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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Proper hydration

    I rode 112 miles yesterday and began to suffer from dehydration at about the 90 mile mark. My mouth became dry and additional water didn't help.

    I drank several cups of water at rest breaks. These breaks came at miles 40, 70 and 90. Between breaks, I drank 20 oz of water while riding. I had soup at the first break and fresh OJ on the second break. While riding, I ate 2 bananas, one apple a 1/2 Clif bar and a few dates.

    Strangely, the water from my last water break was not absorbed. It sat in my stomach and was vomited after completing the ride.

    I know now to drink more between breaks, what else should I do?

    Michael
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  2. #2
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    I'd try to avoid the vomiting part...

    On the serious side... I can't even think of touching OJ during a ride. The acid tears me up for hours after I drink it on a ride. I can eat marinara sauce or OJ before a ride and will still be suffering from gastric distress 6 hours later. You may need to adjust what you eat out on the road too.

    Have you tried any of the high tech electrolyte drinks? I have felt better and had greater endurance on long rides where I drank more electrolyte based stuff to replace some of the plain water.

    Plus... how hot and humid was it? Some conditions make it impossible for your body to keep up no matter what you do...
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-Aristotle

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    This may or may not be related but look into "water poisoning"

    From http://chemistry.about.com/cs/5/f/blwaterintox.htm
    "Water intoxication and hyponatremia result when a dehydrated person drinks too much water
    without the accompanying electrolytes."

    I rode with a gal who had this happen to her, it is very scary and deadly in it's most sever
    form. You get drilled into your head to drink drink drink, but they never talked about the
    need for electrolytes.

  4. #4
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    I'd try to avoid the vomiting part...

    On the serious side... I can't even think of touching OJ during a ride. The acid tears me up for hours after I drink it on a ride. I can eat marinara sauce or OJ before a ride and will still be suffering from gastric distress 6 hours later. You may need to adjust what you eat out on the road too.

    Have you tried any of the high tech electrolyte drinks? I have felt better and had greater endurance on long rides where I drank more electrolyte based stuff to replace some of the plain water.

    Plus... how hot and humid was it? Some conditions make it impossible for your body to keep up no matter what you do...
    Hi Hydrated (),

    It was my warmest long ride of the year, but not bad. The ride was in northern Illinois. Temps were near 80 with a dry warm wind of about 15 mph.

    I think you may be right about the OJ .

    Michael
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    Without electrolytes, particularly salt, your body cannot absorb the water that you're drinking. I target 2x20 oz bottles per 30 miles, more if hot (over 75F) and somewhat less if cooler. Having said that, if I'm running behind, I've stopped at a McD's and consumed a large drink, eg. diet coke, the more watered down the better.
    Dave

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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeYoung View Post
    This may or may not be related but look into "water poisoning"

    From http://chemistry.about.com/cs/5/f/blwaterintox.htm
    "Water intoxication and hyponatremia result when a dehydrated person drinks too much water
    without the accompanying electrolytes."

    I rode with a gal who had this happen to her, it is very scary and deadly in it's most sever
    form. You get drilled into your head to drink drink drink, but they never talked about the
    need for electrolytes.
    Hi BY,

    I think a loss of salt and a lack of electrolytes was probably a major factor. I am a heavy sweater and my doctor suggests the use of salt tablets or electrolytes, I have marginally low blood pressure.

    Water is convenient to pick-up while riding. Can I add a concentrate to water to give me the electrolytes I need?

    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-27-09 at 09:37 AM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Water is convenient to pick-up while riding. Can I add a concentrate to water to give me the electrolytes I need?
    Get a good sports drink mix such as HEED or EFS.

    ~kn
    "I'm a foreign diplomat. I don't pay for drinks. Do you think G. Gordon Liddy paid for his drinks while he was strangling people with piano wire for the good of our nation?" - Peter Griffin

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Your experience is very common. I carry Endurolytes in a coin purse stuffed up my shorts leg. I normally take 1/hr. or more if I start to feel bloated. I and those I've treated along the way get relief from the bloat 15-20 minutes after taking an Endurolyte. You can also bonk for the same reason - eating plenty but stomach not emptying.

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    I use the Endurolytes as well. The bloating feeling is often from water not being absorbed, but can also be from food, in my experience. In catch-up mode, I've taken 3-4 Endurolytes and quickly lost the bloat. I prefer them to the high electrolyte drinks which remind me of the stuff that I drank prior to a colonoscopy .
    Dave

  10. #10
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Strangely, the water from my last water break was not absorbed. It sat in my stomach and was vomited after completing the ride.
    There's no way to confirm what might have happened. As you mention, you did have some warning that fluids weren't passing from the stomach or intestine properly.

    The silly comments about minerals are as off-base as anything I can make up. How and why everyone thinks pills are the answer to every problem these days- I just can't understand.

    No doubt, you had a pretty severe digestive problem relating to riding a bicycle in hot weather. Some combination of your diet, in the face of exercising and drinking lots of water caused you to vomit.

    That's all any normal adult can say. But the childish musings should go on - after all we're all here for entertainment.

  11. #11
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I don't think that food was the issue. Only tasteless clear fluids were expelled when I became ill, about two liters worth.

    The food I consumed has worked well for me on shorter rides. I stopped eating 2/3 of the way.

    For now, I'm going to add electrolytes.

    Michael
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    More background and excellent write-up from the gal who experienced the hyponatremia event I posted
    on previously, this is good info for all participants in LD type events. OP's condition may or may not be
    related but I think it's good to be aware of the condition and it's causes.

    Bee
    .....................................


    I'm weary of going to the well too often with this story; but, every season, a handful of new voices thank me for the information.

    This is a website you need to visit.
    http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/salt.html

    Here's why:

    At Germanfest (April 28, 2001), I OVER-hydrated myself. (They call it being "water drunk"). On the 60 mile ride, I drank around 2 1/2 gallons (which is only a little over average for me) in 4 hours. I'd trained my body to take half water and half Gatorade, but that day, I had the bright idea that water has 0 calories. Road to hell paved with bright ideas...

    As I salted out through sweat, urine, and drool (you know, when you're tongue's hanging on the bars?), I replaced lost fluid with free water, effectively flooding myself. I diluted the sodium, potassium, and hemoglobin levels in my blood. Average sodium is 135 and varies only by a few degrees; mine was 122. This is hyponatremia.

    (The more common way to become hyponatremic is not to DRINK ENOUGH, period. Same imbalance, same symptoms, same life threat.)

    I had THE headache. I pleaded to every known pantheon of gods, deities, and dead bikers. "Please let me finish the bloody ride." I was within 5 miles, so I did not sag.

    When the headache didn't get better but got steadily worse AFTER I downed 40 oz of Gatorade at the gas station, AFTER I took a lukewarm shower at the in-laws farm, and AFTER an hour-and-a-half that passed like the tick of a clock, holding my head between my knees, I asked John to take me to a hospital. An ambulance would have gotten lost.

    I had been vomitting too. All of the Gatorade. I didn't stop vomitting until it was bloody. That's when the hospital staff tried putting a tube down my nose and into my stomach, but that triggered my gag reflex, and I became intensely combative. I ripped the IV out of my arm, tore everything off my body, had six people holding me down (Thank you very much!!) AND arm and leg restraints. The crack team at Gainesville General abandoned the tube idea and decided to paralyze me instead. Then, I was sent by ambulance to HEB where I remained in a chemically-induced coma in the ICU with a machine breathing for me and fed by IV.

    My brain had swollen from the hyponatremia.

    I have gotten ahead of myself. As we were leaving the farm for the Gainesville hospital, I could only barely see from the pain and I could only barely talk because of the numbness tingling extended from my lower jaw all the way down. My teeth were throbbing in their sockets. I got to the car only by memory of how one walks because I couldn't really feel the ground, ya know? I continued my mantra from inside the house, "Please don't let me die. Please don't let me die. Please don't let me die." Talking to John. It sounded more like, "Pweeeeeeez dohhhhn".

    In the car, a thought bubbled up through the quivering goo inside my skull -- if you'll pardon my language -- "Holy ****! If I DON'T DIE, I might never wipe my own ass again!" From the brain damage, right?. So, then I started alternating mantras, "Please don't let me die. Please don't let me be brain dead. Please don't let me die. Please don't let me be brain dead." I wasn't talking to John anymore. I was talking to The All that is.

    Hyponatremia can cause seizures, coma, and death.

    (And, I have got to tell you, when the ER nurse grabbed me by the face and forced my eyes to find hers and asked, "WHY Dooooo Yooooooou ThinK Youuuuu'll Beeeeee BRAIN DEAD??" -- I thought, "That's it, I'm F*CK'd" If she's got to ask, then I know I'm leaving this joint in a black sack. Doggonit.)

    Then, the second (and, I might add, last) thought shot up through the muck, "Oh, my God, I'm going to die, and I'll have left John, the love of my life, without saying goodbye." I found a few words and a mouth to articulate them, told him I loved him and had always loved him; and I apologized for the inconvenience that my dying would cause. Yeah, sorry about that.

    I wrote the original of this document two weeks later:

    "I'm still 10 pounds under weight," I wrote, "but I'm not walking into walls anymore; I'm remembering things without having to ask four times; my mouth is using exactly the words that my brain is telling it to; my fingers have "remembered" how to type; I've regained my fine motor skills, coordination and reflexes; my bruises and heart monitor patch marks are beginning to fade; I can stand up without swooning; and yesterday I rode 10 miles and felt great."

    "The way for me personally to prevent this from happening in the future is to do what I've always done: drink half water and half electrolyte replacement drink, have pretzels a few days before the ride, eat right, sleep well, hydrate, get on somebody's wheel..."

    ----------

    Oh, by the way, in addition to each of the doctors' bills and the bill for the ambulance, the ICU bill was $18,322.21.

    Now, please go read that website; it's still up.

    Yours,

    Suzanne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    I rode 112 miles yesterday and began to suffer from dehydration at about the 90 mile mark. My mouth became dry and additional water didn't help.

    I drank several cups of water at rest breaks. These breaks came at miles 40, 70 and 90. Between breaks, I drank 20 oz of water while riding. I had soup at the first break and fresh OJ on the second break. While riding, I ate 2 bananas, one apple a 1/2 Clif bar and a few dates.

    Strangely, the water from my last water break was not absorbed. It sat in my stomach and was vomited after completing the ride.

    I know now to drink more between breaks, what else should I do?

    Michael
    I think there are a couple of things going on.

    First, water isn't as well absorbed as water with electrolytes, so if you have water by itself, it can just sit in your stomach, and if you get enough of it, it can cause GI distress.

    Second, you could easily be sweating out up to a quart of water a hour. I don't think you were taking in enough liquid to make up your liquid losses.

    Also, you can lose anywhere from 500mg to 1000mg of salt per liter of sweat, so it's easy to get down on salt.

    So, my diagnosis is that you were both dehydrated and hyponatremic.

    In hot weather, I take two salt capsules per hour. I use succeed! e-caps. I don't like the endurolytes - hammer has a philosophy that salt isn't important and you can only get 240mg/hour from them (I get more than that from 1 of the capsules I take).

    Things to look for:

    If you weigh more after the ride than before, you are likely hyponatremic. If you drink lots of water and make no trips to the bathroom, you are likely hyponatremic. If your hands look swolen, you are likely hyponatremic.

    Hyponatremia is nothing to sneeze at. The symptoms are similar to dehydration and heatstroke and many medical personel are not trained to deal with people who exercise for more than 5 hours at a time.
    Eric

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  14. #14
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Hyponatremia is something to watch for, but afaik it's quite rare. Again, note that the individual in BeeYoung's post drank 2.5 gallons of water (9.4 liters), presumably without any food, on a 60 mile ride. Assuming she was in the saddle for 5 hours, that is 3 times as much water as the typical recommendations I've seen.

    Given that the OP doesn't seem to have consumed anywhere near that much water, and was eating along the way, I'd be very surprised if he had hyponatremia on that ride. It's more likely that it was stress from riding and/or an upset stomach from food.

    As to "what to do next time," I second the idea that you're better off with energy drinks. You should also try to figure out how much you sweat during a given ride. The easiest way is to weigh yourself before the ride; weigh yourself after the ride; add in how much water you drank on the ride (16 oz of water = 1 pound) and how much food you ate. If you lost weight, then you need to drink a little more.

  15. #15
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Well, the plan for this weekends 70 mile ride in 80 degree heat is as follows;

    Three water bottles on the bike filled with Trader Joe's Electrolyte Enhanced Water

    Take salt tablets daily, plus take an extra dose while riding.

    Consume food as usual but stay away from acidic drinks.

    Have cold Electrolyte Enhanced Water waiting in the car for after the event.

    I'll see if that solves the problem before using sports products.

    Michael
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  16. #16
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Don't take extra salt leading up to the ride. Just makes it worse. 70 miles isn't that far, and 80 isn't that hot.

    I took the trouble of googling this water crap for you, and found this:
    http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nu...enhanced-water

    As you can see, this stuff is nothing but water and words. No electrolytes, just water and words. You'd be better off with Gatorade, which is also crap, but better than nothing. Some people like nuun tablets, so at least those two things are tested and work. I don't know the distribution of nuun, but REI has it. If you want to really get basic, use a combination of Tums and pretzels. That'll work, too.

    Have a quart of milk laced with 1/2c sugar waiting in the car. Or 2 bottles of porter and a bagel, better yet.

  17. #17
    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Don't take extra salt leading up to the ride. Just makes it worse. 70 miles isn't that far, and 80 isn't that hot.
    +1 Save the salt tablets for when you actually need them, which is when you're sweating a lot. Most likely there is plenty of sodium in your normal diet for your daily needs.

    Lately I've been moving away from expensive fancy "sport" foods and electrolyte drinks because as CF Boy points out, many of them are nothing but hype. There are some good old standbys that are available in any convenience store and are generally a heck of a lot cheaper. For example, ounce for ounce, a can of V8 juice has about 5 times as much sodium and 15 times as much potassium as Gatorade. It also has some other goodies like vitamin A, C, Calcium, and Iron. So, have a can of V8 on your next sweaty ride and see if that helps.

  18. #18
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonesomesteve View Post
    +1 Save the salt tablets for when you actually need them, which is when you're sweating a lot. Most likely there is plenty of sodium in your normal diet for your daily needs.
    Yes, great advice.

    Thanks,

    Michael
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  19. #19
    This steel horse I ride Skones MickLoud's Avatar
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    After countless patrols through the hot Iraqi summer, I got in the habit of carrying around a bunch of those break-open salt packets you get at fast food places. I used to put 2 of those in a 1.5L bottle, and 5 in my 3L Camelback. I've cut down on the salt intake on rides (it get's hot in DC but not that hot), and usually split 1 packet up in to 2 20 oz bottles.

    [edit] Wow, sorry for the gravedig...

  20. #20
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skones MickLoud View Post
    After countless patrols through the hot Iraqi summer, I got in the habit of carrying around a bunch of those break-open salt packets you get at fast food places. I used to put 2 of those in a 1.5L bottle, and 5 in my 3L Camelback. I've cut down on the salt intake on rides (it get's hot in DC but not that hot), and usually split 1 packet up in to 2 20 oz bottles.

    [edit] Wow, sorry for the gravedig...
    I was wondering if adding salt to my water bottles had merit. I'll try it.

    Michael
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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Consume food as usual but stay away from acidic drinks.
    You'd be better off with Gatorade, which is also crap, but better than nothing.
    If you want to really get basic, use a combination of Tums and pretzels. That'll work, too.
    I was wondering if adding salt to my water bottles had merit. I'll try it.


    Great stuff - keep the contradictory ,misinformation flowing. Extra points for ignoring situational context, the particular individual's size, age and training conditioning as well actual intensity of exercise. Assume your advice works perfectly for anyone, and of course any situation.

  22. #22
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I don't know Richard, The above advice is in agreement with my MD. I'm grateful for it.

    Michael
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I took the trouble of googling this water crap for you, and found this:
    http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nu...enhanced-water

    As you can see, this stuff is nothing but water and words. No electrolytes, just water and words.
    Ahh...It's homeopathic electrolytes!

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    in your water bottles have about 25% apple juice, a pinch of salt and some salt substitute (potassium chloride). Drink 2 bottles between each rest stop. Drink chocolate milk after the ride.

  25. #25
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    always be sure you're well hydrated before the ride/event.

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