The summer heat is here in the UAE, so we thought that it was a good time to get out some tips on how and when to hydrate…
1. On hot summer days, hydrate first thing in the morning – drink 300 to 500 ml. of water when you wake up.
If you have a lemon handy, squeeze some of its juice in with it. This wakes up your metabolism and replaces lost water from sleep. Plus the vitamin C from the lemon helps build resistance to catching colds and flus.
2. Consume at least 300 to 500 ml of fluid/water 1 to 2 hours before your cycling workout to get a head start.
This is particularly important on the hotter days. Start Hydrated and stay hydrated.
3. Prevent loss of electrolytes – Use water externally to cool yourself down and reduce sweating.
The loss of electrolytes through sweating reduces the efficiency of energy transmission through your body, and is a major contributor to cramping. Prevent this by keeping a spare water bottle for eternal cooling. Wet your jersey, helmet pads, and hair to minimize your body’s need to cool off through sweat evaporation. Less sweating = less electrolyte loss.
4. Replacing fluid lost when exercising with an electrolyte drink.
Replace electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride resulting in a dramatic drop in performance by using electrolyte additives like Elete Water tablets, or the Multipower recovery drinks rather than just plain water. For long road rides lasting more than two hours, like the Dubai Roadster’s Friday Morning Ride, use Multipower gels along with water. This is due to the high carbohydrate burn rate.
5. When cycling, drink before you get thirsty.
Sip on the water and the electrolyte drink on those hot days. Ideally target around 1.25 to 1.5 litres of fluid an hour on really hot days. Everyone is unique so this still might not be enough on really hot days. So… start to keep your fluids up early on in the ride to help reduce the chance of hydration issues later on in the day.
6. Hydrate and replenish after each and every bike ride.
Do not just get home and have some water! You need to replace protein, carbohydrates, electrolytes, and water to recover your body and get it ready for the next days work load. And just a quick recovery drink isn’t enough, you have to pay attention and keep hydrated the rest of the day too.
Remember – If you feel faint, dizzy or start to get a headache while out riding please stop and seek shade (or better still a air conditioned room) and medical assistance ASAP. Dehydration is a serious issue for athletes on hot days and can lead to death.