What is one of the easiest ways we can become better hunters?
Drink more water.
Its so simple it sounds silly, right?
How in the heck is water going to make me a better hunter?
It seems like a simple subject, but consider these crazy facts:
~ It is estimated that over 75% of Americans live in a state of chronic dehydration.
~ In 37% of Americans, thirst is mistaken for hunger.
~ Mild dehydration can slow the metabolism by 30%.
~ Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
~ Research has shown that drinking 100 ounces of water per day can significantly reduce back and joint pain for 80% of sufferers.
~ Just a 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing.
~ Mild dehydration can trigger: diarrhea, dizziness, fuzziness, confusion, weakness, headache, stomach ache, difficulty breathing, sluggishness, dry mouth, and chapped lips.
And those facts are for sedentary folks… not those of us out beating the bush and climbing hills in pursuit of our favorite critters.
What if your weather has been cool and wet? This cooler weather leads to an increased number of individuals becoming ill due to a decrease in water consumption.
For years, the most common recommendation was drinking 8 glasses of water a day. While most people struggle to reach this minimum, it is a low number for people who have moderate activity levels or higher.
Not only does proper hydration affect your ability to exercise, but it also plays a crucial role in organ function, weight loss/appetite control, digestion, mental focus, immune system, and perceived energy.
Two indicators that you are properly hydrated are clear urine color and bathroom visits at least once an hour.
While it is possible to drink too much water, it only happens in extreme cases. Over-hydration or hyponatremia, can occur when there is an imbalance in mineral levels within the blood. However, these instances usually do not take place outside of activities like hot weather endurance competitions.
Even in cool weather, we should force the water into our systems. You don’t have to enjoy it. Simply drink it for improved health and performance and move on. Shoot to consume 0.6 to 1.0 ounces of water per pound of body weight.
Individual needs will vary based on body weight, relative leanness, and physical exertion level, but these recommendations will get you moving towards better hydration, improved performance, and most importantly, feeling better on your hunts!
As you choose your beverages, keep in mind that nothing hydrates better than water. Tea, coffee, alcohol, juice, caffeine, and soda may cause bathroom visits, but they do not hydrate your cells.
One last thing to consider, is how you carry your water on hunts. From personal experience, I drink A LOT more water while hunting if I drink it from a hose attached to a water bladder in my pack. When I rely on bottles stuffed in my pack, I have the tendency to keep pushing on, without stopping to take off my pack and dig out a bottle. In addition, the bladder just carries better and holds more water than I would bring from bottles.
Don’t let water hold you back from pushing over the next ridge, cause you to make a poor decision at the moment of truth, or limit your hunt because you feel lousy.
Shout with any questions!
“Hunt stronger, feel better, and go wherever your hunt takes you!”
~ Coach Matt Hartsky