Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: litespeed, cannondale
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It was a cool morning and didn't feel the need to force down more water. I suspect my problem was either dehyrdation, or glycogen depletion. Probably the later. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Should I use a sports drink, or gels. I usually stay away from that stuff (too sugary), but I think it might help in this situation.
Well, it could be either and I think you have hit on the problem. On your commutes, you are not going far enough to cause problems with dehydration or glycogen depletion (unless it is really hot).
Dehydration usually makes me feel nauseated and weak. Bonk is just my legs not being able to sprint or work really hard anymore because they ran out of glycogen. Otherwise, I feel fine in a bonk. Of course, your results may vary and I suspect they do.
Now only one water bottle in that distance seems like far too little to me. But I know some people who don't seem to drink much. I sweat quite a bit so I can go through a camalback (70 oz) in an hour on a hot day here in Central FL.
People vary on how much they need to eat. I have come close to bonking in that distance. A fast hilly ride can do it to you that fast. Normally, I don't need to eat anything unless I am going about 70 miles or more. Of course, eating will only stave off the bonk but it does help. To avoid glycogen depletion, you need to slow down so your body can burn more fat (the faster you go the more % of glycogen you burn).
As to eating and when, that varies. I can eat some fruit before a ride and during a ride with no problem - oranges, bananas, apples etc. On faster rides, it helps me having a little in my stomach to drip in some carbo (or so it seems, it could be in my head). I know people who use diluted sports drinks, diluted fruit juice, power bars and other things. I also know people who have problems with anything on their stomach during a ride. Most of these people really like those little packets of dissolved carbos like "Gu".