Essential Hydration and Nutrition Tips For Long Bike Rides

No one cannot limit the benefits of water to the human body. If there is an insufficient amount of water in your system, it won’t be long enough before you will get tired and will have difficulty concentrating in whatever you do. You will need to top up whatever amount of fluid that you lose in your system, especially if you are participating in long bike rides, as you will be perspiring more. It will be easier done if you have one of the best water bottles for cycling with you.

The longer you ride and the more intense the activity that you engage in, the more important a role that hydration as well as nutritional supplementation play in your performance level and even in your recovery. When it comes to maintaining sufficient hydration and optimum energy levels, the simplest and most basic requirement is almost always the best.

Don’t wait until dehydration begins

When you regularly engage in an intense workout like cycling, you lose much of your body weight through water loss, primarily through perspiration. When the lost fluid exceeds your fluid intake, dehydration sets in.

Long Bike Rides

Dehydration of about 1 to 2 percent of your body weight will compromise physiologic functions. As a result, your performance level will dip. When about 3 percent of body weight is dehydrated, it creates a further disturbance to physiologic functions and increases the risk of developing heat cramps or heat exhaustion. About 5 percent or more loss of body weight can cause a heat stroke. This can happen in just an hour of exercising or training. It could happen even earlier during the activity if you are already dehydrated before exercising or participating in any sports activity.

If you depend on your feeling of thirst, you may already be dehydrated then. By the time that you feel thirsty, you have already lost about two percent of fluid volume in your body. Even if you chug a bottle of water, you can’t easily replenish the lost fluids as it takes a while for the water and foods sent to your stomach to be transported to where they are needed. That means your dehydration level has already increased even before the replacement fluid is driven to the blood that will move the needed oxygen to the brain and the lungs.

It is so easy and simple that we tend to forget

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Water is basic to survival. It plays an even more crucial role as the activity level is heightened. If you fail to address this basic need, your performance level will suffer. This can be addressed with a few basic yet sound practices, however.

Even professional athletes are guilty of neglecting this basic element of optimum performance, accelerate muscle growth, as well as increase recovery time.

Hydration is one of the easiest things to do, but it’s also as easy to neglect. That should not be the case. If you really want to improve your performance levels and benefit more from your training, you should be drinking regularly. Just reaffirm your commitment to do just that and start consuming fluids (water, tea or diluted fruit juices) at regular intervals.

Make sure that you are properly hydrated before you eat and before you head out on or off your bike.

A pre-meal-glass-of-water rule is one of the best things that you can do. Consume a large glass of water before you eat anything. This keeps you hydrated and helps you take thirst as thirst and hunger as it is.

Hydration is a continuous thing. It’s like you need the air to breathe. You also need to drink at regular intervals (about 10-15 mins) even while you are on your bike. Just make sure that you won’t overdo it or you’ll end up having the urge to go to the bathroom (if there is), or may just risk yourself of having a condition called hyponatremia. This is a dangerous condition that happens when the sodium level in the blood gets too low because of the excessive fluids in the body. Just as insufficient hydration is not good for your body, performance, and health, so is overhydration.

If you found yourself near a water source while on track, drink up even if you are not yet thirsty. You can also have your water bottle refilled there. Bring sodium tablets and mix them with the water that you will drink. This will ensure that you’d replace not only the water lost but also the electrolytes that get depleted as you use energy to continue your training. Always play it safe. Be ready even before you need to have a drink. Don’t think that there will be water on the other side of the bend, for there might not be.

Nutrition Before, During, and After Bike Rides

Caloric intake and hydration complement each other. Food also fuels your body so you can perform at your best. Whether you just want to burn fat or ride fast, you will need to load yourself up before, during, and most especially after a bike ride. You need to keep your muscles energized and water won’t be enough. Especially, if you intend to participate in a highly intensive activity that will test both your strength and endurance.

That being said, you should never skip breakfast or you might just end up overeating afterward, which will just defeat your purpose. Eat food with fiber. Just about 200 to 300 calories will be enough to replace the glucose that you might have lost while you sleep. This will also be enough to sustain you for a time while you are on the track.

Consume food that is easily digested and gets absorbed and delivered to your muscles quicker as this can help sustain a high-performance level and will also provide post-training glycogen replacement without bloating.

You may also consider taking supplements as this will help get glucose into the blood and muscles quicker.

Conclusion

Hydration and nutrition go hand in hand when you are engaging in activities like biking. Remember that too much water consumed too quickly can flush out valuable electrolytes. It can also impede your performance as it may cause nausea and cramping. Dehydration, on the other hand, can limit carbohydrate absorption and therefore energy replacement, even mild dehydration. And once you get dehydrated, it will take days to re-hydrate. Be smart and drink up. Hydrate at regular intervals and be at your best at all times. One of the best water bottles for cycling will keep you hydrated with ease, so keep one or two at all times, when you are out cycling.