The 5 tips for cycling in the summer without suffering too much from the heat

How to feed and hydrate on the hottest days for an effective and risk-free workout

Davide Terraneo

Summer, for cyclists, is a season in which it is forbidden to make mistakes. If in winter it is easy, already leaving the house, to understand the clothing to choose and the precautions to be observed in order not to remain too exposed to the cold, in the warmer months it happens more frequently to underestimate the risks associated with heat. If the advice of the grandmother (and the grandmother) always remain valid, such as the obvious rules not to go out in the hottest hours of the day and to wear light clothing as much as possible, there are other small tricks to improve your day on a bicycle in summer. .


In the summer, nutrition must change precisely in anticipation of the type of effort required of the body, forced to retain as much fluids as possible. Proper management of cycling effort starts with breakfast, even more so with higher temperatures: eating lots of fruit in the morning, perhaps a banana and food containing water (grapes, watermelon) reduces the risk of dehydration. Coffee, on the other hand, is not an ally for summer cycling trips, being a diuretic.


Hydration remains the priority on the hottest days and for this reason it must be planned in view of the outings. It may be a good rule, for example, to decide to bring two water bottles and not to fill them to the brim with water. One of the two can be half full of water and completed with ice cubes, which melt during the effort to fill the void. This way, the water will always be fresh. The second, on the other hand, can be filled with three quarters of water and with less ice; this will be consumed first.


It may seem like obvious advice, but in some cases it is decisive. On the hottest days, it is advisable to take well-known routes, where you are aware of where to stop to fill your water bottles and cool off. Sudden heatstrokes can be fatal if they arrive in an unfamiliar place, where you don’t know where to ask for help or where to cool off. Much better, at least in the hottest period, to stay in a comfort zone.


Speaking of clothing, it is important to choose technical and breathable fabrics. Cotton is highly discouraged, while on the market there are several quality garments with fabrics designed to filter UV rays, limit the risk of burns and soothe the effects of heat. Under the helmet, it is a good idea to wear a hat to avoid the possibility of sunstroke, always lurking on hot days with the beating sun.


Finally, the long-term effects of a hot day should not be underestimated. Even if you are not at the beach or in a bathing suit, your skin and body are exposed to the sun’s rays for several hours. It is therefore essential to protect yourself with sunglasses and sunscreen, to avoid the unpleasant surprise of sunburn that will make the following days more difficult.

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