Drinking too much water will kill you! Drinking water (or any fluid) can cause you to have hyponatremia, where the level of sodium in your blood drops below normal, which can be very dangerous or even fatal! The best way to hydrate your body while cycling is to ensure you get enough electrolytes and salt along with your water so you don't get hyponatremia, which can happen when you drink too much water. Here are some tips on properly hydrating your body while cycling, but before we get into that, let's first talk about what hyponatremia is and how it can happen.
What Is Hyponatremia?
Hyponatremia is a condition where the sodium level in your blood drops below normal. This can be caused by drinking too much water or other fluids without getting enough electrolytes (such as sodium) to balance it out. This can happen when you're sweating a lot and losing electrolytes through your sweat but not replacing them or if you're drinking too much water without enough salt. Hyponatremia can be dangerous because it can cause seizures, comas, and even death.
How Can You Avoid Hyponatremia While Cycling?
The best way to avoid hyponatremia while cycling is to make sure you get enough electrolytes and salt along with your water. You can drink sports drinks or eat salty foods like pretzels or peanuts. You should also drink more water than usual if it's hot outside or if you're sweating a lot. And, if you start to feel symptoms of hyponatremia, such as headache, confusion, or nausea, stop cycling and drink something with electrolytes right away.
Alternative Of Water To Keep Hydrate Your Body While Cycling
There are a few options if you're looking for an alternative to water to keep hydrate your body while cycling.
1) Sports Drinks Or Coconut Water:
Sports drinks or coconut water can help you replenish electrolytes and are often more palatable than just plain water.
Coconut water is a good choice because it also has other benefits like potassium, which helps with cramping. While sports drinks are generally high in sugar, coconut water is a good choice if you're looking for a healthier option.
Just read the sports drinks or coconut water labels, as some can be high in sugar or calories.
2) Eating Foods:
You can also get electrolytes from food, such as pretzels, bananas, or oranges. Eating these foods will help you replenish electrolytes and keep your energy up while cycling.
If you're looking for a more substantial meal, you could also try something like a PB&J sandwich or a turkey wrap. Just make sure to eat something with electrolytes before or during your ride.
3) Electrolytes Tablets Or Powder:
Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electricity in the body and are essential for maintaining proper fluid balance. When you sweat, you lose electrolytes, which is why it's important to replenish them after cycling.
There are many electrolyte powders or tablets on the market, such as Nuun, that you can add to your water bottle. These can be a convenient way to ensure you're getting enough electrolytes without carrying around food or drinks.
Just make sure to follow the directions on the packaging, as too much or too little can be harmful.
4) Drink Cold Coffee:
Drinking cold coffee can also help you stay hydrated while cycling. Coffee is a diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more. However, studies have shown that coffee's diuretic effect is lessened when consumed cold.
Plus, drinking cold coffee can help you stay cool in hot weather and provides a caffeine boost, which can be helpful when cycling.
Just make sure to limit your intake to one or two cups, as too much caffeine can lead to dehydration.
5) Drink Fruit Juice:
Fruit juice is another good choice for staying hydrated while cycling. Fruit juice has electrolytes like potassium and sodium, which can help replenish those lost through sweating.
Plus, fruit juice is a good source of carbohydrates, which can boost energy during your ride. Just make sure to choose 100% fruit juice with no added sugar.
Here are a few other tips to help you stay hydrated while cycling:
- Drink water before, during, and after your ride.
- If it's hot outside, drink more water than usual.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate you.
- Bring a water bottle with you on your ride.
- If you start to feel symptoms of dehydration, such as headache or dizziness, stop cycling and drink something with electrolytes right away.
Cycling is a great way to exercise, but it's important to stay hydrated. Drinking too much water can cause hyponatremia, which can be dangerous or even fatal. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you're getting enough electrolytes and salt along with your water. You can drink sports drinks or coconut water, eat salty foods, or take electrolyte supplements. We hope this article has helped you learn more about how to stay properly hydrated while cycling. Thanks for reading!