Biketober Tips: Health & Hydration
Whether or not you are participating in the Atlanta Bike Challenge with the explicit goal of getting healthier, here are some helpful tips to keep you moving through Biketober!
- Drink lots of cool water. When cycling, drink before you get thirsty. Sip on the water and electrolyte drinks, even if it’s not hot outside on those hot days.
- Take breaks. This sounds like common sense, but it is important.
- Dress appropriately.
- Hydrate and replenish after each and every bike ride.
- Check the weather: Determine what type of gear and clothing you should pack for your ride. Remember that bike lights will always make you more visible in the rain
- Wear a helmet.
- Ditch the headphones. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings when riding. Listening to headphones will block out ambient traffic noise. Consider a small portable stereo if you want to listen to music.
Pack a Snack
- Powered by the Peel: Bananas are snacks ready to roll; they are famous for their potassium and contain carbohydrates that may enhance your muscles' abilities to use the fuel efficiently.
- Peanut Butter Jelly Time: PB&J's are perfect pocket fuel. The bread and jam (or honey) provide carbohydrates and the peanut butter offers protein and fats. Allergic to peanuts? Try almond butter if you can tolerate tree nuts or sunflower butter if not. Swap a tortilla for bread to prevent having a squashed sandwich. Cut your sandwich into quarters and have one piece at 15- to 20-minute increments.
- Trail Mix: Dried fruits and nuts are a concentrated source of carbohydrates. Dried apricots, prunes and raisins have the added benefit of potassium. Mix your favorite fruits with nuts and seeds to keep your body supplied with energy, vitamin E and magnesium. If you have a heavy sweat rate, you may want to choose salted nuts and seeds.
- Water Works: In general, if you're planning to bike for an hour or less, water is the best way to stay hydrated and to prevent drinking the calories you just burned. If you're going to be rolling for more than an hour, have a heavy sweat rate or the weather is exceptionally hot, consider having two bottles with you — one for water and one for a sports drink. You may purchase a sports drink for the sake of convenience, but making your own with black or green iced tea, a splash of juice, some sugar and a pinch of salt is easy and provides an added antioxidant boost. Take sips of fluid often to maintain hydration and alternate between the two drinks if packing both.
Track your progress at ATLBikeChallenge.com and make sure to celebrate the strides your making.