Hydration: only water when training on the smart trainer?

desmotivación ciclismo

The sporting demands of outdoor and indoor cycling are the same, so hydration is a key factor during both exercises. But is it only necessary to drink water during a cycling session? Let’s take a look at the keys to proper hydration and nutrition during training.

Why is hydration key?

It is very common that when training on the smart trainer, we overlook many aspects such as the use of gloves, cleats, etc. The fact that we are indoors with different conditions than outdoors means that we do not take into account very important factors such as constant hydration.

Cycling in the sun and at high temperatures constantly reminds us of the need to drink water, however, the comfort offered by indoor cycling makes us forget the importance of this.

Why is hydration so important? Water loss of just 2% of body weight reduces athletic performance by up to 30%. This means that for optimal training at BKOOL it is very necessary to stay hydrated during exercise.

How do I hydrate on the smart trainer?

Hydration will depend mainly on two factors: the level of intensity which we are going to work at and the duration of the session

The rate which is most common and recommended by nutritionists is to drink more than one bottle of water per hour, which means that you should drink about 500-700 ml of water.

Picture: BKOOL

Likewise, it is also advisable that before starting the training session on the smart trainer you drink water to be hydrated. In the pre-session the right amount of water is around 300 ml of water. Starting your training hydrated slows down fatigue and avoids being too thirsty afterwards.

The number of times to drink water depends on your physical condition during exercise. However, it is not correct to wait until you are thirsty, even though this is something that almost all of us tend to do. This is a common mistake. 

Ideally, during exercise, an average of 200 ml should be drunk approximately every 15-20 minutes. This is important because in addition to quenching your thirst, you will be able to maintain optimal performance from start to finish.

Is it okay to drink beverages other than water?

Yes, hydration based on a combination of water and isotonic drinks is a good option for staying active and giving maximum performance. Isotonic drinks favour the absorption of water and are composed of both water and rapidly absorbed carbohydrates and mineral salts.

This type of drink is recommended for both elite and amateur athletes in all types of training and competitions. Their acquisition is easy, since they can be purchased in any supermarket and sports center.

Alternating the intake of both beverages during training on the smart trainer is ideal. However, you can also hydrate with water during the exercise and, once finished, drink the isotonic drink.

Post-workout drinks

After finishing your workout it is important to continue to stay hydrated. The most common is to drink water or isotonic drinks, but there are other equally valid options.

Fruit smoothies are refreshing and healthy drinks, as they are loaded with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and various enzymes. In addition, you can make them with the fruits you like best and mix them with vegetables.

Similarly, milk and oatmeal shakes are another very common drink to consume after a workout.

Thanks to this drink we will improve our intestinal transit, reduce our cholesterol level and avoid the risk of cardiovascular diseases, as well as modulate the blood sugar level.


Maintaining proper hydration before, during and after the session on the smart trainer is essential to perform and recover at 100%. The amount of water or isotonic drink will depend mainly on your training. Remember to try to drink even if you are not thirsty.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here