The Significance of Hydration for Optimal Cycling Performance

Speaker notes

Hydration could be very crucial to Leo’s performance when cycling, and this is because water maintains the body’s blood volume and normalizes body temperatures. Besides, it is also responsible for muscle contractions; therefore, if Leo takes large volumes of water it will refill the fluids lost during his cycling exercises. In this regard, restoring fluids in the body sustains normal muscle functioning and aids in preventing a decrease in physical performance.

Conversely if he becomes dehydrated,

The blood volumes will reduce

The blood flow will lessen,

Sweating levels will decrease resulting in heat dissipation.

And the rates of glycogen will increase.

An increase in temperature in the dehydrated situation is supplemented by increased levels of amine responses, which leads to increased levels of the breakdown of glycogen in muscles. This situation might contribute to an increased level of fatigue in the body muscles during the athletic activity, thus hindering better performance.

Water is a crucial factor in several biological reactions in the body, enabling any athletic activity; therefore, athletes must take sufficient amounts of water, during, and after any physical activity to attain their highest physical performance.


Leo can measure the level of hydration/dehydration in his body by observing his urine color, which represents the levels of urochrome present in urine.

If Leo is well hydrated, he could expect excretion of large volumes of urine, which dilutes the urochrome solutes hence an ashen color. However, when he is dehydrated, he should expect an excretion of few amounts of urine, which is concentrated, and the urochrome solutes excreted are small in volume. This generally shows a dark color.

On occasions of minimal dehydration, Leo should expect urination of relatively large amounts with normal excretion of urochrome solutes. The color is majorly reasonably yellow.

A good rule of thumb is that Leo should take half of their body weight ounces of water daily (Oppliger & Bartok, 2002); therefore, Leo should drink at least 68 ounces any typical day

1 pound = 0.4536kgs

? 62kgs

62*1/0.4536= 136lbs

136lbs/2= 68 ounces of water a day.

However, two hours before training, he should take 16 ounces per; 16-20 minutes before training, he needs to take 6-10 ounces of water; during training, he should take 4-10 ounces for every 15 to 20 minutes; after practice, he should take 20-24 ounces per body weight lost (Goulet, 2012).

Carbohydrates are essential nutrients in the Leo’s body. They contain hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen atoms in particular ratios which provide energy within the body. Examples of carbohydrates include whole grains, potatoes, fruit juices, pastries, among others. Most of these carbohydrates are broken down into glucose before entering the bloodstream. In the case of excess breakdown, the excess glucose is stored for future use in the form of glycogen mostly found in the liver and body muscles.

Diet rich in carbohydrates enhances the athlete's endurance and recurrent high-intensity performance since the glycogen stored in the liver and muscles are easily converted to energy on demand. However, Leo should be careful about the right amounts of carbohydrates they consume to avoid being overweight (See side 6 for the proposed measure).

Blood glucose levels decrease rapidly during a continuous cycling exercise in Leo. During this activity, Leo’s body takes in a lot of oxygen, which is used in CHO oxidation to provide the needed energy levels for the movement of the muscles. Therefore, continuous exercises reduce glycogen levels in his body.

Bloating issues in Leo could be happening because he is ramping carbohydrates right from zero (Foley et al., 2014). Bloating happens because carbohydrates such as vegetables contain fiber that needs to be fermented by bacteria in the process of producing gas. The more vegetables Leo consumes, the more the fiber is being fermented.

Leo needs to be enduring in his cycling activity; therefore, he needs to consume enough amounts of carbohydrates to provide the required glucose in the bloodstream, which provides energy for physical activity.

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Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy during any physical activity. However, for Leo, he needs to balance the uptake based on the kind of activity he is going to undertake. For instance, in light exercises, he needs to take 3-5gms per kg of body weight. During moderate exercises, he needs to take 5-7 per kg of his body weight. In a high exercise situation, he needs to take 7-12 per kg of his body weight. And lastly, in extreme commitment, he needs to take 10-12g per kg of his body weight.


Goulet, E. D. (2012). Dehydration and endurance performance in competitive athletes. Nutrition reviews, 70(suppl_2), S132-S136.

Oppliger, R. A., & Bartok, C. (2002). Hydration testing of athletes. Sports Medicine, 32(15), 959-971.

Foley, A., Burgell, R., Barrett, J. S., & Gibson, P. R. (2014). Management strategies for abdominal bloating and distension. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 10(9), 561.

Cox, G. R., Clark, S. A., Cox, A. J., Halson, S. L., Hargreaves, M., Hawley, J. A., ... & Burke, L. M. (2010). Daily training with high carbohydrate availability increases exogenous carbohydrate oxidation during endurance cycling. Journal of Applied Physiology, 109(1), 126-134.

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