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  1. #1
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    Got light headed during ride

    Hey guys, just wanted to get some opinions. I got back into riding last summer and did it for 6 months with no prob most of the time. Though I did get light headed during a couple of rides, wasn't recently but just something I remembered and wanted to prepare for before I go back out in the spring. I did about 20 miles daily, at peak 5 days a week. I do the 20 in like hour and 15 minutes. For breakfast I would have say a big bowl of cheerios. During the 20 mile, I would stop at 10 to take a break and chug like 10 ounces of water. 2-3 times I felt light headed at the 10 mile break stop. I didnt feel like I was pushing it that hard, prob 80%. Any thoughts on what might be the cause? Or maybe foods or drinks I should intake before the ride? I am 5'8 and 140lbs, 5-10lbs less than my normal weight when I wasn't as active. Any info would appreciated, thanks!
    Last edited by calyco; 03-07-14 at 11:46 PM.

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    ^ JBC. jbchybridrider's Avatar
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    What I think is cheerios is not giving you enough nutrition even in large quantity's. Try less cheerios and more fruits like chopped strawberries and bananas heaped on your cereal and yoghurt on the side. Drink a large glass of water before breakfast and start drinking from the time you start riding, sip water all through your ride. If you need another bottle then get one or carry some change to buy some at your turn around point. You are the engine and you need to keep the fire burning.
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  3. #3
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Remember that water/drink and food takes about 40 mins to take effect. You may try to drink less, but more often.
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    Water is not always the best thing to drink. I usually mix my water with Gatorade which provides other stuff as well. I mix it because I don't care for sweetness of the drink at full strength.
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    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Don't follow my regime for sure...

    A short ride say 40 to 50 km, I have coffee, toast and yogurt, then water during the ride.

    A ride of about 90 to 120 km, I eat either plenty of rissoles and vegetables the night before, or spaghetti with plenty of mince.
    For breakfast... coffee, toast and yogurt, then water during the ride as above. During the ride, one "sugary" coffee and a snickers at about the 35 / 40 km mark. Then around half way a reasonable lunch at a cafe. Usually includes some salad, rice and chicken. On the way home it's water, unless it's summer time. If summer I drink about 500ml of Aquarius (salt and mineral suppliment) later in the ride.

    Note that all my rides include mountain climbs, in which I require plenty of sugar.

    This is my favourite lunch and lunch spot...

    Last edited by giantcfr1; 03-08-14 at 08:32 AM.
    Road Bike: 2004 ORBEA Mitis2+Carbon, Freekin' groovy Urban / Mountain Road Cruising Bike: 2007 CANNONDALE Bad Boy Disc, MTB: 2012 Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin WSD 29er

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    Quote Originally Posted by calyco View Post
    During the 20 mile, I would stop at 10 to take a break and chug like 10 ounces of water. 2-3 times I felt light headed at the 10 mile break stop.
    What were the circumstances? It's normal for blood pressure to drop a bit while resting after exercise and if you then get up at all suddenly that can lead to a feeling of light headedness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    What were the circumstances? It's normal for blood pressure to drop a bit while resting after exercise and if you then get up at all suddenly that can lead to a feeling of light headedness.
    Yup, vasodilation...
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    Quote Originally Posted by giantcfr1 View Post
    Don't follow my regime for sure...

    A short ride say 40 to 50 km, I have coffee, toast and yogurt, then water during the ride.

    A ride of about 90 to 120 km, I eat either plenty of rissoles and vegetables the night before, or spaghetti with plenty of mince.
    For breakfast... coffee, toast and yogurt, then water during the ride as above. During the ride, one "sugary" coffee and a snickers at about the 35 / 40 km mark. Then around half way a reasonable lunch at a cafe. Usually includes some salad, rice and chicken. On the way home it's water, unless it's summer time. If summer I drink about 500ml of Aquarius (salt and mineral suppliment) later in the ride.

    Note that all my rides include mountain climbs, in which I require plenty of sugar.

    This is my favourite lunch and lunch spot...

    Wow, does that ever look good.........................

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    Quote Originally Posted by calyco View Post
    ....... I did get light headed during a couple of rides, wasn't recently but just something I remembered and wanted to prepare for before I go back out in the spring......
    I read somewhere once years ago that doctors actually receive training on what people might mean when they use terms like "light headed". Since I am not a doctor.... I missed that training. So... I am going to overlook that part of your post (because it might require a doctor) and just respond to what jumps out at me.

    People don't tend to get up at night to rehydrate and a half cup of milk on cheerios isn't a lot of hydration ether. A 20 mile ride before breakfast shouldn't be a problem for most people... as far as nutrition is concerned. But not hydrating is a common problem with cyclists. Often the breeze created by our speed makes it "feel" like we remain a lot dryer than we do. Cyclist sweat bunches.

    Include a big glass of juice (or juice drink), coffee, or water with breakfast (or as soon as you get up). Then... rehydrate more often while cycling. Instead of taking on large amounts of fluids at one time. I use a "4 mile rule". A small drink of water (I often take green tea with me instead) every four miles... thirsty or not.

  10. #10
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    It's gotta be something fairly normal cuz I've had it happen myself and I'm a runner by day.

    It's only happened a couple times, but one time I literally had to stop. I don't know exactly why it happens but it's legit. I just stop, step off the bike and regain composure before starting up again. I'm otherwise healthy with normal BP, heartrate, etc. so I wouldn't put much stock into it unless it becomes chronic, but still don't think yourself too weird. I promise, not many people have a healthier cardiovascular system than myself.

    If it helps, I will say the longer I've been riding (years, not miles at a time) I'm noticing it less & less so there's that. (shrug)

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    Yes, I too think you may not be hydrated enough for a fast ride early in the morning. Try more water and fruit juice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I read somewhere once years ago that doctors actually receive training on what people might mean when they use terms like "light headed". Since I am not a doctor.... I missed that training. So... I am going to overlook that part of your post (because it might require a doctor) and just respond to what jumps out at me.

    People don't tend to get up at night to rehydrate and a half cup of milk on cheerios isn't a lot of hydration ether. A 20 mile ride before breakfast shouldn't be a problem for most people... as far as nutrition is concerned. But not hydrating is a common problem with cyclists. Often the breeze created by our speed makes it "feel" like we remain a lot dryer than we do. Cyclist sweat bunches.

    Include a big glass of juice (or juice drink), coffee, or water with breakfast (or as soon as you get up). Then... rehydrate more often while cycling. Instead of taking on large amounts of fluids at one time. I use a "4 mile rule". A small drink of water (I often take green tea with me instead) every four miles... thirsty or not.
    I read that 40% of adult population is chronically dehydrated.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    I read that 40% of adult population is chronically dehydrated.
    I've read similar stories. And.... or course hydrating was just my first thought. The OP's doctor may have a completely different take on the "light headed" part... that I overlooked.

    I've heard of guys "cutting back" on fluids before cycling.... because of an unavailability of restrooms. Some people have difficulty handling a water bottle while cycling. Older guys... sometime worry about having to pee too easily. Maybe... I should have included a link:

    http://www.h4hinitiative.com/tools/urine-colour-chart

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    Quote Originally Posted by giantcfr1 View Post
    Don't follow my regime for sure...

    A short ride say 40 to 50 km, I have coffee, toast and yogurt, then water during the ride.

    A ride of about 90 to 120 km, I eat either plenty of rissoles and vegetables the night before, or spaghetti with plenty of mince.
    For breakfast... coffee, toast and yogurt, then water during the ride as above. During the ride, one "sugary" coffee and a snickers at about the 35 / 40 km mark. Then around half way a reasonable lunch at a cafe. Usually includes some salad, rice and chicken. On the way home it's water, unless it's summer time. If summer I drink about 500ml of Aquarius (salt and mineral suppliment) later in the ride.

    Note that all my rides include mountain climbs, in which I require plenty of sugar.

    This is my favourite lunch and lunch spot...

    That food looks very tasty...My next vacations - Japan! Damn you! lol
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    Oddly enough I do that all on a regular basis when not riding - coffee in the morn or fruit on cereal, vitamin water mixed with water. I skipped all that to avoid stomach acid issues that I wouldn't want during my rides.. or stomachache, bathroom breaks etc.. Guess I'll throw that back in and see how it goes.. thanks for all the good info! The lightheadness happened when I stopped while on the bike, I turned to look behind me and felt slightly light headed like low blood pressure and wobbled a little. Enough that it got me a little worried. I took deep breaths for about 5 minutes, drank some water and then continued when I felt OK. This has only happened 3 times during the six months so not that bad. I had a thorough checkup couple months back. Blood, blood pressure, EKG etc. and everything was perfect, other than occasional stomach acid I mentioned before or acid reflux, nothing wrong health wise.
    Last edited by calyco; 03-09-14 at 12:55 AM.

  17. #17
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Wow, does that ever look good.........................
    Quote Originally Posted by lopek77 View Post
    That food looks very tasty...My next vacations - Japan! Damn you! lol
    Thanks guys, I am spoilt living and riding here in Kyoto. I have fantastic road and mountain bike courses all around me, and plenty of cafe' / restaurants to choose from on the rides.
    I have to admit, the ride home is much slower than getting there but hey, I'm in no hurry.
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    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calyco View Post
    Oddly enough I do that all on a regular basis when not riding - coffee in the morn or fruit on cereal, vitamin water mixed with water. I skipped all that to avoid stomach acid issues that I wouldn't want during my rides.. or stomachache, bathroom breaks etc.. Guess I'll throw that back in and see how it goes.. thanks for all the good info! The lightheadness happened when I stopped while on the bike, I turned to look behind me and felt slightly light headed like low blood pressure and wobbled a little. Enough that it got me a little worried. I took deep breaths for about 5 minutes, drank some water and then continued when I felt OK. This has only happened 3 times during the six months so not that bad. I had a thorough checkup couple months back. Blood, blood pressure, EKG etc. and everything was perfect, other than occasional stomach acid I mentioned before or acid reflux, nothing wrong health wise.
    Mate, I'd hazard a guess that you are just a little 'flustered' when you stop causing a bit of a head rush.
    Road Bike: 2004 ORBEA Mitis2+Carbon, Freekin' groovy Urban / Mountain Road Cruising Bike: 2007 CANNONDALE Bad Boy Disc, MTB: 2012 Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin WSD 29er

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    Quote Originally Posted by giantcfr1 View Post
    Don't follow my regime for sure...

    A short ride say 40 to 50 km, I have coffee, toast and yogurt, then water during the ride.

    A ride of about 90 to 120 km, I eat either plenty of rissoles and vegetables the night before, or spaghetti with plenty of mince.
    For breakfast... coffee, toast and yogurt, then water during the ride as above. During the ride, one "sugary" coffee and a snickers at about the 35 / 40 km mark. Then around half way a reasonable lunch at a cafe. Usually includes some salad, rice and chicken. On the way home it's water, unless it's summer time. If summer I drink about 500ml of Aquarius (salt and mineral suppliment) later in the ride.

    Note that all my rides include mountain climbs, in which I require plenty of sugar.

    This is my favourite lunch and lunch spot...

    I don't know how manage a meal like that half way through a ride and still look like a stick man I'd take an hour to eat it then have an afternoon nap.
    2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.

  20. #20
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbchybridrider View Post
    I don't know how manage a meal like that half way through a ride and still look like a stick man I'd take an hour to eat it then have an afternoon nap.
    AND...during summer, the same restaurant changes to an all-you-can-eat buffet. Includes ice-cream and desserts. BTW, I'm a fat bastard now. I've gained 4 kg in the past year. Now I'm 64kg. I put that down to joining Costco though.
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