Staying Hydrated on the Road
Ways to stay hydrated while riding or eventing
Staying Hydrated on the Road
It’s a hot summer day, the sun is brilliant without a cloud in the sky. It’s hot and humid and you have places to go. I’ve heard stories from bikers about “that one time I almost passed out” or when they got off the bike and had to sit down because their head was swimming. Dehydration and heat stroke are no joke, they can lead to brain damage and even death. Risk of death from heat stroke is 60% higher when non exercise induced.
Even mild dehydration manifests in ways that are dangerous on the road. Less mental acuity, slowed reactions, increased fatigue and grumpiness. Riding should be fun and safe! By the time you notice these symptoms, it's already too late and you will need to break for a while until your rehydrated.
Staying hydrated is important, and even more important on a motorcycle or at an event where there is tons to do and see. This can be hard when you’re on the road and worse yet, completely un-noticeable when you are in the wind. Here are some ways that you can keep yourself hydrated for those long rides.
- Start the day with Oatmeal
Oatmeal when cooked, absorbs a lot of water. Having an oatmeal breakfast will give your body the nutrients and fluid it needs. If you’re not a fan of hot breakfast on hot days, over-night oats soak up just as much water. Putting chia seeds in your oatmeal soak will increase the water intake as they soak up 10 times their weight in water.
- Freeze water bottles
Frozen water bottles slowly dethaw in your saddle bags and have the added bonus of acting like a freezer pack to keep other items in the bags cool. Your first snack of the day won’t be a melted protein bar, but maybe some strawberries, citrus or protein bars that are actually solid! Just be sure to wrap your bottles in a plastic bag or the condensation will make the contents of your saddle bag damp.
- Frozen Fruit Juice
Like a frozen Sangria without the alcohol! Thermoses are wonderful at extending the life of your cold drinks, and pack nicely in your saddle bags. Remember those soup thermoses mom used to pack in your lunch? Well put some fruit juice in there, maybe a slice or two of lemon or orange, some raspberries. Freeze it, then stick it in your saddle bag. This will still be cold long into your second or third stop for gas.
- Have soup for lunch!
Have something for lunch that is packed with hydration. Soup, veggies and fruits provide nutrients and enduring hydration.
- Carry Gatorade packets
These packets are super easy to throw in your saddle bags and offer your body the nutrients and minerals to rehydrate you. Oh look at that… it goes perfectly with your just dethawed water bottle!
- Create good habits
Make it a habit to stop for gas, have a small snack and drink a bottle of fluid! If you’re able to have a cup holder on your bike, put water or Gatorade in it instead of coffee. If you make it a habit, your mind will automatically incorporate the time you need when you p
lan your trips.
7. Plan your trip with time to spare
If you aren’t rushed to get somewhere, you’ll be able to take some time to hydrate. Plan for your stops and give yourself a good 20 minutes for each stop. I have a sister who I swear has a GPS chip in her mind. She knows all the stops, the best places to be able to sit, eat and drink when you get gas AND with minimal time spent. Not everyone is a walking GPS so, spend some time with a map before you leave. Google is a wonderful thing!