Festival season is officially upon us. We’ve bought our tickets, prepped our outfits, and now all that’s left to do is arrive and jam out. Having fun is the #1 goal while at music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Burning Man. But listen — you’re not going to have any fun if you’re not taking care of yourself. So to have the best time possible at Coachella this year, pay attention to these health hacks that are super easy to follow.
AADP Certified Health Coach, internationally renowned speaker, and leading expert in holistic digestive health Robyn Youkilis shared some of her favorite (and most realistic) health tips with HelloGiggles. Using Youkilis’s tips and our own knowledge, we’ve compiled a Top 10 health hacks list that you should bring with you to festivals this year.
Take the festival climate into consideration and alter the below hacks to fit the region. For example, when you’re at Coachella — a desert festival — you’ll need to account for the dry heat during the day and the cold spikes at night. And if you’re headed to May’s Boston Calling up in Boston, really be prepared for weather that’s all over the place (like rain, heat, cold — sometimes all happening on the same day).
The bottom-line is to be smart and put your body first (even though it only feels right to put Beyoncé before anything else).
1Hydration, hydration, hydration.
Staying hydrated is important on the daily, no matter if you’re jamming out to tunes at a festival or not. But hydration is key when you’re outside in the heat, under the sun, and sweating your heart out.
Youkilis noted that “adding things to your water like chia seeds, Himalayan sea salt, hydration multipliers, and even aloe vera (you’ll be in the desert, scoop out a leaf!),” will only enhance your hydration intake. Coconut water is also a great hydrator.
2And sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.
This seems like a no-brainer tip for those attending outdoor festivals. But it’s really important to stay on top of sunscreen application. Remember to re-apply every two hours and apply 30 minutes before sun exposure. Even if it turns out to be a cloudy day, sun protection is still necessary. Those UV rays aren’t afraid of any clouds!
3Get some serious shut-eye.
Listen, we totally understand if you want to keep the party going after-hours. But if you want to fully enjoy the next day of festivities, we highly recommend you get a good chunk of sleep beforehand.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends young adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night — so try your best to shoot for that during Coachella weekend. And if you’re camping on the festival grounds, pack some earplugs and an eye mask. Trust us — you’ll want those.
You’ll be doing a lot of walking, dancing, running, and jumping come festival weekend. This will probably leave your legs feeling tired and swollen. Youkilis recommends fighting leg inflammation by taking supplements (like magnesium supplements or flaxseed tea), and laying on the floor with your legs up against the wall, during the days before and after the event, to aid blood flow.
5Don’t leave your sunglasses in the car.
Sunglasses can be a major fashion statement during Coachella, but they actually serve a bigger purpose than just enhancing a good selfie. When you spend a prolonged time in the sun, your eyes corneas are actually susceptible to sunburn from UBV rays (photokeratitis). Exposure to UVB rays can also cause cataracts and an eye cancer called squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva.
The darker the lenses on your sunglasses, the better. Also, people with blue or lighter-colored eyes are more sensitive to the sun, so take that into consideration as well.
6Wear some sensible shoes.
Nothing can end a party faster than blisters or a twisted ankle. Bring a sensible pair of sneakers or comfortable sandals that can get you through the weekend. Now is not the time to try out those super strappy gladiator wedges, even though they are *totes* festival appropriate in appearance.
Or if you’re dead-set on wearing a not-so-comfy pair of shoes (for the ‘gram, of course), then pack another pair to wear while walking.
7Pay attention to your energy levels.
Youkilis notes that it’s important to listen to your body when it comes to energy levels. If your gut is telling you that it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Draining yourself can lead to disaster later.
To help revive your energy during the day, Youkilis recommends doing a “1-minute mantra/meditation in the grass,” to focus in and regain some strength. You can also use tapping to help.
8Prep your meals ahead of time.
Festival food is delicious, but it’s certainly not good for you. If you’re allowed to bring your own food into the event, it’s a good idea to pack a few meals to take with you. Pack a hearty lunch filled with protein — bean salad, a loaded sandwich, hummus — and bring along some healthy snacks that will perk you up throughout the day.
Youkilis also recommends eating a big breakfast the morning before the festival that will sustain you throughout most of the afternoon.
9Choose the right foods.
Sure, it’s easy to grab something fried on a stick to take with you while walking from one venue to the next. But that stick-snack is going to come back to bite you later by draining your energy and making you feel bloated.
Opt for fresher foods that are high in protein to keep your body going strong throughout the day.
10Really be aware of your limits when it comes to alcohol consumption.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, be aware of your limits when it comes to alcohol. Not only is alcohol a huge dehydrator (which can lead to bigger issues like vomiting, frequent urination, and increased hunger), but you can put yourself in physical danger when you’re drunk. Stay alert and aware of your alcohol consumption, and that of your friends as well. This goes back to being smart and putting your body first.
Have fun, stay hydrated and healthy, and enjoy your Coachella/music festival weekend. Don’t forget to take TONS of cool photos — not only for the ‘gram, but for your own personal memories.