Riding an adventure motorcycle is hard work and without proper planning you can very quickly become dehydrated.
How to Stay Hydrated.
The first thing to realize is you cannot consume water at the same rate you are losing it. To get fully hydrated takes time so chugging a bottle of water and thinking you are good for the day is not going to work.
So how much water should I drink?
There are so many variables this is a hard question to answer. To get the exact number we need to figure our your BMI (Body Mass Index), starting level of hydration etc...
So what should you do?
Drink water, lots of it, slowly and over a long period of time leading up to your training not just on the day of. Pay attention to the color of your urine generally speaking it should be clear. Note that you can have a clear urine based on overconsumption of water, your body can only process so much water at one time, overload it and use your urine color as the only hydration test and you will be in trouble.
But I want a number...
On average (remember there are high and lows to create an average), you will need to drink a gallon of water over a 14 hour period for a few days leading up to the ride. The day of, drink approximately 20 ounces two to three hours before you start, then another 10 ounces ten to twenty minutes before start. From there drink 10 ounces every ten to twenty minutes during the ride. Rehydrate within 2 hours after riding (the water in beer does not count).
If I drink a sports drink does that help?
Yes, but... just like you can overload your body with too much water at once you can overload your system carbs and electrolytes. I prefer to add electrolytes at a slower and more consistent pace by mixing a Nuun tablet or sports drink into my water, this keeps a nice even flow of electrolytes avoiding the high or lows that can occur.
How will I remember to drink all this water?
A hydration backpack is a great option. The ability to sip on your water while you're stopped with helmet on makes it super convenient and if it's easy we are more likely to do it. Make sure to take plenty of breaks for hydration but having a hydration pack really makes a big difference and I strongly suggest it to everyone.
But I will be peeing all the time!
That is not a bad thing. Water is what filters your body, sweating using muscles the toxins are flushed by your well hydrated body. You can think clear, perform better and yes you will need to pee more often as a result. Good news is you will not be alone. The average age of adventure motorcycle riders lends itself to peeing more often then they were at 20 years old. Remember we use chronical age not maturity levels.