Ok, so we might be a bit biased, but there’s nothing better than a ride on a beautifully sunny day! But how many of us realise the hazards of dehydration?
It’s something we can easily overlook, but failing to remain hydrated can cause loss of concentration, headaches, muscle fatigue, drowsiness and nausea; all of which can contribute to crash risk. Avoiding these added burdens is essential, so here are a few tips:
- It takes time for water to reach your muscles; regular sips in the hours leading up to your ride is far more beneficial than necking a bottle just before you leave – this will only give you stomach cramps.
- Don’t underestimate the heat affecting your PPE. Your leathers offer great protection in a crash, but take plenty of breaks and top up your body’s water levels throughout the ride.
- Never be tempted to ride without your jacket. Your exposed skin will feel cooler as sweat evaporates, but that will only add to your dehydration.
- Alcohol is a diuretic – it makes us urinate more than normal. Needless to say drinking alcohol before or during a ride is a no go, but also think about any alcohol you’ve consumed the day before! On the subject of urine, it should be straw coloured; if it’s darker you’re dehydrated (yes we went there).
- You might consider a hands-free water dispensing back pack, but we don’t recommend sipping from a bottle or cup - that’s an added risk to safety that we can do without.
- Take breaks regularly to rehydrate – remember that drinks high in caffeine also have a diuretic effect, so don’t overdo the triple shot expressos!
- Water is the simplest way to hydrate. Too many sugary drinks will dehydrate you if sugar reaches high levels in your blood.
- Without compromising safety, do all that you can to avoid becoming overheated and make sure you rest in shaded areas or cool cafés when you stop for a break.
- In warm weather if you wait until you’re thirsty to take a drink of water, you’re already too late.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!