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7 Tips to Perfect Hydration

  • Nutrition and Hydration
7 Tips to Perfect Hydration

Whether you're an avid cyclist or a beginner to cycling, hydration is of vital importance. We've compiled a list of 7 things you need to know or do when you hit the road on your cycle.

1. Drink liquids as often as possible. Always ensure you have enough with you for rides. As you ride, remind yourself to keep drinking at regular intervals, even if you don't feel thirsty. In fact, drink constantly enough to not feel thirsty at all.

2. If you're riding in hot and humid conditions, consume a sports drink with sodium.

3. For best absorption, sip 400-500ml (or 2 - 3 glasses) of water four hours before hopping onto your bike; two hours before, drink another 2 glasses of water.

4. There are 3 things to keep in mind with respect to hydration; intensity of the exercise, heat of the day and your body's needs. Ì¢åÛåÓthe average recommendation is one 500ml bottle per hour in cool weather, up to as many as four bottles per hour in extremely hot weather.

5. Your water intake based on the duration of your ride should be similar to what you see below.
Under 1 hour - 500ml before ride - 500 ml during ride - 500ml after ride
1 to 2 hours - 500ml before ride - 1000 ml during ride - 500ml or recovery drink after ride
Over 2 hours - 500ml before ride - 1000ml plus 500ml for every additional hour. If your bike frame cannot accommodate two bottles, you may want to consider a hydration pack. - 500ml and a recovery drink after ride

6. If you ever stop during a ride or race and thereÌ¢åÛåªs a water source, whether or not youÌ¢åÛåªre feeling thirsty or need a water refill, drink out of one or both of your bottles and then top them off. If itÌ¢åÛåªs a long or hot ride, take a packet of your favorite drink mix to add to water at stops along the way. If your mix doesnÌ¢åÛåªt include electrolytes, take along sodium tablets.

7. For longer rides, plan to carry an energy drink. These products help to replenish essential carbohydrates, electrolytes and calories that you use during exercise. There are many types available, including liquid, powder and tablet forms.

The only way to find what drinks work for you is by testing them. Some products may not taste good to you, while others may sit in your stomach in a bad way. If you're the type of salty sweater who finds white streaks on your jersey after a ride, you may need a drink with more sodium. If you find that a sports drink upsets your stomach, try diluting it with water. Just never start a big event with a new product in your bottle.

By Satish Narayanan


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