written by Austin Eames
Ever wake up on the second or third day of a festival feeling totally drained? We’ve been there too, and there’s certainly nothing more aggravating than feeling like you’ve got nothing left to keep you going. Your body is a temple—a temple that likes to rage—and it should be treated as such. The following advice is simple to implement, and will keep you thriving through festival season and beyond.
1. Start your day with 16-32 oz of water. Starting out with food dehydrates your body faster, so drink before you eat.
2. Bring a large water container filled with spring water or filtered water. Tap water often has added flouride, and chlorine or chloramine (which breaks down rubber washers on faucets within two years), and most water stations at festivals are connected to the municipal water supply (tap), which may be less than ideal for hydration. Fresh spring water is by far the most hydrating water available, but if you cannot fill up at a spring, fill at a local natural food store or Glacier/filtered water machine. If you chose the later option add a pinch of sea salt or electrolyte powder as you go.
3. Choose fresh smoothies or juices over solid/snack food for breakfast. Keeping it light and liquid in the morning gives your body a break from digestion, giving you more energy for dancing and the inevitable long walks from stage to stage. Many festivals cater to raw-vegans, so smoothie/juice bars are more prevalent than ever.
4. Use coconut water, watermelon juice, or other organic and natural juices in place of bottled mixers and soda when consuming alcohol. This will reduce exposure to high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, added colors, or just plain added sugar found in most mixers, which dehydrate your body (unlike natural juices, which are hydrating) and leave you with a hangover. When consuming something like watermelon juice or cranberry juice, blood sugar is not thrown off as much because fruit has naturally bioavailable nutrients that help to keep blood sugar balanced.
5. Bring a camelback full of water (you can put your sea salt or electrolytes in for the day), or a small backpack with a refillable bottle. Staying hydrated is simple if you have water with you at all times. You will also get to enjoy more of the music and fun, as you won’t be having to constantly revert to water stations, or vendors selling overpriced drinks.
6. Add a wholefood multi-vitamin or meal replacement powder to your daily regimen. It will help keep you nourished, and in turn keeps you happy and stress-free throughout the day. Stress will deplete your reserves of energy faster than anything, and this can be easily mitigated by keeping the body nourished and hydrated.
7. Eat light and as clean as possible, and encourage this amongst your companions. Plant-based foods ease digestion and generally provide the body with a wider range of nutrients to keep you jiving. For hydration purposes, eating organic salads, cucumbers, watermelons, apples, citrus and the like will keep your cells happy and healthy, and a collective effort among friends to eat healthy makes avoiding temptation much easier.
Taking these tips into consideration pre-festival will not only keep you energetic at the festival, but will also save time and money (it’s no secret that bringing your own food is always the more economical option). Think of these as a few ways to enhance your experience so that you can keep on festing for many seasons to come!