Whether you are exercising, training, or just enjoying the views as you ride your bike, you need to be prepared. Proper hydration is a key element to keep a quality performance, but there are still many who may totally forget about this, so we have decided to come up with this guide to help you prepare a good hydration plan for your next bike ride. Remember to bring one of the best water bottles for cycling as this can easily solve your hydration problems if ever you have one.
Why is it important to stay hydrated?
Water is a crucial element of life. For that very reason, your body is made up of roughly 60 percent water. Every cell and organ in your body needs a good amount of water to perform its function properly. Water acts as a building material for the cells. It aids in digestion. It regulates the internal body temperature through perspiration. Water also helps transport the much-needed nutrients to where they are needed in the body. Even the bones and the joints need water as it helps lubricate these parts of your body so you can move easily and properly without experiencing the pain of having any health issues.
However, the body does not retain these fluids. In fact, your body continuously loses water. Amazingly, your body loses about 2 to 3 liters each day.
You lose water when you perspire, pee, poop, and even when you just breathe. Depending on the humidity air, you may lose approximately about 300 to 500 milliliters of fluid a day just when you breathe. The process goes like this. As you inhale, you take in cooler, less humid air. Your body gets to moisten the surface of your lungs and adds moisture to the air as it passes through your airways. Then as you exhale, the air gets warmed up to about 90°F and with a relative humidity of about 100%. The humidified escapes as you exhale. That means when you breathe water is pulled from your body and released into the air.
How do you get properly hydrated when you need to go for a ride on your bike?Hydration during a strenuous activity like biking should be an extension of your daily hydration process. It should not start and end before you hop on your bike. Instead, you need to be properly hydrated even before you step out of your house and continue topping up as you go. Sipping fluids at regular intervals throughout your ride will help ensure that you are keeping the balance of fluids in your body.
Best Hydration Guide For Cyclists
Time your hydration
Don’t dry out while on the road. Making sure that you get properly hydrated even before pedaling will help boost your performance and keep your body in top shape as you ride through your route. For better absorption, drink about 12 to 16 ounces of water about four hours before hopping onto your bike. Two hours two hours before you start pedaling, sip another 12 ounces. While on the go, drink enough at regular intervals to match the intensity of your efforts, the heat of the day, as well as your body’s needs.
You will also need to replace any lost electrolytes, depending on the factors already mentioned. Longer and more intense workouts will require you to top up more. You may use a weighing scale to determine how much you need to drink as you go. Weighing yourself before and after a ride will help determine the amount of water you need to replace.
Customize your hydration plan
Hydration requirement is highly individualized. People sweat at different rates. The difficulty of a ride may be affected by factors such as quality of the route, speed and the distance covered, weather conditions, your hydration level at the beginning of your ride, your sweat rate, as well as your training status. For this reason, you will need to customize your hydrationn plan to suit your personal requirement. The easiest way to determine how much you need to fill up is to know how much body weight you lose in the process. Step on the scale before and after a ride. The US News and World Report describes an equation that will help you establish a baseline for your hydration needs. The equation simply requires dividing a person’s weight to establish the amount of water that a person will need to be properly hydrated.
Keep hydration simple
The best way to hydrate is to drink water. But as you will lose essential electrolytes if you are exerting more effort or the ride is more intense, you will also need to consume food and drinks that deliver electrolytes to the body. You may want to add sliced pieces of grapes, watermelon, lemon, apples, or berries to infuse essential nutrients that your body will absorb as you sip from your water bottle.
Bringing one of the best water bottles for cycling will make it easier for you to sip as you go. You may also consider bringing a backpack with hydration bladder like the CamelBak Mil-Tac HydroBak Hydration Pack.
Bring the right hydrating fluid
The best way to find the right drinks that will be suitable for you is to try them. Products sold in the market vary in taste and effect on the tummy, so you will have to find one that will make you drink more but will not upset your stomach. Bringing any drink that you have not tested yet as this may only cause you to have a stomach, which may affect your performance.
Keeping the right balance of body water and electrolytes is crucial when engaging in intense activities such as biking. Making sure that you are properly hydrated before, during, and after a ride will ensure that you will maximize the benefits from the effort you exert.