What Happens When Your Ride Extends up to and past the 3 hour mark…Hydration, Electrolytes and Nutrition on Long Rides

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My rides are starting to extend up to and past the 3 hour mark, I’m trying to get my head around the seemingly black art of hydration and nutrition. Various articles online seem to suggest around 450-700ml of fluid intake per hour depending on your sweat rates:



Hydration, Electrolytes and Nutrition on Long Rides

  1. If you’re just riding as opposed to racing then you don’t need gels and all that stuff. Some electrolyte powder in your drinks on a warm day is a good idea
  2. just eat normal, convenient food – bananas, soreen malt loaf, muesli bars, etc. and you’ll be fine. Don’t get sucked in my all the marketing crap telling you that you need gels and expensive carbohydrate powders just to ride a bike a few miles.
  3. mix-and-match approach between product and ‘real’ food depending on distance & type of ride.Shorter (30-40 miles, say) ride on a hot day- I’d take something like a High 5 Zero tab in a bottle, when I’ll be sweating but not needing carbs. For longer and faster rides, either drinks from powders or DIY (diluted orange juice with a pinch of salt)
  4. always take electrolyte drinks on long/forum rides, but wouldn’t bother for anything less than 40 miles tbh. For carbs I have now switched from the ‘energy’ drinks to normal food like malt loaf, bananas etc.
  5. The colour of your urine is a good guide: a pale straw colour is ideal; darker than that means you aren’t drinking enough; and paler (colourless) indicates too much.
  6. Don’t get sucked in by all the marketing crap telling you that you need gels and expensive carbohydrate powders just to ride a bike a few miles. Gels and carb drinks are necessary in racing (when you likely won’t have an opportunity to eat normal food and if you tried chances are you’d get dropped), but for normal riding you just don’t need to spend several pounds per ride on gels.

Image credit sciencetimes.com


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