Drinking and Spinning
Drinking and Spinning
I hope this article finds you well, enjoying the hot weather and staying hydrated! One of the most frequent questions I am asked as an online cycling coach and avid cyclist is what I drink before, during and after riding. No way around it, as athletes we need to consume more water than the average not-so active person. Even on days when it is not approaching 90 degrees, I drink about three or four 32 oz. containers of water during the day. On those extra hot days, I will go through an additional one or two bottles. I will also add a lemon wedge to my day bottle. The added citrus help your body retain vitamins and minerals that might normally get flushed out should you over-hydrate.
When I leave for a ride, I start off with two bottles of an electrolyte drink, such as Hammer Nutrition’s Heed. This also has complex carbohydrates for energy while pedaling. When these are gone, it is straight water in my bike bottles. On average, I drink one bottle per hour and on hotter days, one bottle every 45 minutes. If I stop during the ride, I will get a Gatorade or similar drink.
As soon as I am finished with my ride, I consume 20+ oz. of water. Within 10 minutes of climbing off the bike, I have my recovery drink, Hammer Recoverite. The market is full of different recovery drinks; find one that works for you. I prefer Recoverite because I like the taste and it contains a balanced mix of carbs, electrolytes and whey protein.
Now that you are in-tune with your hydration let’s tune-in to the importance of a good spin. Keeping a high cadence is paramount to a cyclist. A great target cadence is about 85 to 95 rpm. Whether you are riding 20 miles, or 120 miles, your legs and the rest of your body, will profit from not mashing the gears. Granted, there are times when you need to slog it out, like pushing over that 15 second steep climb. In general though, your legs will stay “fresher” and you will not have to work as hard if you maintain a higher cadence. You can save your leg muscles from over-working and over-straining by keeping a high spin. So, if you can travel the same distance, save a few heartbeats AND save power for when it really matters, why not?!?
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