Water is the body’s great modulator. Whether you’re a competitive cyclist or pedalling for health, staying hydrated can help you log more miles year-round. From electrolytes to using a Berkey Sport water bottle filter, here are some smart ways to stay on top of your hydration and make every bike ride a success.
Hydrate Before the Ride
Stay ahead of your body by drinking eight to 16 ounces of water one to two hours before your ride. Everybody has different needs, so feel free to adjust these numbers. Drink too little, and you risk dehydration. Drink too much, and you’ll feel bloated and have to relieve yourself multiple times throughout your ride.
Eat a Salty Snack
Sodium is often portrayed negatively, but it can be a boon to your workout. Snacking on a slightly salty snack will help you absorb and retain water. That means more mileage and fewer bathroom breaks. Sodium is also one of several essential electrolytes that are depleted through sweat.
Hydrate During the Ride
On hot days, you can lose more than four pounds of water per hour of physical activity. Cycling when dehydrated not only inhibits performance, but can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, and heatstroke. Keep a water bottle on hand so you can replenish fluids lost through sweat as your mileage increases.
Replenish Your Electrolytes
Electrolytes are vital minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium that help the body perform various important functions including delivering oxygen and blood to the brain and muscles. Like water, electrolytes deplete drastically during intense exercise. Sports drinks can help you replenish lost electrolytes, especially during prolonged activity in hot weather. If you feel sluggish or exhausted part way through your ride, consider topping up your electrolytes.
Use a Berkey Sport Water Bottle Filter
While electrolytes are helpful, other chemicals can be harmful. Although generally regarded as safe for drinking, tap water may contain trace amounts of undesirable substances such as arsenic and pesticides. These chemicals can damage organs and nerves and hinder athletic performance. Because cyclists drink significantly more water than the average person, those trace amounts of chemicals add up. The solution? Install a quality water filter like the Berkey Sport Water Bottle Filter to reduce contaminants in your tap water.
Hydrate & Eat Nutritious Foods After the Ride
Hydration is essential to recovery. In addition to drinking water, try to eat a nutritious meal with a balance of protein, healthy fats, and vitamin-rich foods. Fluid-rich fruits and vegetables can help you top up your hydration and digest the protein your muscles need to rebuild and prepare for your next workout.
Stay Hydrated on Rest Days
Even the most dedicated cyclists take rest days, but resting doesn’t mean neglecting hydration. Keep a tall glass of water at your desk. Slap on your water bottle filter and stay hydrated when you’re running errands. If all else fails, set hydration reminders on your phone. Find what works for you, and you’ll be ready to pedal all year round.