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  1. #1
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Problems with recovery

    I have, at long last, come to the conclusion that I really need to do more about doing a proper recovery regimen after rides. I often have headaches (similar to a hang-over headache) after standing up and general exhaustion after longer rides (35+ mi) that continue for most of the day.

    I try to prepare well, and stay fairly well hydrated on the ride. I typically go through close to if not over 2 bottles in a 30-40mi ride. Usually go out with 1 bottle cytomax, 1 bottle water, or both cytomax. As well as additional gels for longer rides.

    Post ride right now, I usually just have a half bottle of cytomax to make sure I have some sugars and electrolytes going in after the ride is over. The headaches make me think I'm still low on hydration and/or electrolytes, but as much liquids as I'm taking in I'm surprised my body is requiring even more.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member HDWound's Avatar
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    Does this only happen on your longest, heaviest exertion rides? I know it happens to me when I've really exerted myself. As my body has adapted to longer rides, it usually only happens now after rides of over 80-100 miles (it's also flat as a pancake where I am so take that FWIW lol) . These same symptoms used to happen after rides of 40 miles, then 50, then 60 etc.

    Bicycling magazine had a little blurb about recommended hydration in this months issue. Drink plenty of water and see if your headaches still exist then you can determine if that was the cause or not. If you aren't properly fueled/hydrated ahead of time you're going to have a tougher time recovering. How long in duration are the rides where this occurs? If over 2 hours, maybe something like Endurox, Recoverite or Ultragen would help in recovery.


    This is on cyclingnews.com regarding post ride headaches.

    Pam Hinton replies:

    I can certainly sympathize with you. I also get headaches after a race or hard training ride. I actually consider them an indicator of my effort - if I don't have a headache after a race, I probably didn't go hard enough. When I was competing in cross-country running in college, my teammates and I considered headaches a symptom of PMS - Post Meet Syndrome.

    There are several different types of headache associated with exercise. Headaches brought on by sub-maximal or maximal aerobic exercise are called "effort" headaches. The pain is usually throbbing in nature and lasts 4-6 hours. These headaches are "vascular", meaning that changes in pressure in the blood vessels of the brain are experienced as pain. Because of the changes in blood pressure that occur with dehydration, vascular headaches are more common in hot weather.

    Being adequately hydrated is one thing you can do to prevent an effort headache. There is some evidence that non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, indomethacin and naproxen) taken prior to an event may also prevent the onset of a headache. (A word of caution about taking NSAIDs prior to exercise, particularly in very hot and humid conditions, these drugs may decrease kidney function and increase the risk of dehydration. So always take the minimum effective dose.)

    NSAIDs are also used to treat effort headaches. Caffeine may also help, as it constricts the blood vessels of the brain and decreases blood pressure. Be sure to consume some carbohydrate after you ride since low blood glucose can also cause headaches.

    Good luck. Next time your head is pounding after a long, hard ride, just be proud you pushed beyond your comfort zone.

    Dario Fredrick replies:

    In addition to Pam's advice, there is a very simple yoga posture you can practice that reduces headache (as well as mental fatigue). Sit on the edge of a blanket or firm pillow in a comfortable cross-legged position (if you can do half-lotus, that's fine too). Take an elastic ace bandage and wrap it lightly around your head and over your eyes (with eyes closed). Be sure it's not too tight. Bend forward and rest your forehead at whatever height it will easily reach -- if not the floor, use the seat of a chair or a book. If it creates discomfort in the knee of the tighter hip, prop something (a book or folded blanket) under that knee. Stay in this position with your head supported for 1-5 min, breathing evenly through your nose. Inhale as you sit back up, change the cross of your legs and repeat.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    The symptoms sounds like dehydration to me. To figure out proper water amounts, weigh yourself before and after the ride. If you weigh less afterwards, drink more. Drinking a little too much won't hurt as much as drinking too little. So try for 3 bottles on that 30-40mi ride; 1 bottle Cytomax and 2 water. The excess water will just pee out.

    Be careful of WAY TOO MUCH water though, but that's more like people who carry water-bottle around everywhere and drink gallons at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k
    I have, at long last, come to the conclusion that I really need to do more about doing a proper recovery regimen after rides. I often have headaches (similar to a hang-over headache) after standing up and general exhaustion after longer rides (35+ mi) that continue for most of the day.

    I try to prepare well, and stay fairly well hydrated on the ride. I typically go through close to if not over 2 bottles in a 30-40mi ride.
    Having had the opportunity to ride in the Dallas area often, back when I was biz travelin the US a lot, I'd either travel with the bike, when located in one place for a number of days, or the inline skates. Either way, Texas and Houston in particular were tough places to get in a good workout without feeling the effects of heat exhaustion.
    Getting and staying hydrated was a big deal. But as big was body temp management. I found being able to bring down and stabilze my body temp directly after a workout made a huge difference in my recovery and ability to do work the rest of the day (and not get headaches).
    On bike or a skate I would try to dowse myself often with water and then immediately after a work out, get somewhere my body could cool down reasonably quickly.
    On a 30 mile ride I'd use 1 1/2 bottles to drink and 1 1/2 bottles to hose myself down during the ride. Then evacuate quickly to the air-conditioned hotel room as soon as I stopped.
    If, like me, your body has a hard time in temp regulation, you might review how best to control that issue.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    This sounds like a hydration issue to me too as I had the similar situations when I used to run. Now before I ride, I make sure I drink 4 to 6 8oz glass of water during the day, more if the humidity is high and on my rides longer than 1.5 hrs (in the summer) I have my 2 bottles filled with water (for cooling) and a 70 oz camelbak filled with PowerBar juice. I also make sure the camelbak was chilled overnight in the refrig to keep it cool through the whole ride. I really found that the cool PBar juice works better for me than if it hot, more apt to drink it. I will follow my ride with 24 oz of cool water and some recovery mix. On my sub 1.5 hr rides, I can get by with a 2 polar bottles filled them with the cool PBar fluid and I am fine.

    I don't know if I pushed myself harder when I ran, but I just assume not have a headache for the entire day after I worked out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k
    I have, at long last, come to the conclusion that I really need to do more about doing a proper recovery regimen after rides. I often have headaches (similar to a hang-over headache) after standing up and general exhaustion after longer rides (35+ mi) that continue for most of the day.

    I try to prepare well, and stay fairly well hydrated on the ride. I typically go through close to if not over 2 bottles in a 30-40mi ride. Usually go out with 1 bottle cytomax, 1 bottle water, or both cytomax. As well as additional gels for longer rides.

    Post ride right now, I usually just have a half bottle of cytomax to make sure I have some sugars and electrolytes going in after the ride is over. The headaches make me think I'm still low on hydration and/or electrolytes, but as much liquids as I'm taking in I'm surprised my body is requiring even more.
    You don't say how hot it is, but if it's not terribly hot, two bottles doesn't seem unreasonable for that distance.

    My first advice would be to try something like Endurox after the ride. That really got rid of low-energy feeling for me.

    My second advice is that perhaps trying a drink that has some protein with it would help
    Eric

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  7. #7
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback so far everyone. I've had to stop drinking stuff with protein on the ride due to stomach issues, but I'll try to increase some protein intake immediately post ride and up the hydration during the ride. I should have remembered the weight before/after method of checking for proper hydration and will do that on the next longer ride.

    Lately the temps have not been all that bad (mid-upper 80's max during the rides, but with fairly high humidity even by Dallas standards). During this time of the year I try to get off the roads before the temp hits 90.
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  8. #8
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    I say, try some caffeine. Worked for me. The theory is that it's a vasoconstrictor.

  9. #9
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Here and I"ve been trying to all but eliminate caffeine from my diet the last few months. Mostly since I've also eliminated dark colas from my diet and I don't drink coffee. Guess some iced tea wouldn't be so bad though.
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  10. #10
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    you haven't mentioned what you are doing in the immediate 24 hours before your longer rides. hydration is like sleep, you can't catchup. it is much more efficient to prevent dehydration before the ride than it is to drink during and after the ride.
    pee every 3 hours for proper hydration. I carb and hydrate up on thursday for my long club sat and sun gutbusters.

    how is your urine output after the ride?
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k
    Here and I"ve been trying to all but eliminate caffeine from my diet the last few months. Mostly since I've also eliminated dark colas from my diet and I don't drink coffee. Guess some iced tea wouldn't be so bad though.
    That's what I had been trying to do too, and on race day, swig a coupla caffeine added gels in the hope of getting a little bit of an edge. Let me know if the caffeine works for you. I'd love to see if my theory works for other people. Half a cup of coffee in the morning before exercising will do it for me.

  12. #12
    in ur ____, ___ing ur ___
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k
    I try to prepare well, and stay fairly well hydrated on the ride. I typically go through close to if not over 2 bottles in a 30-40mi ride. Usually go out with 1 bottle cytomax, 1 bottle water, or both cytomax. As well as additional gels for longer rides.
    Good lord.. I go through at LEAST 2-3 times that amount of water. But then again, I drink water constantly even if I'm not exerting myself. Just habit.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k
    Thanks for the feedback so far everyone. I've had to stop drinking stuff with protein on the ride due to stomach issues, but I'll try to increase some protein intake immediately post ride and up the hydration during the ride. I should have remembered the weight before/after method of checking for proper hydration and will do that on the next longer ride.

    Lately the temps have not been all that bad (mid-upper 80's max during the rides, but with fairly high humidity even by Dallas standards). During this time of the year I try to get off the roads before the temp hits 90.
    What has been giving you problems when you ride? Some people have trouble with accelerade (whey protein) but are okay on the sustained energy (soy protein). Some people have the opposite reaction.
    Eric

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  14. #14
    Senior Member HDWound's Avatar
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    I've been doing most of my rides in the early a.m. But in the heat of the day, I'd definitely go through more than two bottles of water/energy drink on a 30-40 mile ride. I wouldn't think you'd need protein during that length of ride, but if you can stand yogurt and want to try adding protein, you might try the Accel gels. They have the same amount of protein as a serving of Accelerade but taste much better IMO and have the consistency of a smooth yogurt. They also don't give me stomach issues like Accelerade and Sustained Energy/Perpetuem.

    On my 30 mile ride yesterday in 90 deg heat, I used 84 ounces of water/energy drink some of which I poured over myself to keep cool. I would have been miserable afterwards if I had used only 2 bottles during my ride.

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