Hydration is vital if you want to make the most of your rides. Whether you're competing or out for a leisure ride, keeping yourself hydrated will ensure you are able to complete your ride with less fatigue. Carrying enough fluid for your ride is important. Hydration packs, bottles or combination of both gives the rider the option of carrying fluid from the start with the ability to top up should you need to. There are hydration tablets and powders to add to water to ensure you not only quench your thirst but properly hydrate and replace your bodies' lost fluids.
Hydration packs are ideal for mountain bikers, tourers, adventure riders, downhill riders or anyone who doesn't want to risk a bottle jumping out of a bottle cage and needs to hold as much water as possible. Cyclists should never compromise on hydration, fluid intake or the options available to them when riding. No matter what time of year or how long the ride, dehydration can set in pretty quickly and it isn't worth finding out how it will affect you and your ride. Some hydration packs are larger than others depending on the volume of water but also have a small amount of storage for your kit.
During exercise - Fluids will be lost through sweating and electrolytes depleted. Both will need replacing to prevent you from becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can occur from sweating and losing as little as a 2% of fluid in body weight. This will also lead to increased body temperature and heart rate. It can also affect concentration and your overall performance. Ensure you are hydrated before you start exercising, making it easier to maintain hydration.
Bottles - There is a range of bottles to choose from, holding 500ml to 1000ml coming in various colours and styles, making it easy to find one to complement your bike.
We can all benefit from drinking more water, whether exercising or not, but water alone does not replace the electrolytes lost during intense exercise. Fortunately, there has been a huge amount of research into hydration over the past few decades. There are powders you can add to water in various flavours, isotonic gels, and other nutritional aids to assist in keeping you fully hydrated. Taking on fluid before you feel thirsty is vital and continuing to hydrate during exercise will ensure you are more able to complete your ride in relative comfort. Powders come in tubs or single serving sachets with some companies offering starter packs to give you the chance to try different flavours. These powders are mixed with water and added to your drinks bottle. Isotonic gels come in single serve sachets and can be easily carried in a rear pocket or bike bag.
Hydration is easily overlooked and feelings of fatigue can be kept at bay with a good hydration and nutrition routine. JE James Cycles has a range of hydration powders and gels from a variety of manufacturers. Check out what's available and while you're at it, why not treat yourself to a new bag, bottle or both.