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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 07-06-09, 08:23 AM   #1
Barrettscv 
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Temporary weight loss on longer rides, normal or a red flag?

I'll lose about 5 lbs or more when taking longer rides in the 50 to 100+ mile range. I'm drinking water & sports drinks often. I'll eat a little while riding, about a 1/2 banana every hour.

When I get home, I'll see a sizable weight loss. After a normal meal and plenty of fluids my weight return to normal the next morning.

I finish these rides feeling well and able to ride further. Why the big weight loss? Is it unsafe dehydration or what?

Michael
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Old 07-06-09, 09:36 AM   #2
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Sounds normal to me. I can easily shed 5 pounds on a 30 mile ride. Even though you're drinking, you're still using up more fluids than you're taking in. It takes a period of non-activity to fully re-hydrate. As long as you feel well, it's fine.
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Old 07-06-09, 11:57 AM   #3
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Fluid and glycogen loss. You can find guidelines for safe levels of weight loss during exercise. Look it up!

Do you gulp liquids or sip them?
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Old 07-06-09, 01:46 PM   #4
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I don't think that the amounts of glycogen or fat one burns on a day's ride will show up on a bathroom scale. But the water loss will. If you lose more than 2% of your body weight, your performance will suffer. That is the current theory anyhow, I am sure that it varies between individuals.

If I lose 5 lbs (3.25% of my body weight) I can feel it... I'm slower and my mouth gets dry.
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Old 07-06-09, 01:57 PM   #5
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I guess it's another personal thing. If I drink my usual ~20 oz./hour, my weight is usually close to the same, even after a 100-mile ride. If I drink significantly less, then my end-of-ride weight will decrease by ~1-2 lbs.
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Old 07-06-09, 02:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
I don't think that the amounts of glycogen or fat one burns on a day's ride will show up on a bathroom scale. But the water loss will. If you lose more than 2% of your body weight, your performance will suffer. That is the current theory anyhow, I am sure that it varies between individuals.

If I lose 5 lbs (3.25% of my body weight) I can feel it... I'm slower and my mouth gets dry.
5 lbs for me is less than 2.5%. I was weak after getting off the bike, but after eating a normal meal and drinking plenty of water, I was back to normal.

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Old 07-12-09, 07:58 PM   #7
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I experience this too, it's kind of a good thing if you are hydrating and eating and are a little over weight. right now I'm in a series of long duration exercises alternating between running swimming cycling and weight training. I love the summer and have built muscle but dropped weight and have new definition.

If you are thin - then you might not want to lose that weight, especially if you're concerned with muscle loss. there's a term for that "catabolic"? maybe? then drink liquid protein and eat more protein. be sure your carbs are correct too. I also add salt to my water bottles.

if you gain the weight back quickly then there may be no issue. or if you are like me and use the weight loss and it continues through the active summer months and it coincides with other activities and dietary modifications, then right on man! I eat less "comfort" foods in the spring and summer but then in the fall people start bringing snacks and candy to work, ugh

p.s. I wonder what the Toure deFrance riders are eating tonight?
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Old 07-12-09, 08:46 PM   #8
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Trained athletes can store as much as 720 grams of glycogen and each gram binds to 4 grams of water.

720g=1.6 lbs plus 6.4 lbs of water

You do have the potential for quite a bit of weight loss.
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Old 07-13-09, 06:03 AM   #9
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So I wonder how these men on the Tour deFrance are coping with all their races. I think they don't ride long distances but what they ride and how they ride is pretty brutal. They must have some way to manage their nutrition so that they can go from race to race, and even endure a 3 week event.
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Old 07-13-09, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I'll lose about 5 lbs or more when taking longer rides in the 50 to 100+ mile range. I'm drinking water & sports drinks often. I'll eat a little while riding, about a 1/2 banana every hour.

When I get home, I'll see a sizable weight loss. After a normal meal and plenty of fluids my weight return to normal the next morning.

I finish these rides feeling well and able to ride further. Why the big weight loss? Is it unsafe dehydration or what?

Michael
According to the Hammer Nutrition guide that I have, going by body weight percentage is better. I believe it states that losing more than 5% or 10% of your bodyweight is danger zone.
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Old 07-13-09, 01:06 PM   #11
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In the summer I lose about 2lbs of water weight/hour due to sweating when I ride. It's normal for me and unfortunately the weight returns by evening.
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Old 07-13-09, 01:13 PM   #12
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5 lbs? Should be okay. Make sure to drink well, and not just water.

For the record, when I was senior in HS, I once lost 11 pounds (171 to 160) in a football game. First game of the season, 103F at kickoff. Crazy.
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Old 07-13-09, 04:57 PM   #13
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That's why I only weigh myself after long rides.
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