Whether you are a beginner or experienced cyclist, you must drink water. More accurately, you must be a water drinking machine. This is because drinking sufficient water will keep you hydrated. Your hydration level is very important when it comes to sports performance, especially a sports like cycling.
Cycling generally demands a high level of consumption because of the long duration of rides (more than 2 hours long). In addition, the majority of our body, brain and muscles are composed of water. When it comes to cycling, drinking 8 glasses of water a day is not enough.
That is the advice for ordinary people. Cyclists will need to step up by drinking much more water than that. This is because if your body gets dehydrated by 3 percent, your cycling performance will instantly degrade. If you are dehydrated, your recovery level will also be affected. Cycling is a prominent sports where drinking water is an absolute staple for maximum performance. This can be said for other endurance sports as well like the marathon.
A good advice you should always follow is to never wait until you feel the thirst. By that time, your body weight has already dropped by 1 percent because of dehydration. If you wait any longer without drinking water, it gets worse when it reaches the 5 percent dehydration level. At this rate, you are imposing great danger to your health. You will experience nausea, headaches and loss of strength as a result of the 5 percent dehydration.
The solution is to always drink approximately 24 ounces of water few hours even before you start cycling. When you realize it is a longer distance than usual, stock up on the water even more. Then, half before your ride, drink another 16 ounces of water. As for during your cycling rides, sip on the water occasionally.
Make sure you do this during the entire ride. Another good advice is to drink 16 ounces of water (usually comes in the form of water bottle) every 45 minutes. This advice should be taken seriously especially during hot weather.
How to know whether you are hydrated or not? Take a look at your urine. If it is more yellow, you are dehydrated. If it is clear, this will generally mean you are hydrated well. But even if you have done your homework of drinking lots of water and your urine still comes out yellow or dark in color, then it might be due to certain vitamins you have consumed prior to your cycling session. An example of such vitamins is the vitamin B.