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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-13-12, 09:42 PM   #1
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Recovery, post bonk

I believe I may have had my first "bonk" experience today...

So I put in my longest ride today, to date. 20 miles with a average speed of 12 mph. I know that's not major by most cycling standards but it's a huge improvement to me. So after it was all said and done I went to get off my bicycle and the next thing I know i'm looking up at the sky. No idea how long I was out for. I eventually pull myself up and get my bike in my truck.

Once I get in my truck I manage to slug a sugar free sports drink. My legs didn't want to seem to work and my head is spinning. I decide to check my blood glucose level, 28 mg/dl! I manage to eat some cliff candy bar a coworker gave me months ago I left in my glove box (YUCK!). I get home and soon as I get out of my truck the cramps start up. I have woken up 4 times tonight with cramps and general body pain.

What do you do after a hard workout? I have taken a long hot shower, drank lots of water, good sized meal, ibuprofen and midol and normal saline (it's good to be a paramedic sometimes). I just cant seem to stay asleep tonight and it's really frustrating because I have to work in the AM and all I want is to go to sleep and stay asleep.
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Old 08-13-12, 09:50 PM   #2
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You are diabetic? I can't imagine anybody else would have the stuff to test their blood sugar in their car. I'd guess you have something else going on - it's unlikely that a normal person would bonk after a 20 mile ride.

Was it hot? Were you properly hydrated before you left? I would guess heat exhaustion is a possibility too. I'd be concerned if I were you, passing out is not an expected response to riding.
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Old 08-13-12, 10:04 PM   #3
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That was not a bonk! That was low blood sugar and since you also passed out and had severe cramping I would suspect heat stroke and or severe dehydration. Seek medical care now!
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Old 08-13-12, 10:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
That was not a bonk! That was low blood sugar and since you also passed out and had severe cramping I would suspect heat stroke and or severe dehydration. Seek medical care now!
Fully agree. This sounds way more serious than a bonk. Bonks don't involve passing out.
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Old 08-13-12, 10:25 PM   #5
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Scary..please get checked out immediately
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Old 08-13-12, 11:40 PM   #6
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Hello fatpunk,

Ive 'bonked' a couple of times and can tell you it never involved passing out. I got a feeling of total exhaustion but knew where I was and what I was doing. I called my wife to pick me up and after a burger and a large coke I was feeling fine. Also slept like a baby that night. Also, my bonk was after 40 miles of hills and I did not drink enough in HOT weather.

As others have said, Id seek medical attention. Could be nothing ut who knows.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:42 AM   #7
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Same thing. Not a bonk. Bonking means a total loss of energy. You'll get tired and simply be unable to continue. You might have to sit down, lie down, and be weak as a kitten. My wife totally and completely bonked once and I was close to calling an ambulance because I didn't think she could even get back home, period but she did. Unexpectedly passing out is almost certainly related to your (assumption here) diabetes and I agree that this is something you should absolutely consult a doctor about. 20 miles can be a long ride as you gain fitness but the problem should be a sore butt or tired legs or exhaustion but -not- passing out. Occasionally I get nearly dizzy enough to pass out from dehydration but that's about it.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
You are diabetic? I can't imagine anybody else would have the stuff to test their blood sugar in their car.
I can't imagine a normal, healthy person would ever have a blood sugar reading of 28 mg/dL. I believe that 60-70 mg/dL is about as low as normal, healthy person's blood sugar ever goes.

If you pass out when your blood sugar is at 28 mg/dL, there's a good chance you won't wake up until an EMT has you hooked up to an IV of D50. Don't ask me how i know this...
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Old 08-14-12, 09:55 AM   #9
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If you are diabetic you really need to take care when cycling because it depletes blood glucose levels quickly and that's probably what happened to you. If you are going on a longer ride you probably want to keep a candu bar with you, you could consider carrying some of those gatorade prime chews that will give you 24g of carbs in a pinch.

All of the symptoms you gave us are symptoms of hypoglycemia so it appears you need to better manage your diabetes while cycling.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:01 AM   #10
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Well? What did the doctor say?

And there are plenty of people offering what sound like very educated opinions here, but this is a cycling forum, not a doctor's office. Please, take all these opinions as supporting evidence that you do need to go get checked out.

I have to be careful about passing out when riding, but it's a medical thing and I know it. I've talked to my doc about it and I know how to deal with it.
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Old 08-14-12, 03:48 PM   #11
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Are you on hypertension meds by any chance? BP can drop following exercise, within moments to a few hours after. If you're already on meds, that combined with the ride could have caused enough of a drop for you to pass out when you finished. It almost happened to me once in a Home Depot an hour after a ride.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:50 PM   #12
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Any alcohol involved? Once I was out to 3am drinking margaritas, went to 8am swim practice with just a diet Coke for breakfast; then got my blood sugar tested at 11am. It was incredibly low, 35 if I recall.
I keep a power bar in my saddlebag in a flavor I don't particularly like. If I need it, then I really don't care how it tastes.
I also eat sports gel during rides. It allows me to keep riding longer with a bigger net calorie burn than trying to ride on empty. Just a nip or two per hour for rides over an hour or when it's been a while since a meal.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:02 PM   #13
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28 mg/dL !!! My God, man! It is a miracle that you are not in a coma right now or that we are not reading your obit. That is hypoglycaemia, absolutely. For us diabetics, (and I'm assuming that you are), hypoglycaemia is much more dangerous than a high blood sugar reading. You probably know that a normal, healthy adult will have blood readings between 80 and 120 mg/dL. As others have said, a 20 mile ride should not have resulted in what happened to you. From now on, (again, assuming you are diabetic), and you do physical "stuff", always, ALWAYS, carry something you can eat if you start feeling weak. You will know when your blood sugar gets low. You don't need much to bring it back up. Even something as simple as a granola bar. Something!

I'm serious! This is dangerous stuff. Get into your doctor ... as soon as he can fit you in. You can probably still ride, but as I said, carry something to eat if you start feeling weak. Good luck.

(disclaimer: I am not a physician, but speak from personal experience.)
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Last edited by volosong; 08-14-12 at 10:10 PM.
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