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Are you tired of having your epic road rides interrupted by the nagging urge to pee? We hear you, and we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll share six pro hacks to beat biking bladder urgency, specifically tailored for us fabulous female road cyclists. Follow our advice, and you’ll be cruising comfortably and confidently for miles and miles without needing to stop for bathroom breaks.
Stay Hydrated but Schedule Your Intake
We all know that hydration is crucial for any physical activity, especially cycling. But did you know that the timing of your fluid intake can make a massive difference in bladder comfort during your ride? To prevent that pesky urgency, it’s essential to spread your fluid intake throughout the day. Aim to consume the majority of your liquids 1-2 hours before your ride. This will give your body enough time to process and eliminate excess fluids before you hit the road.
Here’s a personal tip from our friend, Jane: “I used to chug a ton of water right before my rides, thinking I was doing my body a favor. Little did I know that I was setting myself up for a bladder marathon! Now, I make sure to drink water consistently throughout the day and have a glass or two about an hour before my ride. The difference is astounding – I can enjoy my ride without worrying about the nearest restroom!”
Staying hydrated is essential for every cyclist, but it’s important to find the right balance to prevent bladder urgency during your ride. When you’re scheduling your fluid intake, consider factors such as the duration of your ride, the weather conditions, and your individual hydration needs.
“Hydration is the most important thing for cyclists. If you’re not hydrated, you can’t perform at your best. Make sure you drink enough water during the day, especially before a ride.”Chris Froome, professional cyclist (Source: Cycling Weekly)
To calculate your approximate daily water intake, you can use the “8×8 rule” as a starting point – that’s eight 8-ounce glasses (64 ounces or 2 liters) of water a day. Remember, though, that this amount may need to be adjusted based on factors like your body size, activity level, and climate.
Pro Tip: Invest in a quality water bottle with marked measurements to help you monitor and control your fluid intake throughout the day.
- Sip water regularly throughout the day, instead of guzzling large amounts at once
- Opt for water, sports drinks with electrolytes, or coconut water to replenish lost fluids and minerals during intense rides
- Monitor your urine color. Ideally, it should be a pale yellow – if it’s darker, you may need to up your fluid intake
Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Ladies, let’s talk pelvic floor muscles! These mighty muscles not only support our bladder, but they’re also essential for core stability and can even improve our cycling performance. By practicing pelvic floor exercises like Kegels, we can strengthen those muscles and gain better control over our bladder, reducing the sense of urgency during rides.
To perform Kegels, simply contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. Hold the contraction for 3-5 seconds, then relax for an equal amount of time. Aim for 10-15 repetitions, 2-3 times a day. You can even do these while sitting at your desk, watching TV, or waiting for your morning coffee to brew. No one will ever know!
Fun fact: Did you know that Kegels were named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, who first introduced these exercises in 1948? Thanks, Dr. Kegel!
“Developing a strong core and pelvic floor is essential for cyclists, especially women. It not only helps to prevent injuries but also improves stability on the bike.”Alison Tetrick, professional cyclist (Source: Bicycling)
Pro Tip: Practice Kegel exercises during everyday activities, such as while brushing your teeth or standing in line, to make it a regular habit.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises to improve bladder control
- Contract your pelvic floor muscles as if stopping the flow of urine, holding for 3-5 seconds, then relaxing for an equal amount of time
- Aim for 10-15 repetitions, 2-3 times a day, to build strength and endurance
Plan Your Route with Bathroom Breaks
We’ve all been there – you’re halfway through a ride when the bladder alarm goes off. But fret not! With a little bit of research and planning, you can conquer this issue like a pro. Before heading out, study your route and identify available restrooms or secluded spots for quick pit stops. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to manage your bladder without sacrificing your ride.
Our resident cyclist, Michelle, says, “I love using apps like Strava and RideWithGPS to plan my routes, and I always make sure to mark restroom locations or discreet spots along the way. Knowing I have options if I need them makes my rides so much more enjoyable!”
Planning your route with bathroom breaks in mind can be a life-saver during long rides. Many mobile apps and websites are available to help you find restrooms, whether it’s a public facility, a gas station, or even a friendly café. Some popular options include peeQwiq, Flush, and Toilet Finder.
Heather, an avid cyclist, shares her advice: “When planning my route, I always keep an eye out for coffee shops, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants. They usually have clean restrooms and are happy to let me use them – plus, it’s a great excuse to grab a snack or a drink!”
“Knowing where the toilets are on a ride is important for maintaining concentration and reducing anxiety related to bladder urgency.”Dr. Victor Thompson, sports psychologist (Source: Cycling Weekly)
Pro Tip: Use route planning apps that allow you to mark restroom locations, so you can easily access this information during your ride. Mobile apps like Strava, RideWithGPS, and MapMyRide are great for this.
- Research your route and identify available restrooms or secluded spots for pit stops. Keep an eye out for parks and shopping centers, which often have public restrooms
- If you’re going on a group ride, ask fellow cyclists for their favorite pit stop locations
- Don’t be shy about asking local businesses for restroom access – most are understanding and accommodating, especially if you’re a customer
Adopt the Double-Void Technique
Ladies, it’s time to introduce you to the game-changing double-void technique. Before your ride, empty your bladder, wait 10-15 minutes, and then empty it again. This ensures your bladder is completely empty before you begin cycling, reducing the chances of urgency while on the road.
Our editor, Susan, swears by this technique: “I used to struggle with bladder urgency during my rides, but ever since I started using the double-void technique, I’ve noticed a significant improvement. It’s a simple trick, but it’s made all the difference in my cycling experience.”
“Many cyclists, especially women, find that adopting the double-void technique before a ride can significantly reduce the need for mid-ride bathroom breaks.”Mari Holden, professional cycling coach (Source: Bicycling)
Pro Tip: Set a timer or reminder for the second void, so you don’t forget to empty your bladder again before hitting the road.
- Empty your bladder, wait 10-15 minutes, and then empty it again before your ride
- Ensure your bladder is completely empty before cycling to reduce the chances of urgency on the road
- Incorporate the double-void technique into your pre-ride routine for consistent results
Limit Bladder Irritants in Your Diet
What we put into our bodies can have a significant impact on our bladder function during rides. Certain substances, such as caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods, can stimulate the bladder and increase the need to urinate. By avoiding these bladder irritants before your ride, you’ll keep those urgent sensations at bay.
Our friend, Lisa, shares her experience: “I love my morning cup of coffee, but I noticed that when I drank it before my ride, I had to stop way more often. Now, I save my coffee for a post-ride treat, and it’s made a world of difference!”
Of course, we’re not saying you have to give up your favorite treats altogether – just be mindful of their potential impact on your bladder and adjust your timing accordingly.
“Understanding the connection between diet and bladder health can have a significant impact on athletic performance. Limiting known irritants before a ride can make a big difference for cyclists dealing with bladder urgency.”Monique Ryan, sports nutritionist (Source: Velo News)
We’ve mentioned that certain foods and drinks can irritate the bladder and lead to increased urgency during your ride. But what are some other common culprits? Here’s a list to help you identify potential triggers:
- Carbonated beverages
- Artificial sweeteners
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Tomato-based products
- Highly processed or sugary foods
Keep in mind that every person is different, and what irritates one person’s bladder may not affect another’s. Consider keeping a food diary to track your intake and identify any patterns between what you consume and your bladder function during your rides.
Rachel, one of our readers, says: “I started keeping a food diary to track what I ate before my rides. I noticed that if I had orange juice or a chocolate bar beforehand, I’d experience more bladder urgency during my ride. Cutting those out and replacing them with bladder-friendly alternatives has made a huge difference!”
Pro Tip: Keep a food diary to track your intake and identify any patterns between what you consume and your bladder function during rides.
- Avoid bladder irritants like caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, carbonated beverages, and artificial sweeteners before your ride
- Pay attention to how your body reacts to different foods and adjust your diet accordingly
- Replace irritating foods with bladder-friendly alternatives for optimal comfort during your ride
Use Anti-Chafing Products
While moisture and friction between your cycling shorts and skin may not directly cause bladder urgency, they can lead to irritation that mimics the feeling. To keep your skin comfortable during your ride, apply anti-chafing products, such as creams or gels, on your inner thighs and groin area. This will reduce friction and help you avoid any unnecessary pit stops.
Our cycling guru, Emily, recommends: “I never start a ride without applying a good-quality chamois cream. It’s a game-changer for avoiding chafing and keeping my skin irritation-free, which helps me focus on enjoying my ride rather than worrying about bladder urgency.”
“Chamois cream is essential for preventing chafing and irritation, which can lead to sensations that mimic bladder urgency. Using an anti-chafing product helps you focus on your ride rather than being distracted by discomfort.”Kristen Legan, professional cyclist and coach (Source: Bicycling)
Pro Tip: Test different anti-chafing products, such as creams, gels, or balms, to find the one that works best for your skin type and personal preferences.
- Apply anti-chafing products on your inner thighs and groin area to reduce friction and irritation during your ride
- Choose a good-quality chamois cream specifically designed for cyclists to provide the best protection
- Reapply anti-chafing products as needed during long rides to maintain skin comfort
There you have it, ladies – six pro hacks to help you beat biking bladder urgency and make your road cycling adventures more comfortable and worry-free! Remember to stay hydrated with scheduled fluid intake, strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, plan your route with bathroom breaks, adopt the double-void technique, limit bladder irritants in your diet, and use anti-chafing products. With these tips in your arsenal, you’ll be ready to tackle any ride with confidence and ease. Now, let’s get out there and conquer the open road, one pedal stroke at a time!