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  1. #1
    3 summits of Athens
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    long distance-drinking sickness-dehydration..

    Hello cycling community,
    i think something in my hydration must be very wrong...I am sweating too much at training,regardless of the weather,sweating in hot weather even at rest,sometimes to a socially embarassing extent. What bothers my riding is the stomach overload with water-or isotonic drinks- that gives me this flatulence feeling. I normally drink 250 ml/15min in summertime and on most of my longer than 2 hours rides i end up kind of fed up with drinking but a little thirsty at the same time! What really happens is a plop in my stomach that obviously doesn't have enough time to propel its fluid before the next sip, resulting in inadequate fluid absorption. So, the situation is being marginally dehydrated (6-7 hours between dark coloured urinations ) and bubbly-stomach on training. Has anything like that troubled you and found a solution,i'd be more than happy to get a tip.
    Thank you medical council!
    May the Force watch over our trace..

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    The recommended amount is about one 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours.

    Sipping is better than gulping your liquids.

    And electrolytes are extremely important in hot weather or for people who sweat a lot. The main electrolytes are sodium and potassium. Your sports drinks will have some of that, but you might have to look into making a point of consuming foods high in the electrolytes a time or two during a long ride (things like salted almonds and potato chips are good), or taking electrolyte pills.

  3. #3
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    The ability to sweat is good - it shows that your body is well adapted to training. But if it's excessive, you should seek medical advice.

    You don't mention what you are drinking. A good sports drink (accelerade, cytomax, etc. - something you buy at a bike shop) will have a higher absorption rate than pure water, and will encourage you to drink more.

    It sounds to me like you're getting too much water and getting that "sloshy" feeling. I used to get that when I drank water. It went away when I switched to accelerade (plus extra water if it's hot), but you'll need to experiment to find which sports drink works right for you.
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  4. #4
    sch
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    As Machka and Eric imply there is a maximum rate at which fluids can be absorbed, and this is much less than the amount you can drink. For average males, the stomach emptying rate is about 750ml/hour so drinking much more than this results in the stomach filling with fluid and eventually that sloshy feeling.
    Years ago studies were done to see what the optimum mix of electrolytes and sugars was to maximize stomach emptying, and validation or bright idea studies continue (viz the recent development of amino
    acid/protein additions to the electrolyte/sugar mix. The 750ml figure assumes optimal electrolyte + sugar percentages in the fluid, water and sweeter drinks are emptied more slowly. Approximately gatorade is close to the optimal mix but other fluids may be a tad better such as Eric with accelerade. There is also individual variations and preferences to take into account. You posted in two areas on the forums so it is not clear whether you refer to 2-3hr rides or >12hr rides. Strategies will differ. For rides in hotter weather that are in the 3-4hr range or longer, pre loading an hour or so before the ride with a liter of fluid can give you a leg up in the battle between fluid loss and the inability to absorb more than 750ml per hour. Recording your pre/post ride weights, fluid intake and an estimate of urine output and comparing different fluids will over time allow you to calibrate your physiology. Avoiding a dry mouth is beneficial also. I can recall riding feeling thirsty, very dry mouth and audible abdominal sloshing reminding me I have far exceeded the 750/hr gastric emptying rate.

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    One note on what sch said...

    There are two kinds of gatorade. The powdered stuff is sweetened mostly with sucrose, which can be absorbed fairly well. The pre-mix is sweetened with fructose, which has a different absorption mechanism which is limited in amount. If you exceed that amount, you will get the dreaded "GI upset".

    Gatorade may also be too sweet - other drinks use carbs that aren't as sweet so it's easier to drink.

    Finally, Gatorade has a new "sport" formula that I don't know much about.
    Eric

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  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Personally I don't like Gatorade anymore ... it is too sweet and gives me mouth sores on long rides.

    I've switched to HEED which seems to be working very well for me!

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have always said that 1 litre per hour- in hot weather or exercising hard- is the right amount for me. I do a 12 hour ride each year and 12 litres of Liquid in the ride. I sip continually but when I meet my back up team they throw 250ml of water at me and I have to drink it in front of them. Have to pee about 5 minutes later and it is always clear.

    I use a Camelback and carry 2 bottles. 1 bottle is pure water and the other is a weak solution of sugar and salt. 1 teaspoon of sugar and a 1/4 of salt. In the camelback I use an energy/isotonic supplement. I also carry a few salty snacks- Crisps etc- but no nuts for me after nearly choking while riding and eating. Other snacks are Marmite sandwiches, cake, dried fruit and cheese. I try to eat something about every 30 minutes but I am not too fussy about that.

    If you do not drink enough- It will take 20 minutes to rehydrate, so drink before you are thirsty. Then the other problem is how to drink. Big advantage of a camelback is that the hose is always near the mouth so you can sip, and sip ,and sip, whilst riding. No big gulps as I find I do on a bottle. The bottles are there for when I take a slight rest or slow down and I can sip from them rather than gulp.

    I have heard of some people that can get by with a lot less liquid. A few of which have had a problem with stomach cramps through too much liquid. You will have to find your Hydration level- but remember- If you feel thirsty it is too late- You are already de-hydrated.
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    sch
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    Heed apparently donated some to the Cheaha century last May and I tried it. The taste was awful, for me, like rotten Tab or something. Not being a really long distance rider any more and I also tend to avoid long rides above 90F, my requirements tend mostly to water with a bit of gatorade. If I tended to the extremes that afficionados on this forum do, I would definitely experiment with a wide variety of replacement drinks and fluids to see what my gut would tolerate beyond the 80mi mark, which is where I begin to run out of steam.

  9. #9
    3 summits of Athens
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    This has been an incredibly well-documented thread, thanks everyone! I'm soo happy to find seriously thinking riders here unlike many of the road cycling pos(t)ers... Still, i think one can't beat fluid loss that comes with pouring sweat no matter what or how they drink. Only rarely in my countless rides did i stop aside to take a pee so i guess the battle is lost and man i drink an ocean..
    May the Force watch over our trace..

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sch
    If I tended to the extremes that afficionados on this forum do, I would definitely experiment with a wide variety of replacement drinks and fluids to see what my gut would tolerate beyond the 80mi mark, which is where I begin to run out of steam.
    You have to find a drink supplement that you like and it likes you. Now on the 80 mile mark- This is a milage that hits a lot of riders. Used to hit me aswell but I put it down to not eating on the ride. By this milage you are running out of the stored carbo-hydrates in the body and if you do not replace them in the ride- You will run out of energy. I carry a lot of carb snacks on a ride and just munch on them as I go. However- at the 4 hour mark- I slow down on the bike, or stop, and eat a sandwich -or a pie or good slice of cake or anything I can get my hands on. Then the problems come at the 8 hour mark, (I ride offroad) and I change to creamed rice or pasta. Anything that will slip down my throat as it is getting a bit difficult to eat by this time. Oh and snacks change to Chocolate or Soft sweets so this is another reason for doing 12 hour rides- I do like chocolate.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Then the problems come at the 8 hour mark, (I ride offroad) and I change to creamed rice or pasta. Anything that will slip down my throat as it is getting a bit difficult to eat by this time. Oh and snacks change to Chocolate or Soft sweets so this is another reason for doing 12 hour rides- I do like chocolate.

    Whereas for me ... by the time I hit the 8 hour mark, I usually don't want to see anything sweet from then to the end of the ride! I'm onto salty foods by then.

  12. #12
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Powerade doesn't work for me on long rides. I've tried it twice and both times it made me nauseous. Haven't tried Gatorade on long rides, but it works okay (in judicious quantities) for shorter workouts. Water works best for me.

    Btw, I like to consume a gel or two during long rides. Tastes like there's some salty ingredients (Clif Shots list sea salt), so maybe that's a sufficient source of electrolytes?
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  13. #13
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    When I'm hot and tired, about the only Gatoraide that I can swallow is the 'lemonaide' flavor. All the rest seem too sweet by then.

    Heed apparently donated some to the Cheaha century last May and I tried it. The taste was awful, for me, like rotten Tab or something.
    Man, Tab tastes, to me, horrible when it's fresh.... I can't even get my mind to go the the place where rotten Tab exists.

    I wonder if for a lot of folks that there might be one drink that works better early in the ride, and switching to something else as the miles roll on?

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  14. #14
    Large Member urodacus's Avatar
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    watch out eating plain table salt in things like salted almonds, crisps, etc... there is too much sodium and you end up with potassium and calcium defiiciencies that can badly affect your heart, nerves and muscles. sea salt is better than table salt as it contains most neccessary electrolytes, in roughly the right ratio, but still can give you too much sodium.

    you lose a lot of calcium and potassium in your sweat as well as sodium. find a drink that contains decent amounts of these two, like many mineral waters and some sports drinks. fructose is hard to absorb in high amounts from the stomach but ok later on in the gut. sucrose is absorbed well, as is maltose. if you only drink water you may feel bloated after an hour even at the recommended rate of 750ml per hour. bananas and tomatoes are pretty cool if you can eat while you ride, or chew gum to keep your mouth moist. often hard breathing dries out the mouth and makes you feel thirsty even when you have drunk enough.

    YMMV... experiment. and if you truly do sweat too much, there may be an underlying medical problem. see a sports physiologist if you can find one. unfortunately there is not much that medicine can do for it, short of turning it off with Botox for example, or some heart drugs... not a good idea for cycling.

  15. #15
    Senior Member loaf's Avatar
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    I find if I avoid caffeine, I pee and sweat less.

  16. #16
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    Hydration can be a trickier problem than we realized until relatively recently. The old guidelines were "drink before you are thirsty", "drink water ahead of the exercise", "drink about 750ml/hour", and "drink mixtures with electrolytes to aid in absorption". Most elite cyclists and runners did pretty well on those guidelines. In recent years, however, greater numbers of athletes have begun to compete and train over longer distances, and cases of hyponatremia (low blood concentration of sodium) have become more common than previously. The problem is that by consuming and absorbing more water than the body can eliminate, blood becomes diluted relative to its normal concentration of sodium. The brain absorbs more water from the blood, leading to swelling of the brain tissue...with bad consequences such as light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, headache, malaise, seizures, coma, and the big one: death.

    Dehydration is still bad, and still has to be avoided, so not drinking is not a solution.

    Don't drink before you are thirsty. Your endocrine system will let you know when you need to drink if you let it do its job.

    Don't preload with water. If you insist on preloading, do it with a sports drink containing sodium.

    750ml/hour might be a good rate for you. Or not. Here's how to determine it: weigh yourself (preferably naked) before exercise. Dry off and weigh yourself again after the exercise and before you pee. Note the duration of the effort, the ambient temperature, and the weight of anything you consume during the exercise. If, for example, after an hour of exercise at 72F, you didn't eat or drink anything, and weigh 1.65 lbs less than before, then you lost about 750ml of sweat. (Water weighs 2.2 lbs./liter...sweat is pretty close to that...of course, you also lost some weight due to conversion of stored energy, but it is a close enough approximation!) Then you would know that 750ml/hour is about right for you...at 72F. Add the how-much-you-sweat data to your journal. Over time you will know your average sweat rate in various conditions.

    Yes, drink drinks with electrolytes, but not to help absorb the water. You need to replace the electrolytes, especially the sodium, that you lose during exercise. (Speaking of drinks with electrolytes...did you see the movie "Idiocracy"? Hilarious!)

  17. #17
    Zinophile tibikefor2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    The recommended amount is about one 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours.

    Sipping is better than gulping your liquids.

    And electrolytes are extremely important in hot weather or for people who sweat a lot. The main electrolytes are sodium and potassium. Your sports drinks will have some of that, but you might have to look into making a point of consuming foods high in the electrolytes a time or two during a long ride (things like salted almonds and potato chips are good), or taking electrolyte pills.
    +1, no more than 20-24 ounces per hour.

    I would try some endurolytes from e-caps. www.e-caps.com
    Tibikefor2

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