How to making your hydration colder

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Add ice to your hydration pack to keep cool while stand up paddling

Spring is moving in and summer is close behind. Use this trick I learned a few years back at a race called the Gulf Coast Championships. The race is gone, but the tip stuck.

Add ice

After you put in your liquid, mix, or regular water, add ice. When I saw someone do this for the first time, it was definitely one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?!” things. It didn’t even occur to me when I first started. And now, it’s part of my pre-race ritual.

This does two things:

  • First, it gives you something cold to drink.
  • Second, it can keep your back cool.

Depending on how hot it is and how long the race is, I try to add ice 45 minutes to an hour before the race, or whenever I’m getting my hydration pack (Camelbak, Dakine, etc.) ready. The ice will slowly melt. By the middle of most races, it’s completely melted, so you have the full contents.

For longer races, I’ll bring a second hydration pack attached to the top of my board, filled mostly with ice.

Electrolyte and sports powders

The trick with using an electrolyte sports powder is to calculate how much total volume is in there — with the ice. The chemistry is personal. Right now, I’m testing different options out, from HEED to OX and others to find out what works for me, so I don’t have specific guidelines. I don’t mind diluting it, that helps me not have to do the calculations. I’m also using a home-brew for most paddles which is water, lemon juice, a touch of agave and a pinch of sea salt, so it’s less technical.

Experiment, see what works for you. Soon, it’ll be crazy hot. Stay cool.

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stand up paddle tip ice in hydration