Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-02-11, 04:14 PM   #1
randplaty
Member
Thread Starter
 
randplaty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Diego
Bikes: 08 Dahon Speed P8 & 84 Miyata 1000
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is a headache a symptom of bonking?

I just did a metric century today (Tour de Poway) and about halfway through I got a headache. I thought it was my helmet at first because it ached where the straps touched my head. I loosened the straps and it didn't help. I had ridden many miles with this helmet with no problems so I couldn't understand why I was getting this headache. I did feel weak in general, but that might just have been because of the ride.

So I thought I might be dehydrated. I started drinking everything I had on me, but it didn't help. Then I thought perhaps I'm bonking, so I stopped and bought a coke and some trail mix at a CVS. Within a few gulps of the coke, I was feeling better. By the time I finished the 20oz coke, the headache was gone.

Was that a bonk?
randplaty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 04:15 PM   #2
kevin_stevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 363
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That was what we call a "headache". I get headaches from dehydration regularly, and they don't necessarily go away just because I hydrate.

Probably the caffeine in the Coke helped more than anything.

KeS
kevin_stevens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 04:24 PM   #3
ahsposo 
Big Blubbery Member
 
ahsposo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: On a floe
Bikes: A Home Built All Rounder, Bianchi 928, Specialized Langster, Dahon Folder
Posts: 7,062
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Possibly.

I've had two *killer* headaches after an intense rides and not eating something.

Of course it may just be an incipient brain aneurysm. Any double vision involved? Memory loss? Uncontrollable twitching?
ahsposo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 05:18 PM   #4
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Bikes:
Posts: 7,907
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I used to ride all over that area, and I got headaches. I moved to the Pacific Northwest, and I still get headaches. So it's not Poway that's causing the headaches.

"Bonk" usually refers to a radical drop in energy level. Since exercise can suppress appetite, you can "bonk" by not eating enough before and during the event. Headaches generally aren't involved.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 05:20 PM   #5
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Bikes:
Posts: 7,907
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Any double vision involved? Memory loss? Uncontrollable twitching?
I get that way when I walk into a fancy new bike shop. Then I remember I have more bikes and bike parts than I know what to do with already.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 07:25 PM   #6
beezaur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 257
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sounds like an electrolyte imbalance or something like that.

If you are not used to processing a lot of calories and fluids and things it is pretty easy for your body chemistry to get out of whack. Everyone is different, but that is one of the things that can happen. You can even get a headache from an electrolyte imbalance by abruptly changing your diet.

Bonking for me is where I have a hard time walking, maybe also talking and fine motor skills. My digestive system slows down too, making it pretty hard to take on calories and fix it. Liquids with simple sugars and rest (4-6 hours) helps me.
beezaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 07:36 PM   #7
randplaty
Member
Thread Starter
 
randplaty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Diego
Bikes: 08 Dahon Speed P8 & 84 Miyata 1000
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I talked to my friend who is a doctor (who also did Tour de Poway) and he said it's a sodium headache meaning I was low in sodium, and coke has sodium. So I guess that's what it was.
randplaty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 07:38 PM   #8
catonec 
Senior Member
 
catonec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: burlington VT.
Bikes:
Posts: 2,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
sometimes I start getting a headache due to looking "up" from a semi tucked position for too long. when I start to feel it coming on I just relax my eyeball muscles alittle and look to the side or down at my front wheel instead of 60 yards in front of me.
__________________
2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
1997 Trek ZX6000, 6061w/manitou spyder, xt/xtr, time atac
catonec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 07:56 PM   #9
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 45,723
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
A bonk is low blood sugar and usually starts gradually with feelings of irritability, maybe a little dizziness, possibly hunger ... and possibly also a headache. Those are the early stages of a bonk. A full-fledged bonk gets much worse than that.

But headaches while riding are more likely caused by dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, heat, exerting yourself too hard for your current ability (i.e. hitting your max hr on a climb), or around here in the spring ... magpies.

Anyway it sounds like you did the right thing ... a coke would have provided you with both sugar and liquid.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 08:19 PM   #10
GamblerGORD53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Elevation 666m Edmonton Canada
Bikes: 2013 Custom SA5w / Rohloff Tourster
Posts: 811
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I started drinking lemon Gatorade on long ride days and felt much better. Half the bottle at breakfast and the rest on the way, besides lots of water. It just seems to settle my whole body down very nicely, ready for the exertion. The OP likely got a bit too hot also. The sugar in Coke helps but is a poor hydrater.
GamblerGORD53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 08:28 PM   #11
Tundra_Man 
The Fat Guy In The Back
 
Tundra_Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Bikes: '81 Panasonic Sport, '02 Giant Boulder SE, '08 Felt S32, '10 Diamondback Insight RS, '10 Windsor Clockwork, '15 Kestrel Evoke 3.0
Posts: 1,517
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
A bonk is low blood sugar and usually starts gradually with feelings of irritability, maybe a little dizziness, possibly hunger ... and possibly also a headache. Those are the early stages of a bonk. A full-fledged bonk gets much worse than that.
+1

You hear term "bonk" casually thrown around a lot and what people are really feeling is just getting fatigued/dehydrated/hungry. If somebody truly bonks there is no question when it happens, and there is no desire to ever repeat the experience.
__________________
Visit me at the Tundra Man Workshop
Tundra_Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 08:28 PM   #12
stonefree
Icantre Member
 
stonefree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: the Bayou City perpetually under construction
Bikes: 2001 DBR Axis TT, 1998 Trek 5500 OCLV, 1993 Trek 1100, 1971 Raleigh Grand Prix, 1972 Gitane Attic Beater
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Caffeine addiction, sorry but that'll give you a headache.
stonefree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 09:53 PM   #13
Chris L
Every lane is a bike lane
 
Chris L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
Bikes:
Posts: 9,626
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The headache is a sign of dehydration. If you started drinking a lot of water when you actually had the headache, you were too late. As the old saying goes, "eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty". If I'm planning a long ride, I'll start seriously hydrating before I've actually started the ride (the night before is usually a good time), and I'll keep hydrating well after I've finished it.

Also, don't rely solely on water. It's good to factor in some of those horrible-tasting electrolyte sports drinks, or maybe some fruit juice as well.
__________________
"I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
"We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
My blog.
My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.
Chris L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-11, 11:56 PM   #14
Cyclaholic
CRIKEY!!!!!!!
 
Cyclaholic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Bikes: several
Posts: 4,270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
+1

You hear term "bonk" casually thrown around a lot and what people are really feeling is just getting fatigued/dehydrated/hungry. If somebody truly bonks there is no question when it happens, and there is no desire to ever repeat the experience.
^^This^^

I've had a bit of a headache from tiredness & dehydration a bunch of times, but I've only actually bonked once.
Cyclaholic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-11, 12:20 AM   #15
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can trigger headaches... your physician friend seems to have made a pretty solid diagnosis and the coke is loaded with caffeine (a stimulant), loads of sugar, and sodium which is a short term fix.

Bonking, as it relates to cycling and physical activities refers to a state of sedition where your body just refuses to work because of muscle glycogen deficiency where the legs quit but the brain keeps humming, blood glucose deficiency where the brain quits and the legs keep turning, or the full on bonk where everything quits and you will be lucky to not fall off your bicycle.

I like the British version of bonking better.
Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-11, 12:27 AM   #16
andychrist
Devil's Advocate
 
andychrist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC & Mid Hudson Valley, NY
Bikes: 1976 Fuji SRR, 2005 Fuji Del Rey, 2009 Mach 2, 2005 Bacchetta Giro 20
Posts: 273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by randplaty View Post
I talked to my friend who is a doctor (who also did Tour de Poway) and he said it's a sodium headache meaning I was low in sodium, and coke has sodium. So I guess that's what it was.
Coke has no added salt, and only contains 35mg sodium per 8oz serving, about 1% of your daily allowance. It even says on the label, Very Low Sodium. So your "doctor" friend is a quack.
andychrist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-11, 02:50 AM   #17
The Chemist
Senior Member
 
The Chemist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Shanghai, China
Bikes: Giant FCR3500
Posts: 511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
I started drinking lemon Gatorade on long ride days and felt much better. Half the bottle at breakfast and the rest on the way, besides lots of water. It just seems to settle my whole body down very nicely, ready for the exertion. The OP likely got a bit too hot also. The sugar in Coke helps but is a poor hydrater.
Yes, I found Gatorade to help immensely. I did a lot of riding this summer in Shanghai's heat and humidity, and I found that Gatorade really helped me get rehydrated on long rides.

I found that a headache for me was a clear sign of dehydration, so as soon as I even got the slightest headache, I started drinking much more.
The Chemist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-11, 03:19 AM   #18
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 45,723
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
+1

You hear term "bonk" casually thrown around a lot and what people are really feeling is just getting fatigued/dehydrated/hungry. If somebody truly bonks there is no question when it happens, and there is no desire to ever repeat the experience.
Well, a bonk is a process as the blood sugar level drops. Irritability is one of the first ones I'll notice. Later, I might notice the "difficulty thinking" symptom. Where I might be able to do mental mathematical calculations early in a ride, I might have difficulty when my blood sugar level starts to drop. I am experience a bonk ... but just the early stages of a bonk. And later, I might start feeling nauseated which is not a good thing. For me, that's a dangerous place to be because I no longer want to eat, but that's exactly what I need to do in order to get out of the bonk.


These sites explain a bit about the process ...
http://www.medicinenet.com/hypoglycemia/page2.htm
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/low_b...a/page3_em.htm
http://diabetes.webmd.com/tc/hypogly...sugar-symptoms
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-11, 05:24 AM   #19
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 8,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Back during my college daze, I found the best hangover remedy to be two aspirin and a glass of too-thick, flat, Coke, no-ice, from the funky soda fountain in the cafeteria. I don't know what it was about that stuff, but I've never found anything else to work near as well. Never had a headache on a bike other than when starting out with a hangover, which a good ride always cured.
Looigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-11, 11:09 PM   #20
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Bikes:
Posts: 7,907
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I like the British version of bonking better.
+1000!!!
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-11, 12:26 AM   #21
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
+1000!!!
There is nothing like saying, "Honey... I feel some as if I am about to bonk here."

And it never happens while we are riding our bikes.

Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-11, 12:31 AM   #22
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
Coke has no added salt, and only contains 35mg sodium per 8oz serving, about 1% of your daily allowance. It even says on the label, Very Low Sodium. So your "doctor" friend is a quack.
The can I have here says 40mg sodium and 2% of the RDA with 160 calories (42 grams of sugar) and about 40 mg of caffeine in Coke Classic... diet coke actually contains more caffeine which might explain why people drink that crap.

It is a little speed ball of sugar and caffeine that was one of the earliest energy drinks.
Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-11, 07:58 AM   #23
stonefree
Icantre Member
 
stonefree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: the Bayou City perpetually under construction
Bikes: 2001 DBR Axis TT, 1998 Trek 5500 OCLV, 1993 Trek 1100, 1971 Raleigh Grand Prix, 1972 Gitane Attic Beater
Posts: 384
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So many addicts in denial about caffiene withdrawal....it's a diuretic, for crise sake!! Some analgesics even have caffeine in them. That's how you get hooked. The drug generation in the drugged world. Bonk this.
stonefree is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:49 AM.