It’s a New Year which means it’s a new year of new vegan travel. Coincidently, it’s also Veganuary, run by the charity of the same name to “inspire people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.” As you will know by reading Fire & Tea, it’s easy to travel vegan. As much as it’s ever-so-important to keep well-nourished when you travel the vegan road, it’s just as important to keep yourself hydrated.
It’s scary to think that in Australia alone, only 51% of the population is drinking the recommended amount of water daily (source: Water Logic Australia). What some travellers may not realise is that it’s easier to become dehydrated quicker than we think. We start to feel thirsty after just 2% of total water loss from the body. It’s also been reported that 80% of Australians suffer from chronic dehydration. This means that the body doesn’t maintain ample hydration levels in order to flush out toxins. The body ends up retaining these toxins. What kind of damage are we doing to our bodies if we’re not sufficiently hydrated? Then, imagine when you add extra walking, hiking, fun things to do, volunteering and seeing the sights in your vegan travel? How much are we dehydrating ourselves, then?
So, how can we maintain healthy levels of hydration when we travel vegan?
Start your day with a glass of water and a smoothie
Rather than munching on cereal or a cooked breakfast, try starting your day with a smoothie that’s packed with nutritious and delicious foods. Before you prepare your smoothie, drink a full glass of water (about two metric cups). Then, pack your blender with the essentials. I like to pack mine with one sliced banana, one to two sliced medjool dates, a heaped teaspoon of raw cacao, linseeds, chia seeds, or hemp seeds (I add three to four of these daily), generous handful of spinach or kale leaves and about two cups of plant-based milk. Soy, almond and coconut milks (or a mix of these) are my favourites. If you don’t have access to a blender, travel to your local vegan café and order a smoothie from their menu. Either way, you’ll be energised and hydrated in your vegan travels to early afternoon (while supporting your local vegan businesses, too).
Travel with a refillable water bottle
Invest in a good quality water bottle that you can refill regularly and won’t break if you drop it. A water bottle with a wide mouth is particularly helpful when you travel vegan. You can then consume more water than you can do through a straw. As a guide, my water is sized at about one litre. Make sure your water bottle fits in your backpack and daypack. You can also invest in a water bladder for hiking trips. Again, opt for a bladder that has a wide opening so it can be refilled easily and quickly. Monitor yourself throughout the day and ensure you’re regularly drinking from your water bottle, and more so if you’re travelling through hot and humid conditions. Mix up your water refills with coconut water, which is known to hydrate the body effectively. Avoid brands with added sugars, preservatives and concentrates, and choose those that are 100% natural, lactose free and dairy free. One of my favourite Australian brands is H2coco Pure Coconut Water.
Avoid those beverages that dehydrate you when you travel vegan
Since it’s a New Year and we might still be a little dehydrated from New Year’s Eve, now is the perfect time to ramp up our hydration habits. Avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, processed, sugary drinks and caffeine. Not only are these beverages taxing on our bodies (think: adrenal fatigue, tiredness, lack of brain power, non-sustaining sugar hits), they perpetuate dehydration. Replace these beverages with an alternative like a mocktail (non-alcoholic cocktail), freshly squeezed juice without additives, coconut to sip coconut juice from or a caffeine-free coffee/tea alternative. Order or pour a glass of water at the same time so that you can sip on water as you sip on your beverage.
So, how do you keep hydrated during your vegan travels? Have you found a new way to keep you hydrated in the New Year? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
Resources and Extra Reading
Learn more about trying vegan in January at the Veganuary website:
Read more hydration statistics in Australia and overseas at Water Logic Australia:
Learn more about H2coco Pure Coconut Water: https://h2coconut.com/
Disclaimer: Justine de Jonge at Fire & Tea did not receive any payments or free products in exchange for the views expressed in this blog post.