Do you need to drink sports drinks while cycling?

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Do you drink sports drinks while cycling? Obviously, water can be filled at home, is it really necessary to buy a can of sports drinks? According to the surveys I did in some cycling clubs, about half of the cyclists drink sports drinks while riding, and half drink only water. It can be seen that half of the cyclists still don’t understand the help of sports drinks, or I don’t think it is necessary.

Today we will take a look at how sports drinks can help us!

Your sweat is not just water

Have you ever thought that when you are climbing a very steep mountain road and constantly increasing your cruising speed on flat ground, your body starts to sweat in order to lower your body temperature, but what is in the sweat running down your cheeks? In addition to 99% moisture, sweat also contains electrolytes.

When the exercise intensity is high and the ambient temperature is high, the body will sweat a lot, and the rate of electrolyte recovery in the body will not keep up with the rate of loss, resulting in a decrease in the concentration of electrolytes in the body. The main functions of these electrolytes in the body are: “moisture control”, “maintenance of osmotic pressure”, “nerve conduction”, and “muscle contraction”. Each function directly affects sports performance. Every cyclist has to pay attention to it.

What happens if you only drink water?

Generally speaking, the osmotic pressure of the human body is about 270~330m Osm/kg. Any liquid with an osmotic pressure lower than 270 will be classified as low osmotic pressure, and water is low osmotic pressure. Drinking only water while cycling will make the osmotic pressure in the body unbalanced, and will accelerate the decrease in electrolyte concentration due to sweating, leading to cramps. If the situation is more serious, you may feel nauseous and even cause spontaneous dehydration. Happening. Simply put:

Increase in body temperature → sweat more → lack of salt + drink only water → decrease in sodium ion concentration → sweat more → cramps

Therefore, no matter how far you ride that day, it is safest to prepare a can of sports drinks on the bike to be on the safe side.

What sports drink is right for me?

At present, sports drinks on the market are mainly divided into three types: high osmotic pressure, iso-osmotic pressure, and low osmotic pressure.

Low osmotic pressure: The osmotic pressure is lower than 270m Osm/kg, and the absorption rate is too fast.

Isotonic pressure: The osmotic pressure is between 270~330m Osm/kg, the electrolyte concentration is similar to that of the human body, and the absorption rate is moderate.

High osmotic pressure: The osmotic pressure is higher than 330m Osm/kg, which mainly provides the body’s sugar reserves, and the absorption rate is too slow.

Because cycling has a certain exercise intensity and sweats a lot, some cyclists who have ridden a bicycle in the summer have experienced dry mouth and wet clothes that can squeeze out the water. Normal exercise at this time Drinks are more difficult to consume, and isotonic sports drinks will not have a sweet and greasy feeling when you drink them, are easily absorbed by the body, and replenish quickly, so they are very suitable for replenishment when cycling.

The right way to hydrate

After knowing what sports drink is suitable for cycling, how to replenish water when cycling?

Generally speaking, the way of replenishing water can be divided into sports: front, middle, and back three stages.

Before cycling: You can replenish 250~500cc sports drink 30 minutes before departure to prepare for sweating during exercise.

During cycling: Replenish sports drink every 15 minutes, 200cc each time, to maintain the balance of water in and out.

After cycling: Drink as many isotonic sports drinks as possible to replenish lost water and electrolytes.

Generally speaking, cyclists are advised to drink while cycling instead of waiting until they are thirsty. Because when the body feels thirsty, the “water loss ratio” has reached 2%! If you feel thirsty during cycling, quickly replenishing isotonic sports drinks can replenish fluids of water and electrolytes, and the recovery effect will be better than just drinking water.

Remember, maintaining good hydration habits is the secret to maintaining athletic performance!

Some cyclists will drink coffee, juice, or even beer while cycling. These beverages are not recommended to drink while cycling. Caffeine can cause diuresis and increase the frequency of going to the toilet; the sugar in the juice can make blood sugar unstable, and its calories are astonishingly high! As for beer, let’s not mention it. Drunk driving is not good. You can drink these drinks until you finish cycling!

Finally, let’s summarize:

If you only drink water while cycling, the electrolyte concentration in your body will be too low, which can easily cause physical discomfort.

Isotonic sports drinks are best for quickly replenishing water while cycling.

You need to add sports drinks before, during, and after cycling. Keeping good habits can make your performance better.

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