HYDRATION WHEN CYCLING

Good hydration is as important as the right energy intake. Water is the elemental substance transformer and makes up 55% to 65% of our total body weight.

All nutrition, minerals, vitamins, trace elements, enzymes, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and all other substances get into and out of our cells only through liquids. This makes them the most essential substances in the human body.

UNDERESTIMATING HYDRATION

If body hydration falls under a certain level it is usually a problem. However, drinking pure water during long endurance activity is not enough. While we are physically active, our body also loses a large amount of minerals and ions.

How do we know when our body needs liquids?

  • higher body temperature
  • hyperthermia
  • a significant drop in physical performance

THE RIGHT AMOUNTS OF IONS, MINERALS AND CARBOHYDRATES

All sports drinks should be diluted strictly according to the producers’ recommendations. If the concentration is higher, the excessive amount of ions creates a hypertonic environment in our body, and instead of feeling refreshed, the body will busy itself trying to stabilize the concentrations of minerals. A drink that contains more than ten percent of carbohydrates radically slows down the absorption of the drink itself. On the other hand, a drink that is too sweet binds too much water and dehydrates the body during physical performance.

There are two types of sports drinks.

  • hypotonic drinks should be consumed during short, intense performance
  • isotonic drinks are suitable for longer performance as they contain more minerals

The same rules apply to drinking as to eating – we should drink before we feel thirsty. The amount of liquids we drink depends on various factors such as the environment, temperature, and performance intensity.

CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL

Caffeine is quite a hot topic in cycling. It is recommended to avoid drinks that include caffeine if we want to avoid dehydration and cramps.

If we want to treat ourselves to an alcoholic drink after training, we should be aware that we are putting poison into our body. Alcohol not only interferes with our recovery, it also stops the production of glycogen and causes dehydration.

After physical activity, it is better to give our body a proper recovery drink that will help us recover and get ready for our next session.

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