How To Stay Hydrated on a Long Bike Ride

Cycling allows you to set your own pace. You can go slow and leisurely, fast and intense, or somewhere in between. But regardless of how you ride, staying hydrated is key—especially on extended treks. You’ll obviously need a drink holder for bike for your thirst-quenching beverage. But what drinks deliver the best hydration? And what else do you need to know about hydrating during your ride? Keep reading for some sage advice?

What To Bring on Your Bike Ride To Stay Hydrated

Lots of factors determine how much fluid you’ll need during your ride: weather conditions, your exertion level, riding pace and even your overall weight and body composition. If you’re taking your beach bike out for a relaxing ride on a late spring afternoon, that’s one thing. But if you’re cycling up the coast for 20 miles on a hot June day, that’s a whole ‘nother matter. You’ll need to drink plenty of fluids on both rides. However, it’s important to choose the right drinks and bringing an adequate supply with you.

While everyone’s physiological needs are different, water is an excellent hydration choice across the board. Beverages with electrolytes are another great option, but be sure to read nutrition labels before you buy. The average human body contains about 60% water, and we lose some of those fluids during vigorous activity.

Most people need between 1.2 and 2 liters replaced after an hour of exercise. But your sweat rate can give you a more precise idea of how much you could lose. Make sure you’re already hydrated and try to urinate beforehand, then calculate your sweat rate in a few simple steps:

Weigh yourself while wearing as little clothing as possible.

Note the ambient temperature in your exercise environment.

Perform your exercise of choice.

Record your weight after exercise, wearing the same clothing as your first weigh-in.

You should also record any fluids you drink plus how much urine you expel if you use the bathroom. To make things simpler, note body weights and fluid amounts in kilograms. Subtract your second weight from your first weigh-in figure, then add any liquid you drink minus how much you urinate. Take your final figure and divide it by the number of hours you exercised.

How To Stay Hydrated Throughout Your Ride

Planning ahead ensures you intake enough fluid for a long bike ride. About four to six hours before you embark, drink between 12 and 16 ounces of water. Follow up with another 12 ounces around two hours before you start cycling. You may need more during hot weather. During your ride, you should drink small amounts every 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re riding for more than an hour, don’t forget about replacing carbohydrates. Pack some healthy portable snacks such as trail mix, bananas or dried fruit.

Biking is an accessible activity that virtually anyone can enjoy. Besides staying hydrated and fueled up, it’s important to choose a bike that best meets your needs. Commuter bicycles, ebikes and the best comfort bikes for women all have their advantages. Look at bike specs and rider fit before you buy.