Monday, May 12, 2008

Ask the Tr-i-diot: Why don't I drink enough water?

In addition to the "critically-acclaimed" weekly beer reviews, I'll also be answering one reader's question each week. What makes me qualified to answer you tri related questions? Absolutely nothing. I have no degree or other framed sheet of paper that says I can speak intelligently about any matter of health, fitness, or life in general, but I have learned a lot about such topics during my endless trial and error sessions -- so maybe I can help.

The first question comes from George, in Tennessee, who sent an inquiry via last week...

"I have kind of a weird problem. I never seem to drink enough water when I'm riding. I know I should and I know it will help prevent cramps and what not, but I just never think to drink when I'm on my bike, unless it's really, really hot. Sometimes my stomach just feels a little off and the thought of even a sip of water repulses me. I need to drink more. Any suggestions?"


You're definitely not alone. I know of a lot of cyclists, myself included, who have had similar problems. Exercise and electrolyte depletion can cause minor stomach pH imbalances, which can often cause minor to severe stomach distress.

I would just jack up the amount of electrolytes you're taking in, either with an electrolyte tab, or try a drink that's loaded with electrolytes (Gatorade Endurance, First Endurance EFS, etc). I go with Hammer Endurolytes on mild-temp days, since they offer a solid balance of all four electrolytes. If the mercury really heats up, I use Succeed S! Caps. Each cap packs about as much sodium as a Stoffer's TV Dinner and they work great when you're pouring sweat.

Hope this helps,


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