If you are a serious cyclist and are going out for bike rides that last over 30 minutes long – or are cycling in a very warm and dry climate, one thing that you will need to be paying close attention to is hydration.
Even if you are just a recreational cyclist, making sure that your hydration stacks up will still help to ensure that you are performing optimally and feeling your best while you are out there on your ride.
So what is there to know? The following list of don’ts when it comes to hydration will help you set the record straight for what you should and should not be doing with your hydrating strategies.
Don’t Consume Fruit Juice
First, you will want to stay away from fruit juice right before a ride. Some cyclists think this is a great way to get their carbohydrate intake up, but for many people, a cup or two of fruit juice can give any cyclist, well, the runs. If you want to keep your gastrointestinal system happy and avoid an unnecessary and unwanted pit-stop along the way, keep fruit juice out of the picture.
Don’t Wait Until 30 Minute Prior To Hydrate
Be sure that you don’t wait until 30 minutes prior to the ride to hydrate yourself. This is a big mistake that some cyclists make because they simply aren’t prepared.
They’ve been hardly drinking all day and then realize they are seriously dehydrated. In a quest to combat this, they down 2 litres of water.
Not only will this not help you achieve proper hydration but by the time you are doing that ride, you will most certainly be setting yourself up for cramps if you go this route.
Instead, keep a water bottle with you all day and sip on it throughout the day in the hours leading up to that ride.
Hydration needs to be a 24 hour event, not a 30 minute water guzzle.
Likewise, you also want to be sure that you aren’t over-hydrating either. You can definitely get too much of a good thing and when it comes to plain water, if you take in too much, you will dilute the natural electrolyte concentration in your blood and this can cause serious problems – not just in terms of impairing performance.
So keep hydrated, but don’t overdo it. If your urine is clear, you know you are well hydrated.
Don’t Load Up On Calorie Dense Beverages
Finally, make sure that you are being mindful of calories. Not all beverages are created the same and if you are constantly hydrating with calorie containing beverages, this is going to lead to weight gain over time.
Instead, keep those calorie containing beverages out of the picture unless you are doing a long ride and need some during-ride fuel.
So there you have some key cycling and hydration strategies to remember. How is your hydration stacking up?