August 11, 2011 | Bike Safety, See Me Bike Safety
Hydration while cycling

I had a minor heart attack ten years ago, so I see a cardiologist every six months for a checkup.  My cardiologist is a cyclist too and a real good guy, so we usually take a few minutes to talk about new routes and other riding stuff. I was complaining about the heat to him and how after one ride I felt slightly lightheaded and suspected low blood pressure.  He asked me how much fluid I drank on the ride; I told him a full bottle – about 24 oz. for a 1 ½ hour ride.  He said the lightheadedness was probably dehydration and advised me to drink a full liter of fluid for each hour that I rode.

He also reminded me that as you get older your sense of thirst changes a lot.  A senior typically won’t feel thirsty until he is already dehydrated.  That’s the case with me, I almost never feel thirsty.  But it’s terribly important to keep drinking even if you don’t feel you need it.

It’s so basic, we always carry a full drink bottle on every ride, but we may not be drinking enough.  I simply can’t drink a full liter per hour; if I try my stomach gets upset, but since my talk I do make sure I do intake a full bottle per hour, not per ride.  Check it out, are you hydrating enough?  In the summer it’s critical.

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