Mountain Bikers...stay healthy in the heatwave!!

Posted by Paul​ Walton on July 02, 2009 0 comments

Well mountain biking season is well and truly upon us and every one is wanting to get their bikes out and get on those trails. Then it happens....strong sun and high temps that are bound to affect any riders performance no matter what level you are at.

What is essential to mountain biking is staying fit and healthy and in the heat of the last week it is even more important to stay on top of your game so I thought I would share a few hints and tips with you to help keep your energy levels up, your temperature down and stop you burning out too quickly.

The best form of hydrating liquid is of course clear water. It doesn't really matter whether you drink bottled water or tap water
The most essential thing in this heat is plenty of fluid...surely every fool knows that, but you would be surprised how many people don't take enough liquid down in this weather. The best form of hydrating liquid is of course clear water. It doesn't really matter whether you drink bottled water or tap water although if you live in the Lincolshire area of England you may be interested to know that our tap water is actually healthier for you than bottled water as it is specially treated and also has added fluoride which helps keep your teeth healthy and strong too.



When you are planning on going out for a ride it is a good to half fill the bottle you intend to use the night before with your drink and then put it in the freezer. Then just before you go out top it up...this will give you a cool refreshing drink your whole ride.

As I said previously water is the best quencher but if you are going mountain biking then obviously you are going to be using a lot of energy so adding something to your water to replenish what you are using isn't a bad idea. 'Go' is very good for this and comes in several different flavors...(you can even get a bottle for it to get the measurements right although this isn't essential) and is available in most bike stores and health shops although I have found you always get a better deal in the health shops.

Covering up and/or suncream are essential. If you wear a helmet don't presume that this will be enough as a lot of them are vented which although is great for letting the heat out is also great for letting the sun in. In this instant suncream could be worn or a skully. A skully is probably the better option as it will soak up the sweat and stop it running into your face. Also if you sweat with suncream on then it's going to run into your eyes...and that hurts like hell!!
You can go for long sleeve tops and 3/4 length trousers which will keep you covered and protected or you can use suncream. It is important to get a suncream that is waterproof so that you don't just sweat it of and that is suitable for your skin type. There is a lot to consider when buying suncreams so the best thing to do is ask at a pharmacy...Boots are very helpful with this!

So you're protected and you are ready to go out mountain biking...remember timing is important too. The hottest part of the day is going to be between 11am and 3pm so it is a good idea if possible to go out either before or after this. I know it isn't always possible to do that so if you do have to go out between those times just try to make your usual riding time a little shorter and take your speeds a little steadier.

A hot cup of tea is great in the hot weather as it actually cools your core body temperature down Ok..you're home after riding some great trails on your bike..(and one good thing about the hot weather is the bike won't take very long to clean up!!) so what do you do now??
Well you have to again put more liquids inside your body. A hot cup of tea is great in the hot weather as it actually cools your core body temperature down so effectively cools you from the inside out!!

Have a tepid bath or shower...a hot one will rise your temerature firther and a cold one will drop your temerature to quick which can make you feel nauseous.
You will have used much more energy than usual so having an energy drink would also be a good idea...again you can get things such as 'Rego Recovery' from health shops and bike stores which do really work and aren't just a money spinner!!

Sit outside in the shade and let your body cool down naturally by being still, stay out of the sun for a while and give your body time to recover. Try to stay away from pop and sugary drinks until you feel your body is rehydrated......then be a kid and eat some ice lollies...they taste good...you can get the ones with no added sugar...and hey you have the perfect excuse!!
be a kid and eat some ice lollies...they taste good
Well I hope this has helped all you mountain bikers out there and if you have any other tips you can add to stay cool in the heatwave then let us know.

Happy Riding!!


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