Cycling is about getting outside and having fun! One tip to ride like a pro is to stay hydrated. Follow some words of advise from blogger Jess Walter to get as much enjoyment out of your ride.

Hydration On Two Wheels

Americans are really getting into cycling as data from Spring 2017 showed that 66.21 million Americans had been cycling in the last 12 months, an increased number compared to previous years. In a country which is home to some amazing biking vacation destinations such as the Slickrock mountain biking trail in Moab, Utah, Santa Fe’s road and mountain biking routes, or Washington’s San Juan Islands, it makes sense to combine the new found American love of cycling with a vacation. But how can you stay hydrated while on your summer biking adventure? Here are some tips to keep you hydrated when you are cycling.

How much to drink?

It is important to make sure that you don’t get dehydrated on your ride; studies by the American Physiological Society found that dehydration reduced muscular endurance by 15%. The exact amount of water everyone needs when biking is different and depends on your physiological makeup, how hard and how long you are cycling. A start is to aim for at least 500ml of water per hour of cycling ensuring that you drink to your thirst. Drinking little and often is the most efficient way to take on water. Avoid drinking too much as it can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable, which is not what you want when you’re on the road.

Carrying your drink

Most bicycles will be equipped with bosses for 2 bottle cages which will be able to carry large water bottle of 750ml. To ensure you can drink while you are cycling you will need a high flow, self-sealing sports cap so you do not need to stop to take off the lid to be able to drink. If you will be off the beaten track, then you may need a hydration system. Test it out in advance to see what bladder size feels comfortable taking into account that it would have to be carried in a hydration backpack on your back. 

What to put in your bottle

There are many options for hydration. Water is the first thing that comes to mind and is perfect for shorter rides of around 60 minutes. But if you are riding for longer periods of time then you will need a sports drink. It is possible to drink too much water and dilute your body’s fluids so a drink containing electrolytes and sodium is advisable. Electrolytes are salts including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium and are lost when you sweat. For longer, more energetic rides a sports drink which also contains carbohydrates would be helpful to help ensure your body is fueled and give you the energy to complete your day’s ride.

Before heading out, ensure that you have the correct equipment to help you stay healthy and comfortable while you’re on the road or bike trail. Hydration is a key part of the enjoyment of any cycling trip so put some water or sports drink into your bottle, saddle up and ride off into the sunset.