It’s that age-old mantra of ‘stay hydrated’, it seems such a simple utterance and a nag that most of us forget it. More often than not, when we realise we’re not optimally hydrated, we swig a bottle of water and feel a false sense of pleasure at how we have just self-righteously cured ourselves of any danger of drying out. How wrong we are however, properly hydrating, especially when taking part in endurance sports such as cycling, can take days to correctly execute.
Ensuring a balanced, healthy diet full of water-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables is key, as well as drinking more than 2 litres of water a day. Not only will this approach keep you hydrated and aid in the basic function of your body, but it will also fine tune and optimise your condition for sports. By this I mean you’ll be flushing out toxins efficiently, contracting muscles optimally and thinking clearly. Hydration is much more than drinking to ‘feel’ better, you’re actually improving pretty much every aspect and element of your physical functioning. Staying in this condition is a constant process, and requires you to be on top of your nutrition, but it can be done.
Hydrating with electrolyte tablets.
Drinking water will hydrate you, there’s nothing more efficient or effective for dehydration, it’s as simple as that. When performing endurance sports however, you need to get hydrated much quicker as the high rate of perspiration and exertion requires optimal condition. Drinking tons of water at a quick pace can lead to excess urination, which will only leave a lot of your efforts wasted.
This is where electrolyte tablets come in, with their combined profile of magnesium, potassium and sodium, they help to rehydrate you with the electrolytes you need, rather than excess water you can’t handle. These electrolytes are vital for the proper functioning of your body, and without them, you could be functioning at a lower level and affecting your performance significantly.
Good brands include, High5 and Nuun, and are handy to pop in to your water bottle on long summer rides. As a general rule, if you’re exercising for over an hour, it’s a good idea to take some of these with you.