I want to talk to you about my thoughts on hydration because you would be surprised at the amount of people I have worked with that don’t drink enough water. Ultimately, there is no excuse for not being hydrated and it is crucial for sports like cycling where we put our bodies through long periods of stress (exercise). Here are my top three reasons for staying hydrated:
1. Better brain function
The brain is 73% water and, like any other part of your body, it needs maintaining. If you stay in a dehydrated state your brain will not be functioning at its best. This means the quality (sometimes expressed as low mood) of your thoughts will drop, your ability to judge and make quick decisions, such as making a snap decision when a car pulls out on you.
This is more important for morning rides, when you are typically likely to me more dehydrated. Drinking water in the morning can also expel all the toxins in your body. You will be flushing out all the old, toxin filled water in your body with fresh water. Meaning your body and mind will feel fresh, alert and ready to make the split-second decisions involved with any form of riding bicycles.
If you're not already, try it! Drink a large glass of water as soon as you wake up. I promise you will feel better.
2. Better performance
Being adequately hydrated can have serious benefits to your performance. Being properly hydrated will improve the quality of your movement, help regulate your temperature, and lubricate your joints: especially important when you think about how repetitive the movement of cycling is.
Drink at least 1500ml of water before a ride and you will feel so much better. No toxins, fresh water, fully hydrated and less hungry. Winning!
3. Better health
Aside from increasing your performance levels, there are numerous health benefits to drinking water on the regular. From vanity-based reasons like improved skin condition, to genuine health related benefits. Let us list a few of them, and how they make you feel different below:
- Better skin = more self-confidence (and better-looking legs on the bike ?)
- Improved concentration levels = better work rate.
- Prevents dry mouth = makes you feel healthier and more awake.
- Keeps your body cool = you feel more comfortable.
All of the above results in a better day as your work is better, you feel better and are more responsive and energetic. Meaning you will end (or start) your working day feeling more fulfilled and more motivated to get out and ride the bike.
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About The Author: Adam Copley
Adam is a self-employed coach based in Sheffield, UK. Alongside this he is an avid cyclist and competes in cross country mountain biking across the UK. He has raced Cyclocross during the winter and is also a huge lover of road cycling. While he's not working on his business, he is usually out on two wheels getting fitter, and enjoying the fresh air and many climbs in the peak district.