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  1. #1
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    Regular dehydration- any answers?

    The subject heading is slightly misleading -sorry but I couldn't think of anything short and catchy.

    My problem is that I do regularly suffer from dehydration, I have looked into the answers and they say to drink more water, but with me thats the catch. I do drink lots and w** lots too but that is just it - the water passes straight through without rehydrating me.
    Through summer I add an electrolytic solution to my water- I do carry this bottle all day/everyday/allyear at work. But I dont feel that drinking that much solution all year is good for a) my teeth ie,the sugar content, b) my body- like drinking sugary drinks constantly, and my body will get used to it.So I only add it in warmer weather.
    To give you an example- it is mid winter here, and a week ago I dehydrated through the day at work- the temp was about 17 celcius ( summer temps are high 20's and into the mid 30's). I rode at 5.30 am ( 8 deg.) and drank about 600 ml on the ride, then just water - about 1 1/2 litre in the next 3 hours. Surely that much water should be enough but no, I felt that headache coming on and sure enough- dehydrated!
    I have had this problem for many years and don't push myself when I feel dehydrated. The worst incident left me in hospital and it wasn't a pleasant feeling being that dehydrated.

    So- anyone know the feeling or have a theory why this is so?
    2005 Merlin Agilis w/ Record
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  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    You should be looking at drinking at least two litres of water/day in winter and sometimes up to ten litres of water/day in summer. This is overall, drinking heaps of water before and after the ride is just as important as doing so during the ride.

    Chris
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  3. #3
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    Well, I am new to cycling, and no dietician, but I will give you my feelings about this subject. First, unless I am actually on a ride, I never drink any of the sports drinks. Thier main ingredient is sugar, which is fine for a quick picker-upper, but does not last that long. If it is available, I drink orange juice...it has a lot of natural sugars, too, and many other beneficial vitamins. In my mind, a perfect drink would be water with vitamins and electrolytes with a minimum of sugars. Then, I would get my "energy" boost from my home made power bars.

    As far as your particular problem, I think I would keep pushing water, and cut back on the sports drinks. Coffee, tea and alcohol also inhibit the bodies ability to absorb water, so I would use them sparingly. And this from a guy who used to drink coffee all day, and have at least 2 beers every evening! Now, 2 cups of coffee a day, and a 6 pack of beer lasts a couple weeks! Good luck, I hope some of this helps!
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  4. #4
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Just stabbing at a guess: try drinking more water and less sugar. Maybe your body is trying to eliminate excess sugar through urination.

    Nevertheless, maintaining electrolytes (sodium, potassium) is good, but don't overdo that, either.

    If the problem persists, feel free to see the doc. Couldn't hurt.


  5. #5
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    The "too much sugar" thought above has merit
    Try some Enervit or other electrolyte replacement product, that concetrates on minerals, salt, carbohydtrates and vitamins rather than an "energy drink", that pushes sugar, it doesn't have to be a drink- losenges work well too when used with water to prevent hyperhydration, (too much water- diluting your electrolytes) . V-8 juice helps as well as does chips and salsa if you can't find an "engineered" product to replace elctrolytes. Stay away from salt pills they can be too concentrated.
    My system works much the way yours does, the water "passes through us to cool our bodies, I don't sweat as much as others do but I urinate more, the doc said to live with it because it's the way my body works. I've found that if I hydrate well BEFORE a ride and EARLY in the things go much better for me. And I always try to drink BEFORE I am thirsty
    Last edited by pat5319; 08-13-01 at 12:32 AM.
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  6. #6
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by pat5319
    Try an some Enervit or other electrolyte replacement product, that concetrates on minerals, salt, carbohydtrates and vitamins rather than an "energy drink",
    Is salt really what you want for dehydration?

    Chris
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  7. #7
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    Salt is a large and important part of electrolytes that are lost in dehydration. To rehydrate properly the electrolytes MUST be replaced as well, your muscles and organs will not function proplerly without them. When the elecrolytes are replaced with the water the water does more good because the chemical balanece is kept closer to where it should be. Too much water without elctrolytes can actually poisen and even kill you. I've found that if I replace electrolytes when I replace water, I urinate less, cramp less often, perform stronger and feel better.
    Last edited by pat5319; 08-13-01 at 12:45 AM.
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  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Just on cramping, I've only ever cramped once while cycling. When I got home and took my shoes off I realised why. There were five leeches attached to my foot.

    Chris
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  9. #9
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    Great, Thanks for those answers.

    There are some thoughts in there that I haven't thought of or tried. As you can imagine most sources just suggest -'drink more', but that doesn't help me keep hydrated, cause like you Pat I don't sweat much, just w**.
    Chris, your right- I don't fill up before. Also your right Nebill, I should cut back on the coffee, but its funny that those Euro roadies in TdF drink it by the bucketload and us mere mortals should cut back.
    I also hadn't thought of my sugar intake as playing a part, but I guess that I should certainly take a lot more notice of my intake of all those type of things.
    Well, as Spring has come early to our part of the world and Summer is just around the corner I will be able to try out those suggestions.

    Once again thanks guys.
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  10. #10
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Just a short note on my answer. The amounts quoted should be consumed evenly throughout the day. If you try to drink 10 litres of water within 1/2 hour before the ride, that will cause it's own problems.

    Chris
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  11. #11
    grouchy bookseller HillaryRose's Avatar
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    Glaceau makes a really cool product called Smart Water which is plain purified water with electrolytes added to it, no sugar. They also make a product called fruit water which is the same but with fruit flavoring, still no sugar. I prefer these over any of the 'sports drinks' though gatorade does have the advantage of being available in just about any convenience store, which is good for us spontaneous folks who suddenly find themselves turning a 20 mile ride into a 50 miler. Also, a quick web search produced evidence to the existance of electrolyte pills, again, with no sugar. I've never taken these, so I can't vouch for the effectiveness and safety, but such things do exist.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Once again, I've learned something new.

    Always check your shoes for leaches before you ride.

  13. #13
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    Drinking sports drinks to much can actually prevent your body from absorbing water. So watch how much sports drinks you drink, to many electrolytes is not good, because the water/electrolyte balance gets knocked off. Why does the water got thruogh you so fast? I have know idea, maybe you have an over active bladder... Having to take leaks all day IS a sign that you are hydrated. What color is it? if it is clear then you have nothing to worry about.But you probably already knew that, so I am not telling you anything useful.
    Booyah!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member dirtsqueezer's Avatar
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    Go see a sports medicine Physician. Seriously, if you are making a significant effort to stay hydrated and are getting dry enough to be hospitalized, you need to get this checked out by a pro.
    -DS-

    The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".

  15. #15
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dirtsqueezer
    Go see a sports medicine Physician. Seriously, if you are making a significant effort to stay hydrated and are getting dry enough to be hospitalized, you need to get this checked out by a pro.
    I think DS has a really good point. Dehydration is a super serious thing.
    Booyah!!

  16. #16
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I was thinking exactly the same thing. Once again, Dirtsqueezer makes a lot of sense.

    Chris
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  17. #17
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    I second (or third) the opinion about seeing a doctor, although it's a toss up as to whether they'll be able to offer much more than some guesses.

    On the subject of electrolytes, i.e. sodium and potassium, the Morton salt company makes a product (available in the USA, at least), called Lite Salt that's a mixture of sodium chloride and potassium chloride. So if you use salt at all, it's a better alternative. Sodium's already been added to almost everything we eat, getting the potassium is the hard part.

  18. #18
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    The sports doctor is a good suggestion, will post back after with their answer.
    regards all.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member technogirl's Avatar
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    True. There's something going on there if you're getting dehydrated all the time. When I would train in the summer for marathons, I always replenished with water and sports drinks. When I go out for super long rides, I pack lots of water and sportsdrink with me.

    The electrolytes replenishment is important as someone had mentioned in this thread. HillaryRose mentioned the SugarWater brand which sounds pretty good. I haven't found it yet out here (keeping an eye out for it tho). We have out in California, a drink called, Propel, which is a sports drink, but has very little sugar. I thought it might be about 2 grams of sugar per serving. Gatorade sells this drink, but they try to differentiate it by selling it as the product for those athletes that don't normally break a sweat--don't necessarily agree with that premise.

    Anyway, I read a pretty good article I came across this fitness site that check out every once and awhile. It had some solid advice.

    Dehydration Article (QA)

    I hope that helps!

  20. #20
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    Thanks one and all, I appreciate your answers.
    Well today I visited a sports doctor and he said, without looking too deeply at my life style
    -Too much water can reduce the electolyte concentration- so for me to drink a sports drink occasionally thru the day, inbetween the water.
    -If I have been hospitalised or suffered greatly a heat related incident then my core thermostat will be lowered, increasing the risk of further incidents.
    -Look for lower concentrations of sugar in the sports drinks, go for higher sodium/potasium percentages.

    Think thats all,
    Regards, sillystorm
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  21. #21
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by sillystorm
    -If I have been hospitalised or suffered greatly a heat related incident then my core thermostat will be lowered, increasing the risk of further incidents.
    What's this about? Did he elaborate?
    :confused:

  22. #22
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    In the August issue of CyclingPlus there is an article about hyperhydration using glycerol. It sounds pretty intense. Remember to drink lots of water the day BEFORE you ride, and two hours BEFORE you climb onto the bike. If you wait until your thirsty to take a drink, it's too late. I drink close to two gallons aday, every day. And go to the restroom incessantly. Likewise, when I ride I am having to go alot, yet I don't drink near as much as my partner. He has a CamelBack,which he replenishes frequently, and I carry 2 bottles that can last me 4 hours. By the way, I LOL at the English magazine's warnings about riding in the heat which they define as above 75 degrees F!! That's the overnite low here in Texas....:dance:

  23. #23
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    Hi Roadbuzz, the doc just said that each bad occurence of a heat related incident reduces the body's tolerance level, so no he didn't elaborate any more than that. He was speaking very generally on all areas of dehydration- no specificly about me.
    I would have liked him to be a bit more interested in my problem
    but it was not to be, I guess as a non regular patient he had no great interest, or maybe it was an area he didn't know too much about. Hope I am not doing him a disservice, he was helpful in regards to another matter I was seeing him about.
    Will still keep looking into this issue, was unable to view HillaryRoses' link so will try again.
    regards, sillystorm
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  24. #24
    Junior Member Tim S.'s Avatar
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    Drinking sports drinks to much can actually prevent your body from absorbing water. So watch how much sports drinks you drink, to many electrolytes is not good, because the water/electrolyte balance gets knocked off.
    I will second that…..
    I discovered this the hard way. Once, I experienced dehydration after a 100+ mile ride in the Alps (loaded with panniers, tent, etc..) and went numb and passed out in the shower (what a way to start out a 6 day bike tour in the Alps!). I drank a lot all day BUT every bottle was filled with Isostar (sport drink). After that experience I alternated what I drank during a ride (ratio of 1:3 – sport drinklain water). I also tried something new on a recent ride in the Alps where hydration was very important (3 passes at over 2,200 meters). I filled my bottles each with a different fruit juice mixed with powdered electrolyte drink (Isostar) and filled my camelback (main source of hydration) with only plain water (using only water also avoids having to clean/wash that bladder sack out every evening!).

    I really liked this option best because it gave me a refreshing variety of tastes during a long ride as well as a balance between plain water and “other drinks”. Sounds like a little thing to some but for me, if I have a “negative memory” connected with a particular food or drink from a past ride, sometimes I can’t touch it for a period of time after that (sounds like my wife with food during her pregnancies!). Ex.- My wife made me some excellent homemade energy balls which I ate during the “dehydration nightmare” mentioned above. 4 yrs. later, I still can’t get myself to try them again even though they tasted great at the time.

    - Tim S.

  25. #25
    where's the summer!? cabledonut's Avatar
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    sillystorm - how have you come to the conclusion that the headaches you are getting are caused by dehydration? it is also possible that the headaches are caused by exercise, they're called exercise induced headaches. it happens due to the increase in blood pressure rising, putting pressure on the blood vessels. increased pressure in the blood vessels in the head cause the pain known as headaches. i rarely get headaches normally but occasionally after i've been out on my bike i do get them. it certainly isn't dehydration because i drink plenty of fluid. as to the type of fluid you drink, if it's purely energy drink, ie, carbohydrate drink, then it's not brilliant for dehydration. how much powder do you put in? the rule of thumb is 1 gram of powder per kilogram of bodyweight per hour in 500ml of water. but of course people have their own preference as to how much they use. if the weather is warmer than what you're used to, use less powder than this to make the fluid more watery. there are many electrolyte drinks available but even plain water with a pinch of salt in it works as an electrolyte drink. the salt helps the body to absorb the water quicker making it electrolytic. electrolyte drinks have the advantage of having a higher concentration of minerals and vitamins in them but water with a pinch of salt in it is just as electrolytic. 500ml of fluid per hour under 'normal' conditions should be ok, or more if you feel you need it. again it's down to personal preference. drink regularly throughout the ride, mouthfuls every 10/15 mins and drink before you start to sweat. also try drinking a glass of water before you set out on a ride. if you're already doing what i've said or drinking more then it could be the blood pressure after the ride causing the headache. see what you doctor thinks about that.

    by the way i have a mate from northwest England who went to race for a club in Wollongong, i assume that's what w'gong under your name means? it was about 4 years ago and he spent a few months there. are you involved with a club there?

    laters,

    cabledonut.

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