Buzz is a competent and experience cyclist. He's training near Boulder, Colorado for an annual group ride across the state of Iowa.
This week I received the following Email from Buzz:
"I just finished a fifty mile bike ride in 95 degree heat. I am very aware of the need to drink frequently (to replenish fluids) so I carried 70 ounces of water with me. At the 31 mile mark I had a rest stop planned at a gas station/convenience store where I could get a soft drink and oatmeal cookie (my weakness) and drink another 22 ounces. I did that, resting 20 minutes inside where it was air-conditioned. Before I took off again I went into the rest room to wet a bandanna for my neck. When I saw myself in the mirror, I was shocked. I had never seen myself so red from heat. I knew I was not ready to continue my ride until I hydrated more and cooled off, even though I didn't feel hot. I soaked myself with water, got another 22 ounce drink and sat down to cool off & re-hydrate. So my 20 minute rest stop ended up being 45 minutes. While there I got an additional 20 ounce bottle of water to take with me."
"Another 10 miles down the road, I stopped again for a can of pop (12 ounces) then completed my ride and arrived home in good shape. (where I had another 12 ounces pop)."
"If I could come real close to heat exhaustion and dehydration when I am so keenly aware of it and how to avoid it, what about those who wait until they are thirsty before they drink anything and think they are fine ?"
This was my response:Good point, and your Email will become my next weekly newsletter. Meantime, remember. Those tasty diet soft drinks don't count for fluid replacement........the salts in them have too many dehydrating properties. If you are drinking "regular" (vs. diet) pop the highly concentrated sugar in combination with salt hinders water replenishment and temperature regulation. If they remain your preference, be sure to put them over lots of ice that, as it melts, also gives you water.
Here's what I suggest to "athletes" like yourself.....weigh yourself before a long endurance event (like your training rides). Do the fluid replacement routine as you see fit and then weigh yourself at the end of the ride. Since you really aren't burning enough calories to get rid of fat during the ride, any weight loss during the ride is about fluid loss. Whatever loss you have is how much WATER you need to add to a future event of that intensity/length to assure you stay fully hydrated.
Finally, if you can't do the "scale" thing, consider a word from the research which says, "when exercising in hot weather you need 5 x normal amounts of fluid. If recommended intake is 8 glasses of water/day you can start doing some calculations re your needs."
P. S. Buzz is my much younger (he asked me to say that) brother. Enjoy your rides!! Not sorry to miss that one!!
Have a healthy week!
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