- Daily Diet: Ensure that you are eating regular-sized and balanced meals with a sufficient amount of carbohydrates and protein for rebuilding your body’s tissues and muscle.
- Pre-Workout: Remember that it takes approximately two hours to digest meals before workouts and events.
- During Your Ride: Carry a gel or snack if you are undernourished or approaching 90 minutes of exercise.
- Post-Workout: Eat a healthy snack within 30 minutes of your workout.
- Ensure that you are well hydrated before, during, and then after your workout/ride.
- Remember to drink logically, sip regularly, and don’t wait for thirst.
When you’re not well hydrated
- Your heart has to work harder to deliver blood since your total blood volume is lower.
- Your perceived exertion level goes up.
- Your body will have trouble cooling itself. A high body temperature inhibits performance.
- Without enough water,your system simply slows down. A 2% loss of body weight/fluid can result in a 20% drop in muscular efficiency.
Water or sports drink?
- How much: Depending on environmental conditions (specifically wind and heat), fluid intake should be about 750 mL per hour.
- Balance: Longer workouts can result in an imbalance in electrolytes. You should consider a sports drink for sessions over an hour in duration. You may wish to dilute retail sports drinks for your system to get used to them. Watch out for drinks that have a lot of calories or too much sodium.
- Sports Drink Recipe: One cup of orange juice in a 750 mL bottle of water.
- Hydration Test: Check the colour of your urine — if it’s light yellow you are OK; if it’s dark, you are likely dehydrated!