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Hydration 101!

If your ride is going to be longer than 30 minutes, you should think about how you're going to get your fluids. New riders tend to need more fluid, more often, and sooner than experienced conditioned riders.

While it may be tempting to grab a bottled water for your ride, this isn't your best option. Pure water doesn't absorb well, particularly during strenuous activity. You may find yourself getting queasy.

For short rides, a bit of Gatorade at the end is fine. But as you go longer and harder, the standard grocery-store drinks have too much sugar to function well as hydration. So some brands such as Gatorade now offer reduced-sugar versions.

With any sugar or corn sweetener-based drink -- especially if taken before or early in the ride -- there will be insulin activation, which is NOT what you want on a long hard ride.

As you progress in your biking, listen to what your body is telling you and adjust your hydration plan.

Bike stores sell hydration powders that offer a more scientifically-balanced set of electrolytes. These drinks also provide carbs with less sugar. They tend to be more expensive than grocery-store drinks. As a beginning rider, you may not want to spent that sort of money yet. But in time you'll recognize the value of these products.