Whether you are a newbie or skilled cyclist, how much water you should drink varies according to how much you exert yourself and how much you perspire.
It is because drinking sufficient water could keep you hydrated. Your own hydration level is very important with regards to sports performance, especially with a sporting activity like cycling.
Cycling generally demands a higher amount of water consumption because of the long periods of cycling (more than 2 hours long). Furthermore, just about your entire body, brain and muscles are composed of water. With regards to cycling, consuming 8 glasses of water per day just isn’t enough, especially if you are exercising constantly.
The eight glasses of water a day is the advice to ordinary people who don’t exercise as much. Cyclists will have to intensify by drinking a whole lot more water than that. This is because if your body gets dehydrated even by as little as 3 percent, your cycling will suffer.
Researchers have concluded that cyclists should aim for 0.15-0.20 ml of fluid per minute per kilogram of body weight for rides between one and two hours, and 0.14–0.27 ml of fluid per minute per kilogram of body weight for rides more than two hours.
Interestingly for rides lasting an hour or less, cyclists should avoid draining their water bottle. Too much water during short, high-intensity bike rides has the potential to cause stomach upset such that it reduces performance by as much as 2.5 per cent when compared with no fluid intake.
If you’re dehydrated, your recovery levels will also be affected. Cycling is a prominent sporting activity, just like running a marathon, so water consumption is essential to optimal performance levels. If you hit dehydration level, you could experience nausea, headaches and loss in strength.
An excellent rule of thumb to follow is to never wait until you feel thirsty. By then it is too late. Always consume about twenty-four ounces at a time, starting well before you even start to cycle long distance. After that about a half hour before your trip, drink another 16 ounces. Once you are cycling keep sipping on that water.
You could also try drinking 16 ounces every 45 minutes of cycling, and maybe even more if it is hot.
A good way to tell whether or not you are dehydrated is to look at the colour of your urine. If it is very yellow, you are dehydrated. If it is clear this generally means that you are hydrated properly.
Be careful here, however, as vitamin consumption will also affect the colour of your urine.
Most importantly, listen to your body when it comes to how much water you should drink when cycling.