As the Northern CA temperatures soar, staying hydrated is key to cycling safely in the summer.
Being proactive about your health and hydration while cycling this summer starts with creating a good hydration plan. This is especially important during the summer when the weather is hot and dehydration can lead to heat-related illness.
A simple way to determine how much fluid you need is to calculate how much you weigh before and after you ride. Weight loss during a ride can indicate that you need to increase your fluids. You’ll also want to factor in the temperature outside as well as the distance and intensity of your ride. These will all impact your hydration needs and should be part of your hydration plan.
The easiest way to tell if you’re dehydrated is by your urine color. A darker color suggests dehydration, whereas lighter-colored urine is a sign of appropriate hydration.
Rehydrating takes time, so keeping track of your hydration is the best way to make sure you’re always ready for a bike ride.
Maintaining good day-to-day hydration, even on days when you’re not going cycling, will help you be prepared for a ride.
It’s important to set yourself up for success by beginning exercise when you’re well-hydrated. The Collegiate and Professional Sports Dieticians Association recommends drinking 16 to 20 ounces of water at least four hours before you exercise.
Make sure you bring enough fluids with you on your ride to stay hydrated while you exercise.
The amount of liquid you’ll need will depend on the length and intensity of your ride. Plan to rehydrate every 15 minutes or so while you ride.
The length of your ride will also impact the type of liquid you choose. For rides under an hour or so water is a good choice, whereas for longer rides of more than an hour you’ll want electrolytes as well as water.
If a water bottle alone won’t hydrate you adequately for longer rides, a CamelBak pack is an easy way to stay hydrated while you ride.
Once you’re done with your bike ride, you’ll need to take time to rehydrate and replenish key nutrients that you lost while exercising. Make sure you’re getting electrolytes, too.
Speaking of electrolytes, consider moving beyond the neon-colored sports drinks from the gas station or grocery stores for optimal performance. We love Skratch Labs Sports Hydration Drink Mix. Unlike sports drinks that can be sickeningly sweet, Skratch Labs drink mix minimal sugar and a ratio of glucose + fructose that is optimized for faster absorption and offers an electrolyte profile that actually matches what is lost in sweat. Stop into our Roseville showroom to stock up on these superior alternatives to sports drinks.
Make sure you’ve got the right gear to help you stay hydrated. Shop our hydration products online, or stop into our Roseville Cyclery showroom for water bottles, CamelBaks, Skratch Labs Drink Mixes, and other hydration products so you can cycle safely all summer long.
The above tips are intended for educational purposes only and are not medical advice. Dehydration can quickly become a serious health issue, so please call your doctor with any concerns you have.