Why hydration is important:
Managing your hydration is key to maximising your performance. Without proper hydration, you not only hamper your performance, but you limit your training gains and prolong your recovery. With 70% of the body made up of water; water is the body’s transport medium between cells. It allows gases to diffuse across cell membranes; lubricates joints and absorbs heat and aids in regulation of temperature.
When you sweat you not only lose water, but sodium (electrolytes) as well. Sodium aids in the absorption of water; as such by drinking solely water, this will dilute your sodium levels leading to headaches and fainting.
Thus why the importance of replacing not just water by electrolytes as well.
When and How to hydrate:
Hydration should not only happen during your exercise; hydration should be done before, during and after you get on your bike or for any form of training or racing. This is is even more important during the summer months where we are perspiring without even noticing.
Rule of thumb is too have at least 2-3 litres of water a day. This will ensure that you keep hydrated all the time meaning that you will be able maintain optimal hydration levels when riding far easier.
If monitor and keep on top of your daily hydration, you will not need to binge drink the night before a ride or the morning of. It is however suggested that at least 2 hours prior your exercise, to have between 500 – 700ml of a carbohydrate isotonic like SiS Go Energy to ensure optimal hydration and to maintain your carbohydrate levels.
During exercise hydration:
The amount you need to hydrate during your exercise will depend on your sweat rate. The amount of liquid you lose during exercise will differ according to intensity and weather. You should aim to replace between 500 – 1000ml of fluid per hour.
If you would like to be more specific, you can calculate your sweat rate by weighing yourself prior to a 60-minute workout and then weighing yourself after the workout. The value in grams that you have lost will equate to the value of water lost in ml during your workout. This will then give you an indication as to how much you need to hydrate during your training.
If you feel it impossible to replace all the liquid loss; you should at least try replace a minimum 75%.
If you only plan on exercising for 60minutes, then only carrying water will suffice; however if you plan on a longer exercise session, then you you will need to add electrolytes and carbohydrates. SiS Go Energy powder; SiS go Electrolyte powder or SiS Go Hydro are the best options to add to your water to aid in your hydration and energy stores.
When to drink while exercising:
Most people will only drink when they feel thirsty and they will then drink half or all of their water they are carrying with them, which is the incorrect way of hydrating. You need to keep hydrated from the beginning of your ride, where the key is to drink little and often. Try to take 2 – 3 sips every 15 minutes. Like eating on the bike; you are not hydrating for that moment, but for a few kilometres down the road.
After exercise hydration:
No matter how careful you’ve been with your hydration, especially on a hot day, you’re likely to be dehydrated. Post-exercise hydration and recovery drink is key to replace not only the fluids you’ve lost while exercising, but also the carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and electrolytes lost. Give SiS Rego Rapid Recovery a try for post ride recovery to replenish the nutrients lost while exercising.
With the days already getting warmer, it would be advisable to start looking at how you hydrate currently and ways you can improve on this so as to maximise your performance next time you are training or competing in an event.