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  #1  
Old 17 Sep 2012
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What to drink during an adventure bike trip

In previous posts on my blog, I discussed the importance of being well hydrated to prevent mental fatigue, and how to assess hydration level. The next question is what to drink during an adventure bike trip. Is plain water enough? Or should we add some electrolytes?

To answer this question, I have got in touch with Dr Ricardo Costa, an expert in sport nutrition at Coventry University. Furthermore, Ricardo has competed in the grueling Marathon des Sables. In this multi-stage ultra-marathon, athletes run 251 km (156 mi) at very high temperatures for six days. So I am sure Ricardo knows well the science of what to drink when sweating profusely for several days in a row.

This situation is similar to riding a motorbike for several days in hot weather. Although physical exertion is much less compared to a marathon, wearing an helmet and full riding gear greatly impairs sweat evaporation and its cooling effect. As a result, even more sweat is produced. So loss of body water through sweating is likely to be very significant during an adventure bike trip in hot weather.

Fortunately, with the exception of sodium, the concentration of electrolytes (e.g., potassium and magnesium) in our sweat is extremely low. This means that even during a multi-stage ultra-marathon in the heat (40C) serum electrolyte concentrations is maintained within normal range (Costa R, personal communication).

Based on this and other research, Ricardo's practical recommendation is simply to add a pinch of salt for every 500ml of water when we ride in hot weather and drink a lot to ensure a good hydration level. The extra salt does not have to be added to drinks. It can be added to food as well. This simple sodium supplementation will greatly reduce the risk of hyponatremia (meaning "low sodium"), a very rare but potentially fatal electrolyte deficiency that can occur when people sweat a lot and drink an excessive amount of water.

The above recommendation is valid for adventure bike riders consuming an adequate diet. However, data about weight loss suggest that many riders significantly reduce their food intake during an adventure bike trip. In these conditions, taking a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement that meets 100% RNI (e.g., Centrum or similar products) will act as a safe guard against other potential electrolyte deficiencies.

In future posts, I will discuss whether it is a good idea to add glucose or other soluble carbs to our drinks. In the meantime, please let me know about your experience with sport drinks if you have used them during an adventure bike trip.

Cheers

Sam
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Old 17 Sep 2012
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Load of cobblers.

What's wrong with five pints of and a kofta after a long days ride? Although fair play, you did say the salt could go on the food.

Electrolyte drinks are a complete rip off - useful for babes with diarrhoea and extreme athletes only.

Ride on.
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Old 17 Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsherlock View Post
Load of cobblers.

What's wrong with five pints of and a kofta after a long days ride? Although fair play, you did say the salt could go on the food.

Electrolyte drinks are a complete rip off - useful for babes with diarrhoea and extreme athletes only.

Ride on.
Just to clarify that I don't advise to use sport drinks. I am just curious to know if and how they are used by adventure bike riders.

My suggestion is to check your hydration status, drink water as needed, and add some table salt if it's hot and you have to drink lot of water to keep you hydrated. Table salt can be found all over the world and does not cost much. So no rip off and very convenient

Last edited by samueleuk; 17 Sep 2012 at 22:28.
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Old 17 Sep 2012
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Drink at night, but make sure you drink a glass of water before bed so to avoid dehydration effect caused by the diuretic.

In hot areas I drink 3lt water minimum a day(cold wet days this drops to around 500ml) and if I have not stopped every hour or so for a leak, then I am not drinking enough

Take some nice tasting rehydration powder mix with you, what you can buy on the road tastes like salt for the most part and when you get the trots, and you will, then it will become useful

Cheers from Mongolia
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  #5  
Old 18 Sep 2012
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Water, like what fish poo in (regardless of salt), Yuk, no thanks

I'll have a cup of tea with milk until it's gone then lemon every couple of hours. The last slice of lemon is for my G&T when the days ride is done then it's whatever or wine goes with the local grub. Nice cup of tea or hot chocolate sets you up for a decent nights sleep.

I wonder how Hillary and Livingstone managed? No funny tasting lucazade for them.

Andy
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Old 18 Sep 2012
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Hi,

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Originally Posted by samueleuk View Post
Just to clarify that I don't advise to use sport drinks. I am just curious to know if and how they are used by adventure bike riders.
If your are on a real adventure there is no way you can get sport drinks. You will be happy if you find plain water and you will be thinking of adding chlor tablets to it if you drink from a river.



Lone way up...eine etwas andere Afrikareise - Teil 3

Ayway to carry some salt (together with a fork if you dont want to use your fingers) might be a good idea. In many places even salt is not available and Nsima tasts much better with a little bit of salt...

Travel save, Tobi
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Old 20 Sep 2012
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I agree with Tobi, if you are actually travelling in far flung places you drink whatever you can get, usually water sometimes flavoured with tea or coffee, the occasional coke and a or G and T in the evening if you can get it.
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Old 29 Sep 2012
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But do you think travelling through say Africa, one should take rehydration salts with them on the trip?

Here is a thread of what can really go wrong in the heat if not managed properly.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...haustion-64722

I think heat exhaustion is more the serious issue for adv riders than dehydration.

Sam, would be great to see a post from you on heatstroke/heat exhaustion etc.
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Old 25 Oct 2012
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But do you think travelling through say Africa, one should take rehydration salts with them on the trip?

Here is a thread of what can really go wrong in the heat if not managed properly.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...haustion-64722

I think heat exhaustion is more the serious issue for adv riders than dehydration.

Sam, would be great to see a post from you on heatstroke/heat exhaustion etc.
Thanks for the link to the thread, very sad but also interesting. With regards to rehydration salts, there s no need to buy special products. Table salt is enough and u can find it almost everywhere.

Dehydration contributes to heat illness, so to reduce the risk is necessary to drink a lot when riding in hot weather. I will post more info on heat illness soon
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Old 26 Oct 2012
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Just as an added bit of information someone might find useful.

rather than chance "fresh" water, boil it for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker at the highest pressure ( usually 15lbs but sometimes a little less) This will kill bacteria if present. ( It is always present). I don't offer it as a silly thing, being sick on the road is not fun.

I believe a small pressure cooker is worth taking as it will more than halve cooking fuel usage and time. Also sterilises food better than open air cooking.
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Old 26 Oct 2012
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Boil or filter - depends if you have taste buds !

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
Just as an added bit of information someone might find useful.

rather than chance "fresh" water, boil it for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker at the highest pressure ( usually 15lbs but sometimes a little less) This will kill bacteria if present. ( It is always present). I don't offer it as a silly thing, being sick on the road is not fun.

I believe a small pressure cooker is worth taking as it will more than halve cooking fuel usage and time. Also sterilises food better than open air cooking.
Bringing water to boil will kill everything that can hurt a human. Boiling it for longer will kill more pathogens but it's an unnecessary waste of fuel. For much less than the size, weight and poor taste of boiled water you could enjoy filtered water.

Katydyn/PUR make Red Cross certified units but even for $60 US you can have a very capable, easy to use, carbon element water filter. The one precaution with a water filter is often a prefilter to prevent premature clogging of the main filter. Many use a paper coffee filter.

Drink water. The right test was provided above regarding how much. If you're not stopping hourly . . . or your fluid isn't relatively clear . . . drink more. It might be a PIA but even mild dehydration can impede muscle control (muscle mass is about 70% water), prompt diarrhea, and impair judgement.

There's precious little evidence supporting energy drinks unless you're a shareholder. Beer and coffee are diuretics but it's better to ingest some liquid for other reasons if things are spare.

The "old" wisdom is "drink before you're thirsty, eat before you're hungry". Both sensations are lagging indicators of the body's requirements.
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Old 26 Oct 2012
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Beer - its cheap and safe.
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Old 26 Oct 2012
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Beer - its cheap and safe.
The "London" in your header is a real givaway there. Compared to Watneys Red Barrel at four quid a pint, in the rest of the world is indeed cheap and probably safer !

Andy
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Old 28 Oct 2012
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just drink a lot of water and eat als healthy as you can.

About the water:
We started the trip with boiling water on the MSR (no need for high pressure cookers, a few minutes boiling is okay)). We also do this to get rid of chlorine.
It has an awful taste, and is not the most healthy chemical around.

After a few months, we've bought a water filter (MSR miniworks, ceramic) and we love it. We filter mostly tap water with it (or from water holes etc.) and it takes most of the tastes away and sterilizes it.

We don't like to use chemicals, unless in case of emergency. It is better to filter water and NOT drink all that chemical stuff on a daily basis. Just my two cents!
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Old 28 Oct 2012
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water, Cay, tea, beer

well usually water over the daytime to prevent dehydration in the heat out of a 3Lt-CammelBak on the go or the 10Lt-MSD-Dromedary as backup, Cay or tea at any given moment with a lot of sugar, but usually in the evenings during preparing foot or where there is a bit more time at hand, need a cup of tea to wake up but more importantly as 1st task in the morning, to get in to a sort of daily routine before packing up... well yeah ... if that can be found but not necessarily looking out for... just a nice to have...

Oh yeah... part of the CamelBak and the MSR I carry a Katadyn-Pocket filter if no bottle water can be found in the local shops.
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