While this summer hasn't exactly been sun-drenched it is always worth thinking about whether we're properly hydrated before, during and after training. In this article we focus specifically on how to measure your water loss during exercise.
The Water In Equals Water Out Concept
Hydration is an all-day affair - we're using fluids to cool the engine that is the human body, as well as being an important part of many of the chemical and biological reactions that occur in the body. You don't even have to be awake to lose fluids with up to 1 kg in weight lost mostly through sweat while sleeping on a warm night.
In terms of keeping hydrated a good general rule of thumb is to consume fluids at a rate to match our losses. Water In should equal Water Out.
For example we should sip water through-out the day if we are working in an office, while increasing the rate of consumption when exercising to somewhere north of 500 ml an hour depending on intensity and temperature.
How To Measure Water Out
So how do we work out how much water to drink when exercising? How much Water In do we need to replace the lost Water Out?
Try this simple test.
Step 1. Weight yourself before exercise - naked is best (honestly).
Step 2. Exercise while drinking your normal quantity of water or energy drinks. Keeping a note of how much you consume including any post exercise recovery drink.
Step 3. Warm down after your session to the point you are no longer sweating.
Step 4: Shower, dry yourself and hit the weighing scales one more time - naked again for consistency.
Step 5: Compare your weight in Step 1 and Step 4
Some Things To Remember
Riding the route of the Giro D'Italia would be a challenge for most normal cyclists. 3,400 km over 21 stages between the 5-28th May. But what if you were 77 years old? Well, meet Mick Ives.