Staying hydrated in the heat

I recently rode in the blazing heat. I was reminded of how I also rode in some really hot weather last year. You can do so much prep when the mercury starts to climb into the upper 80’s and 90’s, but the main things are staying hydrated, balancing electrolytes, and taking it easy.

On a ride last year, a friend and I went for a 25-mile ride in the heat. It was just under 90 degrees Fahrenheit when we headed out. Although it was warm and humid, proper hydration seemed to help us from dying out there. I drank more water than usual to keep my hydration levels ready for the heat. I also took some CamelBak Elixir to provide additional electrolytes so that I could absorb the fluids better.

The Bike for Boys & Girls Club ride last year was another very hot event. Although the temps climbed into the upper 80’s, the heat index sweltered well into the mid-90’s. During my 50-mile ride, I ran through a ton of water and Elixir tablets as well as kept my diet to small chunks of banana and fruit so that my metabolism didn’t draw much from the energy I needed for cycling.

The rides a couple of weeks ago were commutes from work. I wore a backpack to and from work. The rides home involved heat in the low 90’s and strong headwinds. Again, I used CamelBak Elixir and added Endurolytes to keep the fluids in balance. And I kept the pedaling as easy as possible.

So I’ve learned that keeping hydrated even before you ride as well as on the bike is important. So is taking it easy. What other techniques have you used? Feel free to share your comments.

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