Dehydration can happen quickly in motorcyclists, decreasing your ability to ride safely and even threatening your life, if not properly treated. Riding, like other sports, is a physical activity putting strain on your muscles and causing your body to release heat through sweat. In addition, most motorcycles aren't designed with a convenient cup holder, so grabbing a drink on the road can be problematic.
Fortunately, there are steps you can easily take to ensure your safety while out enjoying your ride, and we've listed some of these tips below.
Dehydration happens when you lose more water than you're taking in. In the simplest of terms, the more you sweat, the quicker you dehydrate. There are causes of dehydration that motorcyclists face in particular, which include:-
Some dehydration risks include dizziness, fatigue, and confusion. Dehydrated riders can also have a slower reaction time. All these factors can increase crash risk.
But that's not all—severe dehydration can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening issue. Other side effects can include:
Drinking water while riding can be tricky, if not downright dangerous and therefore, it's often not the best way to combat dehydration while on your motorcycle, unless you have the proper tools (more on that below). However, there are some steps you can take before, during and after a ride that will help you remain hydrated and healthy.
LAM recommend avoiding alcohol the night before and caffeine the day of a motorcycle ride. Both types of beverages are diureticsand can cause your body to force out more water than it's taking in. If you must drink coffee to wake up, be sure to drink an adequate amount of water before you hop on your bike.
There are a few steps you can take while on a ride to stay hydrated:-
If you simply weren't able to get some water into your system before or during your trip, make sure to hydrate as soon as possible after you reach your destination. However, you don't want to over-hydrate too quickly—this could shock your system and cause a host of different problems. Instead, slowly but consistently sip water for the rest of your day, rather than slugging down a huge amount at once.
Self-diagnosis for dehydration isn't easy. Some severe symptoms you should watch out for include:
If your attempts to rehydrate with water and electrolytes don't relieve your symptoms, seek emergency medical attention. Treatment will include providing salts and fluids intravenously to help your body absorb what it needs quickly and safely. As mentioned above, it is important to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and even carbonated fizzy drinks — these will reduce your body's ability to absorb the liquids it needs.
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