Staying Cool – Summer Cycling

We are now in the middle of one of Australia’s renowned hot summers. So much so that keeping cool is one of the most important factors when cycling. Whether it be suburban, inner city or rural cycling, making sure you do not over heat is beneficial to your overall health.

Our bodies are known to sweat up to an amazing 1.5 litres per hour during intensive exercise, and the sun doesn’t help either. Although, sweat is a great way to cool down our bodies, it is made up of both water and salts. These salts, ammonia and urea, contain left over chemicals which your body produces after breaking down protein. This doesn’t just help with your fitness but is a natural way to cool down as the salts inside sweat hang onto your skin longer than plain old water.

Unfortunately, with sweating you lose proteins such as sodium, potassium and chloride. Therefore, drinking electrolytes during long rides can benefit your health and make sure your sweat glands keep on pumping. Eating lots of fruit before and after the ride is also recommended.

Sweating and drinking lots of water are not the only important actions to take during your ride, there are many things you can do to ensure your body stays cool and comfortable. Wearing the proper cycling apparel can make a huge difference in your body’s temperature. Meshed cycling gear is the best type of material to wear as the fabric consists of tiny holes which allows your skin to breathe. With meshed clothing your body is able release all of its heat instead of getting trapped underneath your clothes. This way you can cycle in comfort and relax knowing your gear won’t be holding you back.

The sun is another important factor, in some cases meshed clothing can expose you to UV rays due to the tiny holes. It is recommended that you use sunblock underneath your meshed gear to avoid sunburns.  However, good quality cycling apparel is manufactured using materials that have better skin protection and are best fit for both keeping cool and avoiding nasty sun burns.

To make sure you are keeping cool during your summer rides, it’s important to sweat, drink water, electrolytes and plenty of fruit. Also, be ready with the right cycling apparel that can protect you from harmful UV rays from the sun and you should be set to go. Happy summer cycling!

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