You cannot copy content of this page

Hydration for cycling: Explained

Staying well hydrated on a bike ride is essential to your enjoyment and performance as you cycle.

Did you know that an average rider can sweat around 1.0-1.5L per hour on a ride? The tricky thing with hydration for cycling is that you don’t typically notice you’re sweating much, as the moisture evaporates straight off your skin due to the air movement. If you don’t replace that fluid as you ride, you compromise a lot of the body’s key functions.

Did you know that water does all of these things…. And more?

  • Temperature control
  • Muscle contraction
  • Brain function
  • Waste removal

Just 2% loss in body mass from dehydration is going to impact your performance significantly, and hamper your enjoyment of the ride. So don’t waste those precious hours of pedalling by not drinking up!

Follow our guide to hydration for cycling to hydrate like a pro!

How much?

As a general guide, you need around 600ml (21oz) fluid per hour on a ride. Of course, that could increase if you’re riding somewhere hot, or if you’re working hard trying to take some Strava segments!

However, just because it’s cold it doesn’t mean you should drink less – you may not feel so inclined to drink, but you’re still sweating and you’ll be losing body moisture as your breath evaporates.

Fortunately for you, our water bottles hold 680ml (24oz), so if you plan to drink one of these per hour, then you’ve got an easy way of keeping track.

How Often?

It’s definitely a case of ‘little and often’ with hydration for cycling. This is far more effective than downing a whole bottle in one go and then not drinking again for an hour. This is because as soon as you become dehydrated, it’s very difficult to reverse the situation quickly, and you’ll be unlikely to do it within the space of the ride.

Here at PRO BIKE TOOL HQ, we find the most effective way to keep hydrated is to start sipping on your bottle immediately and then aiming to keep drinking every 15 minutes or so. It’s easy to forget, until you get into the habit. A great way to ensure you’re drinking frequently enough is to set an alarm on any bike computer or sports watch you may be using.

What to drink?

Plain water is fine for keeping you hydrated on shorter easier rides – or you could consider adding fruit juice or cordial to add flavour, which will give you more incentive to drink.

But when you start riding in hotter environments, or riding particularly hard or for a long time, you may want to consider adding electrolytes and / or carbohydrate.

ElectroLytes

These make a great addition to your drink when it’s particularly hot.

Electrolytes are the minerals such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium, and these are the key things controlling our bodily functions. They conduct electrical impulses from our brain, through the blood, to the relevant parts of our body such as the muscles.

Electrolytes can easily be added to your drink with the use of special tablets or powders sold by sports companies. They’re dead cheap and can make a big difference to how you feel as you pedal!

Carbohydrate

For longer rides, adding carbohydrates to your drink is essential to keeping your energy topped up! Carbohydrate is our muscles’ key fuel source, so to keep fast and have fun, they’re vital.

There’s only so much carbohydrate that your body can store at any one time (around 2,000Kcal) and this is depleted faster than you think. If you’re riding super hard, you could burn all that energy in two hours. If you’re going to ride it’s definitely worth adding a carbohydrate powder to your drink and starting to drink it straight away, so that your tank of fuel is always full.

You want to aim to take in around 40g-60g carbohydrate per hour when you ride, and most servings of a sports energy drink deliver around 40g. So, if you have one of these and a sugary snack per hour you’ll be in flying form!

Our water bottle cages and water bottles – the perfect hydration solution!

To really nail your hydration for cycling, you need the tools to do it! Most bike frames will have pre-drilled holes for two water bottle holders, so simply get yourself a couple of our water bottle cages, and two of our insulated bottles, and you’re on a roll!

Here’s why you need to nail your hydration the PRO BIKE TOOL way:

Insulated Water Bottles

  • Large 680ml (24oz) capacity – perfect for monitoring your hydration – one bottle per hour!
  • Insulated with double wall and foil cell insert technology – keeping your drink cooler on those hot rides!
  • Easy squeeze material and fast-flow valve for easy drinking when you’re on your limit!
  • 100% BPA free and dishwasher safe.

Water Bottle Cages

  • Secure and sturdy bottle retention – so you never lose one on rough ground!
  • Perfectly fits PRO BIKE TOOL insulated water bottles, and all other standard bike water bottles!
  • Super-easy to install, including bolts for installation.

PRO BIKE TOOL SUGGESTED READING

If you thought "Hydration for cycling: Explained" was a Here are some related articles for you.

Like this PRO BIKE TOOL article "Hydration for cycling: Explained" Why not Share it with your fellow cyclists!

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest
Maintenance

Road Bike Tire Pressure: What should I use?

Too high and it feels like you’re riding on huge rocks all day, and corners feel like ice rinks. Too low and you risk getting pinch flats, you wear your tires out, and it feels like riding through mud. But if you get the perfect pressure in your bike tires you’ll be faster, smoother, and have better grip!

Read More
Maintenance

HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME BIKE WORKSHOP

No matter what size space you have to work on your bike, there are a few items that you need to have in there to make your fettling easier and more enjoyable. Check out our guide to building your home bicycle workshop!

Read More
Health

Caffeine for cyclists

Caffeine can help you go faster and push harder on a ride… Want to know how that happens, and how much to take? Check out our guide!

Read More
Maintenance

C02 INFLATOR 101

Always been wondering what a CO2 inflator is, how it works, and whether it will be appropriate for you and your bike? Let us guide you through this essential cycling gadget!

Read More
Maintenance

Pump or CO2? What’s for you?

Should you buy a CO2 inflator or a bike pump. While either of these tools are going to be great buddies to have in your pocket or backpack on a bike ride, each one has its own benefits.

Read More
Maintenance

Five Essential Roadside Fixes

From slashed tires to broken chains, check out our guide to five simple ride-saving fixes that you need to know to address common issues that may occur out on the road

Read More
Health

Bike Fit: Why it matters

Bike fit is an essential part of your cycling. Having your bicycle correctly set up for you will keep you injury free, comfortable, and make you stronger and faster.

Read More
Essentials

Torque in Bike Maintenance: Why it Matters

You’ve probably seen the little numbers on your stem and various other places on your bike where hex bolts are. They usually say something like ‘5 Nm’? If you don’t know what they mean or what their significance is, then you’d better keep reading.

Read More
Essentials

Winter Cycling 101

Just because it’s winter there’s no need to stop riding. With a few careful choices of kit and understanding what type of riding to do, winter cycling can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Our Winter Cycling 101 is your go-to list for keeping the pedals turning this winter!

Read More
0
YOUR ITEMS

GET YOUR FREE GUIDE NOW

ROAD TO FIRST 100 MILER
By completing this form, you agree to receive marketing and promotional emails from PRO BIKE TOOL. You can change your preferences or unsubscribe anytime.
REVIEW

WE'RE HERE TO HELP

CONTACT ON DARK

WARRANTY CLAIM FORM

WARRANTY CLAIM
0% Complete
1 of 4

WARRANTY REGISTRATION

WARRANTY REGISTRATION
0% Complete
1 of 3

become a pro bike tool vip

VIP