Stay hydrated in the saddle
Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated is crucial for optimum performance. Stay on top of your liquid intake with these simple tips from sports nutritionist Aaron Deere.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that an average man should drink three litres of water a day, while an average woman should drink 2.2 litres, so aim to have consumed at least one of your daily litres with an hour to spare before your ride to avoid bloating. Failure to do so will leave you vulnerable to dehydration, which will quickly hinder your performance.
You goal should be to consume 400-700ml of fluid per hour, depending on the temperature and how much you’re sweating. If your session lasts longer than two hours, you should also look to ingest 80g of combined glucose and fructose every hour past that point to help replenish your glycogen stores and keep you feeling fresh. Energy gels are a great option for doing this, as they’re convenient to consume and easy to digest on the bike.
If you’ve managed to maintain your 400-700ml hourly fluid intake during your ride, there’s no need to start necking pints of water immediately afterwards. Just make sure you continue drinking steadily throughout the day to hit your daily target.