Runners and cyclists, like you, understand the importance of hydration. In almost every sport or outdoor activity, proper hydration improves your form and dramatically affects your performance. When and how much you drink makes a huge difference. Keep your hydration strategy in check even before you pedal and take flight.
Lack of fluid or dehydration during an activity can negatively impact your performance. According to experts, even 1% of dehydration causes adverse effects on the body. The more dehydrated you are, the worse your performance can become.
Even though your body can provide dehydration warning signs, you should still monitor the amount of fluid you intake before, after, and during a race. Drinking to thirst is a great way to ensure that you stay hydrated.
Hydration rule of thumb
Monitor your hydration during running and cycling. Aside from thirst, you can do the pee test and the sweat test. During a bathroom break, check the color of your urine. If it has a pale straw color, then you are still fine. If it's bright yellow, brown, or orange, it means that you need to drink more. Also, observe how much you sweat. If you sweat more, then you need to hydrate more.
Regulate how much you drink before, during, and after a race
Before a bike ride or a lap on the track, it is recommended to drink around 800mL of water or 500mL of an electrolyte drink an hour beforehand. While running or biking shorter courses, drink 2-3 gulps from your hydration pack between short intervalsl. For longer courses, also take some electrolyte drink with you to replenish those lost in sweat. After the race, it is important that you rehydrate and it's okay if you don’t feel like eating anything immediately.
Best hydration drinks for runners and cyclists
Of course, for every sport, water is the best drink that has everything the body needs, but aside from water alone, there are energy drinks and electrolyte powders to boost your energy and balance your lost electrolytes so you can still perform at your optimum.
What are some of your hydration practices? Share them with us!