"Cotton" mouth while racing

While racing, I often get extremely dry mouth (cotton mouth). It’s not debilitating, but it is an extra factor to conquer during a race that I don’t need. In fact, I’ve always had this issue. When playing competitive sports in HS and College, I started chewing gum to stave off the cotton mouth.

BTW: I’m well hydrated before races and have plenty of fluids on the bike during the race.

Do others fight this issue? What works for you?

I also get it about 20mins or so into a fast paced crit. It is normally a reminder for me to take in some fluids if possible.


I used to get this, particularly at the start of races. Was told it was tied to adrenaline and thus nerves. As I’ve raced more and am less stressed/excited about being at an individual race it has gone away. Not sure if yours is similar, but could be something to look into

trpnhntr, your scenario is very possible for me. The cotton mouth usually hits early and is not an issue as the race moves on. I do get overly excited at the start of a race. I went back and looked at my starting heart rate of my last two races, and both were more than double my resting HR. Is experience the only variable that changed for you?

Experience and learning how to normalize racing is how it went away for me. Putting less pressure on myself went hand in hand with this