Staying hydrated is essential if you want to maintain a healthy body. This is even more important when you introduce physical strain into the equation. Hydrating while cycling is a must. Not only will it reduce fatigue and keep various health risks at bay, but it will also improve your performance. Here’s why.
Your Body Needs Water
Water is the elixir of life, quite literally. Your body requires water to perform a wide range of functions, including temperature control and vital organ functions. When you cycle, you’re pushing your body hard, causing it to use more water than usual.
If you don’t keep up with your body, you’ll soon find that your performance is dropping fast. This is due to an increase in bodily temperature. By staying hydrated you can keep your body cooler and hence maintain a narrow performance envelope.
Is Plain Water Enough?
Hydrating using water has been the norm up until very recently. The latest studies show that your body needs electrolytes and not just plain water.
There are numerous electrolyte drinks out there that will get the job done and keep you topped off with all the electrolytes you need during a bike ride. That being said, plain water will do if that’s all you have. As long as you maintain a steady intake to account for your cycling rhythm.
How to Stay Hydrated While Biking?
When and how you drink water matters just as much as what you drink. Getting one of the best bike water bottles, filling it with your favorite drink, and then chugging it all right before the ride is not optimal. On a similar note, waiting to get thirsty is not a good idea either.
In fact, some of the recent studies are showing that being thirsty is a sign of dehydration. In other words, if you’re thirsty, you’re way behind your hydration needs. Because of that, it’s highly recommended that you take a few sips of water from your bottle every 10-15 minutes. Such a slow pace ensures that you’re getting all the fluids you require without feeling full.
Remember to Prime Your Body
Having a bottle of water or electrolyte drink on you as you ride is important. However, you also need to prime your body before you hit the road. The best way to do this is to consume 16 oz of fluid before the ride starts. Do it a few hours before you saddle up for optimal results.
Time of the Year Matters
Staying hydrated in the summer and winter are two different things. It’s important to remember that cycling in hot weather puts more strain on your body, requiring you to consume more fluids. On the other hand, you don’t need as much during the winter since your temperature is kept in check by the environment.
Staying hydrated is a skill just like any other. Practice proper hydration until it becomes second nature. You can use this skill to remain hydrated when you’re not cycling as well. Make hydration an important part of your daily routine. Your body will thank you for it.