What’s a day on the lake without a cooler of great drinks to go with it! It is pretty much a given that anyone planning to spend a day on the lake will pack a lot of drinks. The water can be cool and breezy when you are moving, but when you are still – it can be HOT. High temperatures, humidity, and relentless sunshine can take a lot out of you and you need to make sure you stay hydrated.
First thing’s first – make sure you have plenty of ice and a cooler large enough to hold everything you need. Some boats will have built-in coolers, but if not, it’s worth bringing your own. Some of the soft-sided cooler bags work really well too. Nobody wants a hot drink when they’ve been burning up in the hot sun all day long! Now – here are some things to remember about different types drinks to take on the lake.
Water – This is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, a lot of people get caught up on bringing everything BUT water. Even if you aren’t planning on water as your main beverage, bring it anyway. After a few hours in the hot sun you might be surprised how much you crave some ice cold water. The fact is – nothing counters that kind of dehydration better than water. Your best bet is to pace yourself and drink plenty of water throughout the day so you don’t have to deal with feeling exhausted or dehydrated to begin with! A good practice, if you are drinking other things, is to alternate a water in between other beverages. You’ll feel much better all day long.
Juice and Pouches – If you are boating with kids, you’ll no doubt pack a lot of juice boxes and drink pouches. These are always great to have on hand to keep everyone’s energy up and to keep them hydrated. One thing to keep in mind with these kind of drinks is to make sure they don’t end up in the lake! Empty boxes and pouches can easily blow overboard, so make sure and pack your trash well, and let kids enjoy these drinks while the boat is still.
Sodas – A lot of boaters stock plenty of carbonated drinks for their lake outings. Kids especially love to chug their favorite soda while they are out having fun on the lake. Please keep in mind though – many sodas can actually work against you in that kind of heat – leaving you feeling more thirsty than before. Caffeine-Free sodas will provide more refreshment long-term, as caffeine can speed dehydration. As with any other drink – encourage your soda drinkers to drink a water in between sodas to keep from feeling the effects of dehydration.
Beer – Beer is practically a staple on the lake. There are two REALLY important things to consider though. First – while Tennessee allows for open containers in a boat, the driver of the boat must be sober and un-impaired. You can be arrested for boating under the influence just as you can driving while intoxicated. Second – alcohol can quickly increase dehydration. Your best bet here is to stick to lighter, more refreshing types of beer, and make every effort to drink water to balance out the alcohol. A sudden onset of feeling nauseous and dehydrated adds nothing to your otherwise fun day on the lake!
Do not underestimate the need for drinks on the boat. In fact – with everything going on, you’ll find people clamor for something to drink a lot more than they do snacks and other junk. ALWAYS have water on board – even if your boaters only drink it when everything else is gone! Having enough water will ensure your day doesn’t get cut short due to someone feeling ill and having to get off the water in a hurry.
Wishing you a happy and save 2017 boating season!