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How to avoid Heat Exhaustion?

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How to avoid Heat Exhaustion?

Old 07-16-18, 07:43 AM
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I seem to get overcooked faster than my riding buddies. Here are a few things I do:

1) carry a small baggy in my rear pocket filled with ice/water mixture with a small section of terry cloth towel in there. Stays cold/cool for 30-40 minutes. I periodically pull cloth out and cool my head.

2) Carry a small can of V8 (tomato/veggie juice). Pop open and drink after 45 - 60 min

3) Use a camelbak filled with ice/water mix. Will drink more from camelbak than bottle plus you can drizzle cold water on arms, legs, torso.

4) Use Nuun electrolyte tablets. Decent flavor (I like the fruit punch). Just electrolytes with no sugar/protein.

5) Keep ride under 1.5 hours if hot and dew point is over 70F degrees.



My arm telling me to stop and cool down
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Old 07-16-18, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by phtomita
Drinking water before and during the ride?
Before used to drink less to avoid stops, but on warmer days (pacific northwest here ) I drink much more water before and at the beginning of the ride and of course have to stop somewhere, but feel much more energized the whole ride.
During the ride is far more important than before.

Originally Posted by cisbrane
Riding in Texas in the summer is HOT. Even though I rode from 9am-10:30am, I clearly exhibited signs of heat exhaustion when I got home. Super hot feeling, even after a long cold shower, and pounding headache for the rest of the day. I drank tons of water afterwards, but still no relief from the headache.

Any tips for hot weather cycling to avoid heat exhaustion? I usually try to get out of the door ideally at 7:30am or 8am to avoid this. Just sometimes I don't wake up early enough and still want to ride. Crazily, it's still 90F+ after the sun sets, so morning is the best time. Anything I can do pre, during, or post ride to minimize heat related issues?
What you need is something that was invented by a fellow Texan. I know it's unfashionable for road riders to use Camelbaks but they were invented for road riders by a road rider. Carrying 2 or 3 small bottles of water just don't cut it. Bicycle riders tend to drink less when drinking from a bottle which will definitely impact your heat load. Camelbaks are much more convenient to drink from and I find that I drink more than when depending on bottles.

Speaking as a native Coloradoan who doesn't deal with humidity all that well...a "humid" day has an RH in the 40s...I've also found that Camelbaks help me deal with the humid parts of the country better when I go there because I have water that I can get to conveniently. I have also packed my Camelbak with ice when riding in hot and/or humid weather. The pack stays cold for hours...2 to 8 depending on the heat and humidity...while providing me with cold water to drink. I have also found that the cold pack serves as a personal cooling unit. The cooling is even better when the climate is as dry as Colorado's but it still works in the hot, sticky South.

Pack as much ice as you can into a Camelbak (a 100 oz bladder will take about 4 to 5 lbs of ice) and laugh at heat and humidity.
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Old 07-16-18, 12:56 PM
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Sun sleeves are great, I just used them this time on 90 F (we are in PNW so is hot for us) and if you wet it, you feel so refreshed.
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Old 07-16-18, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
During the ride is far more important than before.



What you need is something that was invented by a fellow Texan. I know it's unfashionable for road riders to use Camelbaks but they were invented for road riders by a road rider. Carrying 2 or 3 small bottles of water just don't cut it. Bicycle riders tend to drink less when drinking from a bottle which will definitely impact your heat load. Camelbaks are much more convenient to drink from and I find that I drink more than when depending on bottles.

Speaking as a native Coloradoan who doesn't deal with humidity all that well...a "humid" day has an RH in the 40s...I've also found that Camelbaks help me deal with the humid parts of the country better when I go there because I have water that I can get to conveniently. I have also packed my Camelbak with ice when riding in hot and/or humid weather. The pack stays cold for hours...2 to 8 depending on the heat and humidity...while providing me with cold water to drink. I have also found that the cold pack serves as a personal cooling unit. The cooling is even better when the climate is as dry as Colorado's but it still works in the hot, sticky South.

Pack as much ice as you can into a Camelbak (a 100 oz bladder will take about 4 to 5 lbs of ice) and laugh at heat and humidity.
+1 on a hydration pack. I wouldn't be without mine on long rides, not in the heat. I sweat too much and need too much water to leave home without water on my back. I don't care if it's "cool" to use one or not. I've been on a few rides where I would have absolutely failed to ride very far without it. Rides where I take off from home with two 24 oz. bottles of ice water, a hydration pack with 2 liters of ice water, and by the time I get home they're all dry. Rides out where there are no convenience stores to refill on water. 48 oz. of water isn't going to cut it.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:20 PM
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Lightweight long-sleeved shirt to keep the sun off.
Maybe similar for pants.
Consider mounting a wide brim to your helmet.
For short commutes (to 10 miles): two bottles - one for the inside, one for the outside. Worked pretty well for me up to 110.
Rehydrate with a cool carbohydrate rich, sugar-free fizzy drink of your choice. (I prefer a porter or a stout )
Cheers!
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Old 07-21-18, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GAJett
Rehydrate with a cool carbohydrate rich, sugar-free fizzy drink of your choice. (I prefer a porter or a stout )
Cheers!
Your fizzy drink doesn’t “rehydrate”. It dehydrates. Alcohol is a diuretic.
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Old 07-21-18, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute


Your fizzy drink doesn’t “rehydrate”. It dehydrates. Alcohol is a diuretic.
That's why I didn't suggest whiskey
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Old 07-25-18, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone
you should be drinking a ton of water before the ride, until your PEE is also clear, drink 2-4 bottles per hour. Add electrolytes to the water to help your body. I like NUUN tablets and Target has them too.

Hot/longer days, I have a 3rd bottle in my back jersey pocket, the weight gives me motivation to drink off the two on the bike so I can rotate them ASAP. I just use a gatoraid 20oz bottle from the gas station so I can throw it aways as needed vs a $10 real water bottle.
2-4 bottles per hour before you ride?
That is ridiculous.
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Old 07-26-18, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by GAJett
That's why I didn't suggest whiskey
You do know that your "porter" and "stout" contain alcohol don't you? It's not the "fizzy" that's the diuretic.
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Old 07-26-18, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster

2-4 bottles per hour before you ride?
That is ridiculous.
I agree. People seem to think we have some kind of water storage organ in our bodies. Any excess water is tipped overboard...the clear urine should be a clue...and does nothing during riding. Drinking during riding is far more important.
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Old 07-26-18, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Your fizzy drink doesn’t “rehydrate”. It dehydrates. Alcohol is a diuretic.
IIRC, the breakpoint is around 10-12% alcohol. Less than that (like most beers), and the net effect is you gain water despite urinating some of the fluid in the drink. More than that (wine and some way high alcohol content beers), and it dehydrates.
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Old 07-26-18, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster

2-4 bottles per hour before you ride?
That is ridiculous.
that's WHILE riding...... bonking sucks, heat exhaustion is even worse. Maybe I just ride too fast and push myself in the heat. But that's what I need, 2-4 bottles/hr especially when climbing.
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Old 07-26-18, 03:13 PM
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For me it seems to work out that 1 large water bottle per 10 (roughly) miles is about right. That's at 70 degrees, if it's in the 90's It would probably be one every 5 miles. I don't usually ride when it's that hot though since I've had heat exhaustion in the past.
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Old 07-26-18, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by love2pedal.com
4) Use Nuun electrolyte tablets. Decent flavor (I like the fruit punch). Just electrolytes with no sugar/protein.
This is important. Beyond a couple of bottles, you can't just drink water, because you sweat out not only the water, but also critical sodium and potassium. Keep drinking bottle after bottle of pure water and stripping your body of electrolytes as you sweat it out, and at best you feel woozy or vomit. At worst, you die.

Up to a certain point, the salts themselves may be enough. But they're absorbed better in combination with sugar, so on a longer ride you need that, too.
Yes that probably goes against every goal - but if you're going to do non trivial rides in hot weather, you have to think survival, not other goals. Otherwise keep the rides to a couple of bottles and hours.

2) Carry a small can of V8 (tomato/veggie juice). Pop open and drink after 45 - 60 min
A post ride favorite - keep being tempted to bring it along, haven't yet.

Originally Posted by cyccommute
During the ride is far more important than before.
Yes, but no reason to start out under-hydrated - there's at least a half hour or hour of latency there.

I realized that brushing my teeth on the way out the door was setting me off to a bad start - I'd consume a fair amount of one of the bottles I intended to ride with, just on the often near hour-long journey to the trailhead. So I now bring extra for that. Whatever I don't drink before the start should go on the sunsleeves, and then the ground, so I start the ride off with the intended (external) water load. There's an outhouse about 8 miles up the trail. I'll often stop, but only shall we say briefly, which demonstrates that the pre-ride intake is no more than needed.
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Old 07-29-18, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
IIRC, the breakpoint is around 10-12% alcohol. Less than that (like most beers), and the net effect is you gain water despite urinating some of the fluid in the drink. More than that (wine and some way high alcohol content beers), and it dehydrates.
Not according to these guys. Stout is 5 to 10% and porter is 4 to 5%. They don’t “rehydrate”, they dehydrate.
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Old 07-30-18, 06:49 AM
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I guess those countless times I have woken up in the middle of the night dying of thirst after drinking 10-12 beers, were just a bad dream. Because scientifically, there is no way that could have happened, if the post above is correct.
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Old 07-30-18, 01:51 PM
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Well I remember all those times of visiting pubs in England when, after a few pints, the urge to visit the lad's room would hit, and then seemed like after that first visit I had to go about every 5-10 minutes after. There was no way I was drinking as much liquid as I was peeing out.
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Old 07-30-18, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte
I guess those countless times I have woken up in the middle of the night dying of thirst after drinking 10-12 beers, were just a bad dream. Because scientifically, there is no way that could have happened, if the post above is correct.
Do you know what a diuretic is and how it works? The reason you were "dying of thirst" after drinking so many beers is because the alcohol is pulling water out of your system. Less water in your body...more thirst.

Originally Posted by Milton Keynes
Well I remember all those times of visiting pubs in England when, after a few pints, the urge to visit the lad's room would hit, and then seemed like after that first visit I had to go about every 5-10 minutes after. There was no way I was drinking as much liquid as I was peeing out.
Exactly. More water out than liquid in and the next thing you know you are "dying of thirst".
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Old 07-31-18, 07:32 AM
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Which is why I leave the beer until the end of the ride. Probably not so critical on cooler days, but during the middle of summer hydration is extremely important.
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Old 07-31-18, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Not according to these guys. Stout is 5 to 10% and porter is 4 to 5%. They don’t “rehydrate”, they dehydrate.
IIRC, you'll find it normally takes 4-6 oz. of urine to flush out the diuretic effect of one shot of alcohol. Figuring standard beers are 5-6% alcohol, 12 oz. of beer results in 6 oz. extra fluid in the body compared to not drinking anything. (You could have had a pint of water instead, and gained 16 oz of fluid...) Your 10% stout is a wash, and 18% wine or 40% liquor will suck more water out than is in the drink.

Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte
I guess those countless times I have woken up in the middle of the night dying of thirst after drinking 10-12 beers, were just a bad dream. Because scientifically, there is no way that could have happened, if the post above is correct.
I've never drunk 12 beers in one sitting, so I can only speculate. Could it be that you drank nothing else during a hot summer afternoon when you were sweating a quart or two of water every hour? How much water or other fluid would you have drunk in similar conditions to keep from being thirsty under those conditions?
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Old 07-31-18, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cisbrane
Any tips for hot weather cycling to avoid heat exhaustion?
Back when I used to run a lot (north of 60mi/week), I'd generally do the following. Which would also apply to any strenuous activities done outdoors during the hotter months.

  • Drink a lot of fluids. As folks have suggested, until your urine is clear ... and keep drinking heavily so long as you see much color. You might slosh around, a bit, for awhile. But it sure beats heat exhaustion.
  • Ensure what you drink has strong amounts of electrolytes. Either the whole drink, or as a tablet/powder added to the fluids.
  • Avoid the hotter parts of the day. My own personal limit is right around ~85ºF. If by 8am it hits that temperature, then by all means conclude the hard physical activity by 8am. If it's still ~85ºF after a given time, then find some cooler spot to do your hard physical activity. Adjust accordingly, based on your own body's ability to tolerate heat.
  • Be capable of determining your basic pulse rate (either manually, or with a gizmo). And, check it frequently during hard exercise or other activities. Keep the pulse at a reasonable level, particularly during hotter parts of an activity. If your pulse goes too high for too long, it can be an indicator your body isn't handling the exertion as well.

Keeping up with all of those precautions, I generally avoided having any troubles, even with many runs exceeding 10mi in distance, or on runs involving hundreds of feet elevation gains, or during temps occasionally going north of 85ºF.

These precautions should apply just as well to cycling, or playing soccer or football outside, digging or construction, or any other such activity you can think of.
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Old 08-05-18, 01:10 PM
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I use this powder in my water bottles, like Gatorade just not as sweet.


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