The summer season and/or hot weather can take a toll on the body. How well do you know your body and its limitations? No matter the race, ride, or event, understanding your liquid intake can bring you closer to a strong finish and avoid dehydration. Here is a excerpt from our friends over at Skratch regarding hydration (read full blog post):
“When we sweat - we lose water and electrolytes - 90% of which is salt or sodium chloride. Between sodium and chloride, it’s sodium that is most important for us to replace.
Sodium sweat concentration is individual and can range from 500 to 1500 mg of sodium per liter of sweat. Of note, sweat is significantly less salty than blood, which has a concentration of about 3500 mg of sodium per liter. So, as we sweat the concentration of sodium in the blood rises.
It’s this increase in blood sodium concentration that triggers thirst. To quench that thirst and restore sodium balance, less water is needed than was lost, since there’s not as much salt in the blood. Thus, drinking plain water to thirst can cause dehydration over a long period of time.
The issue, however, isn’t with thirst – which is an important safety mechanism that keeps us from diluting our blood’s sodium balance. The issue is with plain water. To optimize both water balance and sodium balance, all you need to do is drink something that has a similar sodium concentration as your sweat. But, if all you have is water, just make sure not to force yourself to drink beyond thirst.
General Rule: Drinking to thirst with a drink that has a similar sodium concentration as sweat will keep you in both sodium and water balance.
Tip: The Sport Hydration Drink Mix by Skratch Labs contains a sodium concentration that is similar to sweat (800 mg of sodium per liter). But, since sodium sweat concentration can vary between individuals, if you are drinking to thirst with Skratch but come home more than 3% underweight, try incrementally adding more sodium to your drink mix by using their Wellness Hydration Drink Mix (1500 mg of sodium per liter) or Hyper Hydration Drink Mix (3500 mg of sodium per liter). Likewise, if you’ve gained weight during a training event, you may not need as much salt. In this case, just take a bottle of water with you or dilute your drink mix.”
Signs of Dehydration
Any activity in the heat can cause a decrease in sodium levels. Sometimes these symptoms can sneak up on you and it's important to recognize these signs for yourself or the person beside you. Here is a complied list gathered from around the internet:
- Early signs: dry mouth, lethargy, and dizziness
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
- Fatigue / fainting
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
This article may be a new to some or can be used as a gentle reminder about what you put into your water bottle. Dehydration is no joke and cause serious health issues if not treated during an extreme episode. The bottom line is, remember to drink often and know how much liquid (water and sodium ratio) is appropriate for your activity.
As an added bonus, enjoy the offer code below from Skratch. Test out their formula to understand the unique hydration stabilization your body requires for greater efficiency. Offer is good through the end of July 2019.
Learn more about the reality of hydration, plus tips and tricks on how to stay hydrated while riding. Click here to learn more.
Be sure to check out our bottle cages,
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