Food Friday - This is how our riders keep an eye on their weight
Our riders need to have the optimum weight, especially the GC riders. The winner...
Hydrating is always important, but even more with the rising temperatures outside. When should cyclists drink and how much? We explain everything about hydration in this weeks’ Food Friday.
With any kind of sports, your body losses fluid as a consequence of sweating. Sweating helps your body to cool down, which is necessary for a proper sport performance. However, loosing too much fluid can have a negative impact on performance. There are different theories about the exact relation between performance and fluid loss, but it is a fact that a proper fluid management strategy is important for cyclists on all levels. Drinking helps you to stay hydrated and cooled down, and to keep up your performance in that way.
Before you start a ride, it is important to drink sufficiently to avoid a negative fluid balance, especially on a hot summer day.
"Avoid a negative fluid balance"
Drink before you get thirsty, because by then you already have a fluid loss of 1% to 2%. Our riders drink routine-based to continuously work on their hydration and avoid potential performance drops which could be easily avoided.
Our team works with water as well as isotonic sports drinks to consume electrolytes. Each liter of sweat contains sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, together known as electrolytes which are important for your body to absorb fluids in a better way. Another advantage of sports drinks is that they assist in the consumption of carbohydrates (energy).
If a ride is under one hour, it is perfectly fine to drink beforehand and afterwards. As soon as our riders have to cycle more than an hour, they are aware of hydration from the start. All of our riders have to drink at least 500ml (1 bottle) per hour, but with warm weather conditions we advise to increase it to 1 liter per hour. At home, you don’t have a car filled with bottles of water following you. Buy 2 bottles of 750ml in order to make sure that you can cycle for 2 hours without having to stop. Do you plan to go for a longer ride? Well, you deserved to stop for some coffee and apple pie anyway!
After a ride, our riders focus on recovery. The nutrition plan focuses on the consumption of carbohydrates and protein, as well as hydration. There is an easy trick to estimate your fluid loss, as a basis to know what you need to consume to work on complete hydration: (weight before a ride – weight after a ride) * 1,5 = what you need to drink in liters after a ride. If a rider weights 75kg before and 74 kg after, the calculation will be: (75 – 74) * 1,5 = 1,5 liters.
To kick-start the recovery process, our riders consume a recovery shake directly after a ride as it helps with hydration, protein and carbohydrates all at once. A tip for warm weather conditions: prepare your recovery shake before a ride, store it in the fridge, and you will have a delicious, cold (recovery) drink waiting for you when you get home!