Thirst Whilst Cycling

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Psamathe
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Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby Psamathe » 19 May 2014, 4:11pm

Or rather maybe lack of it.

I know full well of the need to keep hydrated, etc., but now the weather has warmed-up a bit, the last few days I've noticed whilst out riding that I don't seem to get thirsty. I've reduced my mileage (thanks to my knees) and am doing around 25 mile rides. I'm deliberately stopping after 10 miles or so because I know I should drink, not because I'm thirsty. And that seems to start "saliva issues" (see, we really do need a "men's section" on the forum to discuss spitting, and other similar subjects). And the surprise when I got home was I has several large glasses of squash straight after each other, yet never really felt thirsty.

So, as things warm-up, should I just stop and drink every so many miles'ish or just wait until I'm thirsty ? Do others get to feel thirsty or just get in the habit of drinking?

Ian

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby [XAP]Bob » 19 May 2014, 4:14pm

IIRC the feeling of thirst is a relatively poor indicator of dehydration.

Hmm - Various sources disagree on that. I'd suggest that during exercise it might not be enough - but that you have to be going for well over an hour to make much difference (obviously that won't apply in the sahara...
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Mick F
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby Mick F » 19 May 2014, 4:42pm

Normally I can go for fifty miles without stopping for a drink or anything to eat.
However, my 62mile yesterday was in 23degC heat, and I got through both bottles and no food other than the huge Full English before I left.

I only seem to need to drink if I sweat. My ride up to Manchester - 300miles in four days - I hardly drank anything. It was chilly and wet, and I didn't sweat at all.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Trigger
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby Trigger » 19 May 2014, 4:46pm

I suffer from serious dry mouth, so I just take regular sips from the bottle, not huge gulps as it's not thirst it's just to get rid of the feeling of having a mouth like Gandhi's flip flop.

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jezer
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby jezer » 19 May 2014, 5:14pm

The old adage was to always drink before you get thirsty and to eat before you get hungry. After a long ride I find I'm not hungry, despite burning lots of calories. But after about thirty minutes of getting home I'm ravenous :shock:
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reohn2
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby reohn2 » 19 May 2014, 7:05pm

A good sign of dehydration is urine colour,if it's very darkly coloured,'thick' and burns slightly you've not been drinking enough.
I find little and often is best whether I'm thirsty or not I drink when cycling (or indeed when doing any physical activity)by habit and I'd rather drink a little too much than not enough.Last Friday 65miles,18 to 20deg 1.5l of water and one large coffee :)

I'd suggest that MickF's hydration regime is not the norm IMHO.
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Mick F
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby Mick F » 19 May 2014, 7:22pm

I would agree with that.
I'm not normal, but no-one is normal anyway. :D

I'm off to Swindon tomorrow. 80odd miles and the weather is supposed to be changing and cooler. I'll get back to this thread after I get there and report back about the water I've drunk.

I only have two 500ml bottles with me and I'll leave at 8ish expecting to get to Swindon at around 4pm.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Redvee
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby Redvee » 19 May 2014, 8:32pm

Little and often is rule I use when it comes to drinking on the bike, I've got my Garmin set up for an alert at every 3.1miles, or 5k in old money. Some rides I'll have a mouthful of squash more often but do drink every 12-13 minutes.

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Mick F
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby Mick F » 20 May 2014, 7:03pm

Here's my report.

83 miles Bedford to Swindon. Left at 08:00, arrived at 14:30
I had two sausages and a portion of beans plus two mugs of tea for breakfast.

After 30 miles, I stopped and stretched, and drank a good swig of water.
At 54 miles I was in Bladon (somewhere north of Oxford?) and stopped at a Co-op and bought some egg and cress sandwiches - £1.60 - and drank another swig or two of water.

70 miles and another swig, and as I arrived in Swindon, the heavens opened so I sheltered in a bus shelter. Meanwhile I finished the bottle off and ate the last two of my flapjacks.

Water drank 500ml and never touched the second bottle.
Temps were max 20 and min 17 deg C.


At present, I'm tucking into a plate of chicken and chips, plus on my third beer.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby Postboxer » 20 May 2014, 7:47pm

How big are your mugs of tea?

What colour was your..... I think we'll leave it there. Sounds like you set off well hydrated then started rehydrating some more whilst filing this report.

Last ride I did was about 30 miles and rushed out forgetting my nice ice cold water bottles, started getting rather thirsty before I got back. I did have cash with me though so could have stopped to buy something.

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Mick F
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby Mick F » 20 May 2014, 8:00pm

As I'm getting older, my bladder seems to be shrinking. Each time I stopped, I needed a P.
Also, it's always and clear and pale.

Today was a good test.
I made a mental note of the facts, so I could report accurately.

I never stopped at all for the whole of the first 30 miles, and until I stopped, my water was untouched. I only finished it off less than two miles from the finish. The second bottle remains untouched.

The ride was easy, and the weather nice and cool.
I didn't get out of breath or heave and strain. Most of the time I was nose breathing. I never broke into a sweat.

Therefore, why would I need water?
Mick F. Cornwall

reohn2
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby reohn2 » 20 May 2014, 8:29pm

Mick F wrote:.............. why would I need water?

I have to agree and if your urine was clear and pale it's a good sign that you're well hydrated.
BTW that was a good average for 83miles towing a trailer.
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Mick F
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby Mick F » 20 May 2014, 9:02pm

Yes, it was a good average, but it was as flat as a pancake.

Once you get the weight moving, it just rolls along with no more effort than if you had no weight at all. The technique is not to rush at it. Take your time and build up the momentum.
Mick F. Cornwall

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BeeKeeper
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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby BeeKeeper » 20 May 2014, 9:21pm

Wanting to pee often is a sign of dehydration. Sound bizarre but its true. You can get used to surviving on less water and may come to think this state is normal for you. It isn't. Kidney stones could be the wake up call.

I've been cycling in Spain over the last two weeks and on average got through about 1.5 litres of water per day on the rides plus a shade more for coffees/juice stops plus in the evening and overnight would get through at least another litre, sometime one and a half. Temps here have been single figures in the morning up to mid twenties in the afternoon. Total for an average day therefore around 3 litres.

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Re: Thirst Whilst Cycling

Postby OnYourRight » 21 May 2014, 10:17am

Everything I’ve read says drinking plenty of water is good for you, and in ways as diverse as improving skin tone, increasing physical performance, and aiding concentration.

Perhaps that’s why it feels (to me at least) very pleasant to drink a glass of cool water. I do it regularly throughout the day, and not only when I feel distinct thirst. I probably have between two and three litres of liquids a day (mostly water), not counting additional intake while exercising.

On the other hand, I am not paranoid about occasionally getting a bit thirsty while out and about. There are people who duck into the nearest shop for a bottle of Evian at the first hint of thirst (some have good medical reasons, of course). And there are cyclists who imagine their legs will seize up instantly if their bottle runs dry. Thirst may be fatal for a racer’s chances, but it has little effect beyond mild discomfort on a normal bike ride – and as long as you typically keep well hydrated, I doubt the occasional bout of thirst does much harm.