Staying hydrated is very important especially if you’re very active and perspires a lot. It is indeed as important as exercise, being said that losing more than 2% of your body’s water will decline your performance by huge percentage. If you are dehydrated, it can generally make such difference and impact in your optimum performance.
Timing is very important. Hydrate yourself before pedaling to avoid water loss during a ride. At least 4 hours before hopping on your bike, sip 16 ounces of water. Then again, 2 hours prior to biking, sip again 12 ounces of water. During the ride, drink just enough to match the intensity of your ride, and much more if the weather is sunny and you sweat a lot. Try to customize, learn how you sweat. To know more, step on scale, if you weigh less, then you need to drink more, but if you weight more, you need to cut back down to avoid over hydrating your body.
Keep it simple by just having what you need to last long during your rides. What you need is an essential fluid, carbohydrates for energy and electrolytes. Those three simple ingredients are the only thing that you need. If you’re salty sweater (those who find white streaks after you drying up a sweaty clothes), choose a more sodium content in drinks OR add ¼ teaspoon salt to your 16 ounces’ sports drink.
After a ride, you should replace all the lost fluids in your body by drinking plenty of water until you prove a colorless urine.