. Though when I write salt I tend to mean real salt, iodine-high sea salt, our bodies love it, and I always carry some on Camino rather than using that weird chemical stuff found in cafes.

and - if salt tastes great on your food then your body wants it - if it doesn't it tells you that the food is too salty.
all above is, of course, to do with healthy humans ;)
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
This would work in normal circumstances for the casual city dweller but if the body is low on salt then there won't be any on the skin, or hardly any.
When I was in the navy we had to take daily salt tablets when in the tropics and I have seen strong men collapse through lack of salt.
.......
Sorry @David - I should have made that clear that you pour the salt onto your hand, not just lick off the skin.
The doctor's concern was that some folk were talking about adding salt to their water - and creating an emetic!
Pouring salt on the hand works well between meals.....
There was a story about this friend when living in the tropics:- He was not a mechanic and came on a broken down car miles from anywhere ( no mobile phones in those days). Apart from notifying someone he said he gave him help. Asked how he said ' I left him most of my water and a bag of salt'
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
I've spent several summers working for a local greenhouse. Water was provided by the company as well as personal coolers. I've watched grown men fall out because they drank too much water and their electrolytes were out of balance. Drinking enough water is central but it's also important to take your vitamins, eat foods that are natural sources of potassium, manganese, phosphate.
 

malingerer

Active Member
Sorry @David - I should have made that clear that you pour the salt onto your hand, not just lick off the skin.
The doctor's concern was that some folk were talking about adding salt to their water - and creating an emetic!
Pouring salt on the hand works well between meals.....
There was a story about this friend when living in the tropics:- He was not a mechanic and came on a broken down car miles from anywhere ( no mobile phones in those days). Apart from notifying someone he said he gave him help. Asked how he said ' I left him most of my water and a bag of salt'
this makes me think of those bags of crisps with the little blue bags of salt:) if you got two , you boasted :) to be serious I usually rely on the water on the go system via a bladder (the one in the ruck!) and two half litre bottles in the stash pockets of the ruck.

stay safe and Buen camino

the malingerer.
 

bikerkvw

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Inglish, Camino de la Plata. Future Camino Francis
Given the extreme heat warnings and expected hot weather walking, I wanted to repost some information related to fluid intake and maintaining adequate hydration levels. The following is from a previous post I made:

-----------------------------------------

I would like to talk about electrolyte replacement and sports drinks as it relates to heat stress injuries, like heat stroke.

Prolonged dehydration can create hypovolemia of the circulating blood. Most people are familiar with hypovolemia -- or decreased blood volume -- as it pertains to a heavy bleeding injury, but this condition also occurs when dehydration removes the fluid content from the bloodstream.

Hypovolemia via dehydration is one of the big reasons why people who are doing constant physical work, like walking in the sun, experience a crash of energy levels and seem to feel weaker: while not stoking the engine with enough calories is one concern, the other half of that equation -- which is even more important -- is water intake.

Electrolytes do not provide protection against heat stroke or exhaustion. In fact, the overuse of sugars and salts (electrolytes) in sports drinks and replacement additives can make heat stroke and exhaustion more likely, depending on the amounts of electrolyte intake.

Too many electrolytes can interfere with the ability of water to cross from the gut to the bloodstream, as well as decrease the ability of the kidneys to function as they try to deal with an overload of salts and sugars. Additionally, overuse of these salts and sugars can cause diarrhea, which will further complicate the prevention and treatment of these heat injuries as it exacerbates dehydration.

If one is trying to avoid heat stress injuries, limit the amount of electrolyte supplements or sports drinks that are consumed. Focus on water. Staying hydrated is the most important factor in the prevention of hypovolemia. And this is the reason to try and avoid giving electrolytes if treating someone with heat stress injuries: what is needed is to rapidly treat hypovolemia as well as reduce body core temperature. Since electrolytes can make it less efficient to treat dehydration/hypovolemia, it is best to stick to water.

Evidence of the loss of significant levels of electrolytes will typically involve symptoms of heart irregularities, or nervous system impairment. These can also be signs of hypovolemia as well. In this instance, a diluted sports drink can help, but it is likely that it will take an IV infusion of electrolytes to deal with this cardiac irregularity.
Please sum up you above statement in two simple sentences and please use everyday English.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Dave's advice is 1000% sound. Follow it closely. I would also say leave early and stop before noon. Take lots of water and keep drinking. I always start the day drinking a liter of water before I start. I think that would help too.
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
Given the extreme heat warnings and expected hot weather walking, I wanted to repost some information related to fluid intake and maintaining adequate hydration levels. The following is from a previous post I made:

-----------------------------------------

I would like to talk about electrolyte replacement and sports drinks as it relates to heat stress injuries, like heat stroke.

Prolonged dehydration can create hypovolemia of the circulating blood. Most people are familiar with hypovolemia -- or decreased blood volume -- as it pertains to a heavy bleeding injury, but this condition also occurs when dehydration removes the fluid content from the bloodstream.

Hypovolemia via dehydration is one of the big reasons why people who are doing constant physical work, like walking in the sun, experience a crash of energy levels and seem to feel weaker: while not stoking the engine with enough calories is one concern, the other half of that equation -- which is even more important -- is water intake.

Electrolytes do not provide protection against heat stroke or exhaustion. In fact, the overuse of sugars and salts (electrolytes) in sports drinks and replacement additives can make heat stroke and exhaustion more likely, depending on the amounts of electrolyte intake.

Too many electrolytes can interfere with the ability of water to cross from the gut to the bloodstream, as well as decrease the ability of the kidneys to function as they try to deal with an overload of salts and sugars. Additionally, overuse of these salts and sugars can cause diarrhea, which will further complicate the prevention and treatment of these heat injuries as it exacerbates dehydration.

If one is trying to avoid heat stress injuries, limit the amount of electrolyte supplements or sports drinks that are consumed. Focus on water. Staying hydrated is the most important factor in the prevention of hypovolemia. And this is the reason to try and avoid giving electrolytes if treating someone with heat stress injuries: what is needed is to rapidly treat hypovolemia as well as reduce body core temperature. Since electrolytes can make it less efficient to treat dehydration/hypovolemia, it is best to stick to water.

Evidence of the loss of significant levels of electrolytes will typically involve symptoms of heart irregularities, or nervous system impairment. These can also be signs of hypovolemia as well. In this instance, a diluted sports drink can help, but it is likely that it will take an IV infusion of electrolytes to deal with this cardiac irregularity.
Thank you for this. I was just researching electrolytes and was going to purchase some even though I've never used them before, just nerves I suppose. I start from Irun July 5th. I will be using a 2.5 L hydration bladder for the first time, I've always used a water bottle. I love the bladder as it makes it easier to drink regularly. I've been back and forth about the umbrella and now, well I'm going to pack it. The heat and the crowds are making me anxious at the thought. 😐

😎👣
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013) San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Thank you for this. I was just researching electrolytes and was going to purchase some even though I've never used them before, just nerves I suppose. I start from Irun July 5th. I will be using a 2.5 L hydration bladder for the first time, I've always used a water bottle. I love the bladder as it makes it easier to drink regularly. I've been back and forth about the umbrella and now, well I'm going to pack it. The heat and the crowds are making me anxious at the thought. 😐

😎👣
Try not to be anxious. Wait till you get there - then freak out! I really am going to go and try one out next week. The umbrella hat. I will let you know. I imagine you have to be a fair bit of an eejit (idiot!) but who cares if it helps keep you cool....
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I like the double layer silver one. The head harness is a bit unwieldy, but in concept this should work very well, even when using hiking sticks / poles. The chimney-like ventilation capability is brilliant.

Yes, they might look a little odd, but from a distance, to me at least, it appears similar to an Asian straw peasant's hat. They are a very similar shape.

The biggest argument against using such a rig is that others might laugh at you. But if it works and you walk under your own shade awning, and avoid heat exhaustion or sun stoke... who cares?

Also, I recommend using a wet Buff to cover your head, to provide added cooling under the elastic harness, especially in high heat conditions. You might even be able to wear a ball cap...

We would LOVE to hear back from someone who actually DOES use an umbrella hat. DO include photos. Seriously, I will not laugh at you.

I may even buy one just, on spec, to wear out in front of the Pilgrim Office this July and August. I leave home to return to SCQ in exactly two weeks.

This would be a live-test, albeit not while walking... ROFLMAO... But those who know me know that I love to buy gear to test...

We shall see...
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013) San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
the biggest argument against using such a rig is that others might laugh at you. But if it works and you walk under you own shade awning, and avoid heat exhaustion or sun stoke... who cares?
Ha! Yes! Who cares. And I will post a photo. I doubt it will be silver, it looks more like it will be rainbow, as it is from a joke shop. And tomorrow there will be a ginormous parade for LGBTQ in the city, so maybe I will fit right in! May they all have a safe day.
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
Try not to be anxious. Wait till you get there - then freak out! I really am going to go and try one out next week. The umbrella hat. I will let you know. I imagine you have to be a fair bit of an eject (idiot!) but who cares if it helps keep you cool....
😂 I tend to do all my freaking out before hand. What's the saying. Getting there is the hardest part, the walking is easy. Walk, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. I hope your umbrella hat keeps you cool, good luck. I'm going to take a regular umbrella, no time to order the hat. 🤪

:cool:👣
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
you can't beat an umbrella (and a wet hat) - though you need one with a long handle or you will be holding your arm up all the time.

I have always liked the brolly hats but wondered how long they would stay on in a wind!

Me on the Meseta a few years back

walking the camino - Cropped.JPG

and how I intend to do it next outing!

cheekyumbrella-com-history-of-rain-umbrella-1.jpg
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013) San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
😂 I tend to do all my freaking out before hand. What's the saying. Getting there is the hardest part, the walking is easy. Walk, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. I hope your umbrella hat keeps you cool, good luck. I'm going to take a regular umbrella, no time to order the hat. 🤪

:cool:👣
See if there is a joke shop in Pamplona!
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
I may even buy one just, on spec, to wear out in front of the Pilgrim Office this July and August. I leave home to return to SCQ in exactly two weeks.
I'll be looking for you in August to get a first hand face to face review.
😎👣
 
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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Please sum up you above statement in two simple sentences and please use everyday English.
:)

Drink as much water as you need to keep your body working correctly. The amount of water you need to drink may be more water than you want, because you might not feel thirsty.

Healthy people do not need sports drinks, only water while they are walking, even when it is hot outside. The salts and sugars of sports drinks or powders can make it harder for the water you drink to be absorbed from your stomach. At meal times, the food you eat, and the juices, or a sports drink, or cola, or Fanta, etc, will normally supply all the salts and sugars your body needs to keep your heart and muscles functioning well.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Thank you for this. I was just researching electrolytes and was going to purchase some even though I've never used them before, just nerves I suppose.
If you are eating a bit of snack every 30 minutes or so to keep up your caloric needs, that will also provide plenty of electrolytes to your heart and muscle groups. Combine that with the water you are drinking and you're good to go. :)
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I'll be looking for you in August to get a first hand face to face review.
😎👣
I DID just order one from Amazon. Will try it on at home, in the HOT Florida sun first. If I can get it mounted and worn comfortably, I will bring it to Santiago...

FYI, this is the one I bought to try out...


This is going to be GOOD!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013) San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
If you are eating a bit of snack every 30 minutes or so to keep up your caloric needs, that will also provide plenty of electrolytes to your heart and muscle groups. Combine that with the water you are drinking and you're good to go. :)
I believe you do know your stuff Dave. My walking companion insists, though, that we take one litre between us with the pharmacy type non fancy salts - litines, they are called - and then regular water, no alcohol of any kind while walking, and only a glass of beer, or wine, with a meal afterwards. Keeps dehydration at bay. Under normal circumstances. And my internal clock says: water! every half an hour! - without a watch. Just my sense of time.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I DID just order one from Amazon. Will try it on at home, in the HOT Florida sun first. If I can get it mounted and worn comfortably, I will bring it to Santiago...

FYI, this is the one I bought to try out...


This is going to be GOOD!
Not only will that provide some effective shade, but you just may pick up some radio transmissions from deep space as well. (Couldn't resist) :)

60022
 
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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I believe you do know your stuff Dave. My walking companion insists, though, that we take one litre between us with the pharmacy type non fancy salts - litines, they are called - and then regular water, no alcohol of any kind while walking, and only a glass of beer, or wine, with a meal afterwards. Keeps dehydration at bay. Under normal circumstances. And my internal clock says: water! every half an hour! - without a watch. Just my sense of time.
I understand :)

While some amount of electrolyte salts can help with water absorption, the amount needed is very small. In fact, tap water can have more than enough to meet that need. Eating 100 calories worth of a Snickers or Peanut M&Ms will also do the trick during continuous physical activities like walking or backpacking.

It is just a matter of a little going a long way :)

Taking in excessive amounts of electrolytes, which is easier to do when taking something like a salt additive or tablets, can make it harder for water to be absorbed into the system. When this happens, it can produce what I jokingly call the Gatorade Laxative Effect. Yup, it can cause cramping and diarrhea.

Electrolytes primarily regulate muscle function, and also some nerve functionality (electrical impulse conductivity).
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Not only will that provide some effective shade, but you just may pick up some radio transmissions from deep space as well. (Couldn't resist) :)

View attachment 60022
One can only hope. I need to get over the initial 'dorky' look and self criticism to evaluate how it works when walking with poles. I am aware that the Camino is NOT a fashion parade. But, we will see just how stupid it looks. However, it it works a treat, the unsettling looks I get from others might be overcome.

We shall see.... to be continued... Who knows, if I can't get comfortable with looking weird, I may just donate it at Santiago...
 
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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
One can only hope. I need to get over the initial 'dorky;' look and self criticism to evaluate how it works when walking with poles. I am aware that the Camino is NOT a fashion parade. But, we will see just how stupid it looks. However, it it works a treat, the unsettling looks I get from others might be overcome.

We shall see.... to be continued... Who knows, if I can't get comfortable with looking weird, I may just donate it at Santiago...
With all the brightly colored, skin-tight Lycra being worn by some, I wouldn't worry about what the masses think. :)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Taking in excessive amounts of electrolytes, which is easier to do when taking something like a salt additive or tablets, can make it harder for water to be absorbed into the system.
A salt, sugar and water solution was found to provide hydration for cholera. It can be absorbed quickly enough to replace the fluids lost rapidly by cholera victims (keeping things nice here).

But here is how that relates to Dave's posts. The electrolyte solution is intended for use when the patient is already dehydrated to some degree. If you take water all day long you won't get dehydrated in the first place. It is good to take in salts too but that can come from snacks. Dave has said in another thread that he takes water and snacks often.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
A salt, sugar and water solution was found to provide hydration for cholera. It can be absorbed quickly enough to replace the fluids lost rapidly by cholera victims (keeping things nice here).

But here is how that relates to Dave's posts. The electrolyte solution is intended for use when the patient is already dehydrated to some degree. If you take water all day long you won't get dehydrated in the first place. It is good to take in salts too but that can come from snacks. Dave has said in another thread that he takes water and snacks often.
Good observation. The other thing which distinguishes the exercise and activity issues, from the disease/illness issues like cholera - which induce continuous diarrhea or vomiting - are the rapid dehydration and massive electrolyte depletion. This creates heart problems and muscle spasms.
 
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