MotoGP is exhilarating to watch, but even more so when you’re the rider! While we can’t all be riders, I enjoy learning about the struggles of my favorite riders because it makes me appreciate them and the sport more! For instance, how do MotoGP riders drink water?
MotoGP riders drink water via a hydration system in the hump at the back of their suit. It connects a water bladder with around 12 oz (355 ml) of water through the back of a rider’s help with a tube. The rider must bite down and suck on the tube to release water and stop biting to stop the water.
Having invested money into specialized hydration systems for MotoGP riders mean it must be crucial, but why? We’ll explore why water is so vital for racers and how the presence or absence of water can affect their performance positively or negatively.
How Do MotoGP Riders Drink Water?
The thrill of seeing our favorite MotoGP racer blaze past us in a blur makes for an unforgettable experience. The high speeds place considerable strain on their bodies, so they must stay hydrated – if not for their health, then for a chance to win the race.
MotoGP riders drink water via a hydration system integrated into the hump on the back of their suit. Inside the hump is a water bladder large enough to store about the same amount of water as a soda can – about 12 oz (355 ml).
The tube runs from the water bladder, enters through the back of their helmet, and stops inside near the rider’s mouth. By biting down and sucking through the tube, the rider can control when they want water and how much. When they want the running water to stop, they stop biting on the tube.
How Does Water Benefit MotoGP Riders In A Race?
Staying hydrated during a race helps MotoGP restore the water they lose from sweating. It regulates their body and ensures a steady heart rate when traveling at high speeds. A healthy body opens the way for a healthy mind and a better race performance.
MotoGP Riders Drink Water To Compensate For Weight Loss
MotoGP riders drink an average of 4.4 oz (130 ml) of water throughout their race and more after the race to compensate for the weight they lose during a race. They lose 3.3 – 4.4 lbs (1 – 2 kgs) per race, increasing slightly in hot and humid temperatures.
MotoGP Riders Prevent Muscle Cramps By Drinking Water
Water keeps MotoGP riders’ muscles hydrated and prevents them from drying and eventually cramping or causing spasms.
For this reason, they must consume at least 100oz (3 L) of water every day – 17 oz (500 ml) two hours before the race starts, around 4.4 oz (130 ml) during the race, and the remaining 100 oz (3 L) after the race.
Water Helps MotoGP Riders Concentrate On The Race
If you spend some time in the gym, you’ll know nothing is more refreshing than water after working up a sweat. MotoGP riders lose about 2 kg of weight per race, and 1 kg translates to 7,700 calories.
Thus, they burn 15,400 calories during their 45-minute race, which equates to you burning at least 1000 calories per hour at the gym.
For this reason, drinking water keeps their bodies and minds on track and focused on the race rather than the feeling discomfort from dehydration. Of course, staying hydrated also fights the toxins in their bodies.
Water Retains A Healthy Heart Rate During A MotoGP Race
Perhaps the most crucial reason MotoGP riders need to drink water during their races is to maintain a healthy heartbeat.
The Aspetar Sports Medical Journal reports during a 30-minute circuit race, MotoGP riders experienced an average heart rate of 190 – 200 beats per minute. To put it in perspective, squash and badminton players have the highest sport heartbeats, averaging only 165 beats per minute.
Water prevents the body from producing too many red blood cells, regulating the heart to deal with the high-stress, high-speed events during the race. Otherwise, too many red blood cells will tire the MotoGP rider much faster than usual.
Do MotoGP Riders Sweat?
MotoGP riders sweat on average 1 L of water during a race, sometimes higher in hot temperatures.
The combination of stress, hot temperatures, the heat emanating from the motorcycle, and wearing a helmet heats the body quickly. Of course, a MotoGP suit becomes quite heated despite its aerodynamic design.
What Do MotoGP Riders Do When Nature Calls?
MotoGP riders do not get the urge to use the restroom while riding; their adrenaline prevents it. They avoid eating or drinking before a race, and when they sweat during a race, it depletes the fluids in their body, so their bladders do not fill.
Fortunately, MotoGP riders do not get the urge to answer nature’s call because their profuse sweating drains them of their water and liquids.
When they travel at an average speed of 180mph (290 kph) and take multiple corners at those speeds, it quickly becomes life-threatening, and the riders get a rush of adrenaline in their system for the entire race.
As such, the adrenaline makes them hyper-focused on safely completing the race and winning. For races that happen as early as 09:00, riders must stick to tight specialized fitness schedules that have them going to the restroom as soon as they wake up.
What Can You Find In The MotoGP Suit With The Water Bladder?
The hump contains a water bladder that enables MotoGP riders to consume water. A collection of electronics provide airbags in case of a severe accident, while its shape improves aerodynamics when traveling at high speeds. Despite popular opinion, they do not improve the safety of riders.
Water bladders typically fit only in the MotoGP suits they were intended for, but fortunately, the bladder is flexible and folds into multiple shapes to fit the suit. MotoGP riders likely have their water bladders and suits fitted perfectly and according to design.
MotoGP riders drink water through a tube connected from a water bladder in their suit, through the back, and into their helmets. It prevents their bodies from producing too many red blood cells, thus regulating their heartbeats. It replenishes the 1 L of fluids they lose during the race and helps them concentrate on their performance.