Hydrate or Die
What started as a catchy phrase & something to get your attention by CamelBak Hydration packs, has really caught on. Yes, it was developed for marketing. Yes, it was meant as a warning. Yes, it actually is true. Your body uses water to function - cleansing organs, keeping your mouth, nose, and ears moist, and for basic communication between systems. Your body weight is comprised of somewhere between 50 and 70% water, muscles alone are 75% water. Your job for proper body function as well as peak performance is to stay properly hydrated.
We all loose some of our personal stores by simply breathing, as much as 2 cups a day. Now let’s talk perspiration. This is a bit more complicated as everyone sweats at a different rate, the average ranging from 27-47oz. during moderate exercise. For endurance cyclist, my feeling is that’s most of you who ride longer than 2 hours, sweating could pose a problem to your performance should you let dehydration take charge. Here are the first a few symptoms to indicate that you are suffering from dehydration:
Dry sticky mouth
Headache & lightheadedness
Rapid heart rate & breathing
These symptoms will continue to worsen until attended to, they don’t go away. Prolonged exposure to the sun doesn’t help either.
Plan your hydration strategy before you begin. There is no need to guzzle, a few well timed sips will do. Here are a few tips:
Have WATER available.
Sip every 15min. Need motivation? Flavor your water with a lemon or orange wedge.
Reach for FRUIT.
Bananas, Apples, Oranges etc. help with electrolyte replacement as well fluids.
Use Sports Drinks or Coconut Water.
Both are designed to also help replace electrolytes, lost at a higher rate when sweating.
There is a wide variety. Choose a beverage that you enjoy the taste and that settles well in your stomach. You’ll drink more. It is also important to note that keeping your body temp down will also help. So, sneak into a store for a few, keep those fluid levels up, and your riding strong.