Some Guidelines for how much you need to drink while riding in Hot Weather
Recreational Rides of One Hour or Less
- Drink 8 to 10 oz of water before your ride.
- During the ride drink 8 oz or water per half hour of riding.
- Drink 8 to 10 oz of water after the ride.
Vigorous Rides longer than One Hour
- First thing in the morning drink 12 to 16 oz. of water when you wake up.
- Consume at least 12 to 16 oz water 1 to 2 hours before your cycling workout to get a head start. This is particularly important on the hotter days.
- Replace fluid lost when exercising with an electrolyte drink. Evidence shows on rides over 2 hours that people hydrating with plain water don’t replace electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride resulting in a dramatic drop in performance.
- When cycling, drink before you get thirsty. Sip on the water and the electrolyte drink on those hot days. Ideally target around 40 to 50 oz of fluid an hour on really hot days. Everyone is unique so this still might not be enough on really hot days. So… start to keep your fluids up early on in the ride to help reduce the chance of hydration issues later on in the day.
- Hydrate and replenish after each and every bike ride. Do not just get home and have some water! You need to replace protein, carbohydrates, electrolytes, and water to recover and get ready for the next day’s work load. And just a quick recovery drink isn’t enough, you have to pay attention and keep hydrated the rest of the day too. Finally, hydration is unique to you so experiment it find what works for you. A rule of thumb is that you are not adequately hydrated until you urinate. One should continue hydrating until the urine color is light.
Remember – If you feel faint, dizzy or start to get a headache while out riding stop and seek shade (or better still an air conditioned room) and medical assistance ASAP. Dehydration is a serious issue for athletes on hot days and can lead to death.