Water for cyclists

There s a reason why bicycles come with a water rack on them and it’s important that you have a full water bottle on any cycle you undertake. It’s good practice drinking water regularly, if you are cycling in the gym or on the road.

Staying properly hydrated is vital to your performance and your health generally. Failing to consume enough fluid will thicken the blood, reducing your heart’s efficiency, increasing your heart rate and body temperature.

When exercising, dehydration could lead to muscle cramping, decreased coordination and fatigue. It is often noted that a 2% loss in body weight caused by dehydration can lead to anything up to a 20% drop in performance.

How much water should you drink? A very simple, universally applicable formula has been put together here (you’ll just need to know your body weight (kg) and have a calculator to hand):

What about over drinking? Excessive consumption is a potential danger. Hyponatraemia means “low blood sodium” and is caused by excessive water consumption, which lowers the concentration of sodium in the blood. In its mild form, hyponatraemia will cause bloating and nausea, whilst in extreme instances it can lead to loss of consciousness, brain seizures and even death.

Top Tip - Another great choice for staying hydrated is green tea, which has a high concentration of antioxidants called catechins. Tests have shown that green tea can increase the muscles’ capacity for fat burning during exercise by reducing the activity of free radicals that inhibit fat metabolism.