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How much water should a regular rider drink?

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How much water should a regular rider drink?

Old 07-02-19, 01:03 AM
Seattle Forrest
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Yup, the pee test works for me. If clear Iím ok if yellow it could dehydrate a fellow. I tend to hydrate maybe too much but Iím in a hot climate so it is out of habit a good habit.
I tend to let myself get dehydrated and make up for it later. I skied from Mazama to Winthrop - 21 miles in 4 hours - with nothing to drink. A month ago on a hot day I was thinking how I really need to start carrying water when I ride, and I really should.

You should see my Brawndo (electrolytes) shelf.
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Old 07-02-19, 02:28 AM
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Muscle spasms dictate my preferences. Had 'em all my life, ranging from the arches of my feet to my calves, quads and hamstrings. With shoulder and neck injuries, add those to the lot on longer rides -- usually more aching than sudden spasms.

I drink about 12-16 oz per hour in cool weather, 24-32 oz per hour in warmer weather. So I carry larger bottles in summer.

I use electrolytes in every bottle and carry spare Mylar packets of DripDrop or Propel for refills along the road. I feel bloated drinking plain water when I'm overheated. Electrolytes with a little sugar works faster and better for me. Doesn't need to be excessively sweet like some bottle sports drinks.

If I get drinks from convenience stores along the way it's usually hot coffee in winter, and cold coffee in summer. Recently I've developed a craving for canned yerba mate drinks, with a little less caffeine than coffee. Tasty, crisp, not too sweet. Yerba mate tea tastes like hay, but is better with added stuff like mint or lemon.

According to athletes who've worked with doctors on PED-fueled efforts (no sanctioned competitions, so no rules were broken), some PEDs and permitted supplements such as creatine do appear to reduce joint and muscle pain and fatigue through enhanced hydration.

That's one theory about creatine, so I've been using it for a few months. Seems to help, although it makes me pee a lot. That's been alternately amusing and frustrating on some rides. As beer drinkers say, once the seal is broken you'll need to pee every 15 minutes. True of creatine as well. So I've switched to using creatine only on the day before a long ride, rather than during a long ride.

A trick I picked up from Doc Isotope a couple of years ago helps. Electrolytes keep water frozen longer. So I half-fill my bottles with a concentrated electrolyte solution, freeze overnight, then fill with plain water before a ride. The water stays chilled longer. And with my stainless steel double insulated bottle, that frozen electrolyte concentrate will stay cold for 12 hours, even in mid-summer. I can keep chilling ambient temperature water from any source by pouring it on top of the iced concentrate. It's especially refreshing and encouraging at midday when I have another hour to get home.

In Texas summer I carry two 24 oz bottles and a collapsible Mylar pouch that holds another 12 oz or so for emergencies. That's frozen too, and goes in my middle jersey pocket. Feels good for as long as it stays cold.

On my last attempt at a full century in mid-summer I ran out of water and misjudged my distance to the next rest stop. Fortunately some folks at a park gave me some water. It was less than 5 miles to the next convenience store but it was uphill and I was already exhausted. So I no longer try to save weight by omitting water, even if I think I could make it to the next convenience store.

And urine changes colors and odors depending on what we eat and drink. Means nothing unless we stick with plain water for 24 hours or longer before a lab test. Important to keep in mind if you do home urine tests for ketones, etc. Back in the 1970s when I was pretty serious about cycling and amateur boxing my urine often tested high for ketones and protein. Not a good thing. I was following badly outdated and dangerous diet and training advice back then. And I'm still skeptical of the current keto fad. It's obsessing unnecessarily and over-complicating basic good dietary practices -- balanced diet, few junk carbs and sugars.
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Old 07-05-19, 07:26 PM
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Hydration needs vary like everything else in life. Everyone needs to drink as much as necessary which you need to determine for your self. I used to weigh myself before a ride and then after the ride. The idea was not to complete a ride in a serious deficit which for me was a weight loss of no more than 1 or maybe 1 1/2 pounds (half a liter or a bit more). These days the weighing is no longer necessary except now and then as a check. In the past for a ride of five hours or so I would need nearly 3 24 ounce water bottles in my area. these days 2 24 oz. bottles is enough. Coastal Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts is cooler than further inland. If I lived in a hotter climate more hydration would be called for.
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Old 07-08-19, 10:53 AM
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All I have to add is that I am not a person into Skratch or sweat tests.........but I did experiment with adding some sodium to my Gatorade mix and it REALLY changed the game for longer rides.

I was shocked. I used to get home from 3 hour gravel rides and almost cry sitting on the floor of the shower it hurt so bad. Now.......I have to physically dig hard to make it hurt that bad instead of my hydration being a factor.

I feel it also aids in recovery to nail it down.
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