Staying hydrated is the most important in this hellishly hot season.
But what should you and shouldn’t drink?
However, please keep in mind that everything should be taken in moderation.
This may look like a Men’s Health article, but the hellishly hot weather affects us a lot as riders. But stop riding? No way! But how do we need to survive this heat? It’s especially worse after wolfing down durians in Bentong.
Here are a few suggestions to avoid being dehydrated duringyour ride. Dehydration is one of the most dangerous things to happen to us riders. It can cause loss of concentration leading to mistakes and wooziness.
Great for hydration:
1. Water. It’s the best. ‘Nuff said.
2. 100 Plus. Or other sports drinks such as Gatorade and Pocari Sweat. The electrolytes (fancy word for salt) in them can be more effective at hydrating. Drinking water infused with salt has been practiced in Malaysia homes for many decades, especially to counter the heaty effects of durians, after all.
3. Watermelon. Eating watermelons retain 92% of the liquid. But if you opt for the juice of other fruit juices, make sure that it is pure without sugar. Packed juices contain sugar that inhibits hydration. Best way is to buy freshly-squeezed juices – again, as a reminder – without sugar.
4. Coconut water. We’re so lucky in Malaysia. You can find coconut water almost anywhere. Coconut water contains 95% water, better than all fruit juices. Make sure you drink it straight from the coconut without added sugar.
5. Milk. Since milk is thicker than water, it leads us to believe that it’s more dehydrating, which isn’t the case. Besides containing calcium and Vitamin D, milk gives you fuel on hot days. But it only works for non-flavoured milks, so no chocolate, strawberry, Kurma, etc. flavours.
Worst for hydration:
1. Soft drinks. Sure, they’re advertised to quench your thirst but they contain caffeine which is a culprit in dehydration. If that’s not bad enough, they also have heaps of sugar and sodium that are bad for your teeth and bones. Drinking a single bottle is fine during your trip to perk you up, but it’s better to swap it for sparkling water to enjoy the carbonation.
2. Energy drinks. Energy drinks are just that: They provide energy. If soft drinks are bad, there’s even more caffeine, “fake” sugars and complex chemicals. Like soft drinks, these should be consumed with moderation – a can during the ride to keep you from dozing off – then followed by plenty of water.
3. Coffee. Taken in moderation, coffee helps not everyone, but most to stay awake. Caffeine blocks your brain from receiving signals that you are tired but doesn’t actually make you feel less so.
Its dark side is caffeine, the same stuff they put into sodas and energy drinks. The substance is also considered diuretic, meaning it rids your body of fluids and salt. It works by forcing your kidney to release more sodium into your urine. That sodium then takes water with it from your blood and reduces fluid flowing through your blood vessels.
4. Smoothies. Our favourite drink in Phuket! Nooooo! The sweet, fruity drinks pack too much sugar. They’re awesome for refuel after a long ride and starting your day with a natural dose of vitamins but should be approached in moderation. The best way is to put add more ice for hydration.
5. Beer, wine, hard liquor. You shouldn’t even ride in the first place if you drink alcoholic beverages. Anyway, alcohol removes water from your tissues, meaning you have to drink even more water to offset the effect. The more alcohol in your system, the more dehydrating it is. Yes, it’s fine to drink beer after your ride, but the rule of thumb is one glass of water per can glass of beer. That way, you will be less dehydrated and hungover for the next day’s ride.
While there are good and “bad” drinks, good drinks can become bad too unless consumed in moderation. Hope these tips help.