Posted by: Bike Rider | December 3, 2007

Winter riding tip #1-Dehydration

Until recently, we’ve been blessed with great cycling weather here in Chester County, PA. Even on Thanksgiving Day the temperatures were in the 60’s and the sun was warm and inviting.

Then it all changed and Winter was upon us.

The last two weekends brought frigid temps and a biting wind to Southeastern PA. making cycling just a little more challenging-especially when you become dehydrated.

Dehydration is just as common in the winter months as it is in the heat of the summer. The problem with winter dehydration is it subtle and not easily recognized. We normally associate heat and sweating with dehydration and drink water or other liquids to replenish our fluids. In the winter, when it’s cold outside, the desire to drink may not be there because we may not feel ‘thirsty’ or need to quench our thirst. Consequently our bodies dehydrate and we begin to develop the symptoms of dehydration. Factor in the dry winter air and the layers of additional clothing coupled with the effects of cycling and it’s easy to see why dehydration can quickly become an issue while cycling in the winter months.

Symptoms of early or mild dehydration include:

  • flushed face
  • extreme thirst, more than normal or unable to drink
  • dry, warm skin
  • cannot pass urine or reduced amounts, dark, yellow
  • dizziness made worse when you are standing
  • weakness
  • cramping in the arms and legs
  • crying with few or no tears
  • sleepy or irritable
  • unwell
  • headaches
  • dry mouth, dry tongue; with thick saliva.

What to do?

Well, the obvious solution would be to drink more fluids, especially before and during a ride. Avoid alcoholic beverages or drinks with caffeine. Beyond that, ensure you maintain your fluid levels even after a ride since you are likely to go indoors to an environment where the relative humidity is very low and evaporation of water from your skin is high. The key thing to remember is to drink, drink and drink!

Borrowed from:
Want to learn more about winter dehydration? Click on the following links


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