Here in the south east we are heading into some hot and humid weather and making sure your body is prepared for the heat as important as getting your bike prepared for the event! Preparing for the summer sweat will keep you safe, strong and ready to face the elements with confidence.
Proper Hydration is key, as if your body can't cool itself, you will end up with heat stroke and an IV bag. I see this happen a lot in the first few months of summer because the heat sneaks up on us. Here are some helpful hints on getting properly hydrated:
Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. You can live up to 40 days without food, but you’ll die within a week without water. Depending on your size, you lose about 4 cups of water per hour of exercise. If it is hot and humid, that number doubles to 8 cups of water lost per hour! So if you are losing it that fast, it has to be replaced and proper hydration before, during and after exercise has to be utilized. You need to drink a minimum of eight to ten 8oz glasses of fluid each day. You need to be on a scheduled plan to drink more often during the day. In some cases, it is a good idea and very convenient to just wear a camelback around while you are doing daily activities.
Water is the best think to drink, hands down before and event. There are many types of waters out there (natural, spring, well, drinking, distilled, purified etc.) and over 600 brands. Out of all of these I would recommend purified water because it gives you strict control over your mineral and chemical intakes. If can’t force yourself to drink plain old water, you can use a “water flavoring” powder. If you choose a sports drink, make sure it does not have a lot of sugar in it. Always pick sports drinks high in electrolytes, vitamins and minerals.
Below, is a listed a few preferred drinks instead of water. Leading up to the race, I try and drink 1 gallon of water a day (especially in summer) 3 days prior to event day. Your hydration level should be attained days before the race, not the day of the event. If you start too late and drink too much, it will just cause you to have to use the bathroom a lot.
You have to start early!
The day of the race, drink until 1 HOUR before the event, and then within the 1-hour countdown until race time, sip fluid very moderately. What this does is lets all the water wean out of your system so you don’t get 2 minutes into the event and are looking for the nearest bathroom.
During the event, use a carbohydrate/electrolytes/protein combined sports drink supplement in your drink system. It is specifically designed to replace the nutrients you are losing during through exercise and sweat.
After the race you should have some kind of recovery drink readily available. You should be drinking the recovery drink within 30 minutes after the race. Always drink some type of post workout/recovery drink high in protein. After an event your muscles are depleted and are needing some nutrients. Drinking a good quality recovery drink will also help in being sore the day after an event.
Preferred Drink List
-Purified Water. You just can't go wrong with plain old water!
This is a post workout recovery drink. This product replenishes your muscle glycogen levels, reduces post workout muscle damage and helps you come back stronger! We use this product before and after the race with great results. We prefer the chocolate flavor; and mix it with either water or milk.
This is a post workout recovery drink. It has fewer calories and sugars than Accelerade R4 does. This product is designed for workouts lasting less than an hour, so it is a good post workout drink if your events are less than one hour.
Accelerade Ready to Drink
This is a sports drink that is higher in calories than most sports drinks. Combined with protein, electrolytes, minerals, and carbs. This is a great drink to use a few days leading
up to an event. This product is basically the “Accelerade” product in a non-powder form.
This is a great product that we use in our drink system. It is the only product that is on the market that combines carbohydrates, electrolytes and protein. It comes in many flavors
and also is available with caffeine. Our favorite flavors are Orange, Orange w/caffeine and Fruit Punch. It also tastes ok when warm after your ice melts in your drink system on
those hot days.
This is the “light” version of the original Accelerade product with fewer calories and less sugars but it still has good vitamin, mineral, carbohydrate and protein content.
This is a good product that has some vitamins and minerals in it without a high sugar content. When it comes to a better offering of vitamins and lower sodium, Propel does
the trick, making it a more desirable choice for body replenishment
MORE HEAT TIPS:
-Using drilled or vented hand shields to keep the hands cool will help in blister prevention.
-Loose fitting clothes or even better if you can, wear the vented gear. Most gear companies offer full vented gear and this is a huge advantage on the hot days.
-When Practicing, wear a t-shirt or sweatshirt under your jersey to get your body comfortable as well as use to being hot.
-Sweat absorbing pad above goggle to keep sweat out of your eyes.
-Wick dry socks to keep feet dry and less likely to develop blisters.
Always remember in anything we do, preparation is the key. Hot summer rides can be very enjoyable if we are ready for them.