Female triathlete smiles for the camera while riding her bike. Text on design reads What All Triathletes Should Know to Hydrate Better. Learn more at https://kerrvilletri.com/2021/03/hydrate-better/

Learn to hydrate better with these 5 tips for triathletes

Water is the ultimate hydration for athletes, although it shouldn’t be your only hydration. You lose essential minerals when you sweat. Ensure you’re consuming enough electrolytes to replace what you lose. During physical activities like swimming, cycling, and running, dehydration can be a huge problem if you don’t hydrate properly. Triathletes can shed more water from their body compared to normal athletes, especially during prolonged or brick workouts. Knowing how you can hydrate better will go a long way in preventing dehydration, fatigue, and cramps. Learn to hydrate better as a triathlete when you review and adhere to the 5 tips below.

  1. Hydration timetable

Filling up your favorite water bottle several times a day will help you hydrate better.

You should create a schedule for fluid intake at regular intervals. Plan this according to your training and your day/week. Fill up your favorite water bottle and refill it throughout the day. Stick to this schedule and combine water and an electrolyte-based drink. Check with other triathletes and see what works for them. Keep in mind that your intake will differ based on your body composition, training plan, and how much you sweat. Remember that too much fluid intake can adversely affect your performance. If your training plan calls for you to increase your mileage, ensure you increase your hydration too.

  1. Add electrolytes

Proper hydration is necessary for maintaining the balance of electrolytes in your body. Essential electrolytes such as sodium and potassium are lost when you sweat. This can adversely affect your performance if you don’t properly hydrate prior to a workout and replace what you lost during the workout. Many specialty drinks with added electrolytes are available. Test some of them during strenuous workouts like brick workouts, find what works best for you, and stick with it. 

  1. Eat natural fruits

Watermelon is the perfect post-workout snack and will help you hydrate better.

Certain fruits are loaded with a lot of water and essential minerals. This will help in natural water replenishment and hydration. The additional mineral content also helps in balancing the electrolyte concentration. Fruits like watermelon and coconut are highly recommended for athletes. Treat yourself to these fruits when you take advantage of your rest days.

  1. Reduce caffeine

A cup of coffee might actually be beneficial. But you shouldn’t plan to drink a pot of coffee before a long workout or race day. It is a diuretic and can induce the need for passing urine frequently. Some electrolyte drinks will advertise that they have caffeine. The amount of caffeine in these electrolyte drinks might provide the same performance benefit as a cup of coffee. If you introduce new drinks, try them out with shorter workouts. You’ll know if they work for you and can adjust your intake for longer workouts. If you try new drinks on bike rides, follow this advice to get better at hydrating while cycling.

  1. Monitor food intake

Practice hydrating and cycling when finding the right hydration for you.

The water content in our body plays an important role in the digestion process. Certain types of foods are known for dehydrating your body. Processed foods and snacks with high salt content should be avoided in large quantities similar to caffeine. Nutrition with a small amount of salt isn’t detrimental as the salt could help replenish what you lose when you sweat. This will help your body to stay hydrated.

Training is the ideal time for you to research and test different hydrations. You’ll also need to learn what combination of water and an electrolyte-infused drink works best for you. These 5 tips will help you hydrate better, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to learn what works best for you.