How to monitor hydration

Vishal Patel, nuun chief nutritionist, explains how to monitor your hydration…

Whether you’re riding easy or pushing the pace, staying hydrated is key to a successful ride. Proper hydration helps minimise the risk of muscle cramps, lubricates your joints, and helps you stay alert.

But each individual is different. How do you know if you’re hydrated? There is a simple way to monitor your hydration status: monitoring your urine colour.

This is by far the easiest, most convenient way to find out if you’re drinking enough. Keep an eye on your urine colour as the day progresses. You want to aim for a pale yellow colour. If it’s too dark, you need to consume more fluids.

Too clear, and your body isn’t absorbing the fluids being consumed. Sodium plays a key role in ensuring the water being consumed is pulled towards your cells – to help the nutrients and fluids get to where they are most needed.

To stay ahead of your hydration, conduct a sweat test to determine how much fluid you need to consume during a ride.

  1. Weight yourself (nude)
  2. Ride for 60 minutes (do not consume any fluids)
  3. Weight yourself (nude)
  4. Subtract your weight before/after

Every 1 pound lost = 450ml of sweat lost. During exercise, you should aim to replace approximately half of your sweat rate by consuming fluids (+/- 100- 200ml).

Because your sweat rate can change based on a number of factors, including the temperature and intensity of your workout, consider conducting a sweat test a few times each year.