You lose more water when you’re exercising, even more so when you’re exercising in hot weather. That means cyclists who track countryside trails are at high risk of dehydration under hot dry weather. And you definitely do not want to ruin a good ride by running out of water. You might be wondering – How can you avoid dehydration on the trail?
There is no secret. Just drink a lot of water.
Drink about 16 ounces of water 4 hours before your scheduled ride. Then another 16 ounces 2 hours beforehand. This helps introduce more water into your body, which you will later need. As you are cycling, you will lose more water, so make sure to drink 16 ounces of water every hour you’re on the trail. This method will usually prevent dehydration but may be inadequate in some instances. So it’s important to weigh yourself before and after your ride. Take note that long rides make you lose more water, and that shows on the weighing scale. You may have to replace lost pounds with water.
The weighing method
Weigh yourself in kilograms before biking. Note that 1 kg equals 2.2 pounds. So if your scale measures weight in pounds, then divide it by 2.2 to get the measurement in kg. After biking, weigh yourself again. Get the amount of weight lost. Convert that to grams. The amount of weight lost in grams is the same amount of water you need to drink in milliliters. So, if you weigh 75 kg before biking and weigh 74.4 kg after, then you lost 0.6 kg or 600 grams. That means you need 600 mL of water after the activity. One ounce is equivalent to 30 mL. So 600 mL is roughly 20 ounces of water.
People lose water at different rates.
This is why you have to monitor your weight whenever you’re doing exercise of any type, especially if you’re doing it at high intensity for a considerable amount of time. People who do HIIT, weight training, and cardio should monitor their weight before and after each session. Usually, they would lose some weight after their workout, and that’s because of water lost to sweating and heavy breathing. It’s important to rehydrate after heavy exertion.
You should replace lost electrolytes.
One danger of long rides is loss of electrolytes. As you lose water during strenuous activities, you also lose electrolytes, and you’re at greater risk of running of low of electrolytes when you sweat in hot weather. The obvious means of avoiding this is carrying sports drink, which is water with sugar and electrolytes. The sugar provides immediate source of energy during your ride. For many people, this is the better way to prevent dehydration. However, you should stick with a product that doesn’t give you stomach discomfort. Don’t try a new product and try it for the first time on the trail. Abdominal discomfort can hurt your performance.