How to Hydrate Quickly & Efficiently


These Surf Kids Staty Hydrated! Insulated Travel Cups for any Adventure

Hydration is a keystone element to feeling incredible. And when you aren't hydrated? You'll notice it pretty darn quickly.

When experiencing signs of dehydration, it's critical to act fast, and you need to focus on hydration maintenance rather than total rehydration. Consistently maintaining ample hydration is better for the body (and easier to accomplish) than attempting to catch up from the point of dehydration. Still, we all fall into a headachy, drowsy trace that is dehydration at some point or another.

For busy, adventurous families who spend time in the saltwater and sweat as we ride our surfskates down winding sidewalks, hydration is no joke, our lifestyles resulting in an even greater need for plenty of fluid to keep us alive and energized.

So when you feel it and when you need it, or when you know your groms are lacking on their daily H2O intake, here's how to hydrate quickly, my radical people!

How to Tell When You Need to Rehydrate

Considering the body will begin to feel signs of dehydration, like a decrease in cognitive abilities in both children and adults, from only a minor body water loss of only 1-2%, it doesn't take much dehydration to feel the ill effects.

Learning how to get hydrated quickly starts with the signs, and the sooner you act, the sooner the tides will turn in your favor.

Physical signs of dehydration are the most tell-tale, and unfortunately, there's a lot more to it than just feeling thirsty. In fact, by the time we feel thirsty, it's often already too late, as this is a later sign of dehydration.

But I've also learned to think more abstractly about the subject and consider certain aspects of the environment and personal understanding of my body to tell when I need to rehydrate.

Reusable Water Bottles for All-Day Hydration. One for you, one for your grom!

You'll see what I mean, but first, your body might be experiencing physical symptoms of dehydration if you feel or have:

  • Slight dissociation from your body. Feeling dizzy, confused, or lightheaded.
  • The dreaded dark, yellow pee. Or, of course, not peeing at all!
  • Overall fatigue and lack of stamina. This directly alters your mental state. Dehydration is no friend of anxiety, stress, or depression.
  • Gnarly, intense thirst.
  • Bad breath!

And for the kids, some of these dehydration symptoms will remain the same, but also look out for:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Dry skin.
  • A lack of tears when crying and overall irritability
  • Sunken eyes and cheeks.
  • No urination for over three hours. For toddlers, this can be tracked with their diapers.
  • A sunken, softer soft spot.
  • More rapid, fast breathing.

So what do I mean by thinking abstractly? Knowing how to hydrate quickly also requires understanding yourself and your environment, so learn to think ahead!

If you know that you plan to surf in the sun for hours, have an afternoon workout scheduled, or perhaps a hot yoga session in an hour, these types of situations will inherently require a greater need for hydration. Be smart about what you have planned and the consequences of activities, especially those that are active and outside, and work on identifying when life requires a few more sips of water.

How to Get Hydrated Quickly

A Family Skate Day Calls for Serious Hydration. Stylish in the Retro Checkerboard Dungarees

It's really a simple equation: if you lose more fluid than you take in, then you'll soon become dehydrated. We can use this simplicity to our advantage and a few hydration tricks up the sleeves to feel our bloody best.

1. Start with a Chug!

How much water should we drink per day? Aim for 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 for women!

No, drinking water alone might not be enough to catch yourself up on daily hydration, especially if you want to hydrate quickly, as you'll also need to consume electrolytes. But at the end of the day, you'll never achieve hydration without H2O, so kickstart your rehydration journey by taking down a few glasses of room-temp water.

And no, don't actually chug it. Or totally overdo it. But do drink up a considerable amount of water in a shorter time frame as a baseline to fast hydration.

If you don't have access to electrolytes, then one of the best ways to ensure you're getting the most out of your water is to speed up gastric emptying. Gastric emptying is basically the process of moving water past the stomach and into the bloodstream so it can be used to hydrate cells.

To speed this process up, studies recommend drinking higher volumes of water (up to 20 oz at a time) in shorter time frames, therefore increasing the speed of hydration.

2. Sodium, Potassium, and Glucose

The World Health Organization suggests Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) as a treatment for mild to moderate dehydration in children. This is basically a medical term for providing a mixed solution of sodium, potassium, and glucose taken by mouth. Which, for at-home ways to hydrate, can translate into an electrolyte drink mix supplemented with these essential hydration minerals.  

Electrolytes are an absolute key to hydration, conserving water in the body while directing these sources of hydration to the areas of the body that need it the most. They promote homeostasis, and electrolytes are necessary for many bodily functions.

Not only does dehydration cause you to lose electrolytes, but losing electrolytes causes you to become dehydrated more quickly. So seriously, as you intake water, you've got to ensure this water is being used to its most effective extent with the addition of these minerals to slow the downhill fall.

Snag yourself a hydrating electrolyte mix, stir it up in your reusable water bottle, and jumpstart quick hydration with a boost of electrolytes.

3. Munch a Banana

A quick snack with a big ol' boost of potassium, munching down a banana is an excellent way to complement water consumption.

4. Watermelon?

Made of 93% water, watermelon is a favorite summer snack to quickly ramp up your hydration.

5. Other Fruits! Try Them Frozen?

In the end, so many fruits are highly beneficial in terms of hydrating the body. Cantaloupe, apples, oranges! And honestly, don't worry about the natural sugar!

Utilize fruits for hydration in your daily snack pack for yourself and your kids, and an excellent way to complement nightly hydration is to indulge in the hydrating dessert that is frozen fruit.

6. Tasty, Yummy Coconut Water

I know, I know. Sometimes drinking water can get a little old. If you and the groms are out and about and you start to feel the fatigue and headache set in, swing into a local market and snag coconut water.

Aside from adding a flair of flavor, which the kids love, coconut water is extremely hydrating. Not only is the water content itself high, but there's an additional hit of potassium that the body needs to hydrate quickly. Because of this, I always bring it along to the beach for a long day of surfing.

7. An Afternoon Tea

Yes, tea is a diuretic, and this can contribute to dehydration when overly consumed. But when you drink tea in moderation, it's actually a great asset to hydration. A Cup of warm or iced herbal tea, since steeped in water, is a flavorful way to hydrate while reaping the rewards of your decadent plant concoction.

As a healthy eating activity, have your kids make their own variations of herbal tea by choosing the raw herbs, dried fruit peels, or roots for an engaging kitchen activity synonymous with hydration.

And please, avoid sugary sweet teas. That's not what I mean here.

8. You Could Hit the IV…

Trust me, severe dehydration sucks. Sometimes, the day after serious adventures, when your body hurts and your mind is foggy, a hydration IV is your sure-fire way to do the trick. It's a one-stop answer to your 'how to hydrate quickly' quest, a shot of electrolytes straight into the bloodstream.

If you're feeling really down in the dumps, check out a local IV bar to see if this form of fast hydration suits your fancy. It might be your last-ditch effort that turns into a monthly ritual. Who knows!


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Live rad, stay salty.

- Ash, Dev & The Salty Shreds Fam.


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