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Old 04-11-11, 10:02 PM   #1
gracehowler
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Hydration & Urinating

I'm sure some of you have read Chris Carmichael's training tip today on hydration and training, so my question to you "older" guys, How do you balance hydration & too frequent urination?
Today, temp actually got into the 60's, I took one bottle on a 40 miler,(the other bottle cage is on the tandem), yes, I needed more water, but I still had to stop twice to relieve myself. If I had two bottles, it would have been more stops. Now I know some of the jokes about how to pee and not stop riding or whatever, but how do you balance that water need?
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Old 04-11-11, 10:10 PM   #2
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Drink when thirsty, pee when you have to. Works well.
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Old 04-11-11, 10:38 PM   #3
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Move to Texas. By the time you sweat 4 gallons, you won't have anything left to pee. Problem solved.
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Old 04-11-11, 11:13 PM   #4
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Use urine color and experience not arbitrary rules or guidelines to determine how much and how often you drink. Works just fine.
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Old 04-11-11, 11:19 PM   #5
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This is not just an issue for older folks, in my experience.

Even in my 20's I had a problem over-hydrating on bike rides (this is true even when I lived in Texas, and rode in the summer)....I'd get so concerned about hydration that I'd get over-hydrated before a ride, and find myself stopping frequently during the first hour or so of my ride, when, I guess, my hydration would get the right balance. I still have the same problem (no better, no worse), if I am nervous about hydrating on a long ride and I overdo the drinking before a ride. I guess, on balance, I figure I'd rather "over hydrate" and stop too often during a ride than make the opposite mistake....
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Old 04-11-11, 11:39 PM   #6
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While many people acknowledge the danger of becoming dehydrated hyperhydration can also be harmful to both performance and health. It is well worth it to do the work needed to determine your personal hydration needs. Those needs may, no, probably will, change over time and with different exercise and environmental factors. After a bit of experience you will be able to almost instinctively monitor your hydration levels and adjust fluid intake accordingly.
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Old 04-12-11, 12:47 AM   #7
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Increase your cadence, sweat/work harder, do sprints and you may not have to stop at the restroom so often. You then can say you HTFU.
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Old 04-12-11, 03:11 AM   #8
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I have read on here before about this and I am starting to wonder if there is something wrong with me.
A century ride, no pee breaks. What's up with that? Maybe in fact I am fine and everyone else has the problem I dunno.
I never stop for that and I drink plenty. I also do rot run off into the woods on a golf course like almost everyone else. Two of my playing partners do it a least once on every nine.

Give me a few beers though and it is a different story.
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Old 04-12-11, 04:49 AM   #9
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Use HEED or any other Electrolyte Sports Drink. You will not feel the need to over hydrate and you will not dehydrate.

Drinking excess amounts of pure water can be as harmful as not drinking enough fluids.

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Old 04-12-11, 06:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
Use urine color and experience not arbitrary rules or guidelines to determine how much and how often you drink. Works just fine.
Bingo, and I live in TX and cycle year round. That said, if you can ride and never have to urinate during your ride it's either too short to need to do so, or you're not hydrating enough.
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Old 04-12-11, 06:18 AM   #11
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Drink when thirsty, pee when you have to. Works well.

Agreed. This system has been in development and thoroughly tested over the past several hundred million years or so...and works well assuming you're not physiologically defective in some way. I usually feel no need to pee for rides of 3~4 hrs in length as long as I'm working hard, even down to 32 F. I find I drink little when it's cold and lots when it's hot, and prefer plain water. YMMV ;-)
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Old 04-12-11, 06:33 AM   #12
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plan your route
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Old 04-12-11, 06:40 AM   #13
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Drink when thirsty, pee when you have to. Works well.
That may work in Montana, but on a ride of any length on a hot summer day in Georgia, if you wait until you are thirsty to drink, you're going to have a very bad day.
That aside, though, I agree with your point. I rarely need more than one pee break early in a long ride. After that, sweating keeps the intake and output balanced.
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Old 04-12-11, 07:58 AM   #14
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The rule is 'drink before you are thirsty, eat before you are hungry'. Of course, this depends on your level of exertion. If you are just cruising at a low speed, barely elevating your heart rate, you are going to have to pee as often as when you are watching t.v.
If you are riding hard your kidneys tend to stop working as blood is sent to working muscles. That said, over-hydration is rare for a recreational cyclist, especially if one is eating/replacing minerals.
I have found on a warm to hot day, it's impossible for me to keep up with hydration, no matter how much I drink. I weigh myself after the ride and frequently come home several pounds lighter.
Yes, I have had prostate issues and do have to make more pit stops than in the past, but it's preferable to dehydration.
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Old 04-12-11, 09:03 AM   #15
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My current practice has worked for me. Drink one swallow every ten minutes. In weather over 85 degrees, up that to two swallows. On rides over 2 hours in length use a sports drink every other swallow. What spoils my ride, in terms of stops to relieve oneself, is drinking beverages with caffeine before a ride.
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Old 04-12-11, 01:25 PM   #16
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I sip right the way through the ride and this is made easier with a camelback on longer rides. Hot day and working hard and I reckon about 1 litre of water per hour. More if it's hotter or a harder ride.

Colour of Urine is the best sign to go by and if you don't need a pee- then drink more so you can see. But I have done 12 hour rides that are hard and in high temps and kept to the 1 litre per hour marker and not had the necessity to find a bush.

Dehydration is a bigger problem than you may think as energy goes- cramps come in and hills get taller, but if you are working hard enough then over-hydration does not occur. Even in cold weather.
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Old 04-12-11, 02:22 PM   #17
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Once I start cycling, my requirement to pee reduces substantially as does most others. I can ride for a couple of hours or longer without stopping while drinking water and I try for a large bottle per hour and more if it is hot. I prefer to have to pee versus not since then I feel like I am getting enough hydration.

i have a great racing / peeing story. Last year at the start of a 50 mile road race, we lined up at the start. Now there is a neutral feed zone on a climb every 16 mile lap. So we all wanted to top off the tank at the start and since many racers are a-holes and push the pace through the neutral feed zone and so it is a good idea not to have to get water on the first lap. So I drank more during warmup and before the start. We rolled out for a 4 mile neutral start before the course started. Halfway through, the moto ref neutralized our group and we pulled over to the side. We waited and another group went by. Now, I had to pee. We have 50 men on the side of the road and we are all in the same situation. I said screw this and started to pee on the side of the road. The entire peloton whipped it out and we all peed together. A women's group goes by and says, oh look they are all peeing. This is amateur and pro cycling at its finest. We have no dignity and a man has to do what a man has to do.

Contrast cycling to golf... Can you imagine, a bunch of pro or amateur golfers peeing at the Masters in the bushes? Of course they are all pretty boys and we are the HTFU gang.
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Old 04-12-11, 02:46 PM   #18
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I start to drink before I get thirsty ( I wear a camelbak, 100oz in the summer and 70 oz in the winter). In the summer, after a quick nature break before we leave the park, it is not usually a problem. In the winter we have to make a couple of extra early stops.
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Old 04-12-11, 06:25 PM   #19
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Riding in the evening hours, when there is darkness, can help solve the problem of "finding a place".
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Old 04-12-11, 08:32 PM   #20
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ok, ok, we do most of our rides in the country, so finding a "place" isn't hard, even for my wife, but I am still struggling with how much, color yeah, except we take vitamins so that isn't really correct. I feel always thirsty, but drinking promotes ... and I love your story Hermes!
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Old 04-13-11, 03:24 AM   #21
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I had to stop 13 times in a 200 km winter audax (randonneuring) ride a few years back! That wasn't funny wearing full winter kit ...

It turned out that the problem wasn't so much what I drank on the ride as what I drank before it! I had drunk a lot of strong tea and the caffeine in it was the problem. Same thing happens with coffee, only more so. I switched to only drinking water and/or OJ before rides. On my next 200, I only stopped about 4 times.

Reduce your caffeine intake.

(And yes - on rides you should drink to avoid thirst, not drink when thirsty. If I wait until I'm thirsty, I end up close to hitting the wall. I don't really get thirsty until I'm almost spent.)
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Old 04-13-11, 08:47 AM   #22
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R, It's just different for everybody, recognizing the onslought of dehydration is more important... Google is your friend for all of the symptoms.

I have a small bladder and a bad habit of not drinking when I should. A good friend and fellow rider is a nurse and she told me to drink every half hour and pee about every hour. Caffine is also a problem when men get older and begining to have prostrate issues and should be avoided or at least reduced.

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Old 04-14-11, 08:31 PM   #23
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Thanks to all for your input, I (we) do tend to err on the dry side and think the pendulum swings too far the other way and then drink too much, I think the hassle is the pit stop. We paddled canoes for years and pit stops are much more convenient
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Old 04-15-11, 12:43 AM   #24
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51 miles, avg 17 mph, 3 hours ride time, did not need a pit stop. 1 bottle water, 1/2 bottle of Gatorade with ice. Drank all the liquid on the ride. 3 hours 22 minutes total time. Did not eat before ride, no caffine, just some water. When it warms up i drink more and maybe need one stop if i ride between 50 to 66 miles.
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Old 04-15-11, 07:52 AM   #25
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While I drink liberally during a ride, I try to refrain for a couple of hours before the ride. I find this helps a lot. As other have mentioned, the worst thing you can do is drink a can of coke or mountain dew 20 minutes before you go out.
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