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  1. #1
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    Question about water....

    I am a new cyclist and have only been riding since May. I am female, 5'8" and about 200lbs (down from 210 ) I am currently training for the MS 150 in my area, so I am riding 100-125 miles per week. I usually ride 24-32 miles twice per week and then one longer ride (50-70 miles) on SAturday and sometimes a slower recovery ride on Sundays.
    I find that I tend to drink at least twice as much water as the other riders in the group. I live in Georgia, so it is definitely HOT and huumid, but I don't seem to be as sensitive to it as I would have thought from the standpoint that I don't seem to tire that much more on the hotter days than the cooler days.
    Tonight, for example, we did about 30 miles. I noticed the others still had plenty of water in both of their bottles. By 15 miles, I had already drunk both of mine and had to mooch some from someone else. I would have had one more if I could have gotten it. When we were done, I drank a huge bottle of Gatorade (not my first choice, but I was thirsty).
    Later in the evening I had a headache, which I assume is from dehydration.
    Is this normal, or am I drinking too much? Do you think I am not drinking enough at other times during the day?
    Your insight is appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Tracey

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Id say those others didnt drink enough.
    Its rare for most people to drink too much water, its common to not drink enough.
    Jarery

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  3. #3
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Don't judge your fluid intake by what others are doing. It could be that you perspire more. I could be that the others aren't drinking enough. Do your thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlong
    I am a new cyclist and have only been riding since May. I am female, 5'8" and about 200lbs (down from 210 ) I am currently training for the MS 150 in my area, so I am riding 100-125 miles per week. I usually ride 24-32 miles twice per week and then one longer ride (50-70 miles) on SAturday and sometimes a slower recovery ride on Sundays.
    I find that I tend to drink at least twice as much water as the other riders in the group. I live in Georgia, so it is definitely HOT and huumid, but I don't seem to be as sensitive to it as I would have thought from the standpoint that I don't seem to tire that much more on the hotter days than the cooler days.
    Tonight, for example, we did about 30 miles. I noticed the others still had plenty of water in both of their bottles. By 15 miles, I had already drunk both of mine and had to mooch some from someone else. I would have had one more if I could have gotten it. When we were done, I drank a huge bottle of Gatorade (not my first choice, but I was thirsty).
    Later in the evening I had a headache, which I assume is from dehydration.
    Is this normal, or am I drinking too much? Do you think I am not drinking enough at other times during the day?
    Your insight is appreciated.
    You can tell whether you are drinking enough on your rides by weighing yourself before and after your ride. If you're a few pounds down, that's okay, but if it's more than that, you need to drink more. Similarly, if you're up a few pounds, you are drinking too much.

    You can tell whether you are drinking enough during the rest of the day by the color of your urine. If it's mostly clear/straw color and your in the bathroom every hour or so, you're fine. If it's more colored, you probably need to drink more. If you are dehydrated when you start, you will likely drink more.

    You might consider a good sports drink rather than just water. You will absorb it better than water, which means you don't need to drink as much, nor do you need to make as many bathroom stops.

    Lot of people don't drink enough water, so I wouldn't worry if you are drinking a lot more. I generally drink a 24 oz bottle of accelerade in 60-90 minutes, plus some water, but you're riding in hotter conditions that I usually ride in.

    As for the headache, that could have a number of causes. It could be hydration based, or it could be simply that you aren't getting enough calories after your ride. It helps to get some quality carbs right when you're done. Gatorade isn't great because the premixed stuff is sweetened with fructose, which isn't absorbed as quickly as other sugars, but it's okay in a pinch.

    Hope that helps
    Eric

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlong
    I am a new cyclist and have only been riding since May. I am female, 5'8" and about 200lbs (down from 210 ) I am currently training for the MS 150 in my area, so I am riding 100-125 miles per week. I usually ride 24-32 miles twice per week and then one longer ride (50-70 miles) on SAturday and sometimes a slower recovery ride on Sundays.
    I find that I tend to drink at least twice as much water as the other riders in the group. I live in Georgia, so it is definitely HOT and huumid, but I don't seem to be as sensitive to it as I would have thought from the standpoint that I don't seem to tire that much more on the hotter days than the cooler days.
    Tonight, for example, we did about 30 miles. I noticed the others still had plenty of water in both of their bottles. By 15 miles, I had already drunk both of mine and had to mooch some from someone else. I would have had one more if I could have gotten it. When we were done, I drank a huge bottle of Gatorade (not my first choice, but I was thirsty).
    Later in the evening I had a headache, which I assume is from dehydration.
    Is this normal, or am I drinking too much? Do you think I am not drinking enough at other times during the day?
    Your insight is appreciated.
    You can tell whether you are drinking enough on your rides by weighing yourself before and after your ride. If you're a few pounds down, that's okay, but if it's more than that, you need to drink more. Similarly, if you're up a few pounds, you are drinking too much.

    You can tell whether you are drinking enough during the rest of the day by the color of your urine. If it's mostly clear/straw color and your in the bathroom every hour or so, you're fine. If it's more colored, you probably need to drink more. If you are dehydrated when you start, you will likely drink more.

    You might consider a good sports drink rather than just water. You will absorb it better than water, which means you don't need to drink as much, nor do you need to make as many bathroom stops.

    Lot of people don't drink enough water, so I wouldn't worry if you are drinking a lot more. I generally drink a 24 oz bottle of accelerade in 60-90 minutes, plus some water, but you're riding in hotter conditions that I usually ride in.

    As for the headache, that could have a number of causes. It could be hydration based, or it could be simply that you aren't getting enough calories after your ride. It helps to get some quality carbs right when you're done. Gatorade isn't great because the premixed stuff is sweetened with fructose, which isn't absorbed as quickly as other sugars, but it's okay in a pinch.

    Hope that helps
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  6. #6
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    If you need that much water, you should also watch your electrolytes. Plain water on long rides isn't the best thing you can drink, though it's better than beer or vodka.

    Also, it's possible you're dehydrated going into it. Since you mention you're down 10 pounds, I assume you're trying to lose weight. Don't let that weight be water. Drink enough during the day, every day.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    Tracey, you are definitely at risk of overhydrating! You need to stop and think before you ride next in the heat. I know because I've been there, done that.

    Two water bottles in 15 miles is an exceptional amount. "If a little is good, more is better" does not apply to hydration. Target amounts in the heat can be up to 0.75 to 1.0 liters (25 - 32 fluid ounces, roughly) per hour.

    Bottom line... use a bathroom scale, weigh yourself before and after. If you've gained weight, you've drunk too much.

    If you drink large amounts of plain water for hours in the heat, you will dilute your serum electrolytes, and suffer from hyponatremia, literally, low blood sodium. Headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion are symptoms. As is edema (swelling). Irregular heartbeat, convulsions, coma, and death can result.

    Read more about it:

    http://www.cptips.com/water.htm

    http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/salt.html
    Last edited by kf5nd; 08-09-06 at 07:50 AM.
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

  8. #8
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    Another thing: excessive thirst is often a symptom of diabetes. Since you are clinically obese at 5' 8" and 200 lbs., you are at much higher risk of Type II diabetes than otherwise. I would see your doctor ASAP and get tested for diabetes.
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

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    Hi guys. I appreciate all of your thoughts. I thought it was a dumb question and you would all say, "Duh...drink more water before you ride." I guess there is a little more to it than that. As I have not been to a doctor in years, I figured I better get a checkup since I have started exercising. As it turns out, my appointment is next week, so I will run it by her, too.
    Thanks again.
    Thanks,
    Tracey

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cheshire's Avatar
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    If it's really hot outside or I'm going for a long ride, I either take along a gatorade (or some such thing) in addition to my water bottle or put a little salt in my water. It may sound weird, but it helps to replace the electrolytes I'm sweating out. I usually try to take 2-3 mouthfuls of water every 15 minutes or so. I've recently noticed some of the running magazines (i'm not a runner, but they get hit the hardest by heat IMHO) have articles on under- and over-hydrating. Mebe scan one in the bookstore sometime?

  11. #11
    Seńor Member SimiCyclist's Avatar
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    If you're not peeing, you're not drinking enough.
    "We just don't recognize the most significant moments in our lives while they're happening. You say to yourself, 'there will be other days'. Then you realize it was the only day".

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    A word of caution:
    My wife and I are Tandem bikers and go in any weather and go fast and far.
    I need 3 bottles of water for a 25 mile ride in 90 degree weather and high humidity, (After which we have a light lunch), and repeat.
    My wife does not process water as my body does. She overheats and gets very red in her face and sweats very much. Her body swells up to a point she is not OK and feels ill.
    The solution was Gatorade for her. She has no problems if her fluid consumption is 50% gatorade.
    I can also use gatorade. The calories have scared me off but use it on 100 mile rides.

  13. #13
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    To the OP,

    As was stated, drinking a lot of plain water can deplete electrolytes. If you don't want to drink a carb replacement drink with electrolytes in it (i.e., Gatorade - for me, Gatorade does not contain enough electrolytes), then you may want to consider carrying electrolyte capsules with you.

    Googled: Key phrase = " electrolyte capsules "
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

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    NoRacer,

    What kind of caps do you use? Hammer/E-Caps Endurolytes seems to be the gold standard. But I have to imagine there's something cheaper out there. I've been tinkering with Emergen-C, but I haven't been on any long rides in the heat to see how it works. I've also read that studies have shown the only thing that effects performance is adding salt to your sports drink.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kf5nd
    Another thing: excessive thirst is often a symptom of diabetes. Since you are clinically obese at 5' 8" and 200 lbs., you are at much higher risk of Type II diabetes than otherwise. I would see your doctor ASAP and get tested for diabetes.
    +1 Have your blood sugar levels checked.

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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Is this normal, or am I drinking too much? Do you think I am not drinking enough at other times during the day?Your insight is appreciated.
    Who knows? No one knows what's normal for anyone.

    My only insight is that you should keep riding your bike and keep trying to lose weight. Don't get hung-up on side issues, just pace your self and try to stick to normal eating and drinking habits.

    Whether or not you ARE doing something stupid - for a particular ride, there's absolutley no way for someone to advise you with the little info offered from your post.

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    Pat
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    tlong,

    Some people need more water than others. I drink quite a bit. I always ride with a camelback and that extra capacity really helps. I have noticed that I sweat far more than most other people and that has something to do with my water requirement.

    I lost some weight a few years ago and have kept it off. I have noticed that I do better during the summers here in central Florida than I did before. I chalk that up to having less insulating fat and subsequently being able to dump heat faster.

    The amount of water that people need seems to be a pretty individual thing.

  18. #18
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by normZurawski
    NoRacer,

    What kind of caps do you use? Hammer/E-Caps Endurolytes seems to be the gold standard. But I have to imagine there's something cheaper out there. I've been tinkering with Emergen-C, but I haven't been on any long rides in the heat to see how it works. I've also read that studies have shown the only thing that effects performance is adding salt to your sports drink.
    I use Succeed. Check the link I provided earlier--Succeed shows up there.

    But, it really doesn't matter. Salt is salt. It's just a matter of price per dose.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  19. #19
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    Who knows? No one knows what's normal for anyone.

    My only insight is that you should keep riding your bike and keep trying to lose weight. Don't get hung-up on side issues, just pace your self and try to stick to normal eating and drinking habits.

    Whether or not you ARE doing something stupid - for a particular ride, there's absolutley no way for someone to advise you with the little info offered from your post.

    This is BS. Unless you are another species of animal, human physiology describes these scenarios quite well.

    One scenario is if you drink lots of plain water over 4-5 hours, you will probably deplete your electrolytes. The worse case for this scenario is death. Advising people (humans) to not heed warnings about this scenario is completely irresponsible.

    Hyponatremia (WebMD)

    Also, do a search here, for keywords = hyponatremia sports

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...arch&DB=pubmed
    Last edited by NoRacer; 08-23-06 at 11:14 AM.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoRacer
    I use Succeed. Check the link I provided earlier--Succeed shows up there.

    But, it really doesn't matter. Salt is salt. It's just a matter of price per dose.
    I've been adding salt to my drinks recently. The biggest downside is that it's not a routine, so I forget to do it half the time.

  21. #21
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Here's another good article on hyponatremia:

    http://www.cptips.com/water.htm
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  22. #22
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    One thing I've noticed is that being low on electrolytes will tend to make you feel more thirsty. Your body is telling you that it wants nutrients. But drinking plain water may make that worse as the extra peeing will flush even more electrolytes from your body. This is a common issue with people dying from hyponatremia. They feel thirsty, so they drink more and more water, making the situation worse. Eventually your body can't regulate water anymore and you actually retain it, leading to brain-swelling, coma and death.

    So, I back up the recommendations for electrolytes in your drink. I aim for about 500-800mg sodium per hour depending upon the exertion-level and sweating rate (less for other minerals like potassium & magnesium becasue those are inside the cell walls and don't sweat away as much). Also, common suggestions of 18-24oz per hour of water will pretty much fit all humans out there. Weigh yourself before & after riding to figure out which end of the range works for you. Good luck.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 08-25-06 at 03:32 PM.

  23. #23
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    So, I back up the recommendations for electrolytes in your drink. I aim for about 500-800mg sodium per hour depending upon the exertion-level and sweating rate (less for other minerals like potassium & magnesium becasue those are inside the cell walls and don't sweat away as much). Also common suggestions of 18-24oz per hour of water will pretty much fit all humans out there. Weigh yourself before & after riding to figure out which end of the range works for you. Good luck.
    Danno! Where have you been? I haven't seen a post from you in awhile and it got me wondering.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Oh, I've been off the bike for a little bit. All explained here: Foo-What happened to DannoMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ?

  25. #25
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    Weight yourself before and after the run. You should weight the same.
    Don't bother about how much or how little others drink. Focus on yourself!

    The headache could be from hyponatremia. You shoudn't drink too much
    water without salts on it or you can get intoxicated. I once drank 3L in a
    120km ride and then OHH MY HEAD!! It can be dangerous, so buy/mix
    something with the right electrolytes on it.

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