Keeping Cool and Hydrated on Black Friday!

It’s estimated that 116 million Americans will hit the stores and malls on Thanksgiving weekend, kicking things off on Black Friday. Sounds like a crowded situation, right? That typically means that you’ll be in checkout lines longer and you’ll be walking in twisting routes to avoid groups roadblocking your path.

Throughout the summer, American Water developed an aggressive campaign to empower people’s ability to appreciate, and therefore achieve the benefits of, maintaining proper hydration. Which brings me back to Black Friday! I’m hoping more than a few of you have incorporated drinking more water into your lifestyle and may have even thought about staying hydrated throughout their Black Friday activities and into the holidays. If you haven’t, you are not alone. There are good reasons few people think about it. For instance, the weather is usually cooler, and our minds are hyper-focused on checking everything off our gift-giving list. Plus, we don’t typically equate shopping with exercise. In fact, they are red flags that make it more important than ever to make a conscientious effort to stay properly hydrated during Black Friday.

The first step is recognizing how and why shopping can be dehydrating. On the exercise topic, Black Friday shoppers do a ton of walking—starting with the trek from the parking space to the front door of the mall. In addition, other than possibly during lunch, shoppers are on their feet all the time, walking or standing in line. One average, a healthy adult can walk approximately 3.5 miles in an hour—that means even in a short two-hour shopping excursion, you could easily walk 6 miles—which requires about 36 ounces (three average-size bottles) of water replenishment for your body. Then there’s the heat—you know what I’m talking about. You venture out on a cold late-autumn morning, bundled up in sweater, coat and hat—and after 20 minutes in the mall, you’re regretting it and deciding how much clothing you can peel off to cool off. Higher body temperatures and sweating equate to the need to drink more water to replenish lost fluids.

Given all of this, here are my top Black Friday tips this year.

  1. Bring your reusable water bottles filled with ice and water, that way you don’t need buy it there (the lines will be a deterrent!). Plus, the ice keeps it cool and refreshing while you hit those steps!
  2. Bring one bottle for you and one each for any children or seniors who are with you. If possible, make sure the bottle has enough water to cover your trip. If you plan on two hours, have at least 36 to 40 oz. per person.
  3. Sip water constantly as you shop. A good rule of thumb is to drink 6 to 8 oz. per hour.
  4. Avoid the caffeine pitfalls! If you’re the type to pound down coffee or energy drinks to get through a shopping marathon, remember that caffeine is a diuretic and can lead to dehydration.
  5. Avoid the food court and kiosk pitfalls too! Unfortunately, a lot of mall favorites can contribute to dehydration. Smoothies, sodas and sugary drinks should be avoided—as should high-sodium foods. Avoid that quick-grab soft pretzel, popcorn, french fries, sushi with soy sauce or hoagie with processed meat.
  6. Refuel on the hydration-friendly foods. Instead of fast food, gravitate toward the fresh food options in the food court, such as fresh fruit plates and vegetable salads. For the kids, or even yourself, snacking on a cup of yogurt is a great way to refuel and rehydrate too. Get more ideas here.

I wish you all a hydrated and happy Black Friday experience!