What to drink when cycling - the liquids you need on the bike

Not all liquid is created equal - we explain the different types of fluid that'll help you ride further

A male cyclist leans against a wall while drinking from a water bottle
(Image credit: Future)

Given that around two thirds of your body comprises water, knowing that you need to keep hydrated while cycling won’t be a revelation - especially when you consider that we can produce as much as two litres of sweat every hour. However, what you drink, and when, requires some thought and will differ depending on the length and the intensity of your ride.

Before we look at the different ways to hydrate on the bike, it’s worth remembering what happens if we don’t. In simple terms, the fluid loss that occurs through sweating decreases both your blood’s plasma and sodium levels, which adversely impacts your performance. 

Freelance writer

Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for twenty five years. Across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He has been a cycling enthusiast from an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a keen follower of bike racing to this day as well as a regular road and gravel rider.