Limit the intake of diuretic fluids such as coffee and soda containing caffeine, and alcohol. Too many of those types of beverages may cause dehydration. If you need a daily fix of coffee, drink it, but try to limit the amount consumed.
Use this rule of thumb:
This will reduce the chance of dehydration.
If your urine is dark yellow, you are probably not getting enough fluids; this is a sign that you may be dehydrated. Some other symptoms of dehydration include:
Sluggish performance, increased heart rate, dizziness, and muscle cramps.
Eating: Eat. Eat. Eat. This is not a diet exercise. Many riders come back for the Ride gaining weight, not much, but perhaps a couple of pounds.
Here is an example of caloric output. Studies have confirmed that one's body burns approximately 50 calories per mile of riding, not to mention the" after burn" of when you stop riding for the day. Therefore, on a typical day ... one may burn
Therefore, on a typical day, one would have to TRIPLE their normal intake just to break even.
The price of skimping will be a lack of energy and an overall fatigued feeling the following days. This will cause a nasty disposition.
While Riding: At the SAG stops, take advantage of the good treats they offer. They set out foods that will provide energy and keep you going. They have plenty of variety. In addition to consuming the high-energy foods at the SAG stops, one may use the high-energy products available, e.g., GU, Powergel, Hammergel, Powerbars, Clif Bars, etc. The same caution noted about high-energy drinks applies here. Use carefully; if it causes discomfort, drop it.
Before Riding: Eat a decent breakfast, staying away from high fat foods such as bacon and sausages. Personally, many of us disregard the foregoing completely. Some groups find it beneficial to ride about twenty miles and then find a diner to eat a 'traditional' breakfast. Others find that policy lunacy. The fact is; however, that fat takes much longer to digest than say, fruit, and this extra energy used for digestion is better for your legs.
After Riding: Studies have shown that after a session of vigorous, aerobic exercise, a "window" opens in one's system that allows for muscle replenishment at an accelerated rate. This window is open for 2 - 3 hours once the day's ride has ended. So ... Eat a nutritious dinner and enjoy that ice cream.
Using these guidelines will help you dramatically during our ride. Above all, keep a positive attitude as you go. Do not think of how far you have to go, but how much fun it will be when you get there!