Although it is possible to survive up to 50 days without eating, we would only survive a few days without drinking. A dehydration of 2% of body weight affects thermoregulation, and a sense of thirst occurs. But already around 5% of dehydration causes the first symptoms of general malaise, such as cramps, weakness, and increased irritability. At 10%, we are in danger of life.
Under basal conditions, approximately 60% of daily water loss occurs in urine. The increase in temperature and physical exercise, on the other hand, increase water losses through sweating and numb perspiration. On the other hand, the regulation of income is implemented through the stimulation of thirst, which is activated when dehydration decreases or when the body fluids tend to become hypertonic, for example, after consuming a salty meal.
How much water to drink on a bike
We all know that we must always indulge the sense of thirst, even better by anticipating it, by drinking enough, on average, 1.5-2 litres of water a day. Doctors tell us, advertisements tell us. Yet many of us struggle to achieve this goal. You need to drink frequently and in small doses, slowly, especially if the water is cold, avoiding the risk of congestion. Maintaining the water balance, that is, the amount of water taken in and produced by the body, must balance the “losses” that occur through the skin and mucous membranes of the airways. Breathing expels about 1250ml / day, urine about 800-1500ml / day, faeces 100-150ml / day in basal conditions. These data must be added to those of sweat, especially during physical activity. And here, it depends on the intensity and distance of our training.
These must be habits acquired for everyday life and reported during and after physical activity, where you have to drink a lot – and often – to replenish losses due to sweating. Never forget the water at home when you prepare for bike rides.
Total lack of water during our bike rides
Getting into dehydration is easier than you think. Dehydration is dangerous. Not just because of the lack of energy and the loss of mental clarity. In a dehydrated body, the sweating mechanism is blocked to save the little water left in the body. However, the lack of sweat secretion causes considerable organic overheating, leading to heatstroke, sometimes even accompanied by fainting.
Now that we understand how important it is to maintain the body’s water balance and drink plenty of water on the bike, the next question is: is water enough or do we have to introduce electrolytes and minerals? We will talk about it in-depth in the following article in our magazine!