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Hydrating for Indoor Trainer Rides


As we Vermonters approach the time of year we lovingly call Mud Season, we've been staring eagerly at our favorite trails from behind our windows. Saturated with water from the melting snow, our trails need at least a few weeks to fully dry out. Needless to say, we haven’t been doing much biking outside yet, and we know many of you, like us, are getting your pedal fix from the indoor bike. 

While I’ve been eyeing my mountain bike longingly for the past few weeks, the stationary bike I bought off of Facebook Marketplace has been keeping me sane. My issue? I’m perpetually underprepared for my indoor spins, bringing just a small amount of water. I’m always parched even at the start and definitely at the end.

This is something I want to get better at and I’ve heard from others they want to improve on too. So, in honor of mud season and a few more weeks of indoor riding, we're getting serious about hydration.

For today’s blog, we consulted an expert in hydration and cycling to share all you'll ever need to know and more about hydrating for indoor trainer rides. 

We brought on Kristen Arnold, a sports dietitian, cycling coach, retired professional athlete, and team sport director for USA Cycling and professional cycling teams. She has some hydration advice for all of us that I, for one, will definitely be using. 

Why drinking enough water is important, according to Arnold 

Water and fluids are important for 

  • Cognitive function
  • Body heat management
  • Nutrient transport
  • Digestion
  • Metabolic function 
  • Joint lubrication

The gist: without enough water, you won’t feel good and won’t be able to ride as well. 


Photo Credit: Jody Wilson

First step, make sure your riding room is set up well

Many cyclists train in hot and humid conditions while inside, especially if they don’t have proper airflow from a fan or an open window.

“Lack of airflow can put greater thermal strain on the athlete making it more difficult to ride at the same intensity inside compared to outside.” - Arnold

The solution? For a better indoor workout, crack a window or get a fan.


How much water should I drink during my ride?

Good hydration habits start with being well hydrated before starting your ride. Drinking a big glass of water ahead of your ride is a good place to start.

During your ride, how much water you should drink kind of depends on how much you sweat. And how much you weigh.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association suggests that athletes should not exceed 2% loss of body weight from fluid during exercise. So, if you’re sweating a ton, drink a lot of water to make up for it. 

According to Arnold, “Athletes typically lose 1-2 lbs of sweat per hour, but some athletes can lose up to 4+ lbs per hour.” 

A good rule of thumb is to drink 4-8oz every 10-15 minutes.

That essentially means you should be drinking what adds up to about one 25oz Bivo Duo for an hour of indoor training ;)

For anyone who wants to nerd out on even more technical details, we’ve attached Arnold’s full report here.


Happy hydrating!

- Keaton

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