Drinking & Riding: Are you under the limit?

Adequate hydration is critical for:

  • Not only maxing out your riding performance,
  • But also protecting you from dehydration related injuries, especially on those ultra-hot
    riding or race days.

Now, if you are one of those riders who only drinks when you get thirsty, you are not doing your riding performance any justice.

This is because the high energy demand when you ride causes:

  • insane rates of heat production and of course
  • extreme sweating!

This means you need to drink to a planned schedule….
not just when you feel you need too. Doing it this way you can ensure you are taking in fluid at the
same rate as which you are losing fluid.

Please realize…that even the slightest bit of dehydration will affect on your riding performance on the day as well as affect your ability to stay focused!


So as everyone is different, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ hydration plan is not going to work!
What is important is that you understand is what YOUR specific hydration needs are … and the best way to work that out is to weigh yourself before you ride… and to weight yourself again after you ride.
When you do this, please also take note of:

  • how intense your ride was on the day,
  • how long you rode for,
  • and of course how hot it was….. as these are all variables that will affect your water loss.

Doing this means that you can use each training ride to work out how much fluid you typically needon an average ride. A rule of thumb you can work with is to drink 1 liter for each kilogram of weight that you lose.
If you find you weigh more after a ride, which is highly unlikely but has happened …..then you are drinking way to much fluid.   But the weigh ins will help you figure that out.
As a starting point work on about drinking half a litre of fluid about an hour before you are about to do an intense ride (or race) …. and then keep drinking between 600ml and 1200ml every hour – but that is where you will need to make the adjustments according to how much you usually need
factoring in the temperature of that day.

Now here is another important point to remember Your body will FIRST cool it’s self before it gives you energy!

So sometimes what you are battling with energy, it actually because you are slightly dehydrated.

When it comes to your electrolyte mix, add about ..somewhere between 4% to 8% into your hydration pack. You will also need to test how much works best for you as too much or too little can cause cramping. So play around with that too.
Please also bear in mind, that drinking water with your electrolyte mix is as important also important in the hour before you ride as well as the hour after you have finished riding. The worst thing in the world you can do to your body, is to have an alcoholic drink straight after you have ridden – but that is a topic for different day.

I hope this helped you. If you have any questions just drop me a message or if you need some personalised coaching to help you with your riding, then just get hold of me or one of our top level coaches at our Base Fit Branches, just go to our website or reply to this mail.

Keep hydrated
And see you next time
Mandy Sealy