To begin, what is the goal of hydration?
To replace all the fluids that are lost through perspiration.
With that being said it is important to remember that we function very similar to a radiator that you would find in your car. Our body runs at an efficient temperature. When exertion of muscles increases the need for oxygen in the blood we breath harder and our heart beats faster. To ease the strain on the body, we sweat. Unlike a radiator we don’t have a fan attached to us. That is where your bike ride brings another benefit… a cooling stream of air. But with every ounce of sweat that you produce is another ounce that you need to drink.
Just like radiator fluid (which originally was water), one of blood’s functions is:”It regulates our body temperature. When the weather is very warm or during strenuous exercise there will be increased blood flow to the surface, resulting in warmer skin and faster heat loss.” (Medicalnewtoday.com) Seeing the blood is almost entirely water, we need to hydrate.
For maximum efficiency on your ride:
4 hours before: 12-16 ounces of water
2 hours before: 12 ounces of water
During the ride: 12 ounces per hour in cool weather and up to 80 ounces of water an hour in hot weather
(If you are used to intense work outs in the heat, then you can measure your weight before an after a work out and drink that much in water the next time)
It all begins to make sense why most would say that you hydrate the week before seeing that with hydration as a habit you can error on the safe side. Sports nutrition expert Monique Ryan, RD, author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes said
“your first priority should be staying on top of your daily hydration,” says Ryan. Research on gym-goers found that nearly half began their workouts in a dehydrated state. “Many people don’t consume enough fluids during the day,” Ryan says. “If you hydrate properly on a regular basis, you won’t need to worry as much about getting dehydrated during a typical moderate ride.” The old eight-glasses-a-day dictum is a good guidepost
Thanks for reading and please let us know your questions