Cycling hydration tips
Whether out for a spin or cycling in Prudential Ride London, keeping refreshed is simple
Cycling can be a total blast. What with all that fresh air, exercise and scenery. But it can also be a hard, sweaty workout (especially if you’re going all out at Prudential Ride London this year). And that means dehydration is always something you should watch out for.
So, here are our 5 cycling hydration tips to help keep you properly hydrated and bursting with vitality, wherever the road takes you.
1. Drink regularly to stay out in front
It sounds obvious, but when you’re pushing yourself to the limits, or just having too much fun, it’s easy to forget drinking water. Depending on how hard you’re cycling, you could lose 0.2 to 1.2 litres of sweat per hour (0). And losing just 2% of your body weight could lead to fatigue, headaches and lower physical and mental performance (1-3). It’s a good idea to think about taking a water bottle for cycling such as the Buxton Sports Cap bottle. This way you can rehydrate during the ride.
2. Avoid cycling when dehydrated
If you’re not used to drinking at least 2 litres of water per day**(4), it’s worth getting into the habit a few days before a big cycle (Prudential Ride London riders, we’re looking at you). On the day, start to drink water slowly at least four hours before you start. That way, you’ll start well hydrated (and well up for it too) (1).
*For a healthy sedentary adult living in temperate climate
3. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty
A dry, sticky mouth and a feeling of thirst may be signs of dehydration so it’s always a good idea to drink water at regular intervals. If you’re in training, keep an eye on body weight changes before and after, so you know how much you lost water during your training. Then you’ll have a better idea of how much water you need to drink to recover your water balance. (1)
A water bottle for cycling such as the Buxton Sports Cap bottle can help to keep you hydrated during exercise.
4. Keep on drinking
Once you’ve stopped cycling, that’s not the end of your cycling hydration journey. Even if you’ve been drinking regularly throughout, you’ll still need to replenish the fluids your body has lost from sweat.. Drink about 1.5l of water per 1kg of lost weight (1) and you’ll get back to normal hydration in the hours following the ride..
5. What you drink is important
If your cycle is less than an hour, then water’s perfect for keeping you well hydrated (2L). But if you’ve been cycling hard for longer than that, to feel tip top, it’s a good idea to add small quantities of sugar and sodium to your cycling hydration plan. By doing this, you will replace all the fluids you’ve lost during your physical activity.
At least 2L of water, from all sources, should be consumed per day, as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle
**Water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive function and normal regulation of body temperature.
0- Rehrer et al. Sweat losses during various sports. Aust J Nutr Diet 1996, 53 (4): S13-S16
1- Sawka et al. Exercise and Fluid Replacement. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2007: 377-390.
2- American Dietetic Association Dietitians of Canada. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009: 709-731.
3-Von Duvillard SP et al. Sports Drinks, Exercise Training and Competition. Current Sports Medicine Reports 2008; 7(4): 202-208