Everyone these days knows how important it is to hydrate adequately. Our bodies consist mostly of water, so it makes sense that to keep the machine operating at its best, we need to water it.
But cyclists need much more thorough hydration than your average person, walking down the street. That’s because cycling demands a lot of your body. As your heart rate rises, so do the demands made on your lungs. As you breathe out, you’re exhaling moisture in your system. You’re also perspiring, so the loss of fluid means you need to be aware of your hydration levels before they get too low.
And by the time you realize you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
That’s why hydration for cycling requires that you think about taking on fluid before you get up on your bike and ride. You need to be hydrating before, during and after you’ve been out there.
Food and hydration.
There are plenty of liquid solutions out there to keep you well hydrated, around the clock. But fluids aren’t the only source of hydration.
In fact, hydration starts in the kitchen. Your diet should include plenty of dark green, leafy vegetables. These deliver not only nutritional benefits. They pack a hydration punch.
Natural sources of food like this also contain key minerals and salt – which your body needs when you’re an active person, to counteract the tendency to dehydration. Nuts are also an important part of a healthy diet, as they provide essential fats and proteins to support elevated activity like cycling.
A balanced diet is the foundation of adequate hydration, but let’s look at the fluids and which are most useful for cyclists, like you.
Fluids that help.
There’s no question that water is the best fluid hydrating element going. But sometimes, your body needs a little something extra. That’s when it’s a good idea to consider therapeutic hydration drinks like formulations containing electrolytes.
A good hydration drink should contain sugars for a quick carb boost, salt and plenty of water. But you can make your own “boutique” cycling drink at home, with just a few simple ingredients.
Consider combining a quality coconut water (which contains an enormous amount of electrolytes), with sea salt (also containing electrolytes and trace minerals), raw honey (the right kind of sugar) and fresh juice (again, sugar from a natural source and vitamins) with your H20.
These ingredients go beyond water, but provide your body with other essential fuel that keeps you riding at the top of your form.
After the ride, coconut water is the perfect way to keep the hydration train going.
Even when you’re not riding, maintaining optimal hydration is a key support to getting the most from your cycling adventures. When you feel your best, you ride your best and go home feeling fantastic.
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