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Hydration? What do you recommend?


ElevenFifty

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Just take regular breaks. 3,000 miles over 7 or 8 days is probably just around 10 hours per day or so, on average, including break stops.

 

Stop every 70 to 100 miles and have something to drink. Avoid too much caffeine. You'll do well.

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I wear a Camelbak "M.U.L.E." It carries up to 3 litres of water plus has room for other gear like wireless phone, glasses, energy bars, etc. M.U.L.E. (Medium to Extra Long Excursions) At petrol stations or restaurants you can fill the bladder with ice; that will keep your beveage of choice cold for quite some time. I just use water, but I've heard that a 50/50 mix of water and Gatorade is the ticket if it's really hot. Enjoy the ride.

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The CamelBak Systems come in number of sizes (and prices) and are available in bicycle and sports shops (or on-line).

 

I have also had the 50/50 Gatorade/water reccomendation from a paramedic.

 

Please remember to keep the bladder CLEAN after use...it can get gunky fast especially if you use a Gatorade or similar fluid.

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russell_bynum

The best thing you can do is constantly sip vs. gulping down a bunch of fluids every couple of hours at stops.

 

Along those lines, a Camelback is ideal.

 

If you're not carrying a passenger and you've got room on the pillion, pop down to Costco and pick up a cheap folding cooler. Fill it with ice, bungie it to the pillion, and put your Camelback bladder in there. You'll have ice cold water all day.

 

Important: In addition to replacing fluids, you need to replace electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Gatorade or similar sports drinks are OK for this. You can also just get salt tablets and potassium tablets at the drug store and take them straight (and avoid all the sugar from the gatorade).

 

If you don't have to pee every few hours, you're not drinking enough.

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Camelbak. 70-oz bladder at a minimum. Larger if you think you'll need more between stops. I ride with a 70-oz. I empty it between gas stops.

 

Also, drink AHEAD of the need. If you start to feel thirsty, you're already behind the curve. Never more than 8 oz at a time. Constant sipping is good, but if you get the desire to gulp, stop at 8 oz. I've been told that's about all your body can handle at one time. If you need more, then take in another 8 oz in another 15 minutes.

 

You won't pee anywhere near as much as you take in. But you should release a little. If not, your body is not getting enough. You can tell when you're drinking enough because you eventually have to go to the bathroom to get rid of the excess.

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+1 for drinking during a stop. Every 2 hours I need gas and a little break for my rear end. On long interstate trips I'll gas the bike, go pee, buy a bottle of water, maybe a bananna or bag of nuts, do some deep knee bends . I pretty much chug the water and may throw an extra bottle in the tank bag depending on my location. maybe clean my face shield, eye drops, chapstick, etc. It's usually a 10 minute stop and I'm ready to go. On long trips I always end up playing psychological games with myself. The water gives me something to look forward to. I'm not overly thirsty or dehydrated, I just like to drink water and the two hour interval works well for me. I have no argument against a hydration pack; it just seems like something else to bother with. My 2 cents.

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Good reply. Both hydration and stopping to exercise are recommended as ways to prevent leg clots, and prevent/relieve muscle pains from remaining stationary too long.

 

I think periodic breaks also help your mental concentration from becoming too fatigued, and is a good safety precaution.

 

Wayne

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If you get the desire to gulp, stop at 8 oz. I've been told that's about all your body can handle at one time. If you need more, then take in another 8 oz in another 15 minutes.

 

This rule overcomplicates hydration. Unless you have chronic kidney disease, your body can easily handle more than 8 oz of water at a time. The theoretical risk is hyponatremia (low sodium concentration in the blood), but in my years of medical practice, those who get in trouble from over-drinking either have a kidney disease of some kind that interferes with water excretion, or psychiatric illness (psychogenic polydipsia).

 

Bottom line - if you're thirsty, then drink until you feel better.

 

Jay (MD)

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Regardlees of the make or model of hydration system you buy a feature I've found quite helpfull is having a large opening for refilling. My current system has a double zip-lock over the entire end of the bag as opposed to a smaller twist off lid. This make it nice and quick to fill up with ice at the "big gulp station" filling the balance with Gatoraid or similar liquids. Just my 2 cents worth Cheers, Ralph

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If you get the desire to gulp, stop at 8 oz. I've been told that's about all your body can handle at one time. If you need more, then take in another 8 oz in another 15 minutes.

 

This rule overcomplicates hydration. Unless you have chronic kidney disease, your body can easily handle more than 8 oz of water at a time. The theoretical risk is hyponatremia (low sodium concentration in the blood), but in my years of medical practice, those who get in trouble from over-drinking either have a kidney disease of some kind that interferes with water excretion, or psychiatric illness (psychogenic polydipsia).

 

Bottom line - if you're thirsty, then drink until you feel better.

 

Jay (MD)

 

Thanks, Doc. It's always good to hear FACTUAL information from someone who really knows.

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Dave_Armstrong

I went to REI and got a bladder, 70-80 oz, it was orange and called MSD or some such brand? Anyway, the bladder and screw on straw fits nicely in tank bag. Fill with ice and water. Easy to take a sip when needed and straw is long enough to reach passenger. Wifey got overheated on a day trip this summer, so we watch her hydration closer now. It is very refreshing to take a sip when needed.

 

Good Luck,,,Dave

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hey dave, does that thing sweat inside your tank bag? I think chicane or someone makes a tank bag with a built-in hydro pak but its partitioned off from the rest of the bag (i think) I just wonder about getting all my stuff soggy in my tank bag.

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grizzly660fan

for those using camel back or other similar, I was wondering how you do the drinking? I have nalgene brand and really like their systems. the bite valve is at a 90 degree and I can't fit it between my chin and helmet. the only option I have is to flip my chin bar on helmet and drink. I don't like that option as I like the lid closed while in motion.

 

how are you guys handling that?

 

Also, I am kinda an anti tank bag guy, I don't like to wear my hydration backpack over my kilimanjaro jacket. the extra bulk annoys me. any ideas how to solve that one too? I wear my hydration on my dirt bikes no problem.

 

what are your thoughts.

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I guess it's a matter of different hydration philosophies, but I'm in the "stop and take a drink" camp. I've found that stopping every two or three hours to refuel, rehydrate, and walk or stretch a bit is the best approach for me. It seems that in the course of a day I can ride more miles and end up less fatigued by following this admittedly informal regimen.

 

There is also another principle that you need to bear in mind--the largest percentage of your body's water loss occurs as a result of perspiration. You can cut down on the amount you perspire by taking other measures to remain cool. I have been decidedly low-tech in my approach, just soaking my t-shirt with water in a gas station's bathroom sink, then riding with my jacket's vents open. This provides an easy 30-60 minutes of tremendous cooling (as long as the humidity is low), during which my water loss due to perspiration must be near zero. Of course, a more effective method would be to use one of the cooling vests, like those from Silver Eagle Outfitters.

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russell_bynum
for those using camel back or other similar, I was wondering how you do the drinking? I have nalgene brand and really like their systems. the bite valve is at a 90 degree and I can't fit it between my chin and helmet. the only option I have is to flip my chin bar on helmet and drink. I don't like that option as I like the lid closed while in motion.

 

how are you guys handling that?

 

The 90-degree bite-valve on my CamelBack fits under the chinbar of my helmet, so I don't have any issues with that.

 

Also, I am kinda an anti tank bag guy, I don't like to wear my hydration backpack over my kilimanjaro jacket. the extra bulk annoys me. any ideas how to solve that one too? I wear my hydration on my dirt bikes no problem.

 

what are your thoughts.

 

I generally wear mine, but you could lash it to the pillion/topcase/tank/etc if you didn't want to do that.

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For drinking in a helmet, that's going to be a bit different for each person. I can slip the bite valve in over the chin piece on my Schuberth, but not on my Nolan. With the Nolan, the chinpiece is taller, so I have to swing it up. Something I don't like to do while moving.

 

As far as drinking in general goes. I drink when I feel like it, or every 15-25 miles, whichever comes first. Usually just a sip or so, occasionally a good drink. Did this recently in 116 degree weather, and had no hydration issues. I follow similar practices back home in 80ish degree weather. I use a 100oz Camelback, with no frills. I don't like to hang anything on my back, generally, but this sits on my shoulders, and rests on whatever is strapped to the pilion seat. No weight, other than keeping it from falling off, and the bite-valve is always handy.

 

I did find it more convenient to thread the drink tube through the pouch so that it comes over my left shoulder than the shipped right shoulder, though. Something about the throttle hand... ;)

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There is also another principle that you need to bear in mind--the largest percentage of your body's water loss occurs as a result of perspiration. You can cut down on the amount you perspire by taking other measures to remain cool.

 

Yes. The worst thing to do in really hot weather is expose lots of skin . I see Harley riders breaking this rule often. At speed the perspiration evaporates too quickly to soak up much heat, and the sun then also directly heats the skin with radiant energy. (Of course proper gear also reduces road rash from a crash and skin cancers later in life).

 

I use a mesh jacket which I can wet down if needed and am able to keep quite cool. This is nearly always a surprise to non-riders who wonder why I would wear a jacket in such hot weather.

 

Jay

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My camelbak is in my tankbag and closest to the top. I placed a band of velcro around the tube under the mouthpiece and a strip of velcro on the side of the tankbag to hold the hose. Allows easy access to the hose. Been using a powder supplement called Emer'gen-C which contains 1000 mg of Vitamin C and seven minerals and ascorbates. Got the tip from my oldest son who does a lot of extreme sports. Just mix it with water and your good to go. Worked great for me this summer on my 8,000 mile trip through some pretty hot places. I have been avoiding ice in the camelbak and ice cold drinks ever since my friend passed out after drinking a fair amount of ice cold water. Some kind of brain freeze (I forget the medical term for it). So I just drink the water without ice and it works for me.

 

Ride safe.

 

Bob

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I liked my 100 oz camelback w/ gatorade powder and water (1/2-2/3 strength) when riding through 110 degrees in the southwest, but agree about the bulk over gear. The gatorade powder comes in a can just the perfect size for a one-week trip with 3-5 really hot days.

 

One bummer with this setup is that my vents are blocked in the back of my jacket, and I get less breeze through, which was supposed to be cooling me off.

 

The mouthpiece for a camelback comes in many variations, both straight line and 90 degree angle, so it seems possible to find one that will work under the helmet. I get mine at REI, but I bet Camelback has a website.

 

I had the idea that I could get or make a neoprene sleeve for the camelback, then put it in my tank bag and have it insulated and not soaking other stuff in there. I'm much cooler in the heat w/o anything on my back. Haven't made the thing yet, and suspect I'd need a bigger tank bag than I want if I'm to have enough liquids on board. Cooler on the pillion sounds like a good plan.

 

Medically speaking, I always have some V8 with me when on the road in the desert - it's sealed, so when I don't need it I use it next time. It's for the last 2 days when my gatorade runs out. Harder to bruise than a banana, and has my potassium plus some sodium in case of emergency. Fits easily next to the nuts in my top case. I also always try to have backup water and all the other stuff riders talk about here - an emergency blanket, etc.

 

Andie, Seattle

PA, family practice (get it, PAndie?)

 

I think that info's in my auto-address/sign-off, too: dopeslap.gif

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... Been using a powder supplement called Emer'gen-C which contains 1000 mg of Vitamin C and seven minerals and ascorbates. Got the tip from my oldest son who does a lot of extreme sports.

 

These energy drinks are excellent for long distance sports (bicycling, marathons, etc.) -BUT- I'm not sure they're ideal for on the MC. A couple thots:

 

1. Most energy drinks contain high levels of sugar. This can cause one's blood sugar level to skyrocket and then crash as the body compensates. This is the primary reason cookies at bedtime help one get to sleep. This is also the reason I stay away from sugar and simple starches (white bread, pasta, potato's) when taking driving breaks.

 

2. The sugar in these drinks gets metabolized very efficiently. This provides good quick energy for an athelete burning 500 or more calories an hour - probably five times what I'm burning when riding the scooter. If these calories aren't "burned" they get stored for later use. tongue.gif

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My camelbak broke in my tankbag. It wasn't a pretty site.

 

Since then I just used the old fashioned method, I pull over and sip from a water bottle (a solid one!!) as the mood strikes me. Doesn't seem to slow me down......

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Gary, my First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket has a long inside pocket on the right side that is designed for a bladder. Does your jacket have one? I use the bladder that was sold with the jacket. It has a straight valve that I can slip under the chin bar of my helmet. Seems to work OK for me and it does not seem to restrict the vents.

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These energy drinks are excellent for long distance sports (bicycling, marathons, etc.) -BUT- I'm not sure they're ideal for on the MC. A couple thots:

 

1. Most energy drinks contain high levels of sugar. This can cause one's blood sugar level to skyrocket and then crash as the body compensates. This is the primary reason cookies at bedtime help one get to sleep. This is also the reason I stay away from sugar and simple starches (white bread, pasta, potato's) when taking driving breaks.

 

2. The sugar in these drinks gets metabolized very efficiently. This provides good quick energy for an athelete burning 500 or more calories an hour - probably five times what I'm burning when riding the scooter. If these calories aren't "burned" they get stored for later use. tongue.gif

Yup. Agreed. Someone here mentioned using diluted Gatorade, and I've been using that ever since. Tastes great and less filling. smile.gif
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I used to bicycle race in Phoenix so lots of daily training in extreme heat. Drank Gatoraid mixed 50/50 with water and felt great. After a year of a daily diet of sugar water had about 4 cavities that needed filling. The dentist wasn't impressed with Gatoraid as a sports drink and steered me to pure water for hydration. Haven't had a cavity in 10 years since then.

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Wolfman (google) has a bladder system that will fit in most tankbags. It is like a camelback without the straps. If you don't use a tankbag just wear a Camelback, hydration is everything...

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hmm I don't know about a side pocket, I will have to check. is it under the arm? that sure would cure the issues I have with wearing the backpack. I would just have to sort out the bite valve.

 

I will check when I get home. Thanks for the tip!

 

Garry

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Another trick my wife & I use - in the afternoon, when we are at a second, third, or fourth petrol station, we will drink a can of sugar-free red bull. The cans are small (8 ounces), refreshing, and give a good pick-me-up without the sugar related crash after a short while.

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I used to bicycle race in Phoenix so lots of daily training in extreme heat. Drank Gatoraid mixed 50/50 with water and felt great. After a year of a daily diet of sugar water had about 4 cavities that needed filling. The dentist wasn't impressed with Gatoraid as a sports drink and steered me to pure water for hydration. Haven't had a cavity in 10 years since then.

 

I've read this is due to the acid - it attacks the enamel coating on teeth. Citrus flavored drinks consumed during high exertion in a dry climate (read: one is in a somewhat dehydrated condition) will coat the teeth and will result in more loss of enamel. Oh, and then there's all that sugar... tongue.gif

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