A timely article written by our women’s cycling advocate, road racer, and resident triathlete Laura Dellutri.
Many of us have experienced rides at 100 degrees or more with a sweltering heat index that made a bike ride seem like an unplanned visit to the gym sauna. This is the first year I have ridden in temps like this and hydration has been the key to my success on these hot humid rides. If you have ever been dehydrated you know what it feels like to have your tongue hanging like a dog, your strength zapped, and in extreme cases dizziness and chills. Dehydration is not joke and can lead to serious illness. What can you do to prevent against dehydrating on the bike in high temps:
- HYDRATE the day Before: Drink Electrolyte drinks like Gatorade and Water the day before your ride.
- Get your urine clear. White or clear urine means you are hydrated enough. Yellow urine means you are not ready to ride in hot conditions.
- Bring Extra water: Plan on drinking at least 16 to 24 ounces of water per hour and possibly even more for larger riders. Route your ride for water refills.
- Water/Electrolyte drink: Water is not enough in the heat, replenish with electrolyte drinks. Try 1st Endurance!
- Never get Thirsty. In fact, sip every 10-15 minutes on your water/powerade even if you are not thirsty. Our thirst and hunger mechanism lag behind our actual body needs.
- Salt pills. Get a $6 bottle of salt pills from your pharmacy (non-prescription) take one before your ride with some water, or suck on one during the ride. Suck on the tablet, spit out the salt tablet when it tastes bitter your body knows when it has had enough salt!
- Have fun. Help support a beginner rider to keep them in the sport of cycling!