Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston, TX 77095
Bikes: Specialized Sequoia Elite, Schwinn Frontier FS MTB, Centurion LeMans (1986)
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I went on a 32 mile roundtrip bike ride yesterday (a moderate distance for me, I do longer rides up to a Century). I rode out in the cool of the morning, helped teach a bike safety class to some schoolchildren, then headed back by 10:45 am when it was already hot (the high for the day was 95 F, with heat index near 100 F), getting home around noon.
On the bike, I probably drank 1.0 liters of Gatorade in the early AM, drank about another 1.0 liters of blended plain water and Gatorade during the several hours of the bike safety event, also someone gave me about ¼ of a candy bar. On the ride back, I probably also drank about 1.5 liters of plain water, but I also had two energy gels spaced out over the entire ride back, which each have 230 mg Na 85 mg K (for comparison: one small 5.5 fl oz can of V-8 veg juice has 430 mg Na and 360 mg K). So, I followed good practices as far as hydration & nutrition are concerned.
I felt fine during the ride (although hot), and immediately after the ride. At home, I felt like I wanted something salty (my skin tasted bitterly salty from so much sweating), so I had a two small, cold V-8 juices (so, 860 mg Na and 720 mg K all told).I had lunch, felt sleepy, and I had a headache. I took ibuprofen, and took a long nap. I drank water at lunch. I ate a normal dinner, had one small glass of wine, and drank several glasses of iced tea.
By bedtime, I felt puffy in my face and hands. I stepped on the scale, and noticed that I was 7 pounds overweight from my usual weight. Most of this must have been fluid, right? I did not eat seven pounds of solid food. I am guessing that the headache results from cerebral edema, which is a disturbing thought, if correct. I did not encounter any altered mental state at any time, however.
As I write this, 22 hours after the conclusion of the ride, I am still 4 pounds over my starting weight, presumably also fluid. Headache gone, but I feel definitely feel like just totally resting today.
So why do I get this edema? Why the long (24 – 36 hr) recovery time? How do I prevent or mitigate it? Is this hyponatremia? But I ate lots of electrolytes!
This is puzzling the heck out of me. Maybe I should just weigh myself before and after the ride, and resist the temptation to over-drink... but I feel thirstywhen it's hot and horrible here in the summer.
That's like saying... don't breathe, you'll get too much oxygen.
Last edited by kf5nd; 05-22-05 at 04:32 PM.