Hydration- Carrying water when you bike – what are your options?
How much water should I carry
How much water do you need is a complex issue and is dependent on so many factors; your body weight, the duration of the ride; how fit and well you are (this can effect how much water your lose through perspiration and increased breathing rate), how hydrated were you before you set out for your ride; will you have access to water at any stage of the ride and so on…
So let us consider what we do know:
They suggest that we drink 33mls x our body weight of water per day. So for the 50kg person it is 50 x 0.033 = 1.65L per day or 80kg x0.033= 2.64L per day. This is based on an average day with no additional loss of water occurring through perspiration and increased breathing rate during exercise. Therefore if you are riding you will need additional amounts of water to compensate for the loss during exercise. Remember we receive water through many sources; eg. drinking and our food. Many foods are a great source of water especially plant foods. Some drinks like coffee and alcohol have a negative effect on your hydration and draw water out of you.
With the knowledge of;
- the duration and intensity of your ride
- your body weight,
- how fit, well and hydrated you are before you ride
Consider how much would be a sensible and safe amount for you to take with you when you go for a ride. It may be 600ml just over 2 cups for short duration rides through to 2 or 3 Litres for those longer rides. As you ride more you will start to recognise your level of fluid requirements for different duration and intensity of rides. As a rule more is better than less. You do have to carry it though so a sensible quantity is best.