The days are getting longer, the sun is shining more brightly, and the temperatures are rising; we are certainly passed the spring classics and are well into the beginning of our summer block of racing – where the action is often as hot as the temperatures.
As we’re sure many of you know who are reading this, riding in these weather conditions, whether that be racing or training, brings its own challenges to make sure that you’re hydrated as best as possible and are fuelling your body correctly to deal with the sweltering conditions.
We sat down with two of our experts, Job van Leeuwen (Nutrition Expert) and Steve Benton (Trainer Coordinator), to find out more about how we as a team deal with racing in hot temperatures and ensuring the riders can perform as best as possible on the bike.
Sweat, sweat, sweat
Everyone sweats during whatever type of exercise they do and although the amount varies due to several factors, higher temperatures are of course one of the main factors for an increased sweat rate, due to the body wanting to get rid of the heat.
“The sweat rate can differ quite a lot from person to person. It can be somewhere between 500 millilitres and up to three litres per hour, although the latter is a very extreme example.” explains Van Leeuwen.
You might have noticed when watching races in the summer months that there are white stains on the kits of riders throughout the peloton – those are sodium stains that are left behind from a riders sweat. As a team, we undertake Precision Hydration sweat tests with every rider so that we can measure their sweat levels, as well as the amount of sodium they lose while sweating.
Van Leeuwen continues: “When doing the tests, we’re then able to see how much sodium a rider loses, and from that we know to then provide them with extra sodium before and after the race to make up for the extra losses.”