Proper Hydration

Making sure you are properly hydrated for your indoor cycling workout or spin class is essential; ideally, you should hydrate yourself before, during and after your ride. Long workouts (whether at home or within an indoor cycling class) will take a lot of fluids out of your body, which needs replenishing. One simple way to help you tell if your body is properly hydrated is by monitoring urine volume and color. A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are well hydrated; while dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.

There is nothing worse than starting your workout dehydrated. Before you begin indoor cycle training it is recommended that you drink about 15 - 20 fl. oz. of water two to three hours before exercising, and a further 8 - 10 fl. oz. 10-15 minutes before you start.

During your indoor cycling workout or spin class, you should get into the habit of taking one sip of water every ten to fifteen minutes. If you are working out in hot conditions or at high elevations you may want to take a sip more frequently. If your workout is going to be over an hour it is recommended that you also drink some sort of sports energy drink as well, or in place of, water. Drink about 8 - 10 fl. oz. of sports drink (with no more than 8% carbohydrates) every 15 - 30 minutes. Sport energy drinks may not hydrate better than water but because of the sweet taste (which is less thirst quenching than plain water), you’ll probably end up drinking a larger amount, which in turn leads to better hydration. The other big advantage of a good sports energy drink has over water is that it helps return the electrolytes that you will be losing during your workout, plus you’ll receive a carbohydrate boost. Believe it or not, if you are doing an intense indoor cycling workout you may lose up to 2 - 3 liters of water an hour. That’s a lot of body fluid!

When you have finished your indoor cycling workout or spin class it is essential that you’ve replenished the fluids that you lost. The best way to figure out how much fluid you’ve lost during your exercise is to weigh yourself before and after your workout. The weight loss is going to be mostly fluid so you need to try and drink enough to replenish the weight you lost. You can replenish that weight by drinking either water or a sports energy drink. Most experts agree that it is best for your body if you replenish your fluids within one to two hours after your workout.

Always remember that proper hydration is key for a good indoor cycling workout or spin class. These guidelines, of course, apply to riding outside as well.

Finally, here’s an interesting factoid that you probably don’t know and fortunately 99% of us won’t have to worry about while we’re doing our indoor cycling workout. Did you know that drinking too much water can cause a serious health problem called Hyponatremia? WebMD experts tell us, “Drinking excessive amounts of water can cause a rare, life-threatening condition called Hyponatremia. It's often coined "water intoxication" and has been getting a lot of attention of late. Hyponatremia refers to low levels of salt in the blood. This occurs when someone drinks so much water that they dilute the sodium in their blood. Low sodium levels can cause a clouding of consciousness, nausea/vomiting, lightheadedness, dizziness, and in severe cases, seizures, unconsciousness or death. The condition is less likely in the weekend athlete, but those participating in endurance sports like marathons are at higher risk and should take precautions”.