The importance of fluid intake as you ride can not be stressed enough. In the military they would make us take a drink every 15 minutes. It can become a life threatening situation, and must be taken seriously. On long rides I have had riders in front of me stop, and just fall over unconscious, with no idea that anything was wrong until they woke up on the ground.
I usually drink one 20 oz. water bottle every 10 miles as I ride. If the temperature is over 80 it may be 2 bottles. The rule of thumb is drink Before you get thirsty. In other words drink constantly, even if you don’t think you need it. That way you don’t get dehydrated and start getting sick. I can tell buy my cadence that I am starting to dehydrate. If I feel like I have no energy and I start slowing down I will start really downing the water. The human body is a machine, cooled and powered by fluids and if you dehydrate, the machine starts breaking down.
Don’t wait for the day of the ride to start taking in fluids ether. Drink more than usually the day before the ride so you have a good reserve to draw on. Likewise, if you are on a multi-day ride every night you should be drinking all the time to re-supply your fluids.
It really doesn’t matter what types of fluids you drink ether. I start my day with a 20 oz. bottle of power aid or some sports drink. Then I drink water during the ride followed in the evening by more water and a sports drink. That usually will keep me going for days on end. The only drink I avoid while riding are carbonated drinks as a personal preference.
Originally posted 2012-05-14 11:18:01.