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Old 07-04-12, 11:08 AM   #1
SkippyX
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I think I bonked.

This morning on the way in I got about six miles into the ride and suddenly just felt weak. I got a bit shaky (as happens if I fail to eat for an entire day) and I had no energy whatsoever. I kept going for another mile to reach a park that I pass on my commute, pulled in, drank two small sports drinks and ate what I had packed for lunch. About fifteen minutes later I was OK to continue the commute and actually made up for the time I lost prior to pulling into the park.

Here's the weird thing - I didn't vary my morning routine whatsoever. My diet has remained constant. I usually do not eat breakfast prior to leaving. Generally, I drink a Monster (16 oz.) and some iced tea, or some cranberry juice. Then I do the ride in (20 miles), and when I get to work and I'm cooling down I have some sports drink and eat some trail mix. That's served me well until this morning.

My routine yesterday changed only in that instead of only doing my commute (20 miles in, 20 miles home), I did another 6.5 miles w/ my wife when I got home - but at a very, very easy pace.

Have any of y'all had such a thing happen? How do high mileage commuters handle their dietary habits?
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Old 07-04-12, 11:11 AM   #2
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You sound like a diabetic.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:17 AM   #3
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You sound like a diabetic.
I'm not.

At my last physical (January), my blood work came back perfect. By all rights I should be a diabetic, and a poster child for potential heart attacks. That's one big reason I started bicycle commuting in the first place. But, according to my doctor, "there is absolutely no reason on Earth your numbers should be this good". I fall right into the normal category - on the good side of the normal category - on all my blood numbers.

My wife is thoroughly disgusted by it.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:22 AM   #4
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I'd say it's well-nigh impossible to bonk after six miles unless there is some related problem or circumstance we don't know about.

As for high-mileage commuting, my typical commute was similar in length to yours. I ate breakfast. I never had a problem.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:24 AM   #5
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I am a diabetic with good numbers.

Eat breakfast and drop the Monster stuff.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:25 AM   #6
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I'd say it's well-nigh impossible to bonk after six miles unless there is some related problem or circumstance we don't know about.

As for high-mileage commuting, my typical commute was similar in length to yours. I ate breakfast. I never had a problem.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the definition of "bonk". If I understand correctly, does that not occur when one's dietary intake does not come relatively close to his caloric output, resulting in a....gosh...what's the word?...."crash"?....of his energy levels?

I sure hope there's nothing going on that I'm not aware of. I felt weak as a kitten. I had to take it very easy for that last mile prior to the park. Once I had some food in my belly I was OK again.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:26 AM   #7
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I am a diabetic with good numbers.

Eat breakfast and drop the Monster stuff.
I think I'll start getting up a little earlier and start eating breakfast.

No more Monsters? That hurts.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:27 AM   #8
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Bonk for a diabetic is when your brain runs out of sugar.

You add the Heat, Humidity, High Dew Point and Heavy Houston Air, No Breakfast = Bonk in six mile YES.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:29 AM   #9
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Monster is a bad idea. "edible food like substance" (m.pollan)
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Old 07-04-12, 11:31 AM   #10
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Bonk for a diabetic is when your brain runs out of sugar.
Huh. I've got a follow-up w/ the doc in another month or so. I think I'll ask what kind of tests there are to determine if one is a diabetic even though his blood sugars appear normal in testing.

Yesterday I was craving a sweet snack all day long. I half-contemplated going to the local Walgreens and picking up a bag of orange slices but vetoed the idea since it's not compatible w/ my goal of losing pounds.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:33 AM   #11
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Monster is a bad idea. "edible food like substance" (m.pollan)
I know. I rank it right up there w/ drinking Coca-Cola.

I'm such a junkie for the stuff.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:36 AM   #12
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I know. I rank it right up there w/ drinking Coca-Cola.

I'm such a junkie for the stuff.
For me a coke or sprite is one of the best things to stop a bonk before it happens.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:39 AM   #13
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For me a coke or sprite is one of the best things to stop a bonk before it happens.
I understand. My wife is the same way. She is also a diabetic. One of the reasons she wanted a bike was to help combat the diabetes/keep the sugar under control.

We don't keep much sugary stuff around the house - it helps her avoid temptation. I can get away w/ Monsters because she can't stand the taste of them.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:39 AM   #14
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding the definition of "bonk". If I understand correctly, does that not occur when one's dietary intake does not come relatively close to his caloric output, resulting in a....gosh...what's the word?...."crash"?....of his energy levels?

I sure hope there's nothing going on that I'm not aware of. I felt weak as a kitten. I had to take it very easy for that last mile prior to the park. Once I had some food in my belly I was OK again.
For most people (I defer to 10Wheels about the diabetic issue, he knows more about it) a bonk is when one has depleted one's glycogen stores, and simply crashes as you describe. That's more likely to happen in the morning, if one has not eaten, because glycogen will have been run down during the night. But we store upwards of 2000 kcal of glycogen in muscles and liver, and it would seem virtually impossible to consume all that in one night's sleep and 6 miles cycling.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:45 AM   #15
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I suppose it's possible to bonk after very few miles if your muscle glycogen stores are low and you haven't eaten anything. I think the least number of miles that it has taken me to bonk is about 30 in the early season. In season, I can make it about 50 miles without eating, although that is a stretching it.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:46 AM   #16
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I suppose it's possible to bonk after very few miles if your muscle glycogen stores are low and you haven't eaten anything. I think the least number of miles that it has taken me to bonk is about 30 in the early season. In season, I can make it about 50 miles without eating, although that is a stretching it.
You have ride down here right now to feel how bad the air and humidity is.
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Old 07-04-12, 11:55 AM   #17
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You have ride down here right now to feel how bad the air and humidity is.
The humidity is horrible right now, that's for sure. I can wring my shirt out when I get to work.

Yesterday I ate lunch (turkey sandwich on 12 grain bread, bowl of Chunky soup) @ noon, did 20 miles home (left work @ 5:00 p.m.), drank some water and a sport drink (walmart brand gatoraid), loaded up the bike rack w/ my wife's bike and mine, went to a MUP and we did 6.5 miles. When I got home from that I nuked two Earl Campbell's hot links, wolfed those down and went to bed an hour later.

This morning, a Monster and a glass of cranberry juice - then out the door.
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Old 07-04-12, 12:38 PM   #18
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You gotta be careful with those sports and energy drinks. The higher fructose levels offer a 'pick me up' for a short period of time, then end up 'crashing'. And I've read somewhere that some of the drinks marketed to hydrate actually dehydrate instead.
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Old 07-04-12, 12:50 PM   #19
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I think that the ride with your wife depleted your stores just enough that you noitced the lack of real food before you got to work. On your "normal" rides you have just enough stored up to make the whole trip. I recommend eating a breakfast with some substance. French toast works well for me. Whole-grain cereal with milk and fruit also works, but I get fewer miles out of it.

Losing weight is more about the quality of what you eat than the quantity.
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Old 07-04-12, 01:08 PM   #20
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I think that the ride with your wife depleted your stores just enough that you noitced the lack of real food before you got to work. On your "normal" rides you have just enough stored up to make the whole trip. I recommend eating a breakfast with some substance. French toast works well for me. Whole-grain cereal with milk and fruit also works, but I get fewer miles out of it.

Losing weight is more about the quality of what you eat than the quantity.
I'm thinkin' "Steak & Eggs"!
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Old 07-04-12, 02:12 PM   #21
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I got serous about riding after the Doc said I should be exploding from my blood pressure. 2 years of riding has put me back in the good graces of my BP and blood work

My biggest turn around came when I dropped soda's, Mtn Dew was my drug (monster fits this) I drank at least 2 sixers a day of the stuff. At 48 that stuff will kill you in large ammounts LOL

If I know I'm going to be in a hurry the next morning I will make my steelcut oatmeal the night before and put it in the fridge. I'll fry an egg and nuke the oatmeal for a good fast Breakfast. I have yet to bonk on the days I eat first.

Geography, weekly diet, weather, mood, and many other factors change how we deal with the morning commute, just schedualling me in the morning crashes my system lol but all these factors affect how we function. If you think somethings amiss, start a journal of your day and watch for patterns. You'd be amazed at what we miss because we don't think about it.
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Old 07-04-12, 02:23 PM   #22
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(snip)...Mtn Dew was my drug (monster fits this) I drank at least 2 sixers a day of the stuff....(snip)
Two six packs a day? Wow. That's alot. I only drink one Monster a day - first thing in the a.m. I do need to watch out of the sweet iced tea, though. I could chug gallons of that stuff.

I guess I need to stick w/ coffee in the morning and ice water through the day.

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If you think somethings amiss, start a journal of your day and watch for patterns. You'd be amazed at what we miss because we don't think about it.
The journal is a great idea. My wife has been egging me on to start a food journal. I could do that and mate it w/ how my riding goes (how I feel, elapsed time, that sort of thing)

Thanks!
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Old 07-04-12, 02:34 PM   #23
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Two six packs a day? Wow. That's alot. I only drink one Monster a day - first thing in the a.m. I do need to watch out of the sweet iced tea, though. I could chug gallons of that stuff.

I guess I need to stick w/ coffee in the morning and ice water through the day.



The journal is a great idea. My wife has been egging me on to start a food journal. I could do that and mate it w/ how my riding goes (how I feel, elapsed time, that sort of thing)

Thanks!
The food journal was my first "tracking" study I got usedto doing. It has helpped me turn my health around big time. One thing about tracking your diet, don't worry about short term nutrition issues, look at the week to month balance. If you have one day of slip ups, say a really good burger and fries with the works (I love theses) just balance it out in the next few meals with far less "junk". This helps curb the cravings for comfort foods that may not be good over all hat craving with a In and Out trip every other week or so and the nextday is a low fat day. End of the week it all balances out.
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Old 07-04-12, 02:59 PM   #24
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Skip, that has to be the worse diet / breakfast I have ever seen lol...my god man, eat real food not liquid sugar and caffeine.
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Old 07-04-12, 03:02 PM   #25
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Skip, that has to be the worse diet / breakfast I have ever seen lol...my god man, eat real food not liquid sugar and caffeine.
Well....in all fairness I would have mainlined some french fries, but I couldn't find my needle.
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