Pack This Light Treat On Your Next Long Hike To Alleviate Dry Mouth

If you're an avid hiker, you know that there are an unending number of small things that can go wrong on the trail that aren't world-ending but tend to make your hiking experience a bit uncomfortable –- and one of those things is definitely hiking with a dry mouth. Getting a dry mouth while hiking is pretty common and can happen for a few different reasons, the first of which is dehydration. In fact, having a dry mouth is often one of the earliest signs of dehydration on the trail. However, if you start drinking more water and it doesn't go away, your dry mouth may have been caused by other factors such as breathing through your mouth, the climate around you, or high altitude.

In these cases, one easy way to relieve dry mouth is to suck on a piece of delicious hard candy. While it might sound silly at first, if you often suffer from hiker's dry mouth you should bring hard candy on your next hike because it will help make your mouth produce more saliva thereby keeping it comfortably moist. So, now that you have a great reason to bring a bunch of sugary treats on your next hiking trip, let's talk about what types of candy are best for curing dry mouth.

Best types of hard candy for hiking

If you are heading to a desert area or high-altitude location for your next trek, you will probably want to bring some tasty hard candies that won't melt and disappear right away in your mouth and will last a little longer on the trail. Long-lasting hard candies like Jolly Ranchers, Creme Savers, Lemonheads, and Gobstoppers are all great options. Also, if you will be hiking in a cold climate your dry mouth may turn into a sore throat. In this situation, you can even consider bringing some cough drops to not only increase saliva production but also soothe your throat and prevent that annoying cold weather exercise cough.

As far as flavors go, any flavor that you enjoy will do the trick. However, certain candy flavors like mint, cinnamon, and citrus can help produce more saliva. Some dentists also recommend sour candy as a great way to treat dry mouth.

Bring some nutrient-heavy snacks, too

Eating candy on the trail is a great way to get some quick sugar for a fast energy and mood boost. Many thru-hikers and backpackers bring candy with them for multi-day hikes and treks for just that reason. However, according to an interview dietitian Robert Iafelice had with CNN, if you really want to fuel your body to get through the most difficult parts of the trail, you'll need some other snacks, too. Snacks that include nutrients like protein, fiber, and fat can help keep your energy levels even and consistent which is much better for endurance activities like trekking (as opposed to the quick rise and crash of energy levels caused by sugar).

So, bring some candy with you on your next hike for a quick burst of energy and some dry mouth relief. That said, also make sure to pack other useful snacks like pretzels, protein bars, trail mix, sandwiches, beef jerky, or any other food you've found works well for you.

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