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Summer Hydration and Electrolytes

The unusually wet year has made some of us Texans forget that Summer is an annual hellscape of melting chipseal and dreams. The point is, improper hydration can destroy an otherwise well-trained athlete.

We have some tips and reminders about the fluids you need to perform and have fun on your summer rides.

HYDRATE PRE-RIDE

An hour before your ride, sip on 16 to 20oz (1 bottle) of water or electrolyte and let it do some work. Eliminate what you don't need. Your body will let you know.

MAINTAIN DAILY HYDRATION

If you hydrate properly on a regular basis, you won't need to worry as much about getting dehydrated during a typical moderate ride.The old eight 8-ounce glasses of water is a good habit. Research says regular gym-goers begin their workouts under-hydrated. Make drinking clean fluids a habit.

TRY TO KEEP UP WITH SWEAT LOSS

Replace about 75 percent of lost sweat during a long ride. To do that, you need to know your sweat rate,. To determine your sweat rate, weigh yourself before and after a short ride. An hour ride is a good indicator of what you're losing through sweat alone.

TOP OFF AS YOU GO Assuming you've consumed 16-20 oz. before you hit the road, then take in about six to eight ounces (two to three gulps) every 15 to 20 minutes while you ride.

ELECTROLYTES & SPORTS DRINKS

There are dozens of sports drinks and electrolyte products, ranging from purple sugar water to beet margaritas. Basically, electrolytes help our cells work, sending electrical impulses that influence our heart, muscles and nerves. They also play an important role in fluid balance and hydration in our cells, tissues, and our muscles. Lack of sufficient electrolytes can contribute to muscle cramps, delayed muscle soreness and spasms following exercise and for some can contribute to headaches.

Personal preference weighs heavily on this choice, but start with a baseline of the stuff you need, or the stuff you lose on a ride.

Your drink should contain these essential items

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium/calcium
  • Sodium

Lots of foods provide electrolytes in their everyday, natural form, so it's smart to load your diet with electrolyte-rich foods. We will go over these in another story.

WHAT ABOUT SUGAR?

Many sports drinks have sugar, whose purpose is to give you fuel and fight the bonk. The consensus in our shop is to get your carbs from gels and food. Will Black, general manager and ultra-experienced bike racer, says that drinking a sugary drink throughout a long ride makes his stomach parts very angry. He drinks water and a clean electrolyte drink for hydration and chemical replenishment. Fuel comes in more solid form, like Clif gels, Bloks, Bonkbreaker bars, Clif Bars, Honeystinger Waffles, and Skratch chews.

ELECTROLYTE PRODUCTS OF CHOICE

Skratch Labs

These are natural, super clean, and designed for specific hydration needs.

  • Daily Electrolyte Mix All natural electrolyte mix for those times when water isn't enough but a sports drink is too much. Great for hydration maintenance on or off the bike.
  • Exercise Hydration Mix A sports drink containing simple sugars, electrolytes, and only real fruit for flavor. A little more sodium and sugar for hydration while you're sweating.
  • Rescue Hydration Mix This is for athletes, kids, or people compromised by dehydration. It replaces what you need quickly.
  • Hyper Hydration Mix This is not for everyone. It is packed with sodium and electrolytes for the athlete who is embarking on a body-crushing Texas sweat party.

Nuun Tablets

Simple Electrolytes and sodium, with a pleasant, lightly sweet flavor and effervescence.

These are some of our showcase products, but we have something for most tastes and biological needs. Come in a talk to one of our hydrated fluid pushers.

Skratch Hyper Hydration Mix
Skratch Rescue Hydration MIx
Skratch Daily Hydration Mix
Skratch Exercise Hydration Mix
Nuun Tablets

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