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  1. #1
    Senior Member furiousferret's Avatar
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    Getting sick the day after long rides

    Hello everyone,

    After a few years of doing exclusively 20-40 miles on the bike, I've moved up to doing a 75+ mile ride every other week. So far I've done 3 without any issues, but the next day I'm usually feeling borderline sick, with a sore throat and stuff nose.

    My nutrition is good during the ride, I usually eat 250 calories every hour, and 700 45 minutes before I go. I do ride pretty hard but I have plenty of energy afterwards. Its just the next day I feel horrible.

    Any ideas to help this?

  2. #2
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    do you have any allergies? when pollen or ozone is high, I have to either limit my riding or medicate up.

    are you getting potassium post-ride? bananas are usually a good source, but if you get potassium deficient you can feel sore and achy after rides.

    what about water? drinking at least .7L/hour? what about pre and post rides? what about protein?

    it could just be how your body reacts. After lots of exertion my stomach hurts sometimes, so I just rest and it gets better.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  3. #3
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    I seem to remember reading somewhere that exertion can lower your body's resistance. I know I am more succeptible to colds and other bugs after I've done a marathon or a long ride.

    I generally make sure to get enough rest after doing a long ride, keep up with my nutrition and take vitamins.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerum 525 View Post
    Now get on your cheap bike and give me a double century. You walking can of Crisco!!

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    Senior Member furiousferret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nahh View Post
    do you have any allergies? when pollen or ozone is high, I have to either limit my riding or medicate up.

    are you getting potassium post-ride? bananas are usually a good source, but if you get potassium deficient you can feel sore and achy after rides.

    what about water? drinking at least .7L/hour? what about pre and post rides? what about protein?

    it could just be how your body reacts. After lots of exertion my stomach hurts sometimes, so I just rest and it gets better.
    Yes, I have allergies, but not too bad.
    I usually have at least 1 banana post ride
    I usually drink so much I have to take several bio breaks, and usually have a Gatorade post ride

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    Everyone's different. You could try varying your diet pre, during and post ride, upping your electrolyte intake during the ride ... you may have some minor allergy that only shows up as your body goes into the post exertion lull. You could also try doing a short ride the next day -- keeping your metabolism up.

    The other thing to try is doing an even longer ride. I have generally found, as my rides got longer and longer, that when I stayed at a plateau in terms of ride length that I was always borderline exhausted after I did that distance. When I increased the distance, the former plateau was no-sweat.

    The other thing is that your 700 calories pre ride cannot possibly be digested before you start riding. Your body needs about 1 hour to digest 250-350 calories, so that food is simply sitting in your stomach and then joined by other solid and liquid intake during the ride. If you are going to eat that much pre-ride, do so 2 hours beforehand.
    Dave

  6. #6
    Senior Member yeamac's Avatar
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    I'd say your condition may be affected by too much exertion (doubling/tripling your long distance) in the heat of summer.

    Diet may affect it some. It sounds like you may be eating too much. In the summer I ride early morning to try to escape the heat. I wake up, get dressed, fill one water bottle and hop on the bike and ride 20-25 miles with simply one 24oz bottle of water in 80 degree weather. Nothing to eat before I go nor during the ride -- I eat breakfast when I return.

    On longer rides I take two water bottles, fill one with sports drink, and take a couple snacks, often only consuming one and filling the water bottles on the way with sports drink/water as I need to stay hydrated. A lot of my energy comes in liquid form, not solid. On those days I have my normal bowl of cereal before I go. That might help in your case.

  7. #7
    Increasingly Marginalized seawind161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thompsw View Post
    <SNP>
    The other thing is that your 700 calories pre ride cannot possibly be digested before you start riding. Your body needs about 1 hour to digest 250-350 calories, so that food is simply sitting in your stomach and then joined by other solid and liquid intake during the ride. If you are going to eat that much pre-ride, do so 2 hours beforehand.
    With due deference to your long-distance accomplishments, and admitting that I have only ever done five centuries (all of them this year), I don't think the above caution holds for all of us.

    For any ride over 70 miles or so, and I know I'll be flamed for admitting this, I stop by McDonald's on the way to the ride start and have, at the least, an Egg McMuffin, a potato cake, a cup of coffee and some of those decadent sugary gooey little cinnamon roll thingies, usually not more than 45 minutes before the ride starts.

    For a long effort, my body WANTS that kind of food (sugars, fats, protein, carbs)- maybe due to a background in construction, where a big breakfast fuels the fires for hard work.

    I'm sure it's not for everyone, but I can tell you that, in my case at least, it's not "simply sitting in your stomach"- it's being turned into miles!

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    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    I know very little about this, but I read something recently about "exercise-induced angioedema." No idea if that's what you're suffering from, but you may want to read about it to see if it sounds familiar. It's definitely not very common.

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    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seawind161 View Post
    For any ride over 70 miles or so, and I know I'll be flamed for admitting this, I stop by McDonald's on the way to the ride start and have, at the least, an Egg McMuffin, a potato cake, a cup of coffee and some of those decadent sugary gooey little cinnamon roll thingies, usually not more than 45 minutes before the ride starts.
    I do the same thing (but not McDonald's). I eat a big breakfast of waffles and fruit about 30-45 minutes before a really long ride. This has worked for me for cycling and when I do a marathon. It boils down to the fact that when I have an early morning start I'm too lazy to get up two hours before and eat; I'd rather get the extra sleep. I make a point of eating a good dinner the night before as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerum 525 View Post
    Now get on your cheap bike and give me a double century. You walking can of Crisco!!

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    Senior Member furiousferret's Avatar
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    Still sick but getting better. I'm hoping this is just from too much training and not resting it.

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    Randomhead
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    maybe you are suffering from the early stages of a case of mono, "the cyclist's disease."

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    Quote Originally Posted by nahh View Post
    do you have any allergies? when pollen or ozone is high, I have to either limit my riding or medicate up.

    are you getting potassium post-ride? bananas are usually a good source, but if you get potassium deficient you can feel sore and achy after rides.

    what about water? drinking at least .7L/hour? what about pre and post rides? what about protein?

    it could just be how your body reacts. After lots of exertion my stomach hurts sometimes, so I just rest and it gets better.
    I agree with all of this.

    Your allergies may not be too bad just loofing around, but add in a long bike ride and your really compounding the effects by exposing your self to pollens just being out for several hours then compounding that effect with heavy breathing. The water thing is a good too (or 50% diluted Gatorade, or have one bottle of clear water and one with 100% Gatorade then alternate), you should be ingesting about 24oz every 45 minutes or about 5 ounces every 10 minutes. I would try some allergy meds or sprays before riding next time to see if that works. Problems with some meds they may make you tired and thus your performance may suffer. I take allergy pills with me just in case somethings in the air that gets me going while riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
    Hello everyone,

    After a few years of doing exclusively 20-40 miles on the bike, I've moved up to doing a 75+ mile ride every other week. So far I've done 3 without any issues, but the next day I'm usually feeling borderline sick, with a sore throat and stuff nose.

    My nutrition is good during the ride, I usually eat 250 calories every hour, and 700 45 minutes before I go. I do ride pretty hard but I have plenty of energy afterwards. Its just the next day I feel horrible.

    Any ideas to help this?
    I have had this exact issue. After riding HARD, for both my 20km and 50km stretches, I am down-right sick the next day.

    After some reading, I believe this is the best answer: Hyponatremia

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    After more reading I am 100% sure this (lack of salt) is why i was feeling sick after hard training.

    Here is some information regarding Marathon training and sodium intake. I think this article can be applied to most endurance athletes.

    This morning, I had a lingering headache from my hard 50km ride yesterday. So I put an even teaspoon of salt in a cup with 2 teaspoons of sugar and chugged it. My headache and lethargy were gone within an hour! In-fact, I did another 70km today.

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    Randomhead
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    I don't think that you are getting an electrolyte imbalance in such short distances unless you are going very slowly or the rides are straight up a mountain. I suppose over-compensating doesn't cause serious issues, although it can lead to dehydration and stomach upset. Headaches are often associated with dehydration.

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    Senior Member joewein's Avatar
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    An electrolyte imbalance is possible from overdrinking. The OP did not specify how much he drinks over how many hours. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication

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    sorry, I didn't make it clear I was addressing pressed001. This is a pretty old thread. I think the OP wasn't getting enough rest or simply was about to get sick anyway. I think I have avoided getting sick because of long rides myself, although most of my illnesses are actually allergy related. Then again, sometimes I have accelerated colds due to rides, it really depends on circumstances. There was one recent ride where I was pretty sure if I was at home I would have had a full-blown cold, and that happened the next day. Should have just kept riding

    Even in fairly hot weather, I'm not sure I would go through enough water in 30 miles (50km) to possibly get hyponatremia. I think you would feel sick from having so much water sloshing around in your digestive system.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 06-29-15 at 06:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    Headaches are often associated with dehydration.
    Rest assured that I am a very well hydrated man! I typically drink 2-3l per day when inactive and up to, I would guess 5 or so, when active. It was hammered into me during my military days that if I aint pissing clear, I am not hydrated!

    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    sorry, I didn't make it clear I was addressing pressed001.

    Even in fairly hot weather, I'm not sure I would go through enough water in 30 miles (50km) to possibly get hyponatremia. I think you would feel sick from having so much water sloshing around in your digestive system.
    Yeah, I understand your thought process and I agree that it sounds unlikely. Perhaps this is why I never considered such a simple thing as salt consumption before. I have always piled on more water, thinking I am dehydrated, which actually exacerbated my problem by furthermore flushing my system of the much needed electrolytes.

    I feel pretty lame actually, not having understood this before. For some reason I was always under the impression that salt was BAD and too much of it leads to serious health issues. Well, perhaps this is correct, and maybe the majority of the population eat too much salt and don't exercise enough. However, after further reading I understand that an athlete must ingest more salt than the average person because of sweat. Sometimes MUCH more.

    To better understand my issue you need to know that I have always tried to stay away from salt. It can be safely theorized that I, more often than not, start my heavy training exercises with an ill-advised blood sodium content (considering the upcoming activity). In fact, I have always had a hard time doing real distance training because of my muscle cramps, nausea, and just about every other symptom of hyponatremia!

    For reference: Runners lose an average of 2g of sodium per hour through sweat. That is just sodium (Na). In order to get 2g of sodium, you would need to eat 5g of table salt (NaCl). This means that after my 1.5 hour ride on Saturday I had lost about 3g of sodium which equates to 7.5g of table salt. That is more than I have perhaps ever ingested on any given day, ever!

    The overwhelming evidence presented itself yesterday morning. I was suffering yet another post-workout "hangover." Seriously, the symptoms are terribly similar. I looked up all this information on hyponatremia and then, with much hope, I added about 4g of table salt and 8g sugar to 500ml of water and chugged it down. One hour later, my symptoms were almost entirely gone.

    I am ecstatic! Now I can finally get some regular 100km+ rides under my belt.

    References: 1, 2, 3, 4

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    Randomhead
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    From a military perspective, ensuring hydration the simple way is a good idea. We have the luxury of a more optimized approach. I am generally not worried about dehydration too much, which can lead to issues if I screw up. It seems like the current thinking is that you should drink when you are thirsty, and not keep ahead of thirst like the previous thinking held.

    My hesitation comes from the fact that it seems that more people are worried about hyponatremia than ever get close to suffering from it. I almost never add salt to anything I eat, but in the U.S. that isn't an issue -- other people are doing it for you. On long rides (>300k), I tend to eat more salty foods than I would otherwise. If it is ridiculously hot, I have felt a lot better after eating some salty potato chips, just as one example. But that is usually my remedy for an upset stomach. Not sure where the stomach thing comes from, but heat and digestion don't go well together. I would look at other electrolytes, such as potassium and magnesium. I use Hammer Nutrition Enduralytes, but there are alternatives that I'm sure are just as good. I only take a few, and only when I'm suffering from cramps. Taking too much salt without water has resulted in really unpleasant results.

    I don't know your age, but for someone like me in my mid-50s, salt can stress the system by promoting high blood pressure simply through absorbing more water into the bloodstream. It should be approached with caution

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