Is it possible to over hydrate?

Over the month of January, the air has been really dry here in our area, so dry that our skin continues to crack and hurt. Our liquid intake daily is 90% water, we do indulge in a soda from time to time and we also have a couple of cups of coffee a week. Our climate is very dry in the winter and it seems drier than the summer so we are certain to stay hydrated and use a lot of lotion for our skin.

The water jugs that we continuously refill holds 32 ounces of water so 2 full bottles and we make sure to drink several jugs each a day. A few times a day we make sure to use lotion on our skin and no matter what it continues to crack and hurt. Currently, I’m dealing with my heals being very dry since I am always putting on shoes to ride or hike, however, when I’m home and not riding I only wear sandals or flipflops. It takes a lot to keep your skin from drying out in Arizona so we do take all precautions.

This brings me to proper hydration concerns or inquiries. When we first started riding our bikes it was the middle of the summer on average of 100-125 degrees heat. During the days of riding, I would go through 6-8 bottles of water for a 10-25 miles bike ride, and I didn’t feel like at that time that I could stay hydrated enough. Since I’ve ridden a lot more I noticed that I don’t drink as much water when riding, typically 1-2 bottles of water every 100 miles if that. Recently our son rode a bike with us and we watched him continue to have to drink water which made me really think about this. Is it that our bodies have remained properly hydrated or is it that our bodies have adapted to the exercise and doesn’t need as much to do the task?

Yesterday I was concerned that I hadn’t drunk enough water due to my skin starting to crack a bit more than usual so I loaded up. When I say loaded up I mean that I filled my jug (it holds 32 oz) 5 times over a 4-hour stretch. We’ve even followed pee charts to know that our bodies are hydrated or not to be safe in the past. After chugging all of that water I continued to drink at that pace and noticed that even when I’d go to sleep that every 30 minutes to 1 hour I’d wake up to have to use the restroom. Did I over hydrate? Is it possible to overhydrate? 

Those questions keep popping into my head and over the years we’ve learned not to ever search questions on the internet since everyone seems to have an answer that they never actually give the answer to the question. Most of the internet has an answer to everything you search which is called click bate and we don’t use the net as much as anymore. So, in reality, yes it is possible to overhydrate, and you can actually drown by consuming too much water. So yes it is possible but it does take a lot and I’ve not come anywhere close to consuming that much, besides it flows right through the body the more you drink.

Staying hydrated is a very important thing to do since our bodies consist of I believe 90% water. When riding bikes, hiking, exercising, in general, we need to stay hydrated and to do so in proper moderation. When exercising and consuming water you can end up keeping on the water weight which is why it’s important to know when to drink it and when not to during an exercise. Now we’re not pros on the subject we’ve learned everything based on personal experience and what works best for us, we’re merely sharing our findings.

So I hope that what we’ve shared in this article will help as what we’ve learned so far has helped us tremendously. Thanks for the support and we wish you an epic adventure day!

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2 Thoughts

  1. Hi Matty ! I think you are right on about hydration. Yes, it is possible to be over-hydrated and you must be careful about doing that. While over-hydration is serious, the additional water changes the delicate blood electrolyte balance. I would always recommend using electrolyte additives in your water while riding, especially in your conditions. From personal experience, when I was drinking 4+ liters of water to boost my blood volume the day before my regular blood work there was a noticeable drop in my sodium levels and the same decrease with other electrolytes. Now I just do my regular two liters. Just as you mentioned you will eliminate the excess fluid which in turn is causes increase workload on your kidneys but you will also be eliminating electrolytes as well. It is a delicate balance for sure. Under hydration is is also problematic as ones blood volume will decrease which increases the load on your heart and inhibits the ability for muscles to response and thinking becomes impaired. Acclimation to the environment and even more fundamentally to riding may also point to the difference between you and your son’s fluid requirement. I recognize everyone is different but 2 bottles of water over 100 miles in your climate seems low. The water intake recommendation while riding is 1 bottle per hour and if if really hot… 2 bottles per hour. Your extremely dry climate may require some changes but it is a good starting point. When riding outside I usually carry two 24 oz bottles, one with water and one with electrolyte solution. During our hot and humid summers, I have water refill stops planned on my 50+ miles rides. I would also add that being hydrated and replacing electrolytes is also very important during indoor session where fluid loss is also great. Finding what works for you is always a process of discovery. Some fluid replacement products upset the stomach and hence reduce absorption. It very important that the stomach empties to be able to deliver the need fluid and electrolyte. Same is true of carbohydrates. It is a delicate balance. Good luck and remember…. Bike Fast / Live Slow… Ride On My Friends

    1. thanks so much GSW_Bike you filled in the blank in a lot of places needed. A few areas which I wasnt sure on. I so put electrolyte additives in my water and my road bike bottles hold 24 oz each and i tend to keep 2 bottles full on my bike and given the notes you gave me on my miles versus intake I’ll be sure to drink a bit more when outside riding. Hugs my friend and thanks so much for that information and always being an awesome friend.

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