Summer is here! Like every year, temperatures are rising, beads of sweat are forming on your forehead and the simple thought of exercise makes you sweat. However, the heat is no reason to leave your bike at home – with our tips and the right dresscode, you will make it through the current and coming heat waves.
Why do we sweat?
Sweating is a protective mechanism provided by the body which serves to regulate the body’s temperature. When it is hot outside, our inner body temperature (which is usually at about 37° Celsius) is regulated by sweat. When we exercise, we sweat more because the muscles need energy due to the activity, which increases our body temperature. Sweat cools us down again. Some people sweat more than others. On the one hand, this can be due to their bodies simply reacting more sensitively to heat and exercise, on the other hand, it’s possible that their perspiratory glands have developed differently.
The right clothes
Wearing the right clothes for cycling is very important. Your sportswear should absorb sweat and transport it away from your skin where it can evaporate, keeping your shirt dry. It is also important that the clothes fit you well and don’t cause any chafe marks. Polyester and polypropylene are great materials that transport sweat very efficiently. If you want to keep it natural, stick to merino wool or mixed fabrics e.g. made out of cotton and polyester.
Tip: Test your sports wear by wearing it for a couple of minutes – pay attention to whether you skin gets damp quickly under the clothes and whether the fabric sticks to your skin. If that’s the case, the material isn’t ideal.
On hot days, make sure to drink enough the day before or the morning of your tour to fill your body’s water storage. Beverages containing electrolytes are ideal to refill the minerals you lose when sweating. Take at least one bottle with you when you go out for a ride, or even bring two if it’s a long tour. Refill the bottles in time and make sure to take a sip from time to time.
Tip: Pack some gel into your bike bag. When refilling your bottle, you can mix the gel into the water to provide all the nutrients necessary to make you fit again after sweating a lot.
Tips to combat sweat
- The right food: Fresh fruit and vegetables have a cooling effect. Spicy food has an opposite effect.
- Warm showers: A warm shower widens your vessels which means that your body has an easier time at getting rid of the heat.
- Going to the sauna: This trains your body which makes it easier to deal with the heat.
- Sport: Lots of exercise optimises the activity of the perspiratory glands.
- Cycling in the shade: When you’re cycling in the heat, it’s best to stay in the shade to avoid riding in the blazing sun.
- Stay cool: On long rides, regularly pour water over your head and neck to cool these spots and keep your body temperature down.
How do you deal with sweat while cycling? 💦
Let us know in the comments!
- The Top 5 Cycling Destinations in 2020 - January 14, 2020
- Your First Long Bike Ride – 200km and More - January 11, 2020
- 4.5M – The World’s Largest Cycling Route Collection - November 21, 2019