You know how awful it feels to be dehydrated on a bike – heavy legs, fatigue, and wanting to quit are a sure sign of that. A lot of those feelings are just because of the effects of dehydration has on your brain. Your legs might not be done just yet. So, let’s look at yet another way to hydrate properly, and keep riding.
Hydration affects brain function
The human brain is strongly influenced by hydration. Even a mild dehydration of 1 – 3 % of body weight can impair many aspects of brain function. In studies, this kind of fluid loss causes bad mood, impaired concentration, increased frequency of headaches, problems with working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
Any time you do an intense ride or just sweat a lot during the day, you are at an increased risk of these symptoms. So, before you start looking for other potential causes, have a glass of water. If you’re on a bike, it might be too late to start hydrating at that point, so make sure to drink on schedule.
Recipe: Blackberry Mint Iced Tea
Contrary to popular belief, coffee and tea count towards your daily fluid intake too, their diuretic effects are too weak to decrease hydration. Also theine, the slow releasing stimulant in tea, is similar to caffeine and can give you a boost before or during your ride. The following recipe yields 8 tasty drinks full of theine, enjoy!
• 8 cups water
• ½ cup coconut sugar (or any sweetener of your choice)
• ¾ cup blackberries
• 4 green tea bags
• ¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves
1. Combine 1 cup of water, sweetener, and blackberries in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, lower to a simmer and cook until the blackberries have broken down, about 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Strain blackberry mixture through a fine sieve or cloth into a bowl. If using a sieve, press with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Set aside and let cool.
3. Place tea bags and mint leaves in a large bowl and set aside.
4. Bring remaining 7 cups of water to a boil and pour over tea bags and mint and allow them to steep for 10 minutes.
5. When tea is done steeping, using a slotted spoon, remove tea bags and mint and discard.
6. Add blackberry syrup and give a good stir (adjust sweetness according to your taste)
7. Place in the refrigerator until chilled.
8. When ready to serve, pour into ice filled glasses garnished with a couple of blackberries and mint leaves.