Cycling Fluid Intake

A brand new meta-analysis came out recently, aiming to figure the effects of drinking during endurance cycling.

Here are the key points, as published in the paper:


  • The effects are complex and need to be considered within the context of the individual and the specific activity.
  • The duration of exercise is the key thing that may lead to positive or negative effects of ingesting fluids.
  • During races less than 1 hour, you probably shouldn’t drink anything (assuming you’re starting off hydrated).
  • During races 1-2 hours, consume between 0.15–0.20 mL/kg body mass/min.
  • During races 2-3+ hours, consume between 0.14–0.27 mL/kg body mass/min.

Use the calculator below to see how that works out for your body weight. I put the numbers into several different units, but most cyclists will probably want to see oz/hr (on the right). Obviously these are wide ranges, so consider the weather, exercise intensity, and your individual sweat rate.



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