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  1. #1
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    Difficulty Concentrating After a Long Workout

    Hi,

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my question yesterday about how to coordinate training and a low carb diet. I have another possibly related question but I think it deserves it's own thread.

    After a long workout I often have trouble concentrating. It's hard to describe exactly what the problem is, it's like if I have something I need to read, or something that takes thinking like balancing a checkbook, I just don't feel like doing it. Trying to concentrate feels uncomfortable to the point that I can't do it. I tend to do a lot of reading, if I didn't, I might not even notice the problem, it's sort of subtle. I'm not sure exactly what it is, maybe not enough sleep or low blood sugar? Usually by the next day I'm back to normal after a couple of meals and some sleep.

    I am wondering if anyone else experiences this and if there is anything known about what causes it? how to prevent it? or how to get over it faster?



    Thanks,

  2. #2
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    several possibilities:
    - overfatigue
    - lacks protein
    - low on sugar

    only way to know... try to solve each at a time. i'm guessing it's just sugar.

    if none of it helps, consult your physician.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Your blood sugar is low. Getting stupid is a classic sign of low blood sugar. You need carbs.

    Low carb diet and significant amounts of endurance training do not go well together. If you do it, you're going to have to learn when to eat carbs.

  4. #4
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Low carb diet and significant amounts of endurance training do not go well together.
    How are you defining endurance training?

    I've read that high intensity and low carb don't work well, but endurance with low carb should be OK. I don't have any personal experience with this (yet, I've switched to a low carb diet to help control my blood sugar). Given that I've never had any calorie related nutrition problems on the bike, I'm hoping that the type of biking I do (moderate intensity distance riding) will be sustainable on a low carb diet.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

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    Sorry, I was unclear, I have had this problem even before I started the low carb diet, but I understand it could still be due to low blood sugar. Drinking gatorade or eating some sweet junk food doesn't resolve the problem immediately it seems to takes many hours to get over and sleep seems to help a lot. Would gatorade help immediately if the problem was just low blood sugar?
    Last edited by s5fskzfv; 01-08-12 at 02:36 PM.

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Gatorade should help within 20 minutes or half an hour if its low blood sugar. Maybe you're just tired and need a nap.

    I was using endurance broadly, as in cycling is an endurance sport. Riding at a low enough intensity will use mostly fat and would prolong the amount of riding until you bonk. How low and how long depends on the person as some people are better at using fat than others. Some pro racers have worked on training themselves to burn more fat.

    You have never had any calorie related nutrition problems, not even bonking? Everyone I know (mostly racers) has bonked or run low on food at least a few times. You must be unusually well attuned to the state of your blood sugar and your nutrition.

  7. #7
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    Just a hunch, You're high.
    And you're body did it to you.
    Fortunately its legal.
    aka, don't stress over what feels good, obey your body.
    No reading, go to sleep.

    caveat: I no docter, and I don't play one on the interwebs. If in doubt, see a real doctor that went to school somewhere.

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    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    low blood sugar

  9. #9
    Senior Member camelopardalis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s5fskzfv View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my question yesterday about how to coordinate training and a low carb diet. I have another possibly related question but I think it deserves it's own thread.

    After a long workout I often have trouble concentrating. It's hard to describe exactly what the problem is, it's like if I have something I need to read, or something that takes thinking like balancing a checkbook, I just don't feel like doing it. Trying to concentrate feels uncomfortable to the point that I can't do it. I tend to do a lot of reading, if I didn't, I might not even notice the problem, it's sort of subtle. I'm not sure exactly what it is, maybe not enough sleep or low blood sugar? Usually by the next day I'm back to normal after a couple of meals and some sleep.

    I am wondering if anyone else experiences this and if there is anything known about what causes it? how to prevent it? or how to get over it faster?



    Thanks,
    You're tired. You need rest. Maybe some food.

    Why complicate it?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by s5fskzfv View Post
    After a long workout I often have trouble concentrating. It's hard to describe exactly what the problem is, it's like if I have something I need to read, or something that takes thinking like balancing a checkbook, I just don't feel like doing it. Trying to concentrate feels uncomfortable to the point that I can't do it. I tend to do a lot of reading, if I didn't, I might not even notice the problem, it's sort of subtle. I'm not sure exactly what it is, maybe not enough sleep or low blood sugar? Usually by the next day I'm back to normal after a couple of meals and some sleep.

    I am wondering if anyone else experiences this and if there is anything known about what causes it? how to prevent it? or how to get over it faster?
    Medical diagnosis: High cortisol levels. Have a physical study done to sample your blood and get a blood profile shortly after such high intensity exercise, while these effects are onset. Tell your doctor about the problem, suggest that you would like to know of any particularly high numbers including especially high serum cortisol, but also anything else he may see as important.

    Cortisol is a stress hormone. It is released during prolonged high intensity exercises, especially with elevated VO2max. It has many, many effects; particularly, it increases glucogenises--it helps break proteins and fats down into intermediary compounds that your liver can convert to glycogen, which then gets converted to glucose.

    Regular extended periods of high cortisol serum concentration can cause sever psychological problems: decreased brain function, decreased memory, increased stress; not to mention problems such as diabeetus.

    Regular consumption of tea--particularly black tea, although I prefer green tea and green tea generally has better health effects--reduces high cortisol recovery time, allowing your body to quickly return to normalized cortisol levels after a period of intense cortisol elevation. The studies for this used black tea at high intake--four cups daily for 6 weeks prior to the study, versus a placebo consuming a tea-like substance they were told was tea. Lower consumption levels or different teas may also be effective. Consuming least one cup of green tea per week has been shown to decrease general cognitive decline over time, which is likely unrelated.

    I also suggest meditation. Regular meditation will teach you to calm yourself, and overall develop a smoother stress response and a better baseline. This as well lowers cortisol levels, but also has many other physiological and psychological effects. You don't need to do this every day or devote hours at a time to it; ten minutes (don't watch the time) of some very basic meditation (for example, sitting on the floor cross legged--lotus is actually VERY balanced if you can do it, and thus much more comfortable because you don't feel like you're sitting on your ankle or leaning over--with eyes closed, watching your breathing and pulse) one to three days per week can have a large effect.

    Sleep deprivation can indeed cause elevated cortisol levels as well; you should make sure to get enough sleep and to get good sleep. I typically sleep on a Japanese shikifuton spread on tatami with a soba gara makura (buckwheat hull filled pillow), which has proven to be the best sleeping surface I have ever found. Over the weekend I slept on a flimsy, overstuffed American futon (thicker, less firm) with horrible pillows and a two inch memory foam top, and the lack of support left me feeling like I hadn't slept. I also found that the memory foam pillow itself is the worst pillow I have used; conversely, it's the best pillow my parents have used (they haven't used the soba gara makura, but obviously they have used other pillows that I would much favor over the memory foam pillow--which is important). As you can see, the correct sleeping setup is somewhat personal, but also highly important.

    Like I said, ask your doctor, run some tests. You can try the tea thing if you like; it's a safe treatment. Don't kill yourself on tea; you won't die if you miss a day or don't drink enough tea, don't obsess over this stuff. If it works, you can skip the doctor and be content.

    -- House
    Own: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
    Own: 2013 Trek Domane 2.0 + Revolution REV22 wheels

  11. #11
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    You have never had any calorie related nutrition problems, not even bonking? Everyone I know (mostly racers) has bonked or run low on food at least a few times. You must be unusually well attuned to the state of your blood sugar and your nutrition.
    I'm not a racer, nor do I aspire to be one. I can eat pretty much whatever I want on the bike, as long as I'm eating something. Now my fluid and / or electrolyte intake has caused me issues a couple of times. For whatever reason, last summer I required more electrolytes than the previous year or I got muscle cramps. I did get a mild case of hyponatremia last summer though. I over-compensated for the hot day.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  12. #12
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    Electrolytes aren't a problem for me. I down tons of Nuun or Gatorade or whatnot and sweat out salt. My body's exceptionally good at regulating itself.
    Own: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
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