What do long flights and long rides have in common? Both are common causes of dehydration. When you stack the two on top of each other, it becomes increasingly important to make sure that you’re topped up on your fluids.
Traveling plus long-distance exercise takes a serious toll on your body and keeping up with your hydration is a fundamental yet easy way to set your vacation up for success and hit the ground riding at your final destination.
Airplane cabins are not the most desirable of places to spend hours of your day. They are dry, pumped with recirculated air (hello germs!), and provide very little “personal space”. Did you know that airplane cabins are so dry in fact, that they rival humidity levels of the Sahara Desert?! No wonder dehydration is such a frequent issue for long-distance travelers.
In addition to dry conditions, pressurized cabins mimic the oxygen levels of environments between 6,000-8,000 ft in altitude. If your body is accustomed to altitudes closer to sea level, these oxygen levels will feel less than comfortable when endured for long periods of time.
Staying hydrated before and during your flight is the ultimate hack for traveling. Good hydration will combat the negative effects of an abnormally dry environment while also maintaining healthy oxygen levels in your bloodstream.
Fact: You will perform better during your ride if you are well hydrated. While riding long distances, your body is especially susceptible to the effects of dehydration. Add in a hot, sunny day and proper hydration becomes enormously important.
During long rides, our bodies produce a lot of sweat. In addition to H2O, we lose key electrolytes through that sweat. This is why an electrolyte replacement fluid is essential for rides. Electrolytes not only upkeep our basic bodily functions, but they also help our bodies to absorb the H2O we’re consuming. Excessive consumption of water without electrolytes is more likely to flush right through the system, making bathroom breaks more frequent while not even reaping the optimal benefits of the fluids we’re drinking.
Understanding the importance of hydration for a long-distance cycling vacation is only half the battle. Knowing how to prepare for hydration success is just as important. By following these 5 travel + exercise hydration tips, you can plan to bring your best self to your next cycling trip:
Get yourself a designated cycle vacation water bottle: This water bottle will be your right-hand hydration partner through it all. Make sure to pack it in your carry on for your flight. Finish at least one full bottle before you go through security and make sure to refill as soon as you get to your gate.
Travel with Nuun Immunity: These tasty hydration tablets are a great way to manage your hydration as well as defend against any nasty air cabin germs. You simply add one to your water bottle for a boost of electrolytes and botanicals your body needs for proper hydration and immune system support before & during your flight.
Set hydration reminders on your phone: On days when you spend most of your time fairly sedentary (sitting on a flight), it is recommended that you drink half of your weight in fluid ounces. (So, if you weigh 140 lbs. the recommendation is to drink 70 oz. of fluids). For higher sweat days, you’ll need to plan for even more hydration. Plan your day out ahead of time and determine how many ounces of water you should be drinking every 1-2 hours. Set reminders on your phone for a gentle nudge to revisit your water bottle.
Double fist: Over the course of a vacation, it’s likely that you’ll enjoy a few alcoholic beverages. While alcohol IS a fluid, it does not reap the same hydration benefits and it’s often too easy to forget to drink water amidst drinking other liquids. Always match your alcohol intake with H2O intake. If it helps, double fist your beverages so you know you’re matching your alcohol/water ratio drink for drink. Alcohol can be the cause of serious dehydration. Stay ahead of it by balancing your fluids at the moment.
Pack Nuun Sport for your rides: Nuun Sport is a fantastic source of key electrolytes. It comes in a small tube of 10 tablets from which you add one to your 16 oz. bottle of water for easy and tasty hydration before your ride. Bringing 10 sports drinks on a trip across the world with you has never been easier!
We include NUUN on every one of our trips to keep you hydrated and happy.