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  1. #1
    Just ride :-D rjtokyo's Avatar
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    Diuretics and cramping?

    Had a very disappointing training ride today. Have been having decent workouts on the trainer during the week, took a day off of rest, then did a 60km ride in the hills with a couple of nice climbs- one of my favorite routes. Halfway up the second climb got some bad cramping in my quads. Didn't think it could be lack of fluids because I had downed a good 700ml of Gatorade in the first 35km. Thought maybe I'm just not in as good a shape as I thought I was. Then it occcured to me; the past 2 days I've had the urge to drink lots of green tea, which of course is a pretty strong diuretic. I'm sure I've been urinating a lot more and just haven't paid it much attention. Could the past 2 days have dehydrated me to the point that the present day's Gatorade wasn't enough to rehydrate me? Is it likely that contributed to the cramping?

    - RJ

  2. #2
    Just ride :-D rjtokyo's Avatar
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    Did some researching on hydration, diuretics, and cramping, and found an article by cyclist Dr. Wes Prince. Here's an excerpt:

    "Pre-ride hydration is especially important in hot humid weather. It is difficult to pre-hydrate for morning rides (drink a glass of water before bed), but for afternoon rides make it a habit to drink water fairly frequently until about 3 hours before the ride (which will allow time to get rid of the excess). The goal should be to maintain a state of adequate hydration on a daily basis. This will optimize your performance during the ride, but equally important it will improve your ability to maximize fat metabolism and recover between efforts. If you are not getting up to urinate at least once while sleeping, you are not adequately hydrated. Caffeine is a diuretic; therefore it impairs your ability to remain hydrated. I do not recommend its use, especially in hot humid climates like our summers."

    Green tea and coffee, which I had been drinking a lot of, are both diuretics, and both contain significant levels of caffeine.

    On the question of whether I was rehydrated enough by the 700ml of Gatorade in the first 35km, the article also states this:

    "It takes hours for the body to absorb and equally distribute water and electrolytes across the three fluid compartments (inside cells, outside cell, inside blood vessels). You cannot correct severe dehydration or electrolyte depletion in a short time by simply drinking a large amount of water or electrolytes."

    If anyone else wants to read the full article on hydration and cramping, or contact Dr. Prince personally, here's the link:

    http://www.bgcycling.org/outspoken/2004/v2004401.html

    - RJ

  3. #3
    bac
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    Senior Member bac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjtokyo
    Don't you hate it when you have to answer you own question? Anywho, thanX for the link - it's a good read!

  4. #4
    Just ride :-D rjtokyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    Don't you hate it when you have to answer you own question? Anywho, thanX for the link - it's a good read!
    Thanks bac. Yeah, it's not really one of those kinds of questions that comes up very often. You'd think that any time you're consuming fluids you're doing well to hydrate yourself, but apparently not so. I might try to email Dr. Prince and see if he can elaborate on the salt intake he talks about. Happy riding!

    - RJ

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