Finding greatness in 2020: Part 3

In the final edition of our three part series about riding and staying well, Swisse Nutritionist Lauren McDowell and Naturopath Maya Muckalt get to the facts about hydration – even when cycling during winter.



When riding regularly, it’s important to drink enough fluid to replace what’s lost through sweat to reduce dehydration. Here’s what you should know.


When cycling – even in the cooler months – your body temperature rises and, to keep functioning efficiently, you sweat to cool off. This leads to an increase in fluid loss. It’s best to develop good daily hydration habits to reduce the likelihood of beginning a ride already dehydrated.

Then, make sure water, or an electrolyte drink, is available to sip during your rides. Remember, it’s difficult to completely maintain fluid levels during exercise, so rehydration efforts should continue post-ride.


Dehydration can lead to symptoms such as reduced ability to sweat, increased body temperature, increased heart rate, electrolyte imbalances, headache, fatigue, muscle cramps and weakness – all of which can impact physical performance and leave you feeling fatigued. Severe, or prolonged, dehydration may also have more serious side effects.


Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are increasingly used or lost during exercise. Magnesium and calcium work together to support muscle contraction and relaxation.

These minerals may support healthy muscle function and reduce the incidence of muscle cramps. Combining fluids with sodium and potassium – via a specialised sports drink– can help replace what’s lost during strenuous or prolonged exercise, as well as support fluid retention.

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