Healthy Cycling: How to Hydrate Properly while Cycling

May 30,2022

Cycling is a pleasure, enjoying nature between the road and winding mountain roads, but ask yourself: do you drink water when you are thirsty? Or do you remember to drink water when you feel like you can not keep yourself up while cycling? Have you ever felt that your limbs are weak and your mind can not take it anymore?

Cycling is a very calorie-intensive sport in which the body consumes a lot of water and the moisture is removed from the body through sweat. If you ride a bicycle outdoors, you will sweat less, and if you stop sweating, the phenomenon will increase, because much of the sweat will be dried by the wind, If you are exposed to the hot sun, humidity, sultriness, low air pressure and other weather conditions, your sweat will be like rain. If you do not replenish water and electrolytes lost in your body in time, you will feel a sense of thirst, and if it is severe, it will cause serious physiological reactions such as cramps and exhaustion.

Some people say that I can not drink water for 50 or even 100 miles, my endurance is very good, but not drinking water does not mean you are a hero, wait until you get cramps, collapse, if you become a “sick cat”, then there is no more lively riding condition, your pleasant journey also brings depression and pain, you even can not complete the riding plan, if this riding plan includes a lot of new scenery, you will not be able to see it, which is very unfortunate. So how can we replenish the lost moisture in a scientific way and complete the riding plan cheerfully and smoothly?

First of all, let’s take a look at how water functions physiologically in our human body. As we all know, the human body is 60% water. Although water itself has no nutritional value, it has a more important role: to provide the body with nutrients (blood transport), replenish it, balance it, detoxify it, and regulate body temperature. With sufficient water intake, the physiological function of the human body can run smoothly. So if you drink more water, you can not only take care of the face and beauty but also moisturize the skin, prevent aging, relieve constipation and even treat colds, prevent stones, bladder infections, urethritis, and stabilize the nerves, etc. Drink more water, it is really useful.

Cycling is an activity that consumes a lot of water. Especially in the hot season, if you do not replenish water in time, the water in the blood decreases, the salt concentration increases, not only the body temperature rises, the efficiency is low, but also because the viscous blood, which affects blood circulation, heart weakness, and physical weakness. People who drink water regularly have a lower temperature than people who do not drink water, and they do not get tired easily. The temperature of people who are not accustomed to drinking water is high before exercise and then rises rapidly with the duration of exercise so that they become tired after 4 hours because of the high temperature. So drinking water properly also prevents fatigue.

Replenishing water should be done on the principle of “timely” and “small amount and many times”. Before and after riding, you must make it a habit to drink water before taking a ride or a break. Then, during the ride, you should top up with about 200-300 ml of water every 15 minutes. This is about a third of the capacity of a mineral water bottle, and you should not drink too much water each time, but several times. In this way, the amount of water lost and evaporated can be quickly replenished. Check out our water bottle and other accessories.

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Since we emphasize hydration, why do we drink water so often and in small amounts? Would not it be practical to drink 1,000 ml of water at a time?

Why actually? Is it not the same to drink water? The reason is this: if we drink 1,000 ml of water at once, as in the desert, our body cannot absorb the water all at once. This not only dilutes the composition of the blood, but also disturbs the balance, and sometimes the water spills over into the tissues outside the blood vessels, causing edema, making people uncomfortable, increasing the load on the heart, and even causing heart failure. Drinking plenty of water increases your urination, which worsens your dehydration.

When we feel thirsty, the body signals that we are dehydrated. So the above proverb says that you should not wait until you feel thirsty to drink water. If you drink a lot of water every time, in addition to the sweating of the body, the kidneys will be more stressed, which is associated with frequent urination. If you are racing with others, you will have to get off the bike to fix the problem, and they will wait for you while you get back on the bike.

Water with a temperature of 9 to 16 degrees Celsius can pass the stomach most quickly and be absorbed into the large intestine. The concentration of water (mixed with other ingredients such as juice, milk, etc.) is also related to speed. Drinking water and sports drinks (with glycerol, potassium, and electrolytes content lower than the concentration in blood, about between 0.2 and 0.3) can pass the stomach quickly and be absorbed into the large intestine. A light supplement of water is also not OK, although water can solve a temporary thirst, we lose salt, electrolytes, and calories with sweat when we exercise, the so-called lack of what we need to supplement, you can rely on some sports drinks to get.

Such a water supply is certainly not enough for a long-distance trip unless you have amazing stamina, but do not forget that even with good stamina, your body loses water and needs to be replenished. During the trip, we will pass villages, facilities, and units that will be our water refill stations whenever they can be drunk.

Based on our own experience, we can fully formulate our complimentary fluids based on the above knowledge:

  • First, replenish water supplies (purified or mineral).
  • Second, supplemental energy, sugar, or glucose, which can be purchased in supermarkets.
  • Third, supplement electrolytes by taking oral rehydration salts. This is an electrolyte supplement to regulate water, electrolyte, and acid-base balance. You can buy it at pharmacies.
  • Fourth, adjust the taste of drinking water to your taste, choose fruit drinks, for example.

The ingredients of the recipe are easy to buy, and on average the cost per ride is not high. Before each trip, mix at least 1000 ml of water with this recipe and put it in your cauldron, and some of these ingredients are easy to take with you as powder.

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