Drinking water is an important element to total wellness that can easily be forgotten. If you are on the road driving on two wheels with your friends or family, you may totally disregard your need to top up or may be hindered by factors such as your distance from the water source, the quality of hydration fluid available, environmental conditions, and so on. However, if you decided to bring one of the best water bottles for cycling, it will be a lot easier to drink at regular intervals.
Hydration, however, does not begin and end the moment you step on your bike. Take note that even while you are just breathing, you are releasing body water. As you ride your bike, you begin to sweat more. As a result, all bodily functions speed up to compensate for the lost fluids and the thickening of your blood. In turn, the body will require more water to replace the body fluids that are displaced in the process. To make sure that you will be properly hydrated on your next road trip, follow these tips.
Tips For Cyclists To Stay Hydrated While On The Go
Drink water first thing in the morning
Water not only replenishes fluids that you release while your body performs its regular functions. When you drink water your metabolism gets better. It also helps flush out toxins from your body. Water also fuels your brain, lungs, and other parts of your body. It may even help make you eat less.
Drinking about 300 to 500 ml. of water when you wake up in the morning drink is a great way to start the day right. You may also squeeze in some lemon juice in your drink if you want something flavorful. Drinking enough water when you wake up will replace the body fluids that you lose as you sleep. This will also aid in your body’s metabolism. The vitamin C added from the lemon will also help boost your immune system.
Drink about 300 to 500 ml of water at least a couple of hours before you start your workout, train, or go cycling to get a head start
This is critical, especially when the weather outside is quite hot. However, if you will be riding on days when it is ice cold on the road, you should not drink more than you need as the cold weather will require your body to release excess fluids more often. It will be troublesome for you to be driving and wanting to go to the nearest restroom to relieve yourself.
Water may not be enough; top up with an electrolyte drink
Studies indicate that water will not replace electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride that you may lose when you work out. Remember that as you sweat while cycling you also use so much energy, which is released by the electrolytes present in your body system. If you won’t be able to maintain the balance of both body water and electrolytes in your body, you will experience a significant drop in the quality of your performance.
You may need a more concentrated mix when you will be out riding during the colder days of the month or the season. Drink a less concentrated mix when the weather is warm as you will need to drink more. You may also drink sugar-free electrolyte drinks and gel bars to help keep the water and electrolyte balance in your body. It is significantly important to emphasize at this point that hydration needs are highly individualized. Every person will lose body water at varying rates. Customizing the replacement level can be achieved by calculating your sweat rate by weighing yourself before and after exercise. In general, however, the longer you need to stay outside and the more intense your efforts are or the activity that you are engaging in, the greater the amount of liquids from all possible sources that you will need to consume.
You may also consider creating your own infused water to double the power of hydration by mixing fresh fruits and vegetables in your drink. Not only will this make your drink more flavorful, but it will also boost your stamina and your immune system and help ward off day to day health issues. You may opt to add cut pieces of melon, apples, lemon, grapes, mint, or add orange juice to your drink.
Don’t wait until you are thirsty before you drink
It will be difficult to tell if you are just hungry or thirsty when you are on the go. You may also opt to voluntarily dehydrate yourself or think that you can just delay your next sip of water when you are busy focusing on your ride or when you have forgotten to bring extra water bottles. These are just a few reasons that may cause you to delay that next sip, but you should not. Note that even 2% of body weight lost as your sweat will be enough to make you feel the consequence of dehydration. You may lose your concentration, feel tired, have palpitations or experience difficulty in breathing and so on. So, it is best to drink at regular intervals instead of waiting to feel that sense of thirst as this may only mean that you are already dehydrated.
Hydrate after every cycling session
Don’t need until you reach your house to get another drink. Remember that hydration is a continuous process. You will need to replace both body fluids and electrolytes that you will lose even after you finish your workout, session, or ride. Your body needs to recover after a long drive and drinking enough water after the ride will allow your body to be ready for the next session or trip. And as hydration is highly individualized, you will need to find what seems to work best for you.
Take note, however, that you should never drink more than what you should as this may also cause a dangerous condition called hyponatremia. This condition happens as the body will be holding more water than what it should, causing the sodium level of the body to go down to an unacceptable level.
Whenever you feel dizzy or start to get a headache, stop and seek a place to rest. You will also need someone to provide you with medical assistance right away. Remember that there are athletes who died because of dehydration. So keep on topping up whenever necessary to continue enjoying the moments every time you may want or need to ride.