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Pro Cyclists and Stomach Problems????

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Pro Cyclists and Stomach Problems????

Old 10-25-04, 07:13 AM
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DEKKERFAN
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Pro Cyclists and Stomach Problems????

It seems to me that pro cyclists get stomach illnesses more often than the general public. This seems true doesn't it? I makes me wonder, do some performance enhancing drugs have a negative effect on the stomach? Is there something new out there that is taken orally? What is up with all these stomach problems? It seems a little suspicious to me.
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Old 10-25-04, 07:19 AM
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I would guess that it mostly has to do with them having to consume so many calories. Their digestive system might not be able to handle it well (some do better than others)

But sometimes when you hear of a set of riders on a team dropping out due to 'stomach problems', it is actually from drugs. "Stomach problems" are just one of those standard excuses to throw out there for dropping out of a race.

If there were drugs being used often that typically were harsh on the stomach, then they probably aren't exactly very performance enhancing...
But cyclists are known to take drugs in ways that don't actually enhance performance - although they think it does...
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Old 10-25-04, 07:42 AM
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I think it may have something to do with thier level of "fitness". These athletes are like finely tuned machines. If something is even just a bit out of "whack" the machines run poorly. They are affected by these minor little bugs more than the average person.
I probably have a partially clogged fuel injector or 2 on my car. They've probably been like that for days, weeks or more. If it was a Formula one car, instead of a Dodge, I'd be out of the race.
I think it's the same for these high end athletes.
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Old 10-25-04, 07:53 AM
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What Chip and Brent said.

I've always felt that these riders also get sick more then we do. I've always figured that they work so damn hard that their immune systems get weakend easily. That combined with riding in some pretty ****** weather and eating sometimes sketchy food creates more illnesses.
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Old 10-25-04, 09:39 AM
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These guys travel around the world and are eating and drinking water in a different Country or region evey week, sometimes every other day.
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Old 10-25-04, 09:43 AM
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also the commentators sometimes the amount of liquids they consume during races can cause stomach problems.
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Old 10-25-04, 10:44 AM
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I'm sure overexertion can play a role. I've noticed those stomach problems arise a lot of times when they've went to redline recently. It's the body's way of refusing more activity.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:55 PM
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I think a lot of what you are sensing is also from all the news of stomach illnesses at this years Vuelta. Some stomach bug got around ending up with a tremendous amount of riders dropping. T-Mobile went from a full contingent to three (IIRC) riders by the end of the race because of the bug.

Then again, it does seem to be common. All the other answers look good too.
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Old 10-25-04, 05:51 PM
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G'day,

...what all the others have said!.....&...sometimes I think 'stomach problems' can be a euphemism for "today is not my day, my legs don't feel good, I really can't be bothered, tomorrows another day.......let someone else work today"

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Old 10-25-04, 06:24 PM
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run-down pro cyclist's immune system = easy to pick up germs of all sorts
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Old 10-25-04, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Laggard
What Chip and Brent said.

I've always felt that these riders also get sick more then we do. I've always figured that they work so damn hard that their immune systems get weakend easily. That combined with riding in some pretty ****** weather and eating sometimes sketchy food creates more illnesses.
I'm pretty sure that I've read something about that subject in an interview or two with one or more pro cyclists... talking about maintaining a peak form while being careful to keep the immune system strong enough. I think Armstrong once said something about this balance in gaining peak in training while not taking too much of an illness risk.

Like you say... they ride for hours and hours, sometimes in freezing rain... plus the sketchy food and water (especially with the poorer teams - cheap hotels, cheap food, dirty water... plus the fact that they're all around each other constantly when traveling). And not only are they in those conditions - but they're using extreme amounts of energy in those conditions. So it sounds reasonable that illness can creep up on them at times.
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Old 10-25-04, 10:06 PM
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Exactly, Brent.

It's no secret that riding at their level is not good for the body.
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Old 10-26-04, 04:41 AM
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overtraining can cause the immune system to weaken, and most pro's are right on the edge of doing that. Another thing is a lot of professional atheletes take baking powder before races or whatever event they have. Baking soda works as a buffer to bond with the lactic acid produced under anerobic exercise. This has been said to cause a lot of people upset stomach's. Taking enough tums will also have the same buffer attempt, but without the same stomach problems, but you have to eat like 50 or 60, which is awful. But with all of these new endurance drinks that do the same think, i doubt that that many riders still do this, but it was very popular at one time.
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