Whether you are new to cycling or are a seasoned cyclist, drinking is an essential part of staying fit and healthy and reaching your maximum potential. You lose large amounts of fluids while cycling so having a personalised plan for before, during and after a long ride can help to avoid dehydration. In this blog, The English Cyclist discusses the different drink options available to help you stay hydrated.
So what is the best drink for long distance cycling? The best drinks for long distance cycling contain a good source of sodium and potassium, such as an electrolyte drink. Other options include mixes which provide the energy needed for long distance cycling while also keeping the body hydrated - a popular recipe is 50% orange juice , 50% water with a pinch of salt.
Read on to find out more about how to stay hydrated when cycling and the different types of drinks available.
What Should You Drink While Long Distance Cycling?
When planning for long distance cycling, one of the most important aspects is hydration to stay in peak condition. During long distance rides, your body temperature will rise and you will lose fluid rapidly, which is why you need to consume some liquid before you begin your journey and consistently when you are riding. While cycling, you should not just rely on thirst to remind you when to drink, taking a drink every 10-15 minutes should help to replenish your fluid levels. If you are cycling with a GPS device like a Wahoo or Garmin see if you can set a timer to give you a reminder so you don’t forget. It's incredibly easy to get caught up in the ride, forget all about hydration, and then start to suffer.
A personalised hydration plan is a great way to ensure you provide your body with the liquid and nutrients it needs to complete a long distance journey. This plan should include the period before and after the cycle to keep your body hydrated. During training for your next big ride, make sure to monitor your weight before and after so you know how much liquid is lost.
What you choose to drink is just as important as the amount, which can vary based on your nutritional needs. The time of year and weather can also impact your decision, meaning your plan may have to be altered at different times. Below we have gone into more detail about which drinks may be the right choice for you:
What is the Best Hydration Drink for Cycling?
Drinking plain water is enough to keep you hydrated before, during and after most bike rides as this will help your body to recover the liquids lost. However, this may not be enough for longer distance rides, especially in warmer temperatures. Water should be combined with electrolyte drinks or powders, which are a good source of electrolytes including sodium and potassium. When consumed alongside the optimum amount of calories and carbohydrates, these drinks are a great choice for long distance rides and should help avoid dehydration.
Other options for hydration include tabs and mixes that can rehydrate your body while cycling or training. Even fruits and vegetables contain fluids that count toward your recommended daily intake. Carb drink mixes provide energy for your ride without overloading your body with carbohydrates.
What Should You Eat While Long Distance Cycling?
Liquid isn’t the only important thing you need to consider when planning for long distance cycling. Fuelling your body with appropriate foods is essential to ensure your energy levels are sustained and you can reach your maximum potential. There are several different nutrients your body needs for long distance cycling including carbohydrates, protein and fats.
Again, a personal plan is required as everyone’s body is different, needing different amounts of nutrients. The body can absorb 30g-60g of carbs per hour so training may be required so your body can become accustomed to larger amounts. We have an in depth available which goes into more detail about what to eat while long distance cycling.
Celebrate Your Achievement with The English Cyclist
At The English Cyclist, we understand the importance of properly fuelling your body for the journey ahead. We also want to help you celebrate your achievements, which is why we offer prints and posters which can be personalised to show your latest long distance ride. Create your own print today or check out our pre-made posters: