Cycling is very popular at this time of year. When you’re in training and you’re clocking many miles, your body temperature rises. Your body loses this heat by sweating. The amount of water you lose while sweating depends on all kinds of factors, including the outside temperature, your weight and your clothing. Think about it, under extreme conditions you lose about 2 to 3 liters of water per hour.
Staying hydrated is an absolute must. If you don’t drink enough fluids, your blood volume will decrease and oxygen transport will be reduced, which will immediately reduce your overall performance. Criterion is that 2 percent of moisture loss equals 20 percent of loss in performance. Therefore you must always drink before and during exercise, approximately 150 to 250 millimeters every fifteen minutes, depending on the circumstances, preferably isotonic sports drinks. It’s no use drinking more than 1 liter per hour; your body cannot process more moisture than that. That’s why it’s so important to start drinking way before a long spin or run.
Drinking with high temperatures
During summer it’s even more important to drink enough fluids. With high temperatures, pay attention to how much isotonic sports drink you take on the go. A well-mixed isotonic sports drink contains the necessary carbohydrates. Your body can process about 60 grams of carbs an hour. If you drink two 500 milliliter water bottles with high-quality isotonic sports drink, you would consume 70 grams of carbs. That’s more than your body can absorb. For approximately one in five cyclists this may result in gastrointestinal disorders, because the intestines that break down the carbohydrates into energy are overloaded. Especially when temperatures are high, these complaints can occur.
How can you be smart about this? Make a less strong mix of your Eurosport nutrition’s Isotonic Sports Drink. So instead of a whole scoop of 35 grams, mix just half a scoop with 500 milliliters of water. Fill two water bottles with this lighter version. Another option is to fill one bottle with Isotonic Sports Drink in the regular proportions, and the other bottle with just water. This way you can switch between the two.
Three additional tips from Eurosport nutrition:
- Add ice cubes to the bottles when you leave or fill the bottles the night before and put them in the fridge. Research shows that cold sports drinks enhance the performance of endurance athletes more than lukewarm ones
- Are you planning on cycling for five hours or more with high temperatures? Take a small backpack with a water tank (a so-called camelback) with you. When you’ve finished your two water bottles, you can tap water from there
- In summer, drink a large glass of water after a long ride. Refill the glass and finish it in the next hour, but take small gulps. That way, your fluids will be replenished