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  1. #1
    On the big ring deanp's Avatar
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    Water Intake When It Cold Outside

    Until a few weeks this was not even a second thought, it was hot and dry and I'd readily drink my two bottles during a ride. Now that it is cooler out I feel less inclined while riding to drink. So my question is do you need to "force" yourself to drink when it is cooler? Even if you don't think you need the water, do really? Today I rode 22 miles and it was in the mid-thirthies, I drank less than 1/2 of one water bottle.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    You should drink the same amount in cold weather as you do in warmer weather ... you still sweat the same, even if you don't feel like you are.

    When I cycle at -30C, my outer jacket is absolutely soaked (not my inner layers because they are wicking it out) ... so I know I still sweat a lot!!

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    On the big ring deanp's Avatar
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    Thanks for responding. I knind of figured that was the case. I'll work on forcing myself to drink more.

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    Eternal Cat3 Rookie branman1986's Avatar
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    I have no scientific backing to this statement, but I don't feel I sweat even close to as much when it's cold as when it's warm. I hardly have to drink anything during rides in the winter.

    As long as you don't bundle up so much that you're overheating, I don't think you need as much water in winter as during the summer. Sweat is produced for temperature regulation, so if you're cool/cold, you won't sweat as much as if you're hot.

    edit: after researching several sites, they all said that you sweat less when it's cold, but the only metric I found was you sweat 1.7 times more during summer than winter.
    Last edited by branman1986; 10-23-06 at 05:50 AM.

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    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    You should drink the same amount in cold weather as you do in warmer weather ... you still sweat the same, even if you don't feel like you are.
    Of course you don't sweat the same. In 90 degrees I sweat just sitting in a chair on my porch. I absolutely drip with sweat if I do any physical activity.

    Unless you dress to the point of being as hot as in summer temps there is no way you sweat the same. The whole point of sweat is to cool your body. If you never get hot, you won't sweat. And if there is some other mechanism to cool you down, you won't sweat. The cool winter air on your body, cools you so that you don't have to sweat.

    I find that I drink almost half as much as in the summer heat and my body weight is the same after I ride, so I know I am not dehydrated. My scale also calculates % body fat and % water so I am quite confident I am not dehydrated.
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    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    You may not actually sweat the same amount as when it's hot outside, but 1) you are still sweating some, and 2) you are losing a considerable amount via your breathing. You still need to keep up water intake whether it's cold or hot outside. The exact same amount? Probably not, but better to over- than under-estimate that one.
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    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    You may not actually sweat the same amount as when it's hot outside, but 1) you are still sweating some, and 2) you are losing a considerable amount via your breathing. You still need to keep up water intake whether it's cold or hot outside. The exact same amount? Probably not, but better to over- than under-estimate that one.
    The easiest way to make sure you are getting adequate water intake is to weigh yourself before and right after the workout. If you are the same you are fine.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    The easiest way to make sure you are getting adequate water intake is to weigh yourself before and right after the workout. If you are the same you are fine.

    And when I do exactly that, I find that I need to consume the same amount of liquid no matter what time of year it is.



    That said, I'm comparing summer-time temps (20C/68F) with winter temps (-20C/-4F). I'm not talking about temps much warmer than 20C in the summer because up here temps might get above that a small, inconsequential, number of times ... and usually when I'm working, not when I'm cycling.

  9. #9
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    And when I do exactly that, I find that I need to consume the same amount of liquid no matter what time of year it is.



    That said, I'm comparing summer-time temps (20C/68F) with winter temps (-20C/-4F). I'm not talking about temps much warmer than 20C in the summer because up here temps might get above that a small, inconsequential, number of times ... and usually when I'm working, not when I'm cycling.

    Ah! I see now. 68F is practically winter here..well fall at least. Our summer temps get to over 100 degree and HUMID. So yes, I do probably sweat about the same at 60 degrees as I do at 35. I guess winter and summer are relative when posting on an international forum.
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  10. #10
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    Our temperatures are also loads hotter than that in the winter. On a day where it's 90 plus in July or August, and the sun is beating down I definitely sweat way more than in the wintertime. I can definitely see though that it is easy to underhydrate in the winter because you don't feel as parched...

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    The thing is core body-temperatures don't change that much when it's cold outside. You're still going to heat up the same with the same amount of physical effort. A lot of the moisture is also lost through your breath, it's a direct path to your innards in getting rid of excess heat...

  12. #12
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    The thing is core body-temperatures don't change that much when it's cold outside. You're still going to heat up the same with the same amount of physical effort.
    Actually your core body temperature shouldn't change significantly at all unless you are ill. But the external heat of say a 95 degree day will cause you to sweat more profusely than at 55 degrees. Add some exercise to that and you will use up a lot more water. Generally speaking I use the following amounts of water for various temps given the same route, exertion, and in direct sun. As you can see, below a certain temperature my water intake doesn't really vary much.

    85 and up - 3 bottles an hour (plus I may need to use another bottle for external cooling, typically in 95+)
    75-85 - 2 bottles an hour
    75 - below freezing - 1-1.5 bottles an hour
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    One aspect of perceiving "a state of thirst" is the relationship of the temperature of the liquid to the ambient temperature. I'd offer a guess that most people lose much of their "perception of thirst" in cold weather because when you drink a cold fluid in a cold surrounding it is simply less satisfying.

    As far my own exeperience goes, I would say I definitely drink many more drinks in the summer becuase they are cold. I know for a fact, I can't hardly stand drinking warm fluids in the summertime. I expect it's the same for cold fluids in wintertime.

    Bottom line, you have to "think" to drink, whether it's the weather or not. (tsk tsk)

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    On the big ring deanp's Avatar
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    I would agree very much with your assemment. That is exactly what I noticed during my ride Sunday. There was no "refreshment" when drinking the water, I wasn't really thristy, but I knew I should be drinking, I just wasn't. It wasn't until after the ride that it caught up with me.

  15. #15
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanp
    It wasn't until after the ride that it caught up with me.
    Which is the big flaw in the method of weighing yourself before and after your ride. It only tells you if you didn't drink enough...too late to do anything about it. Again, it's generally better to overdo it (on water intake). Your body will simply eliminate the excess. The only big danger in overdoing it is hyponatremia; not to be taken lightly, but generally the risk of that is not as high in cooler weather.

    (edited for clarification)
    Last edited by 'nother; 10-24-06 at 04:12 PM.
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  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'nother
    Which is the big flaw in the method of weighing yourself before and after your ride. It only tells you if you didn't drink enough...too late to do anything about it. Again, it's generally better to overdo it (on water intake). Your body will simply eliminate the excess. The only big danger in overdoing it is hyponatremia; not to be taken lightly, but generally the risk of that is not as high in cooler weather.

    (edited for clarification)

    This is exactly what I've found ... I"ll head out on a century at some sub-freezing temp, and maybe my bottles all freeze up so I only drink on my rest stops, or perhaps I just don't feel like drinking because there is something about riding in sub-freezing temps that makes a person feel less thirsty ... so I'll end up drinking about half what I know I should. When I finish the century, then I'm downing glasses and glasses of liquid to make up for it.

    BTW - I'm not sure we've mentioned the ideal quantities to drink yet. From what I've read, the ideal is approximately one 750 ml bottle every 1 to 1.5 hours depending on how much a person sweats, urinates, how much exertion a person is putting in, how much wind there is (wind seems to be very drying for me), and so on.

    And to avoid hyponatremia, it's a good idea to alternate water with sports drinks and/or to ensure you are taking in enough electrolytes. Sports drinks are a good choice in sub-freezing temps anyway because they don't freeze as fast as water. And as for other electrolytes, you can get them in pills or in foods like salted almonds and potato chips (just don't overdo these).

    Here are some articles if anyone is interested in reading more about water, hyponatremia, sweating, etc.:
    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutritio...natremia2.html
    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutrition/electrolytes.html
    http://www.ultracycling.com/nutritio...natremia1.html

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    Senior Member Hammer02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    Ah! I see now. 68F is practically winter here..well fall at least. Our summer temps get to over 100 degree and HUMID. So yes, I do probably sweat about the same at 60 degrees as I do at 35. I guess winter and summer are relative when posting on an international forum.

    68F is winter temps in Jersey???

  18. #18
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    68F is winter temps in Jersey???
    Sometimes. It isn't considered a normal temperture even though it happens every year. And I did say it is more like a fall temp than a winter temp. But that being said, every year, I somehow end up riding my convertable with the top down in December in 70 degree weather.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

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