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  1. #1
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    Dehydration and water intake

    Just curious - if I jug down a gallon of water after a long, hot ride, and an hour later I'm urinating more or less as usual, can I assume that I'm properly hydrated, electrolyte balance aside?

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    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
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    yes (assuming you have not taken any diuretics such as alcohol)
    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

    Plato

    (well if he was alive today he would have written it)

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Dehydration is nasty and the best way to stop it is to drink whilst riding, and a lot of it. Drinking after the ride is necessary, but not alcohol.
    During a ride I try to Drink at least 1 pint every hour and go up from that with the warm weather. At the end of the ride, I try to empty the remains of my bottle from the bike, and a couple of quick coffee's

    The easiest way of checking if you are dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine. If it is clear you are fine, or even light yellow. The denser the yellow colour and the more dehydrated you are.

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    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    I'm with stapfam - drink WHILE riding not just after. I do a bottle every 30-45 minutes and if I ride longer and don't have to stop by the side of the road I figure I ain't drinking enough.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

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    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    I wear a Camelback Mule with a 100 ounce / 3 litre reservoir in it. It makes it easy to drink, the mouthpiece is abour 3" away from my mouth. I can just pop it in, take a couple pulls, and then spit the mouthpiece out.

    It's insulated so it keeps the water cooler, and on hot day rides I freeze the bladder the night before and have ice water to drink most of the day.

    Having it be easy to drink helps you to do it as often as you should. The nozzle waving around near my face reminds me, so I drink small amounts but *very* often.

    The Mule also has enough extra capacity to carry a couple bananas, small tool kit (Alien), spare tube, pump, patch kit, maps, keys, wallet... all the junk I seem to want to take with me. It even has a place to stow my windbreaker for after the temp warms up (I usually leave on my rides at first light and sometimes it's chilly).

    If you wait until you're thirsty to drink, you're likely already dehydrated. Being dehydrated affects your thinking, your strength and other things. Don't let it happen, drink enough regularly so that you have to stop and pee.
    Last edited by michaelnel; 06-07-05 at 08:24 PM.
    ---

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    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    At the end of the ride, I try to empty the remains of my bottle from the bike, and a couple of quick coffee's.
    I'm a coffee fan too, but it doesn't help hydrate you, it helps DEhydrate you. You take in the liquid in the coffee, but it's a diuretic and will make you pee out more than you took in.

    Being a Type II diabetic, peeing a lot is something I am an authority on.
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    You might chug down that water and piss clear in an hour, but I don't know that you 're hydrated.I recall reading somewhere that simply flooding yourself doesn't help much, as you're body can't absorb such a large quantity very quickly, so it simply flushes it through.

    As above, drink small and often throughout the ride.Get a Camelbak (or similar)I too have a MULE, and wouldn't ride without it.

    Cheers!

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    scofflaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    Just curious - if I jug down a gallon of water after a long, hot ride, and an hour later I'm urinating more or less as usual, can I assume that I'm properly hydrated, electrolyte balance aside?
    why are you chugging a gallon of water after a long hot ride? you should have been drinking all along!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatchula
    You might chug down that water and piss clear in an hour, but I don't know that you 're hydrated.I recall reading somewhere that simply flooding yourself doesn't help much, as you're body can't absorb such a large quantity very quickly, so it simply flushes it through.

    As above, drink small and often throughout the ride.Get a Camelbak (or similar)I too have a MULE, and wouldn't ride without it.

    Cheers!
    I am not sure that is quite right. What happens, perhaps, is that a lot of the water remains in the stomach, because the only a certain amount can be absorbed. There is no bypass mechanism from the stomach to the kidneys to process urine.

    One little piece of advice to add to the other suggestion that the OP should be rehydrating while riding, small amounts of sodium and potassium salt replacement might not go astray in hot weather.

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    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    I think that in hot weather, if you know you'll be going for a long ride, start the hydration process a day or two prior to the ride. If you're going for a ride on Saturday, then drink as much water as you can on Friday, and do it again when you get up in the morning before the ride.

    It takes a while to get properly hydrated.

    I don't take any salt pills while riding because I have the bad habit of putting too much salt on all my food all the time anyway. I do carry a couple bananas when I ride and always eat one shortly after starting and another 1/2 way through the ride. Bananas are rich in potassium.
    ---

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  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    One the culture problems at present is that "Healthy Food" thing. The most drastic of which in my opinion is to cut down on Salt intake. Perhaps some of us have to cut down , but I had a friend that took it too literrally and cut out ALL salt. It took a couple of months before the effect came in but he started to have muscle cramps, and a lot of them. He was also drinking a lot more on the ride as he was continually thirsty.
    On one particular ride he ran out of water and took my spare bottle, No cramps on that Ride. I use an additive in my drink and in the summer it is an isotonic additive. The little bit of salt in this drink stopped him from having cramps, and he also did not feel as thirsty. Every ride from then on he used an isotonic additive and never had cramp or dire thirst again.
    I had another friend that was having cramps and did not want to increase his salt intake. He had started running and was in training for a 10 mile run. He was not an athlete but the isotonic worked for him, and he also confirmed that it decreased his thirst. Before Isotonic drinks came about I used to make a special drink. 30% pure orange juice, 70%water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. This is what We used to have in the High Humidity of Malaya but then we cut down the water and added a generous dose of Brandy. I now can't stand Orange juice but the taste for a good brandy has remained.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marge
    why are you chugging a gallon of water after a long hot ride? you should have been drinking all along!
    No Marge. And I'll tell you why. It's because keeping up with my age peers is a challenge and I'm trying my best, that's why. I'm pushing myself so damn hard I have an elevated heart rate - on Sunday up to 173 bpm topping a hill and with a constant of 145-155 bpm. But I'm at my limit. I've been on 8 or so rides the last month, can feel myself becoming more fit and now have the confidence I can tolerate that level of exersion. And my increasing speed is getting the approval of my new cycling friends. But the thought of taking in any fluids or food during this work out makes me want to puke. These touring rides are only 30 or 40 km. so take only a little over an hour. I can wait that long. And rehydrate myself when my heart rate returns to normal, within a few minutes. I like the challenge and admire these guys my age who are as fit as a fiddle. Besides, chugging water after the ride seems to work - I have no headache, dizziness or other noticeable symptoms of dehydration. Other than aching thigh muscles later on, but that's from peddling my arse off.....

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    But the thought of taking in any fluids or food during this work out makes me want to puke. These touring rides are only 30 or 40 km. so take only a little over an hour. I can wait that long. And rehydrate myself when my heart rate returns to normal, within a few minutes. I like the challenge and admire these guys my age who are as fit as a fiddle. Besides, chugging water after the ride seems to work - I have no headache, dizziness or other noticeable symptoms of dehydration. Other than aching thigh muscles later on, but that's from peddling my arse off.....
    If you feel that even taking liquid during a ride will make you puke, then you are pushing yourself too hard on that ride for your level of fitness. I know that will improve but in the meantime you have a problem.
    Before the ride, and by that I mean in the 20 minutes or so before the ride, drink a bottle of water. If possible start it 30 minutes before the ride and drink 2 bottles of water.

    I can assure you, dehydration on the ride will affect your riding capabilities. You don't have to drink a lot on one goe on the ride, but continual sips whilst riding, will keep the energy levels up. Perhaps not suitable for the roadies, but the Camelbacks work. The mouth piece is only a few inches from your face and it is easy to put the nozzle in your mouth and drink. Continual sipping on this means that I will empty it in a couple of hours, and I don't have to find many bushes on a ride.
    Last edited by stapfam; 06-09-05 at 03:38 AM.

  14. #14
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    Just curious - if I jug down a gallon of water after a long, hot ride, and an hour later I'm urinating more or less as usual, can I assume that I'm properly hydrated, electrolyte balance aside?
    Your body can only absorb 25 - 40 oz of water per hour. The rest will be literally flushed away. The key is to drink while you are riding, and then supplement that with 25-40 oz per hour afterwards.

    You can weigh yourself before, and after a ride to get an idea regarding how much fluid you’ve lost. Understand that you’ve burned calories also, so all of this weight loss will not necessarily be fluid loss, but the bulk will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    No Marge. And I'll tell you why. It's because keeping up with my age peers is a challenge and I'm trying my best, that's why. I'm pushing myself so damn hard I have an elevated heart rate - on Sunday up to 173 bpm topping a hill and with a constant of 145-155 bpm. But I'm at my limit. I've been on 8 or so rides the last month, can feel myself becoming more fit and now have the confidence I can tolerate that level of exersion. And my increasing speed is getting the approval of my new cycling friends. But the thought of taking in any fluids or food during this work out makes me want to puke. These touring rides are only 30 or 40 km. so take only a little over an hour. I can wait that long. And rehydrate myself when my heart rate returns to normal, within a few minutes. I like the challenge and admire these guys my age who are as fit as a fiddle. Besides, chugging water after the ride seems to work - I have no headache, dizziness or other noticeable symptoms of dehydration. Other than aching thigh muscles later on, but that's from peddling my arse off.....
    Why ask us if you arent going to listen to our advise??

    You are doing it wrong, period.

    I was going to stop there but reading your post and seeing all that pride, I will continue. There is a reason that EVERY SINGLE pro athlete in the WORLD takes in fluids as they are loosing them and then takes in a steady amount following strenuous excercise. Dehydration negatively affects performance far before many of your 'noticable symptoms' occur in most folks. So, should you truly want to gain some knowlege, sit on your hands for a bit and listen to what people have to say.
    Its all downhill from somewhere.

  16. #16
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    A lack of water is bad for your joints. What's cushioning the joints is partially water. When you dehydrate, the water has to come from somewhere.

    I found that when I switched from bottles of water to a camelback system I drank a lot more water and felt better over all. One symptom of dehydration is a rapid heartbeat, too.

    The salt thing is true, too. If you ever find yourself unable to drink enough to satiate, you might have hyponatremia, which is a lack of salt in your body. Salty snacks instead of sweet does the trick. (Personally, I can't stand anything but plain water.)
    ~Diane
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    If you sweat a lot (who doesn't) and all you drink is water you will dilute your electolytes and cramp up. Been there, done that.

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by teamawe
    ... So, should you truly want to gain some knowlege, sit on your hands for a bit and listen to what people have to say.
    Okay, okay, okay. You sound like my wife (but what does she know.) Anyway, I'll listen....

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    Here's part of your heart rate problem- when you're dehydrated, your blood is sludgy, which will raise the heart rate in its attempt to circulate this thick stuff to the working muscles. With water, the blood fluid is increased and can more easily move through the body, which will keep your heart rate lower. Drink water before, during, and after your ride!

    I don't put any extra salt in my food. There is already so much salt in our food that I feel that it's sufficient for my working needs. If I need more, it's in the gatorade. If someone cuts salt out of their diet completely, I'd be worried (like if they only eat salt-free foods), BUT if they're just not adding salt to their foods, then I don't think there's a problem.

    Koffee

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    Yeah, well, I guess a lot can change in a month with daily temps of 90+ F like the rest of northeastern North America. With local "excessive heat and humidity" and smog warnings I've passed on some evening rides. The touring club rides I have gone on were unthinkable without taking at least 2 water bottles, frozen the night before although they were soon tepid once on the ride. Might as well been hot tea. While I am now hydrating before, during and after rides, I still can't fathom eating during heavy exertion. So I still don't know how you middle aged "roady" types like the senior guys in my club can race toward the midway "greasy spoon" restaurant stop for a greasy breakfast! Some of our roadies in great physical condition wanting to eat cholesterol laden, high fat greasy crap! "Boy, I can't wait for breakfast..." How can these 50+ year olds be hungry in this heat after 20 miles of 18+ mph cruising, even on flat terraine?

    By the way, I did my first 56 mile ride a week ago with the "B Speed Group" on a hot Saturday recently. Very proud of myself when I was told I'm a good cyclist!

  21. #21
    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatchula
    You might chug down that water and piss clear in an hour, but I don't know that you 're hydrated.I recall reading somewhere that simply flooding yourself doesn't help much, as you're body can't absorb such a large quantity very quickly, so it simply flushes it through.

    As above, drink small and often throughout the ride.Get a Camelbak (or similar)I too have a MULE, and wouldn't ride without it.

    Cheers!
    Well, anything that comes out in the urine HAS to be processed through the kidneys. The kidneys excrete water from the blood. So in order to be excreted, water has to have gotten into the bloodstream. The blood flows through capillaries where it is exposed pretty thoroughly to the tissues and the water from the blood can easily go into the interstitial fluid.

    The above is statement up there just does not make any sense that I can see.

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    i ended up in the hospital a couple of months ago from hyponatremia, low sodium in the blood. it was a saturday morning and i did a good 40 miler on the bike and jumped off and ran 10. it was more humid than i realized and i rehydrated with mostly water instead of gatorade/powerade...

    after a couple of hours my stomach was bloated with the water that wouldn't go through my system because of lack of sodium. i was eating some pretzels and some gatorade but the ratio of water to gatorade/salt was just too great. i then strated to feel sick and my limbs began feeling heavy(weird feeling). i was also light headed and wasn't making a lot of sense with what i was saying. i just knew i had to get to the hospital.

    i was pretty bad i guess, close to seizuring. it took them a while to figure out exactly what was wrong with me and i heard of this happening to marathoners and such but i never thought it would happen to me as i was not pushing myself to that extent, i didn't think.

    my point: hydration is not something to mess around with. keep your electrolytes in balance and don't dring just water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerome
    i ended up in the hospital a couple of months ago from hyponatremia, low sodium in the blood. it was a saturday morning and i did a good 40 miler on the bike and jumped off and ran 10....
    Friend, I'm 56 so if I did a good 40 miler on a hot morning, my following "10" would be crawling 10' to the fridge for something cold.... Still, point well taken about gatorade and not just water.

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