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Before, during, and after ride hydration

Old 09-05-22, 01:23 PM
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scottfsmith
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Before, during, and after ride hydration

I am your typical old guy with prostate issues.. I don't want to be stopping all the time for pee breaks so I aim to cut it fairly close, not too much and not too little water is the goal .. which is not always easy!

Anyways my usual weekend ride now is something like today's: 45 miles, 4000 vertical feet, three hours, with plenty of sun heat and sweat. My usual water dosage is 0 before the ride, 2x24oz during the ride, and maybe a little bit more after (usually finishing off the bottle remnants). I do the standard kind of additions to my bottles, one with a tablet and one with carbs powder. I have been more wiped out than I should be in the hours after the ride so recently I have been drinking something like 24oz after the ride is over as well. Initial impressions is that is helping a lot so maybe I should keep doing that?

I have heard recommendations to drink a fair amount before the ride, I have never tried that as I am worried I would need several extra pee stops. I do tend to front-load my hydration based on the urge to drink, more sips on the front and fewer on the end. Which could in fact have something to do with me needing more water after the ride.

Anyway I was curious with what people do in terms of pre- and post-ride hydration if anything. I do always eat plenty during/after the ride, I don't think I am getting tired from not eating enough.
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Old 09-05-22, 01:38 PM
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for me, it's a timing thing
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Old 09-05-22, 01:52 PM
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My general rule is to never pass a public restroom, even if I think I can make it to the next one.
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Old 09-05-22, 02:05 PM
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the extra pee/pit stops are worth the hassle - especially if you have decent places for some pit stops

sometimes you gotta get a little creative ...
( I ducked behind a barn one time )

the issue we (mrs t2p and myself) might be facing is not having enough spots to refill our bottles - we've been riding rail-trails and similar / rural areas with little or no places to refill bottles ... and to add to the challenge some of our bikes have provision for just one water bottle
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Old 09-05-22, 02:11 PM
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I typically drink a lot after riding - mix of water / Gatorade and similar

(and maybe a small cone or milkshake)

at times we will stop at a micro-brewery or whatever after a bike ride and grab something to eat ... can't resist a beer - and that adds to the challenge ...

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Old 09-05-22, 02:26 PM
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I run as well as bike. I hydrate frequently during the week drinking several bottles of water throughout the day. Not chugging them down, just frequently taking drinks before I'm thirsty. Depending on the weather, I will take a drink every 15 miles or so on the bike and I'll run 3 to 5 miles between drinks. I carry two 24oz bottles on the bike and usually they are just straight water. Some times One of them is half water and half Body Armor. I don't have any known prostate issues and rarely need to urinate when on a ride or run. Throughout my work day I may go frequently but not anything I think is abnormal.

I have been known to stop at the brewery for a beer on a ride. After a ride, I drink a bottle of water and a bottle of Body Armor.
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Old 09-05-22, 02:39 PM
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Today's ride was 43 miles and just a hair under 3 hours with 2,850 feet of climbing. I drank 2 double espressos before the ride and did not eat anything. Unfortunately, I did have to hit a porta potty today but usually am ok on my upright but if on my recumbent, I would have had to pee 4-6 times. I had two 24 oz bottles of water and did stop for an iced tea because wore a wool jersey and it got up to 86F. There was half a bottle of water left at the end of the ride. Normally, two bottles would be sufficient but the iced tea hit the spot. No food on the ride. A turkey sandwich when I got home and then some cold rice with milk, honey, and cinnamon.
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Old 09-05-22, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p View Post
the issue we (mrs t2p and myself) might be facing is not having enough spots to refill our bottles - we've been riding rail-trails and similar / rural areas with little or no places to refill bottles ... and to add to the challenge some of our bikes have provision for just one water bottle
easy to carry more, but I hear yay. not fun, when you gotta ration
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Old 09-05-22, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p View Post
the extra pee/pit stops are worth the hassle - especially if you have decent places for some pit stops

sometimes you gotta get a little creative ...
( I ducked behind a barn one time )

the issue we (mrs t2p and myself) might be facing is not having enough spots to refill our bottles - we've been riding rail-trails and similar / rural areas with little or no places to refill bottles ... and to add to the challenge some of our bikes have provision for just one water bottle
Consider getting hydration packs for your back. Can carry a gallon of water on your back - Camelback makes good ones. No need to go without when there is an easy solution.
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Old 09-05-22, 08:28 PM
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I have a similar issue as I have aged and staying properly hydrated has become more of an issue. I don’t preload water before the ride, but have a timer on my Garmin to remind me to take a drink every 15 minutes. I hate having to stop for restroom breaks, but its either that and hold it and get desperate, which happened way too often before deciding stops were more important. To make hydration even more important, besides dragging at the end of a ride if under hydrated, I get leg cramps in the evening if I don’t drink enough. I always take two large water bottles and try to drink one per hour. If out longer, or if its hot, even more.

Studies have conclusively shown that being dehydrated has a real negative impact on performance. This may not be important to you, but you will find you have more energy toward the end of the ride. Drink more and start finding rest stops and you will find cycling more enjoyable. (Or your money back
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Old 09-05-22, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Consider getting hydration packs for your back. Can carry a gallon of water on your back - Camelback makes good ones. No need to go without when there is an easy solution.
have a small fanny pack that can carry water bottles - might be using it soon

have used Camelbak for off road riding - but prefer not on rail trails and road riding
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Old 09-06-22, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Studies have conclusively shown that being dehydrated has a real negative impact on performance
Those hydration performance “studies” are sponsored — or performed by — the sports drink manufacturers. And they’re mostly BS.

“The marketing around sports drinks rests on a fundamental, seemingly scientific premise—that even minor dehydration raises health risks and hinders athletic performance and recovery—but this idea appears overstated. It’s more marketing than science.”

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Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery
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Old 09-06-22, 05:04 AM
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2-4% of body weight loss due to dehydration has no effect on endurance, despite what gator sciency people or associated hucksters want to make us believe.

Further, not all of weight lost during endurance activities is water, some is fat and some weight loss is from stored glycogen that is lost.

https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/45/14/1149

https://www.precisionhydration.com/p...#39;acceptable'.
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Old 09-06-22, 05:35 AM
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Error on the side of proper hydration.
I have had two episodes of heat exhaustion. One required an ER visit when I collapsed after three hours of outdoor basketball in the summer heat. Required a few bags of IV fluid before I could keep liquids down.
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Old 09-06-22, 05:53 AM
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There is no need to make an error, your body has a control mechanism for proper hydration.

It is called thirst.
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Old 09-06-22, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Error on the side of proper hydration.
I have had two episodes of heat exhaustion. One required an ER visit when I collapsed after three hours of outdoor basketball in the summer heat. Required a few bags of IV fluid before I could keep liquids down.
I'd have to totally agree with CAT's statement. Also, rationing hydration because of the fear of having to pee does not sound like a very good strategy.
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Old 09-06-22, 06:54 AM
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Thanks for all the comments. I was expecting to see more people hydrating before or after but it seems like that is not a thing.

I think my issue may be more that I am not drinking enough water in the latter part of the ride. On cool days my two bottles are more than enough, but when I am sweating like a pig it might not be. I also sometimes use one of those quart bladder bottles which fit nicely in the middle back pocket, on a really hot day I will start them completely frozen and will be drinking them at the end. I probably should be doing more of that, I would have more than enough water for three hours with such an addition.

I'm not concerned that I am getting seriously dehydrated, I am drinking all along, don't feel particularly thirsty, and don't have any of the symptoms such as darker urine.
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Old 09-06-22, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
Thanks for all the comments. I was expecting to see more people hydrating before or after but it seems like that is not a thing.

I think my issue may be more that I am not drinking enough water in the latter part of the ride. On cool days my two bottles are more than enough, but when I am sweating like a pig it might not be. I also sometimes use one of those quart bladder bottles which fit nicely in the middle back pocket, on a really hot day I will start them completely frozen and will be drinking them at the end. I probably should be doing more of that, I would have more than enough water for three hours with such an addition.

I'm not concerned that I am getting seriously dehydrated, I am drinking all along, don't feel particularly thirsty, and don't have any of the symptoms such as darker urine.
For the next couple of weeks worth of riding, weigh yourself before and after rides. As long as you have not gained any weight, you should be ok. I lose 1-2% on 2-3 hour rides. A sandwich and a large glass of water or maybe two is all that is needed for me. Your perspiration rate could be different. It is not hard to evaluate using your scale and sense of thirst.

Most riders confuse lack of fitness and concomitant fatigue with dehydration or worse, they think they are bonking.
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Old 09-06-22, 07:28 AM
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Part of the factor for me is I was doing more 30-mile kinds of rides and a month or two ago I bumped it up to 45 miles. So in fact it could primarily be me gradually adapting to the longer rides and not so much dehydration. In any case I am going to make sure I am consistently drinking though the ride and having a follow-up drink after the ride.
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Old 09-06-22, 07:38 AM
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I have been more wiped out than I should be in the hours after the ride
Part of the factor for me is I was doing more 30-mile kinds of rides and a month or two ago I bumped it up to 45 miles.
Increasing from 30 milers to 45 milers with 4,000 feet of climbing is a massive increase.

Again, if your weight has not dropped too much (say 1- 2% on a 45 mile ride with 4,000 feet of climbing), your tiredness isn't hydration. Period.

The rate that one can increase load varies a little but 15% per week is about the limit. I find 8-10% to be my limit and that every 3-4 weeks, I have to take an easy week and I typically ride over 10,000 miles per year. YMMV. You might need to build up more slowly. Might not be what you want to hear.
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Old 09-06-22, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Increasing from 30 milers to 45 milers with 4,000 feet of climbing is a massive increase.
That is a bit of an oversimplification, while the average increased I have been doing 35, 40, 45 mile rides all summer. It is more what the average ride was. I probably made a little bit too big a bump recently, but I have generally been slowly ramping it up since I got back on the bike a couple years ago. Started at 10 miles and added a mile a month or so. I do think I will knock it back a bit here, or do fewer hills.
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Old 09-06-22, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Those hydration performance “studies” are sponsored — or performed by — the sports drink manufacturers. And they’re mostly BS.

“The marketing around sports drinks rests on a fundamental, seemingly scientific premise—that even minor dehydration raises health risks and hinders athletic performance and recovery—but this idea appears overstated. It’s more marketing than science.”

Excerpt From
Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery
Christie Aschwanden
i usually agree with you Terry, but please show me were I explicitly mentioned sports drink, recovery drink or anything of the sort. Keep looking Yes, Dorthy, water is just fine.
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Old 09-06-22, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
i usually agree with you Terry, but please show me were I explicitly mentioned sports drink, recovery drink or anything of the sort. Keep looking Yes, Dorthy, water is just fine.
You wrote that dehydration impairs performance. I replied that the “science” making that claim is from Big Sports Drink, and it is mostly junk science. Moderate dehydration is not a performance killer, and it might even enhance performance.

“athletes who lose the most body mass during marathons, ultramarathons, and Ironman triathlons are usually the most successful, which suggests that fluid losses are not as tightly linked to performance as sports drink makers claim. Instead, the results imply that there must be some tolerable range for dehydration that doesn’t impair performance. If anything, the results suggest that some moderate amount of fluid loss might enhance performance, perhaps by lightening the load that an athlete needs to carry over the given distance.”

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Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery
Christie Aschwanden
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Old 09-06-22, 08:58 AM
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I lost 5 lbs water weight on one recent ride and it did impair my cycling ability. YMMV which is fine. I no longer let myself get that low.

anyone can find a study or article to cooperate their point of view. This is one NOT sponsored by a sports drink maker but discusses performance deterioration due to dehydration: https://www.racesmart.com/blog/2019/...c-performance/
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Old 09-06-22, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
I lost 5 lbs water weight on one recent ride and it did impair my cycling ability.
Anecdote. Causality not established.
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