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  1. #26
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
    Likewise, I was a bit shocked to hear that serum cholesterol has little to do with dietary cholesterol, and that our body makes its own cholesterol out of carbohydrates when we don't eat enough. Turns out it's an essential nutrient!

    I have friends who stopped eating packaged foods and it helped, that should help your numbers. I would keep nuts or very dark chocolate handy as a substitute for vending machine food.

    And biking will help of course!

    Excuse me -- I think we were asked to keep the low-carb propaganda out of this thread.
    --------------------------------------
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  2. #27
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    FYI, I went for another measurement today, and after 3 days of living on the straight & narrow, I measured 155/98, which to me looks significantly better than Friday's #'s. The highest single measurement on Fri was 179/115, taken on a day when I had not had any breakfast (today's measurement was taken ~4 hours after breakfast).

    I've started a spreadsheet to track those 2 numbers and my HR, and will check it every 2-3 days at the same time, under similar circumstances.
    Those numbers are high. Dangerously high if they continue over time...

    I managed to bring my BP down from over 160/90 to below 120/70 with lifestyle choices -- but those changes took months and years to implement. But, frankly those kind of results -- while definitely possible, not only took time, but are exceedingly rare in medical literature...

    I applaud you and your physician for giving lifestyle changes a strong effort before jumping right into medication. But, with your numbers, be prepared to need to do both medication AND lifestyle changes (often called TLC - Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes).

    Years back the first choice for blood pressure reduction was often a beta-blocker or equivalent that impacted heart rate and exercise capacity -- but the current guidelines have dropped them as a first line recommendation. Often they will go straight to an ACE Inhibitor (with its main side affect being a dry cough) or others like ARBs which have very few known side affects.

    But, taking medication does not have to mean you give up on the lifestyle choices. They can provide you cover while the lifestyle changes take effect.

    For myself as an example: For over 15 years I was taking both an ARB (or equivalent) and a diuretic. In May of 2012 I started lifestyle changes and a year later I found I had to drop the diuretic because my blood pressure had dropped too low. Then last Noveber I had to cut the ARB in half because, again, my blood pressure had again dropped too low. And THEN: last month I had to stop it completely because, again, my blood pressure had dropped too low.

    Today, as I mentioned, it has been maintaining at less than 120/70 -- which is good.

    Best of luck to you as you explore all of the options to keeping, maintaining and improving your health and well being. It's a better journey than any cruise ship offers!
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  3. #28
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot. Medication has NOT been ruled out. She gave me the option of starting meds immediately, but suggested that we try with diet only since there was so much room for improvement in my diet - also because of my experience (with a different doc) of having a healthy BP # a year ago after a few high measurements.

  4. #29
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH FOR THIS THREAD!

    I've been meaning to start one. I have similar problems except pressure is not so high... But I have been on meds and so far, all the various kinds either do nothing, have very serious (and unacceptable) downsides. The only one that actually lowers my BP and is tolerable is propranonol. (low dosage, high dose makes me want to jump off a cliff, if I could get up enough caring to actually do something)...

    This weekend quit 2 of the 3 as the side effects were unacceptable. THIS IS HIGHLY NOT RECCOMENDED!

    I've found CoQ10 lowers blood pressure (per double blind study) as well as medications but with a long lead time. It seems to have lowered mine.

  5. #30
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    Thanks a lot. Medication has NOT been ruled out. She gave me the option of starting meds immediately, but suggested that we try with diet only since there was so much room for improvement in my diet - also because of my experience (with a different doc) of having a healthy BP # a year ago after a few high measurements.
    "she gave me the option..."
    ... Those words send MY blood pressure soaring!

    That's one of my (many) pet peeves with our health care system -- where it is assumed that a physician takes charge of our health and we "follow orders"...

    It is clear that you are involved and it does appear that you and your physician have a good working partnership. And that is great! Physicians bring knowledge and abilities to the table that 'we' just don't have. Heck, even physicians see a physician when they get sick!

    But only 'we' know our bodies how we feel and what we do (or not do) and our capabilities and priorities...

    For some -- maybe most -- health is not one of their highest priorities and they simply are not willing or able to do the things you are doing to improve their health and their chances. So physicians have learned to prescribe first and ask questions later... But for others, like yourself, they are willing and able to do the hard things that promote good health and well being. But too often physicians assume everybody is in the former category and go straight for the pills.

    OK, I'll get off of my soap box now. But I'm glad that you found a physician you can work with to improve your health. And again, Best of luck to you!
    --------------------------------------
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  6. #31
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    To be honest, I don't quite understand your objection - maybe it's because of my phrasing. The convo went like this:

    Dr: This is a number that would normally indicate meds, but you have so much room for improvement in your diet, I suggest starting with that.
    Me: I prefer to try without meds, at least initially.
    Dr: Good. I think you'll be able to bring those numbers down a lot in a month. You're not at a pressure where you need to worry that you could have a heart attack or stroke any minute.
    Me: OK.
    Dr: If you'd feel better taking meds now to bring the BP down right away, we can do that, it's your choice.
    Me: Let's start with diet-only and see how it goes.

  7. #32
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH FOR THIS THREAD!

    I've been meaning to start one. I have similar problems except pressure is not so high... But I have been on meds and so far, all the various kinds either do nothing, have very serious (and unacceptable) downsides. The only one that actually lowers my BP and is tolerable is propranonol. (low dosage, high dose makes me want to jump off a cliff, if I could get up enough caring to actually do something)...

    This weekend quit 2 of the 3 as the side effects were unacceptable. THIS IS HIGHLY NOT RECCOMENDED!

    I've found CoQ10 lowers blood pressure (per double blind study) as well as medications but with a long lead time. It seems to have lowered mine.
    How long have you been dealing with this?

    How much are you riding?

    Have you made changes to your diet OFF the bike?

    Have you made changes to your diet ON the bike?

  8. #33
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    To be honest, I don't quite understand your objection - maybe it's because of my phrasing. The convo went like this:

    Dr: This is a number that would normally indicate meds, but you have so much room for improvement in your diet, I suggest starting with that.
    Me: I prefer to try without meds, at least initially.
    Dr: Good. I think you'll be able to bring those numbers down a lot in a month. You're not at a pressure where you need to worry that you could have a heart attack or stroke any minute.
    Me: OK.
    Dr: If you'd feel better taking meds now to bring the BP down right away, we can do that, it's your choice.
    Me: Let's start with diet-only and see how it goes.
    Sorry to make a big deal out of nothing!

    And, yes it was the phrase: "She gave me the option" that set me off (Because she can't GIVE you anything except advise -- it is always up to you whether or not you follow that advise).

    But, yes, I know I was overreacting. Sorry!

    BTW, she DOES sound like a good doctor. But, frankly I have my doubts that you will be able to bring those numbers down to acceptable range quickly enough using only life style changes. But, I definitely agree with her that lifestyle changes will help and should be the first choice. I would probably be in a greater hurry to bring those numbers down more quickly than she is.
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  9. #34
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    How long have you been dealing with this?

    How much are you riding?

    Have you made changes to your diet OFF the bike?

    Have you made changes to your diet ON the bike?

    I have been told -- but I cannot verify -- that the quickest way to lower blood pressure is to lower your weight.... (I don't know id that applies to you or not).
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  10. #35
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    How long have you been dealing with this?

    I'm 6', 265 about 20% BF. Could stand to loose ~20lbs fat, but last 20 lost a lot of muscle in that 20, maybe 10 lbs. But was disciplined about lifting, so if I cut now, I'll loose a higher percentage muscle to fat...

    BP went to rationally treatable late last summer.
    I was doing about 100 miles/week.

    First BP med (HCTZ) made the gout VERY prominent. Made exposure to cold completely intolerable. Took too long to find boots that would fit and otherwise gear up. Eventually said F' this and got a Kurt's Kinetic trainer.

    How much are you riding?

    About 1364 miles this year (some indoors(intervals)), 1951 last year (maybe understated by a hundred or so).
    Doing an easy century tomorrow (taking sanity day off from work).


    Have you made changes to your diet OFF the bike?

    Pre high BP:

    Went through many high protein sources from tuna, jerky (later home made), cottage cheese, canned chicken, eggs...

    Post BP treatment and post gout diagnosis, nearly vegetarian (both daughter who lives with me and SO are vegetarians) as can't have turkey, only minimal beef cause pain and swelling. Even with allopurinol.

    Some beer, avoiding those that I cause pain and swelling. This might be best lifestyle alteration.
    Some chip type binges on occasion maybe a month or so...

    Increase normal day to day carb intake, such as rye bread to try and help recover from added mileage...

    In summary: pre high blood pressure, high protein low carb (less then 50 grams/day unless squat/dead lift day, then higher carb). Far more embedded salt.

    BP increased, I had also decreased salt significantly.

    Oddly after riding, my BP crashes... Sometimes down to 100's / 40's... Less pronounced since quitting edarbi and amlodipine besylate.



    Have you made changes to your diet ON the bike?
    With increased miles, I seem to need a lot less fuel per mile then in recent past.

    before BP went up:
    Fuel was fig newtons, bananas, some diluted gatoraide... Stopping for carbs (honey buns, buggles, pringles (fat free if available) and other gas station carb heavy fare... try to ensure that fat is a low-ish percentage of total intake...

    After:
    Switched to Perpeteum, apples, bananas, fig newtons, milk, chocolate milk or yahoo. Trying to stay away from gas station carb sources. I found out that I tolerate fairly large intakes of milk at rest stops... So going that as a default.


    <edit> oops screwed up the quotes answers in line.

    My reading said something like 1.5 points on lower number per 10 lbs.
    Even careful, I seem to loose something like a lb of muscle for a lb of fat...
    Might just come to loosing weight regardless of how much muscle I loose.
    Last edited by Null66; 06-03-14 at 06:58 PM.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    Even careful, I seem to loose something like a lb of muscle for a lb of fat...
    Might just come to loosing weight regardless of how much muscle I loose.
    What makes you say that? How are you measuring your muscle mass?

  12. #37
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    What makes you say that? How are you measuring your muscle mass?
    Don't have access to reliable body comp measurements. Tried various bioelectrical impedence, never could get reliable measurements with any of them (radically different measurements) over very short periods... So no way they are accurate. Tried calipers, got reasonable but not flattering numbers...

    Didn't redo the measurements. However, when I went from 285 to 265, I lost a is real lot off all maxes 25 off pull, then 50! lost close to that off MP, was 350 in Hammer Strength, not ~300... i don't have a max comparison for decline as it only goes to 450, but 450 is one heck of a lot harder and I used to do 5x5 450 day in day out, and now I fail on one or 2 sets.

    Vascularity did not improve any with weight loss... Oddly, maybe 1/2 inch off biceps and forearms... A bit of flab off the midsection but not much. From a look see estimation I went from about 25-27% BF to around 23-25%...

    As what is known and a FFB (former fat boy), who was insulin resistant, loosing weight w/o sacrificing more significantly more muscle then others would is normal and to be expected.

    Visually thighs improved, midsection a little at a cost of a lot of strength.

    But, health and age seem to dictate that I target 250 if I can pull that off with less muscle loss... 240 is more likely to get to decent body comp... Wonder how many plates this gonna cost...

  13. #38
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    For what its worth, most people are not sodium sensitive when it comes to blood pressure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    Don't have access to reliable body comp measurements. Tried various bioelectrical impedence, never could get reliable measurements with any of them (radically different measurements) over very short periods... So no way they are accurate. Tried calipers, got reasonable but not flattering numbers...

    Didn't redo the measurements. However, when I went from 285 to 265, I lost a is real lot off all maxes 25 off pull, then 50! lost close to that off MP, was 350 in Hammer Strength, not ~300... i don't have a max comparison for decline as it only goes to 450, but 450 is one heck of a lot harder and I used to do 5x5 450 day in day out, and now I fail on one or 2 sets.

    Vascularity did not improve any with weight loss... Oddly, maybe 1/2 inch off biceps and forearms... A bit of flab off the midsection but not much. From a look see estimation I went from about 25-27% BF to around 23-25%...

    As what is known and a FFB (former fat boy), who was insulin resistant, loosing weight w/o sacrificing more significantly more muscle then others would is normal and to be expected.

    Visually thighs improved, midsection a little at a cost of a lot of strength.

    But, health and age seem to dictate that I target 250 if I can pull that off with less muscle loss... 240 is more likely to get to decent body comp... Wonder how many plates this gonna cost...
    The amount of muscle loss you describe sounds very high to me.

    Most all methods of determining body fat percentage are pretty good at measuring relative changes, but not so good at producing an accurate number. And the higher your body fat percentage, the more difficult it is to get an accurate measurement. Losing a half inch of muscle from your forearms sounds extremely unlikely to me. Once you get over 20% bf, the amount of intramuscular fat can be significant. This not only makes muscles appear larger but also provides a mechanical advantage by increasing leverage. Basically, fat people are in fact stronger.

    If you are doing a lot of low-med intensity long duration exercise (more miles), it will unfortunately reduce strength and muscle mass, even more so with age. You didn't reveal all that much about what kind of exercise you are doing, but I don't think that losing weight while increasing strength is an unreasonable expectation. The only practical way to get there might be more time spent weight training and very strict control over your diet.

  15. #40
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NurseWizzle View Post
    For what its worth, most people are not sodium sensitive when it comes to blood pressure.
    Yet everybody's blood pressure will go up when they consume too much sodium and go down when they decrease their intake. That is just human physiology. Ignore it if you will. It also doesn't automatically mean that your blood pressure will be too high when you consume sodium. It just means your blood pressure will increase.
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    Yet everybody's blood pressure will go up when they consume too much sodium and go down when they decrease their intake. That is just human physiology. Ignore it if you will. It also doesn't automatically mean that your blood pressure will be too high when you consume sodium. It just means your blood pressure will increase.
    Except that isn't true with everyone. Ignore that if you will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    FYI, I went for another measurement today, and after 3 days of living on the straight & narrow, I measured 155/98, which to me looks significantly better than Friday's #'s. The highest single measurement on Fri was 179/115, taken on a day when I had not had any breakfast (today's measurement was taken ~4 hours after breakfast).

    I've started a spreadsheet to track those 2 numbers and my HR, and will check it every 2-3 days at the same time, under similar circumstances.
    Get a BP machine and track it with software. I have this and it works well. CVS/pharmacy Premium Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor - CVS pharmacy



    The dash diet works if you stick with it.

  18. #43
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NurseWizzle View Post
    Except that isn't true with everyone. Ignore that if you will.
    Replicated studies show:
    Of generally healthy people people, there are 2 types... Some that are sensitive and some not...

    I presume (presumptions just a wild a$$ed guess) that some change over time...
    I would also presume things like potassium (and other electrolytes) levels influence this.


    Funny how complex our systems are.
    Medical professionals sure don't have it easy from an intellectual standpoint...

  19. #44
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprince View Post
    The amount of muscle loss you describe sounds very high to me.

    Most all methods of determining body fat percentage are pretty good at measuring relative changes, but not so good at producing an accurate number. And the higher your body fat percentage, the more difficult it is to get an accurate measurement. Losing a half inch of muscle from your forearms sounds extremely unlikely to me. Once you get over 20% bf, the amount of intramuscular fat can be significant. This not only makes muscles appear larger but also provides a mechanical advantage by increasing leverage. Basically, fat people are in fact stronger.

    If you are doing a lot of low-med intensity long duration exercise (more miles), it will unfortunately reduce strength and muscle mass, even more so with age. You didn't reveal all that much about what kind of exercise you are doing, but I don't think that losing weight while increasing strength is an unreasonable expectation. The only practical way to get there might be more time spent weight training and very strict control over your diet.
    Increased leverage! Cool explanation!
    I heard that intramuscular fat allows fibers to slide with less resistance, leverage makes more sense. I have quite long muscle bellies.
    Forearms could see the 3 major veins on both before and after...

    It was off bicycle season so much less riding then before. We do ride 30-50 miles on weekend. Serious hills for a clyde. And embarrassing to admit Mary would drop me flat on hills and I would push as hard on the hills as I could while being able to continue ride... Way too high an effort.

    Lifting during period was higher volume then usual... My default is 5x5 with shades of 5/3/1 when trying to break plateau.

    This was 2 lifts on 2 different days:

    Nice leisurely lift (took day off from work!)
    Switched order to lay off sore shoulder

    hspl row
    3x10x360
    hspl decline bench
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    hspl pulldwn
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    hspl incline bench
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    hspl shrug
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    hspl pullover
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    hspl flat bench
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    cable curls/tricep ext
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    02-03-2013, 08:16 PM
    Squat
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    DL
    3x3x405 (ns)
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  20. #45
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    Vascularity did not improve any with weight loss... Oddly, maybe 1/2 inch off biceps and forearms... A bit of flab off the midsection but not much.
    BTW, losing fat reserves ~2mm deep around any part of your body will result in a ~1/2" decrease in the circumference of that body part.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBA View Post
    bananas are excellent on-bike fuel, low in Na, and high in K.
    I love eating them during a ride, but don't like to carry them. Might have to scope out some shops where I can score them on my regular routes.

  22. #47
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    I love eating them during a ride, but don't like to carry them. Might have to scope out some shops where I can score them on my regular routes.
    Many gas stations have them, that and apples. Oranges are a standby well packaged, but I seem to make a mess of myself.

    Trying to emphasize Bananas and Oranges for Potassium as that is known to reduce BP...

    Thanks for doing the math.

    My body comp (but not weight) seems to have improved w/ bout of intervals and recent focus on improving climbing. Definition has improved in quads and stomach has lost a bit of fat.

    I think the therapeutic lifestyle changes as well as doing what I can in DASH, plus known/proven natural supplements, reduction in alcohol, and more miles will be my strategy.

    As a ride fuel, I'm considering "bean sandwiches", Dad used to make them from Campbell's condensed bean soup... Will look for lower sodium / fat substitutions for source of long burn carbs during riding...

    Yesterday's sanity ride:
    4 bananas, 4 oranges... bottle of gator aide, lunch falafel pita, Jimmy John's cheese sub.
    About a ton of perpeteum and protein powder in equal amounts (maybe 12 scoops total).
    2 emergency Three musketeer's bars in last 5 miles.

    100.87 miles, 4265 feet climb...
    11.5 average moving speed.
    6465 estimated calories. I presume it's really something like 1/2 that, but only that much due to heavy bike, pack, and a Marathon plus on the back... Fatties came in handy on the off road crap and during the high speed downhills during the down pour.

    I have a lot of opportunity in fuel timing. Perpeteum is great, hits fast, but I fail to trickle it in like you're supposed to and only take it sometime after speed has dropped. Very interested in long slow carbs to flatten that effect.

    BP post ride low 130's over low 80's relieved it didn't crash in the 100's over 40's like it did before I quit 2 of 3 meds.

    How's your numbers?
    Any other ideas for ride food?

  23. #48
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    How's your numbers?
    Any other ideas for ride food?
    On Fri, with my HR still a bit elevated from yoga in the morning, and having skipped breakfast, BP measured 145/106. Systolic is down 34 points from the highest single measurement one week earlier. Of course, there's some fluctuation, but it seems that the trend is going in the correct direction. I may well end up on meds, but I feel like being more careful about what I eat is paying some dividends.

    As for ride food, I found Kind bars at the local convenience store that have much less sodium than other granola bars - 20mg each vs. 100+ for the regular grocery store types. I think I'll give them a try. After my recent experience, and careful reflection on some other times that I've ridden long distances without making an effort on electrolytes*, I've decided to stick with water to drink, possibly some OJ for all-day outings.

    I bake my own bread which is very low in sodium, and really enjoy Nutella sandwiches for ride fuel, so that and the kind bars plus the occasional banana are looking like my on-bike staples.


    Since this started as a discussion on low-sodium compliant ride fuel (and if it's a good idea), here's another article that might prove interesting.

    *NOTE: I once rode 100 miles on my fixie after eating toast & peanut butter for breakfast, then only water for the duration of the ride. It was mostly an experiment. It wasn't a good idea, and after finishing I felt really terrible until eating, but I felt well enough to do the same ride the next day (although with fuel that time). In retrospect, I had no issues with recovery and although my energy crashed, I didn't have any cramps or other ill effects usually attributed to electrolyte loss.

    So, no more Gatorade for me, even though:

    Attached Images Attached Images

  24. #49
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Wow, that is great initial results!

  25. #50
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    Wow, that is great initial results!
    Well, there's obviously going to be some fluctuations up and down, and I don't know how the yoga class & skipped breakfast factor in. I hope that we're looking at a lowering trend, but time will tell. At the very least, I feel better seeing slightly less scary numbers.

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