How to take care of our body’s hydration during long journeys.
Hydration is probably the most important and the simplest aspect to take care while we ride for anything more than 2 hours. Water takes care of our core blood pressure, losing too much of it will cause dehydration and build up salt in the blood, over time if this continues it can also lower our blood pressure which in turn lowers our concentration and that is something we really need while riding a bike or driving a car. Also after losing water, we will stop sweating and that in turn will raise our core body temperature and may even result in a heat strokes.
You will lose more water from your body if you travel in areas with more heat and/or low humidity, an ideal example of this will be riding through deserts. In case we wear all our riding gear, the loss of water is more as the body tries to maintain that core body temperature without the body’s defence mechanism of sweating to keep cool. So, the body tries to sweat more to get our temperatures down.
How to check for dehydration.
While there are multiple parameters to check for dehydration. The most simplest will be to just check whether you have a dry tongue or mouth. If you have a dry mouth, more often than not it’s due to reduction in the body’s water content.
How to tackle dehydration.
While there are rehydration packs and back packs available in the market, i personally do not use these. The reasons for that are
A) I feel that it’s too cumbersome to put the mouth piece in your helmet and make your mouth to play circus getting the mouth piece while riding which actually rather a distraction while riding.
B) getting off the bike, removing the helmet and taking a sip of water from a bottle is actually quite relaxing and also serves as a good break.
What can you use to rehydrate yourself.
1) plain water:
Clean and purified water is easily accessible and forms the foundation of our rehydration. Taking a sip of water every 2 hours is ideal and an easy form keeping ourselves hydrated.
However it doesn’t replenish the lost electrolytes that we lose in the form of sweat.
2) oral rehydration solution/salt:
It contains all the electrolyte which we lose in sweat and with the addition of glucose to keep concentration levels on the higher side. It’s rather cheap and is available at all chemist shops.
Some precautions do need to be kept in mind while using this
A) if you use rehydration salt with water, use the mixture within 12 hours. Since it’s a very conducive environment for bacteria to grow, keeping it for more than 24 hours will convert a good rehydration solution to a petridish harbouring harmful microorganisms.
B) in case you’re a diabetic(type 1 or 2) it’s better you consult your doctor before taking it as it can cause small spikes in glucose levels.
3) commercial rehydration salts like Gatorade:
It’s almost similar to oral rehydration salts/solution and without stabilisers(the oral rehydration solution uses either a sodium bicarbonate or citrate mechanism, Gatorade probably uses it but it’s not mentioned anywhere on the labels)
In case you’re rich or just want to show off that you’re rich, then take this. However there isn’t any advantage to taking this as compared to the oral rehydration solution.
There are many misconceptions that Gatorade like drinks are energy drinks, this however is as far from the truth as possible. It has no caffeine(which drinks like red bull have) and only has electrolytes and glucose.
Same precautions apply to this as it applies while using oral rehydration solutions.
4) butter milk (an Indian twist):
It has all the basic things you need. Water, small amounts of glucose/lactose and salt.
It’s quite good, provided you find clean butter milk or make it advance and take it during the rides.
Also, if you’re lactose intolerant, it’s best that you don’t take this and not embarrass yourself.
But please for the love of everything holy, do not consume carbonated sugary drinks in hopes of rehydrating yourself. The percentage of sugar is so much, it actually causes mild dehydration.
In case you’re in a bad position and the only option left is to drink your own piss, then before drinking your own piss, you can go ahead and have a sugary carbonated drink.
So, my verdict :
Ideal situation – ors solution
Minimum – plain clean water.
Ride safe guys and gals.
This article is written by my friend Dinesh, a motovlogger from Bengaluru, Click here to visit his YouTube channel. Thank you for these tips my friend 🙂
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Be Good, Do Good n Ride Safe 🙂