Best drinks for Cycling
Exercising is thirsty work so it’s imperative that you are always prepared with the best and most effective drinks to help with hydration and energy boosts. Healthier options such as water and fruit smoothies contain great natural benefits that improve your general fitness, while energy drinks and caffeine-focused drinks give an excellent boost of energy to help you power through your exercise.
Water is so easy to access that there’s really no excuse not to carry even a bottle of water with you on your journeys. Water is a refreshing natural way to replace the fluids lost in sweat and prevent dehydration, as well as helping move oxygen throughout the body and other cardiovascular activities. Even if you left your house with a bottle of water and finished it during the journey, it’s not particularly hard to find a tap that dispenses drinking water in non-rural environments, so a refill is always an option.
As well as this, water is generally very cheap compared to other drinks. Even if you head out and make the regrettable mistake of forgetting to bring a drink, popping into a shop and finding a bottle of water is a very inexpensive way to make sure you stay hydrated. While it’s not necessarily as tasty as smoothies or caffeine drinks, it’s still a great hydrating fluid!
A fun and particularly tasty way to stay hydrated on your travels is with fruit smoothies - especially homemade ones. While an undoubtedly more expensive option than water, you don’t necessarily have to spend lots of money on pre-made smoothies, with plenty of excellent smoothie recipes that feature only basic ingredients being so easy to find online allowing you to make your own from home. But you don’t have to follow a recipe, you can create your own concoctions of fruity goodness that contain all your favourite fruits!
What’s particularly beneficial with fruit smoothies is the content they pack in, with different fruit types meaning for different benefits. Fruits like blueberries provide antioxidants that help with cell growth and disease prevention, strawberries containing high fibre levels to help with digestion, bananas lending for potassium and cardiovascular health; whatever fruit you choose, you can’t go wrong!
With the term ‘energy drink’ you know what you’re getting! Packed with electrolytes and caffeine levels, energy drinks supply you with a quick injection of energy that can help boost your performance and keep you going when you’re starting to fatigue. Although with these drinks you’ve got to be careful with your intake; heavy consumption can lead to damaging effects on your body such as high blood pressure, insomnia, dehydration among other health issues. With these warnings, it’s probably best to use energy drinks on an intermittent basis, as opposed to adding them to your diet.
With that being said, it doesn’t mean energy drinks are to be avoided as they still definitely have a purpose and can be very useful in exercise practices. Giving you more of an immediate energy kick compared to water and smoothies, energy drinks can be treated like a small shot of adrenaline that allows you to keep up your pace when you start to slow, making them a great option to take on your cycling travels, just don’t take more than one probably!
There has been an increasing market recently for caffeine based drinks. Generally considered a healthier option to energy drinks, caffeine supplies the body with the same kind of energy boost but without putting a strain on your health. Whether it’s artificial caffeine drinks, or just a flask of your favourite coffee, caffeine helps with a variety of things other than just energy boosts. It helps with making fat more available to use as a source of energy, it helps with muscle contraction, it helps with mental alertness - there’s a lot that caffeine can help with!
If energy drinks aren’t for you, and you’re not a fan of an artificial supply of nutrients, caffeine can be a healthier option that you should definitely try out on your next ride. If you’re someone who focuses on performance rather than leisurely bike rides, assess your energy levels with and without caffeine and you’ll soon realise the immediate benefits of caffeine over other drinks like water and smoothies that release their benefits slowly.
Water should always be an option, whenever you head out. Whether you’re an advanced cyclist looking to push themselves to their max and break personal bests, or you’re a leisure-focused cyclist who likes relaxing rides through the park - always take water with you! Hydrating on energy drinks or caffeine alone is not a great option due to their poor hydrating properties. Energy drinks can help replace the sugars lost through sweat and energy burning, smoothies can fill you up with nutrients and caffeine can offer a bit of both, none of them are particularly good at keeping you hydrated or help replace fluids lost through sweat.
To put it simply, always make sure you have a supply of water with you when you head out. If you rely solely on energy drinks then you’ll soon get headaches or a case of dehydration which will feel terrible and make you crash out! Keep topping yourself up with water throughout your ride to ensure you don’t suffer from a lack of fluids.
Every time you step out and get on your bike you must always have a bottle of water with you at the very least. It is vital you stay hydrated when exercising, and water is the best way to ensure you can stay at your best for longer, while paired with an energy drink or caffeine source can help sustain your energy for times when you feel yourself starting to slow. Fruit smoothies are an all-encompassing healthy option that serves as a tasty drink that’s packed with slow releasing goodness and nutrition. Whichever drink you choose, you must always pair it with water!