Loretta's Hydration

water_bottles_turqoiseAaahhhhh!  It’s that time of the year…you know what I mean.  The Loretta Lynn’s area and regional qualifiers are done.  You put everything you had on the line and you are going to the Big Show!  The motor home is getting packed, prepping the bikes, and trying to stay calm.  If you are from the south, you know what the weather is going to be like, hot and humid.  If you are driving from the West or a temperate region, be prepared for hell.  Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but it can be quite a change it you are not used to it. 

This year, Loretta’s will be held on August 2nd through August 8th.  It is during, quite possibly, the hottest time of the year.  Most riders will get used to the heat; however, the humidity is what takes some getting used to.  I was looking at the weather for Phoenix, Arizona and it had a high of 103 degrees and a humidity of 24%…that’s intense.  But, Hurricane Mill, Tennessee had a temperature of 90 degrees and a humidity of 49%.  That’s twice as much water vapor in the air.  It has been my personal experience that the more humidity there is; the more I sweat….obviously.  This means that you lose more fluids than drier areas and in order to perform at your best, you need replenish those fluids. 

Going by how thirsty you are is NOT an accurate way to determine your hydration.  The standard 8 glasses of water per day is a good starting point.  However, you are training and this result in more fluid loss.  The best way to stay hydrated is to keep a water bottle with you and drink it throughout the day.  Another good way to start the day right is to drink a couple cups of water.  If you drink coffee, try switching to decaf. 

If you have been drinking a bottle or two throughout the day, you will be plenty hydrated for exercise.  Remember that you cannot just chug a bunch of water before a workout; you need to drink a few cups about an hour before and then a few more around 30 minutes before the exercising.  This ensures you have plenty of water in you.  If you are exercising for less than 45 minutes, stick with water.  However, if you are going longer than that, use a sports drink to help replenish your electrolytes.  This is crucial for keeping your energy up and maintaining it throughout the workout. 

Bubba and Ricky are Florida natives, so they train and ride in temperatures of the nationals.  If you are not, just remember to take it easy until you are hydrated and used to the heat.  Have a water bottle with you during the day and sip.  If you made it to Loretta’s, congrats and good luck.

Posted on Jul 25 2009, under Nutrition | No Comments »

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