Accidents happen on a bicycle. Some are due to uncontrollable things, an unexpected pothole, a car turning in front of you without warning, etc. But sometimes it is the cyclist’s own fault, and may be due, at least partially, to not drinking enough water.
Your brain is the first to slow down when you aren’t drinking enough water. Your brain is unable to process what is happening around you as quickly as it should. So, let’s stay hydrated. Cyclists normally know that hydration is important, but how much is enough? Some have said that six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day is sufficient, but more recent studies question if that guideline allows for all the variables. Every person’s body is unique and each climate (temperature, humidity, etc.) you may be cycling in, effects your hydration situation differently.
What Color Is Your Urine?
So what is the answer? Medical doctors and nurses alike will tell you that the best guide, which applies to everyone, is the color of your urine. That’s right! Healthy urine should be relatively clear, and have a slight yellow tint. The darker it is, the more your body is saying, “DRINK MORE!” If you notice that your urine is cloudy/darker, it is time to step up the water intake. And don’t wait till the ride begins, hydrate before, during, and after. Make it a habit. Just keep in mind that for your urine to have that clear, slightly-yellow look, regular intake of H2O is needed.
Often a cyclist’s water bottle holds somewhere between 16-24 oz of water. As a loose rule, try to drink that much every hour as you ride. So, raise your glasses high (filled with water) and let’s toast to staying hydrated!