Water is an essential element in the proper functioning of the body. If there is not sufficient water in the body, you will feel exhausted easily, lack concentration and focus, and the things that you normally do will seem to be too exacting to accomplish without you getting frustrated. Water is even more crucial if you are doing strenuous activities like biking. That is the reason why you need to have one of the best water bottles cycling so you can hydrate even while on the track with ease.
Many, even professional athletes, find it difficult to hydrate and continues to voluntarily dehydrate, perhaps thinking that they can just wait to drink when they are really thirsty. But if you would reach out for that water bottle only when you feel thirsty, then you will have a problem in the long run.
Professor of kinesiology at Chapman University and a two-time master’s time-trial national champion Eric Sternlicht, Ph.D., explains that the body’s thirst indicator is poorly regulated. He impressed that one only begins to feel thirsty when the body has already lost two percent of its total volume of water. By this time, other literature indicates that your performance level will have dropped by up to 10 percent.
A dip in the performance level is just the beginning of your problems when you voluntarily dehydrate yourself when you are on the track. Your condition may get worse and you may experience severe muscle fatigue as well as cognitive delays.
Your body is two-thirds water
Even if most of us are already aware that the human body is composed of about 60% water, still many find it easy to neglect this basic element needed to sustain life. Water is also released from the body when you perspire, urinate, defecate, even when you breathe. Thus, it is not surprising that you need to top up your body with water at regular intervals during any activity to ensure optimal performance.
Whether you are exercising, doing brisk walking, hiking, or cycling, you need to make sure that your body is properly hydrated. If not, you will be sacrificing your performance level. As a result, the effects of your training will be limited and, as your health and your body are also affected, the recovery process will also be prolonged.
Studies conducted, like that published on the Journal of American College of Nutrition and conducted by Bob Murray, PhD., indicate that a decrease in the normal level of fluids in the body “changes in cardiovascular, thermoregulatory, metabolic, and central nervous function that become increasingly greater as dehydration worsens.”
What really happens when you get dehydrated?
If you regularly ride on your bike, you need to know the science of dehydration. While on the go or doing your exercises, your core temperature increases. To cool your body off, you sweat. Water is pulled from the blood. As a result, the volume of the blood plasma is lessened. That means your blood thickens. As this happens, your heart begins to work harder to pump out that limited blood supply and carry nutrients to the body and oxygen to your brain and the lungs.
If there is not enough water in the body water, will be pulled from the muscle cells (your muscles and kidneys contain about 79% of water) to maintain essential organ functioning. Once this happens, you will begin to feel cramps and experience other symptoms associated with dehydration.
By that time, you may feel thirsty and you may think of downing a whole bottle of water or sports drink. However as it takes time to move the fluids that reach your stomach out to your bloodstream, you will be dehydrated even more. You can just imagine how your performance will be affected by that. You will feel mentally weak, physically exhausted, and, perhaps, ill. In the end, you may decide to end your training earlier than you should. You will also be putting a strain on your next workout as your dehydrated muscles will take some time to recover.
Top Hydration Tips While On The Bike
It is best that you take your water on the go from one of the best water bottles for cycling so you can continue to hydrate on a regular basis while on the track. But you should remember that hydration starts earlier than when you have begun your training.
Here are some hydration tips that can help you keep hydrated while on the go:
- Drink about 300 to 500 ml of water when you wake up. If you prefer a flavorful drink, squeeze out some lemon in your bottle or glass of water. This will perk you up and replace lost fluids from sleep. The added lemon juice will provide your body with vitamin C that can help build your body’s resistance against cold and flu.
- Consume at least 300 to 500 ml of water or any beverage in about 1 to 2 hours before head out for your training. This will give enough time for your system to use the fluids to sustain you for some time while you are on the road. Make sure that you drink just enough and not overhydrate as this will not be good for your body as well.
- Water is not enough; drink an electrolyte or isotonic drink. When you engage in strenuous activities, your body uses not only water. You also release sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride. Hence, drinking water will not be sufficient to replenish any lost electrolytes in your system. What you can do is to alternatively drink water and an isotonic of an electrolyte drink. You can also combine your water intake with gels and nutrition bars to replenish that carb that you have lost while on your bike.
- Hydration should be before, during, and after a training. It is crucial that any lost fluid in the body is continuously replaced, so you will have to drink sufficient fluids before, during, and even after training. You can check how much you have lost during the training by stepping on the scale before and after cycling. You will need to drink 20 to 24 fluid ounces of water for every pound that you lose. The color of your urine will be a good indicator if you are already well hydrated. If you see that it has a clear yellow color, then you are properly hydrated.
Remember that hydration should be at regular intervals. Do not wait until you are thirsty before you drink. Setting your watch timer will remind you when it’s time to take a sip. An interval of about 15-20 minutes will just be right. It will be easier to re-hydrate when you have one of the best bottles for cycling, so keep one with you wherever you go.