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How to handle the summer sweats when training or racing

Use these tips to manage excessive perspiration on summer rides

Now that summer is in full swing across Canada, temperatures are soaring. Summer cycling is great, but you can get pretty soaked on a super-hot day. There’s no need to feel self-conscious about how much you sweat, it’s your body’s way of preventing overheating, but here are some ways to manage your sweat glands for maximum freshness.

Cut back on caffeine

Yes, of course coffee and bikes go hand in hand, and while a majority of Canadians can’t live without their morning Tim Horton’s, caffeine may not be the best thing for your sweat glands. According to the Mayo Clinic Institute, “Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, which activates your sweat glands.” Caffeine elevates your heart rate, and sweating uncontrollably is not an uncommon side effect of overconsumption. If you are trying to sweat less, try cutting back on your daily coffee intake. (The recommended daily maximum for healthy adults is 400 mg per day, which is about four cups of coffee.)

Use antiperspirant

If you’re only using deodorant to tame your pits while you work out, it won’t do much. All deodorant does is mask unpleasant smells; antiperspirant helps reduce sweating by plugging your sweat glands with aluminum salts. Some athletes will put on antiperspirant the night before their race or ride to allow it to absorb into their sweat glands and prevent sweat the following day.

Tips for staying cool in summer races

Place a small bag of ice on your head or neck, or consider an ice vest, before your race.
Stay well hydrated the night before the race as well as the morning.
Find a shaded spot to hang out before your race begins.