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How to stay hydrated during airsoft (and other activities).

2317 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Wiltsu-boy
Please note, that everything said here should be done with (as Buster noted) room temperature or slightly cool water.

Alright, you find yourself in a hot environment and know that you will be spending a whole day there.
What should you do about it?
The answer is simple: Lots of water. If possible, do not buy Coca-Cola, Pepsi, etc. Water is the best way to go.

That is an even simpler answer. It is cheap, easy to carry around in a camel bag, and can be replenished from almost any source. Yes, there are other beverages (more on that later), but water seems to work the best.

What you can do is put some powdered sugar into the water (do not over-do it, though, it is generally two table spoons per liter). Sugar help you to replenish the energy. It is cheap and effective.

How much should I drink per day?
As much as you can. You should always drink as much water as you can and well water your organism. What we were thought in boot camp was to drink a lot during one to two days prior leaving the base so that your skin and every part of body has enough water in case you got into some sort of trouble. That is quite a good thing to do before longer events.
But is water the only thing that we should drink?
No, but if I were you, I would scrap all the sodas right away. The amount of
a) bubbles will make you sick the second you try to run after having drunk half a liter of it
b) all the crap in it (all the ENumbernumbernumber stuff) will make you sick in the long run
c) sugar will make you want to drink even more without quenching your thirst.

What you should drink on the other hand is the following:
Electrolite (Gatorade, etc. lots of things with carbohydrates and saccharides, a natural juice is not bad at all)
Water with added flavor (freshly squeezed lemon or orange will add great flavor while still keeping the water potable for quite a long time)
Some energy drinks - try to say no to Redbull and other crap. Instead, get something that has at least some dietary value. Monster energy drink is a little bit better. For those over 21, a beer is a good idea to replenish minerals and SOME vitamins. AFTER ALL AIRSOFTING (driving, etc.) IS OVER, OF COURSE! The two do not belong together under any circumstances!

What should I do when I feel light headed or sick?
The most important - and I cannot stress this enough - is to stop playing and find a spot in the shade. Sit back and relax. Pull out your death rag and have a drink. Pour some over your head and neck. It should cool you down a bit. Remove all as many layers of clothing as you are willing to to get your body to a lower temperature.
I did that, but it did not help. What next?
Ask someone politely to help you to get to the Staging Area. If it is a sanctioned field, they should have someone who can give you first aid. If this is not the case, make sure someone tries to find anyone with any experience. If that still is not possible, get someone to take you to the hospital.

Make sure you have an easy access to WATER during the whole time!

What should I do to prevent this scenario from happening?
Choose your clothing for the day! Make sure you get light breathable materials (most summer uniforms are) and that you do carry enough fluids!

Very similar procedures apply to airsofting in cold weather, where a lot of your body fluids are used to keep the body warm! No matter what, do not eat snow, ever! It cools down your metabolism and you will need more and more fluids to keep it at a stable temperature. Instead, get a canteen and let the snow melt in there!

I guess this is pretty much it about staying safe and well, so let's recap this whole thing.

Bad signs:
Urine has a dark color - the darker the worse. You need to replenish your fluids right now.
Urinating hurts, urine has a dark golden color - a very bad sign, it is almost too late.
Dizziness - A very good sign of your body slowly getting dehydrated. Drink a whole lot and sit back for a couple minutes.
Dry skin - the more dehydrated you get, the drier your skin. If you pinch the skin on your wrist and it takes a while for it to get back to its former condition (dark spots take a while to dissipate, the pinch marks stay a while), drink!

Okay, but what if it is too late and I find someone laying down and not responding?
Make sure you call someone who has a first aid experience or at least knows what they are doing! If the person is really dehydrated, they will breathe slowly and will have dry lips. If the person is actually breathing, the best thing you can do is pour some water into their mouth. Do not worry, the swallowing reflex will work. Once the water reaches the root of the tongue, the person will swallow. That prevents you from inhaling a spider crawling into your mouth while you are asleep.

Call the ambulance next! Time is a factor here. Get the person to the most easily accessible point for the paramedics and wait there until they arrive.

Hopefully, this will help every of you to stay hydrated and know what to do to prevent it and how to deal with it.

Should anyone have anything informative and important to add, go ahead!

Stay safe,
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I make my own Electrolite replacement drink.

Water, Unprocessed sea salt, honey, lemon juice

Most of the people I know don't like the taste, but it works really well and keeps me hydrated.

The mixture is around:

1 Tsp - salts
1 Tbsp - honey
1 oz - lemon juice
1 litre - water

I know a couple people suggested adding those MIO flavour enhancer juice. Havn't tried it.

I usually bring 2 litres of that and 3 litres of straight water. No pop or fruit juices, they have too much processed sugar and I crash after an hour or so. Honey doesn't do that!
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"Smart Water" It tastes like distilled water, which it is, too me it tastes vaguely sweet compared to tap water. Its big thing is that it has Electrolites in it. I like it simply for the fact that sugar makes me sick to my stomach and has no real taste.

Do note that it doesnt have any nutritional value. I dont play airsoft, this is just a general rule for me if im fishing, hunting, or just plain out in the sun for any length of time.
I try to drink a quart of lemonade, and/or ingest some coconut water. Bananas will help as well, since they (and especially coconut water) are very high in potassium and sodium. All are not created equally, however. It's also certainly not the cheapest way, although I can just pick coconuts here for free :).
Well, I guess we all have our ways to stay in shape.

This was originally written for a different forum, but I tried my luck posting it here. Although, I am glad you liked it, guys.
The scrap yard has some Electrolyte tablets. I'm waiting on their HR department to give them a call back so I can start work. I'm going to grab a handful of them and keep them in a pouch in my plate carrier.
Great write up! The reason that soda actually dehydrates you even more is because it has caffeine in it which is a diuretic (causes your body's water to be lost in urine). Better to drink nothing than a soda.

I always wear a Camelbak with ice water while I'm in game. Once I get back to the car for lunch break, I'll drink plenty of Gatorade; this has worked well for me over the years.

Also, people tend to get dehydrated a lot in the winter without even knowing it since they aren't sweating.
Also, don't wipe sweat off. It gets annoying, but the sweat is helping keeping your body temperature stable.
That doesnt work so well for me, My sweat is unusually acidic. I go through a watch a year because it eats though the backplate.
Sweat helps keep cool by evaporating (same physics that makes gas guns freeze up). If the humidity is too high to take more water, I think wiping the sweat if fine.

Also, skin has an acidic mantle, but where can one find cheap watches? I have been desperately after something to wear in the field, and can not find any decent options (not online).
The sweat irratates my skin if I let it sit, Shopko, Walmart and Kmart are good places to look, maybe a polycarb timex or something? I dont wear watches anymore, either break them or they melt.
Whilst this is well meant, and I always tell people that carrying water is very important but:

You CAN drink too much. This will lead to low salt levels in the blood and can cause you serious harm!

Its called Hyponatremia.
Excellent topic.

As stated...don't try to hydrate right before the event you plan on attending. Start days before.

Water and water only is the best way to stay hydrated. Gatorade, powerade...etc are replenishment drinks, not hydration drinks. The electrolytes in them replace what you loose through sweating, but the sugars are not good.

In the days prior to your event, lightly salt your'll help with water retention

A common first sign of dehydration is...thirst. If you're thristy, you're dehydrated. The next is cramping. Hydration along with bannanas and orange juice ( potassium ) will assist with this.

The best way to avoid a situation is to properly hydrate prior.
I always take about 1,5-2l water, a bread and a tunacan with me. That works for me well.
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