Features June 2010 Issue

What’s the Best Way to Stay Hydrated at Sea?

Practical Sailor takes a look at why hydrating is important for sailors and what the best choices are for doing it efficiently—for the body and the tastebuds.

As the summer heats up, we were reminded that staying hydrated and healthy is as essential to a safe sail or a successful race as having the right gear on board. Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being taken in. It can rob muscles of strength and can fog the mind, compromising a sailor’s boat-handling ability and capacity to make tactical decisions. It can also lead to seasickness, or be a result of mal de mer. It’s easy to prevent: Just be sure to get enough of the right kind of fluids before, during, and after sailing. But what are the right fluids? With the advice of a dietitian from New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, Practical Sailor weighed the pros and cons—from a sailor’s standpoint—of various beverages marketed for athletes, including plain old water, coconut water, vitamin-enriched water, and sports drinks.

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