How much water should I drink while Mountain Biking?💧

Staying hydrated during exercise is crucial. Unfortunately, many overlook or pay little attention to this issue. In mountain biking, as in any physical endurance activity, an insufficient water intake causes a severe performance loss up to 20% less. Water shortage is a situation that we do not realize right away. Here we give some simple and basic advice.

We’ll try to give some answers and advice in order to avoid unpleasant incidents. Nobody wants to turn their trip by bike in a day in the emergency room because of dehydration or sunstroke.

Staying hydrated will help you avoid fatigue and developing cramps or other ailments. Also, it is very important for cyclists, especially if competing in a long race or riding in hot temperatures. The best way to stay hydrated is to drink water throughout the day and before you ride.

Drinking Water is Essential

The first essential rule for any sport is the knowledge of its physical needs. To understand how important hydration is in cycling, as well as during any other physical activity. For this reason, anyone doing sport, at any level, needs to replenish the loss of body fluids.

Water is the fundamental element that you will have to replace, but it is also essential to consider what and how much it is dissolved. In addition to water, they are lost numerous other elements. The sweat is an isotonic liquid, essential to help maintain a constant body temperature. It is composed, in addition to water, of sodium and chlorine, but also magnesium, potassium and other mineral salts. In this case, the waters with a low dry residue (salt content) that are often advertised are poorly suited to sports.

What and how to drink while cycling


It is very important to remember to drink before the sensation of thirst is present and avoid icy or hot beverages that may cause gastrointestinal problems. Usually, at rest, you should drink about two litres of water a day, remembering to hydrate even and especially between meals to neutralize and eliminate muscle waste accumulated.

During physical exertion, according to the time, the intensity and the environment it supports, it is necessary to take fluids at room temperature and in small sips. It‘s a good idea to drink, especially if it’s hot, every 15 minutes a quantity of fewer than 200 ml to avoid burdening the stomach.

Classification of beverages

The most common classification of sports drinks is based on the same osmotic pressure, comparing it with that of the plasma (which is 280-300 mOsm / kg H 2 O):

  • Hypotonic drinks – The concentration of the substances in the drink determines an osmotic pressure lower than that of the plasma. They are assimilated very quickly and are ideal if taken during physical exercise.
  • Isotonic drinks – The concentration of the substances in the drink determines an osmotic pressure identical to that of the plasma. They are assimilated into the medium quickly and are ideal if taken before and during physical exercise.
  • Hypertonic drinks – The concentration of the substances in the drink determines an osmotic pressure more significant than that of the plasma. They are assimilated over a long time and are ideal if taken after physical exercise.
  • Mineral supplements – As we understand it, in addition to water, it is vital also replenish the minerals that are lost through sweating. They are active participants in multiple physiological functions of our body and are comparable only through the food and beverages we eat.

The first thing to think about is straightforward – to hydrate, you should drink regularly and in adequate quantity. The first suggestion then is to get ideal containers. It’s a good idea to remember that you should drink every 15-20 minutes maximum. The frequency of drinking will have to be adjusted – not to forget about this, you can use the very useful handset alarm functions or bicycle computer that will sound the alarm every time you will have to drink.

The sips of water to be taken will depend on the climatic situation and must take into account the intensity of the effort.

How to Store Water in Backpack


During cycling, it is always important not to run out of fluids, especially if the temperatures are high and involve equally hearty sweating.

The first thing to do is to inquire about the water supply points available on the track to avoid carrying extra pounds. In my opinion, the best match for the transportation of liquids is the use of a hydration pack with a Camel Bag (a plastic container with long straw) where you can store a few litres of pure water and one or two bottles to hold the minerals to sip occasionally.

Avoid putting liquids other than water in the camel bag because it might be challenging to clean and its remains of organic matter in it is easy for mould to grow. Remember, when you return from the excursion by bicycle, wash the bottles and empty the camel bag by placing it inside an object that takes apart the walls to complete drying. Occasionally clean the containers with water and a few drops of antiseptic to disinfect. Rinse everything before reuse.

As we have said, the amount of liquid from the lead bicycle depends on several factors such as the duration, the outside temperature and the points at which it is possible to refuel. You may need to carry around a large amount of water.

Today, water backpacks also exist in addition to the typical mountain bike or road bike water bottles. They come in various sizes. These backpacks are characterized by the presence of containers that can retain a variable amount of liquid. With these systems, water is always available. You drink through a straw coming out of the container and ending with a special spring-loaded device that does not get out of the water when not required.

Cleaning Water Bottles and Containers

If the water bottles have a few problems, cleaning containers in the bag is a matter to be reckoned with. In fact, the inside of the bag is not easily accessible. It will be a good practice to use a can with pure water without the addition of anything else – sugary additives, minerals, or protein substances are phenomenal producers of environments suitable for the proliferation of bacteria and bad odours.

In this way, the container, once rinsed, can be dried and stored. An object held in the detached walls favours drying.

Another advice is to proceed from time to time to fill it with water and a few drops of antiseptic for complete disinfection. In this case, you will need to remember to rinse it before using it again.

Another useful tip can be to keep the container in the refrigerator. Once rinsed, fill it with water and store it in the refrigerator. This procedure is more simple. The cold is an excellent deterrent for the proliferation of bacteria and, therefore, the formation of unpleasant odours.

Keep in mind that expensive cleaning kits are available (useless if you follow the advice given).

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can check out later this guide on how to clean water bottles by

Prepping up Drinks for your Trip

The topic might seem more complex but instead is very simple. In containers, you put water, pure and simple water. The addition of minerals is certainly recommended, but please always consider that the additions should always be mild. During the exercise, the mineral salts should be taken when needed, so very much diluted with water.

To give you a practical example, with one serving (500 ml) of solution such as Gatorade, Energade or similar drinks, you should have at least “two half-litres” to be used during the exercise. In other words, the 500 ml bottle of drinks is distributed in two flasks which then end up filled with water. For each bottle, such a drink can be completed by four teaspoons of maltodextrin and fructose. It is more or less the same thing, only that fructose is sweet,, and maltodextrins are tasteless.

Each bottle will contribute about 140 calories, an ideal fit for a liquid to be taken during exercise.


Summing up, hydration is a very important reason to enjoy cycling, even if you are a road biker or a mountain biker. Staying hydrated is critical for cyclists of all levels. Whether you are training for your first race or racing professionally, it is important to stay hydrated before, during and after the ride. To stay hydrated during the summer months, make sure to bring water with you on your bike rides. You will definitely need it! Learn more about how to stay healthy by visiting our recent blog posts.

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