Thursday, May 6, 2010

Drink, Pee, NO IV

There is a motto at the 3 day "Drink, Pee, no IV." There is less than 90 days to the Cleveland 3 day. I have been hard at work with fundraising and going on plenty of training walks. The weather is warming up and the walkers are getting longer which reminds me why the topic of hydration on the 3 day and during training is SO IMPORTANT.

Each walker is told to drink both water and Gatorade during the walk. To prevent Hyponatremia (low sodium) is a rare but serious condition that can cause weakness, cramps, swollen hands and feet, confusion, and even seizures.

Pre-training walk/Pre-event:
  • Drink an extra 8 glasses (64 ounces or 2 quarts) of fluid during the 24 hours before a long training walk or the event.
  • Drink 2 glasses (16 ounces or 1 pint) of fluid 2 hours before exercise. This will allow time to excrete the excess fluid prior to walking. Remember, in hot or humid weather you may need to drink more fluids.
During your walk: Monitor your fluid intake. Drink when thirsty. Your urine should be dilute and you should be urinating frequently. Try to consume 4 to 5 ounces of fluid per mile. This should include water and sports drink. Post Walk: Drink a combination of water and sports drink and consume food with some salt after exercising more than 1 hour.

We all know we need a water bottle or hydration pack while on the 3 day, but exactly how much do you have to actually carry? On the walk there is some form of pit stop or grab and go every 3 or so miles. So based on the recommendations given by the 3 day coaches, you need to carry at least 12-15oz with you and refill at EVERY stop. My walk is in in the end of July and it can be very hot and I want to be as comfortable as possible. So carrying anything heavy or bulky is not an option. I found a really attractive lightweight fanny pack style pack. It is made by Amphipod, I bought it online @  It bought the 24oz lite version. It has an adjustable wide belt. It has (2) 12oz bottles that each sit on a slant with a small pouch in between to carry the other little things you may need. The bottles are more flat than round, so they don't bounce around and sit flush with my back. This company has multiple versions in all different sizes. I can now fill up with both water and sports drink at each stop. What I have found about this pack is that its not to heavy even when full. I did consider a pack that has just one larger bottle, but I felt unbalanced and over 20 miles that could cause issues.

A lot of walkers like the camelbak style packs, which look like a backpack and has a leak proof bladder. They range in sizes and some can hold a LOT of water. For me there is a few problems with this type.
  1. My back sweats and my shoulders hurt when carrying a backpack in the heat, so it wouldn't work for me on a long distance walk.
  2. I would have to switch every other stop between water and Gatorade. I'm not even sure if I would want to put a sticky sports drink in that bladder, for cleaning reasons.
  3. and finally I don't believe that you should lug around more than you need. Why carry 2 liters when you don't have to. Comfort on the 3 day is the difference between having fun and being miserable.
I am NOT saying steer clear of these. I am just giving the reasons it wouldn't work for ME. To each their own. What works for me may not work for you and visa versa.


  1. Excellent post about the importance of hydration!! I am a camelbak girl, but completely understand your waist pack preference. Bladders come in a variety of sizes; mine is just a liter, so I'm not carrying too much water at one time. I also hook a waterbottle to the outside of the camelbak and use that exclusively for gatorate. I agree, I don't think the bladder would be good for sports drinks at all! Thanks again for such an excellent post!

  2. Drink when you're not thirsty, too! Don't wait until you get thirsty; small sips will help you prevent getting to the omg-I'm-going-to-die thirsty stage.

    Thanks for the tip about the balanced water bottle holder. I will definitely have to find one of those to try.

  3. I'm totally going to check out fanny pack. Thanks so much for the excellent advice!