Fluid Intake While Cycling
During the summer, I got in the habit of weighing myself before and after training to monitor my fluid losses. When it was hot, I lost 35-40 oz. per hour – this seems like too much to try to drink while riding. What are your thoughts?
Great job with weighing yourself to monitor fluid losses – this is a great practice to determine individual fluid needs! That said, it doesn’t mean that you need to recover all these fluids while riding, but a combo of during and after riding. While riding, do aim for ~16-24 oz. per hour with average conditions, and up to 32 oz. per hour when it’s really hot or humid (depending also on how much you can carry comfortably). Always try to drink at least 16 oz. per hour. The amount of fluid that keeps you feeling hydrated, without going overboard with intake or the weight of carrying it can be trial and error, so start experimenting. Then, make up the rest of your fluid needs immediate after your ride.
Along with fluid, try to get adequate electrolytes as well (~400-700 mg sodium, 100-300 mg potassium, 80-120 mg calcium, and 40-60 mg magnesium per hour). The calcium and magnesium become more important with longer rides, >3 hours.
Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.