8 Hydration Tips just in time for the Heat of the Summer

Water Is Your Friend

Although it doesn't supply calories, vitamins, or minerals, water is essential for virtually every bodily function. It aids digestion, cushions organs, and keeps your body temperature from rising to lethal levels during exercise. In fact, H2O is so important that it accounts for 55 to 65 percent of your weight.

Cycling is Hot Work

When you are cycling, your muscles produce up to 100 times more heat than when you are at rest. The body extinguishes this inferno primarily by increasing your sweat rate. On a really hot day you can lose more than two liters (about 67 ounces) of fluids per hour when exercising. If you don't replace these fluids, your power output declines quickly. One study of trained cyclists found that without fluids they could barely finish a two-hour ride at 65 percent of maximum oxygen capacity.

Less H20 Equals More Beats

Studies by Edward Coyle, PhD, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, reveal that cyclists who lose a quart of fluid experience a rise in heart rate of eight beats per minute, a decrease in cardiac function, and an increase in body temperature. Dehydration, says Dr. Coyle, may cause increased metabolic stress on muscles and faster glycogen depletion. It also wreaks havoc on your internal thermostat by decreasing blood flow to the skin, slowing your sweat rate, and increasing the time needed for fluids to be absorbed into the blood stream. What's worse, by the time you feel thirsty, your body has already lost up to 2 percent of its weight—about a quart of fluid.

Drink, Drink, Drink. Then Drink Some More.

The popular notion of drinking eight eight-ounce glasses of fluids daily is easy to remember, but may not be right for you. Indeed, people have different fluid needs depending on fitness, gender, body size, and environmental conditions. Your best bet is to gauge hydration by monitoring six simple markers.

Do you urinate less than three times during a normal day? Is your urine dark yellow? Does it have a strong odor? Do you get headaches toward the end of a long ride or shortly afterward? Do you drink less than one water bottle per hour while riding? Do you lose more than two pounds during rides? If you answer yes to any of these questions, your body is heading for a drought. Time to start drinking more until the situation is rectified.

Replenish Your Supply

After you have ridden for several hours, drink more fluids. What you drink makes a difference. In a study conducted by Dr. Coyle, dehydrated athletes were asked to drink nearly 2 liters of fluid 2 hours after they exercised. The catch is that these athletes drank diet cola, water, or a sports drink. The study then compared the quality of replenishment each provides. Dr. Coyle found that diet cola replenished 54 percent of the fluid loss; water, 64 percent; and sports drink, 69 percent.

Snack on Something a Little Salty

Sodium makes your blood sponge-like, allowing you to absorb more water and excrete less. Each liter of sweat saps between 500 and 1,000 (or more) milligrams of sodium.

Choose Juicy Foods

Around 60 percent of your daily fluid comes from the foods you eat, but some foods increase hydration better than others. For instance, fruits and vegetables are great fluid sources; they are 80 to 95 percent water by weight. Eating the recommended five to nine daily servings of produce means that you will get a lot of extra water in your diet. If you are downing protein supplements, you should drink even more water, as you will need that additional water to metabolize and excrete the extra protein.

Sports Drinks Can Be Your Friend

Most popular sports hydration drinks contain sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes as well as energy-producing carbohydrate. These drinks are recommended for exercise that lasts more than an hour. Whenever you plan to cycle for several hours, make sure you carry two bottles. In addition, have a plan to fill up along the way. Whichever brand of sports drink you choose, make sure you like the way it tastes so that you'll be motivated to drink. Also, cool fluids taste better and may be absorbed more rapidly than warm ones.

Here are 9 tips that may be helpful in your training! Enjoy! 

 

Seat too low


Experiencing pain in the front of your knee? Your seat is probably too low, causing you to under-extend your pedal stroke. At the right seat height, your knee should be slightly bent at the bottom of your pedal stroke, when the crankarm is parallel to the seat tube, not perpendicular to the ground. To check this, pedal unclipped with your heels on the pedals. You should barely maintain contact with the pedal at the bottom of the stroke, without rocking your pelvis. Measure the distance between the bottom bracket and the top of the seat. This is your seat height. It should be very close to the product of your inseam (in centimeters) multiplied by 0.883.

 

Assume you need all the best gear


You don’t need fancy clothes, clipped-in shoes, or a top-of-the-line bike to become a cyclist. Sure, slick equipment can be a lot of fun, but there’s nothing like smoking a bunch of high-end carbon bikes on a climb when you’re riding an old beater. The important thing is that you just get out there and ride—and worry about any potential upgrades later.

 

Bad bike fit


How your bike fits you is the most important aspect of riding. If the fit is painful, you’re not going to spend much time in the saddle, no matter how excited you are to ride that new bike. To get the right fit, two elements are key: seat height and reach. The seat height should be high enough to give you a very slight bend in your knee when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Proper reach means your arms and torso make a 45-degree angle over the bike. Too long, and your back will be sore reaching for the handlebars; too short, and your knees will be too close to your arms. When you’re shopping for a bike, make sure to take it for a test ride to see that the size is correct for you.

 

Not maintaining your bike


You don’t have to be a pro wrench, but routine maintenance will not only save you a bundle at the bike shop but also prolong the life of your bike. Check out these three super-easy maintenance tasks your bike mechanic wishes you’d do.

 

Too much too soon


One of the biggest sources of injury comes from trying to take on too much mileage before you’re ready. Build up slowly, ease in, and give your body time to adjust to new distances. Similarly, if you’re on a training ride, don’t start too fast and risk burnout and fatigue in the second half. Warm up during the first third of the ride, then settle into a rhythm for the second, and give it everything you’ve got for the final third.

 

Not carrying a spare or a patch kit


One minute you’re out there on the trail, cruising along with the perfect tailwind, having the time of your life. Then that unmistakable sound of air hissing out of your tires shatters your peaceful reverie, and the party is over. If your flat tire backup plan is to phone a friend, take a few minutes and check out this guide to changing a tube or patching one. You won’t believe how much more independent you’ll feel with the proper tools on hand—a spare, a patch kit, levers, and a mini-pump—and the know-how to get yourself back on the road in 15 minutes.

 

Not using your gears


Gears are your best friends on a climb, and your greatest source of speed on a long, rolling stretch. But it does take a little practice to get the hang of when and how to shift into your most efficient gear. Here’s a basic guide to using all your gears.  

 

Not respecting the pack


Group rides have their own protocol and etiquette for a reason—it’s easy to cause a crash if your riding isn’t predictable. If it’s your first time riding with a new group, hang at the back, observe, and ask for help if you need it. For more on group-riding rules and technique, check out this article.

 

Not refueling enough


If you’re only riding for an hour, you don’t need to eat on the bike (but bring water). But if you’re planning to ride over two hours, bring a snack along and start eating 45 minutes to an hour into your ride, and continue to eat small amounts every 15 to 20 minutes. Forgetting to refuel can put your body into a deficit and cause you to bonk—or go into a hypoglycemic state. Tiredness, irritability, dizziness, nausea, confusion—it’s not a strong way to finish a ride.

 

 

 
Welcome to Biker Cholim 2018!
 
I wanted to officially welcome you to Biker Cholim 2018.  I am excited that you put your trust in
myself and the Biker Cholim team to help you build fitness and ensure an amazing ride! My job as your Coach is to provide you with the tools and tips you need to get to the finish line. 
 
Biker Cholim has grown every year. It is tons of fun, but it is also challenging!
 
The best way to ensure an enjoyable ride is to train properly. I’d strongly encourage everyone to participate in the group rides. These rides will gradually increase in distance and difficultly, so please try to join us for as many as you can! Also, the more people that join the training rides actually makes it easier for everyone; so feel free to bring a friend (even if they haven’t signed up yet!) .
 
Whether you enrolled as a Beginner looking to lose a few pounds, or an enthusiast looking to reach a new distant record, we have training plans for everyone!
 
 A full training schedule will follow in future correspondence.
 
I look forward to riding with all of you!
 
Feel free to reach out with questions and concerns,
 
Coach Noam
noamshiman@gmail.com
443-690-1205
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
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