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Before, during, and after ride hydration

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Before, during, and after ride hydration

Old 09-06-22, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Anecdote. Causality not established.
OK, I give. You are always right. Happy now?
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Old 09-06-22, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
OK, I give. You are always right. Happy now?
Please tell my wife that.
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Old 09-06-22, 10:49 AM
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There are some studies showing that paying close attention to hydration can help. Here is one for example:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5987390/

They looked at how much athletes sweated and gave half a recommended amount of hydration based on their sweat and left the other half as control. The non-control half did better in their sport activities. The research was not sponsored by any sports drink maker and did not use any particular sports drink. Of course only one study doesn't prove the correlation.
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Old 09-06-22, 10:51 AM
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I’m also in the drink when you are thirsty camp.
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Old 09-06-22, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
I am your typical old guy with prostate issues.. I don't want to be stopping all the time for pee breaks so I aim to cut it fairly close, not too much and not too little water is the goal ..
My understanding, based on the science, is that "pre-gaming" doesn't help much. Since we aren't camels if you hydrate more than your body needs in advance, you'll just urinate the excess.

As noted, research currently indicates that mild dehydration won't cause any issues for performance or recovery; it's usually easy to rehydrate after a ride. If you're getting wiped out after your rides, then unless you are getting seriously thirsty, it's probably not hydration. More likely issues are:

Not enough carbs / food
You didn't say how much or what you're eating -- in fact, it doesn't sound like you're eating at all. If the only way you're getting carbs is from fluids, that's probably not enough for you. Both mentally and physically, you need to both eat and drink.

Heat
Yep, heat negatively impacts performance.You may find that you feel better after these efforts when it's cooler out.

Insufficient Recovery Methods
As you seem to be finding out, refueling right after a ride is critical. It's less about the hydration and more about the carbs. Chocolate milk is a common recommendation as it has carbs, protein, and calcium.

Insufficient Training
You discussed your weekend ride, but not what you're doing the rest of the week. You could easily be under or over on your weekday rides.
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Old 09-06-22, 01:27 PM
  #31  
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just reading this makes me want to pee.
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Old 09-06-22, 01:54 PM
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On a hot summer day, I can drink 4 - 5 bottles of water during a 60 to 80 mile ride and never even think about having to pee. It's only if it do an early morning ride that I'll have to hit that first rest stop for a pee break. Normally I ride very late morning to early afternoon. Today I left just before lunch for a 22 mile ride with 2 bottles of 24 fl oz filled with my usual maltodextrin drink mix and all I'd eaten was a small bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, maybe a handful nuts and a power bar just before the ride and maybe two glasses of water since waking up. Sure I had to pee when I got back, but certainly no urges during the ride and no rush to get to the whizery either when I got home.

As for before, during and after hydration, I'm not so much on the before. But I drink lots of water daily anyhow. I do plan on one 24 fl oz bottle for every 50 minutes of riding and sometimes one every 40 minutes when >95°F.

So on the short version of this, maybe the time of day has something to do with why you have to pee during your ride.

Last edited by Iride01; 09-06-22 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 09-06-22, 02:00 PM
  #33  
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I hydrate before I start out. I carry 2ea 21oz water bottles with me on my rides. I usually consume at least one during the ride. Then when I get home and I need to urinate I check the color of it to see if I need more fluids.
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Old 09-06-22, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
On a hot summer day, I can drink 4 - 5 bottles of water during a 60 to 80 mile ride and never even think about having to pee. It's only if it do an early morning ride that I'll have to hit that first rest stop for a pee break. Normally I ride very late morning to early afternoon. Today I left just before lunch for a 22 mile ride with 2 bottles of 24 fl oz filled with my usual maltodextrin drink mix and all I'd eaten was a small bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, maybe a handful nuts and a power bar just before the ride and maybe two glasses of water since waking up. Sure I had to pee when I got back, but certainly no urges during the ride and no rush to get to the whizery either when I got home.

As for before, during and after hydration, I'm not so much on the before. But I drink lots of water daily anyhow. I do plan on one 24 fl oz bottle for every 50 minutes of riding and sometimes one every 40 minutes when >95°F.

So on the short version of this, maybe the time of day has something to do with why you have to pee during your ride.
Wow that was me in my 30s. I would ride 4 hours and drink 4 large bottles and never even think about peeing. Guess I don’t sweat as much now. Could be an age thing - but then dropping 5 lbs on a ride and still having to, isn’t. Bizarre
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Old 09-06-22, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
- but then dropping 5 lbs on a ride and still having to, isn’t. Bizarre
I use to drop 5 lbs or more on a ride when I was just starting out getting serious about riding for fitness circa 2010. However I now hydrate so well that even on a 60 - 80 mile ride I don't loose but at most a < 2 pounds and more typically < 1 pound. And that is after emptying my bladder after a ride.
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Old 09-06-22, 05:03 PM
  #36  
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On urine color, there are three fluid compartments to replete during rehydration, vascular, extracellular, and intracellular. Water moves between these spaces at a limited rate. You can dilute your blood and pee clear while your cells are still hyperosmotic. Conversely, concentrated urine only tells you your intravascular volume is down and your kidneys are conserving water.
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Old 09-07-22, 12:53 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
On a hot summer day, I can drink 4 - 5 bottles of water during a 60 to 80 mile ride and never even think about having to pee. It's only if it do an early morning ride that I'll have to hit that first rest stop for a pee break. Normally I ride very late morning to early afternoon. Today I left just before lunch for a 22 mile ride with 2 bottles of 24 fl oz filled with my usual maltodextrin drink mix and all I'd eaten was a small bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, maybe a handful nuts and a power bar just before the ride and maybe two glasses of water since waking up. Sure I had to pee when I got back, but certainly no urges during the ride and no rush to get to the whizery either when I got home.
As for before, during and after hydration, I'm not so much on the before. But I drink lots of water daily anyhow. I do plan on one 24 fl oz bottle for every 50 minutes of riding and sometimes one every 40 minutes when >95°F.
So on the short version of this, maybe the time of day has something to do with why you have to pee during your ride.
I would say typical, very common and expected outcome to reasonable hydration for that level of exertion and environmental conditions. Anything less, hydration-wise, is gonna show somewhere... at some point. I think it's less time-of-day than 'prior intake due to time of day'. Most people I know have some sort of 'hydration' in the morning, many (myself included) have some 'diuretic' - coffee/tea. That usually prompts some actions, not long after. Most of those actions are accomplished Before Ride - or you're gonna be making stops...

Originally Posted by raqball View Post
I hydrate before I start out. I carry 2ea 21oz water bottles with me on my rides. I usually consume at least one during the ride. Then when I get home and I need to urinate I check the color of it to see if I need more fluids.
Yes, the body does show slow movement of fluids from cellular and vascular, Because the kidneys usually do such a splendid job in keeping levels so constant. But Kidney activity is very high - upwards of 150 to 180 Liters a day of filtration/reabsorption/excretion. Usual Excretion is about 1.5 liters - that's about 1% of the entire filtered volume... Kidney will maintain as much as possible the homeostasis of both cellular and vascular volumes. If we give enough to make up the difference. of perspiration/ventilation and excretion loses - endurance athletes can lose .5 to 2 liters of perspiration / hr , depending on effort and size of athlete.
Yeah, color does matter. we all know what 'normal' looks like, much different on the darker side, means stress on the kidneys, to keep your machine running properly. why go there?

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I use to drop 5 lbs or more on a ride when I was just starting out getting serious about riding for fitness circa 2010. However I now hydrate so well that even on a 60 - 80 mile ride I don't loose but at most a < 2 pounds and more typically < 1 pound. And that is after emptying my bladder after a ride.
1 lb = approx. 16 ounces, .5 liter - as an end result is manageable after a few hours of endurance activity/riding.
anyone who thinks their 'after-ride' weight loss is in anyway a sizeable amount of fat, is fooling themselves.... 1 lb fat = 3500ish Kcals... which most riders will need 100 miles to go thru... without the consideration for stored glycogen... add your available glycogen and you're gonna need a bunch more hard riding to drop even .5 lb.
funny how all that post-ride weight loss is back by morning...

As for studies, quite a few out there. Many which don;t really nail the jelly to the tree. But I've never seen a study which has shown an 'improvement' in performance to a state of dehydration.
Plenty studies which show some level of degradation of performance due to some level of dehydration - not considering the other serious effects on the body.
Top level racers especially those who are tracked by physio professionals, plan on 700 to 1000ml of fluids for every race hour, more if they're doing the 'pulling'. That's about the max the body can absorb
So, I try to be well hydrated before starting, plan for 1 bottle/21-22 ounce/700ml for every hour on a 'not-hot' day, more as the temps climb. After ride, I shoot for 750ml over a period of 1 hr (body can only absorb 250ml over roughly 15 min.)
These past 2 weeks I tried to do my riding in the morning, 8 am ish, to beat the heat - sun. Very intense, by mid-ride - I went thru 3 water bottles (carry 2 and I have a number of places for a quick fill-up) for the 38-40 miles/ I would do...
Don;t really know any rider who ever Hyper-Hydrated...
Ride On
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Old 09-07-22, 05:56 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
Don;t really know any rider who ever Hyper-Hydrated...
Athletes, outdoor workers, and others are severely injured or die on a regular basis from water intoxication. I’ve seen and treated it. Brain swelling is slow.

Last edited by MoAlpha; 09-07-22 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 09-07-22, 08:22 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
My understanding, based on the science, is that "pre-gaming" doesn't help much. Since we aren't camels if you hydrate more than your body needs in advance, you'll just urinate the excess.

As noted, research currently indicates that mild dehydration won't cause any issues for performance or recovery; it's usually easy to rehydrate after a ride. If you're getting wiped out after your rides, then unless you are getting seriously thirsty, it's probably not hydration. More likely issues are:

Not enough carbs / food
You didn't say how much or what you're eating -- in fact, it doesn't sound like you're eating at all. If the only way you're getting carbs is from fluids, that's probably not enough for you. Both mentally and physically, you need to both eat and drink.

Heat
Yep, heat negatively impacts performance.You may find that you feel better after these efforts when it's cooler out.

Insufficient Recovery Methods
As you seem to be finding out, refueling right after a ride is critical. It's less about the hydration and more about the carbs. Chocolate milk is a common recommendation as it has carbs, protein, and calcium.

Insufficient Training
You discussed your weekend ride, but not what you're doing the rest of the week. You could easily be under or over on your weekday rides.
I eat a fair amount .. lately my eating is a small granola bar every 45minutes and a gel about 45 minutes from the end of the ride. I have found my performance suffers if I don't keep to a schedule something like that.

I am refueling a ton after the rides as well so I don't think there is any issue there.

I do short rides during the week these days, with higher effort. Maybe 2-3 hours total during the week. My approach is to do the intervals during the week and the endurance on the weekend. I think I am going too hard on the weekend though and plan to ease up.
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Old 09-07-22, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Athletes, outdoor workers, and others are severely injured or die on a regular basis from water intoxication. I’ve seen and treated it. Brain swelling is slow.
I'm sure...
But I don;t think it's a thing for riders... Anecdotally, I think the risk of dehydration is massively greater for riders.
some reading seems to point to Military training, 'hazing' as areas of hyper hydration...
"Hyponatraemia of exercise has generally been considered a rare event in endurance sports. However, the morbidity and mortality from this condition has been well reported in the medical literature. Too much of a good thing? - PMC - NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › articles › PMC187207"
and
"Hyponatremic encepthalopathy (hyponatremia) or "water intoxication," a swelling of the brain due blood sodium concentrations falling to an abnormally low level (a.k.a., lack of salt in the blood), is caused by excess fluid intake. "To date at least seven fatalities and more than 250 cases of this condition have been described in the medical literature," said Noakes, of the University of South Africa, in Cape Town.

I'm not worried... heading out to test my understanding...
Ride On
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Old 09-07-22, 09:25 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
I'm sure...
But I don;t think it's a thing for riders... Anecdotally, I think the risk of dehydration is massively greater for riders.
some reading seems to point to Military training, 'hazing' as areas of hyper hydration...
"Hyponatraemia of exercise has generally been considered a rare event in endurance sports. However, the morbidity and mortality from this condition has been well reported in the medical literature. Too much of a good thing? - PMC - NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › articles › PMC187207"
and
"Hyponatremic encepthalopathy (hyponatremia) or "water intoxication," a swelling of the brain due blood sodium concentrations falling to an abnormally low level (a.k.a., lack of salt in the blood), is caused by excess fluid intake. "To date at least seven fatalities and more than 250 cases of this condition have been described in the medical literature," said Noakes, of the University of South Africa, in Cape Town.

I'm not worried... heading out to test my understanding...
Ride On
Yuri
Yeah, you're definitely right that the risk of dehydration is far greater, especially since every athlete who finishes a major endurance event is dehydrated. I, personally know only of runners who have experienced this, but cyclists could certainly do it if they set their minds to it.

My first and most memorable case was a young man who was institutionalized at the time for morbidly severe OCD and drank water obsessively. The staff stopped watching him carefully enough and he ended up in the ICU with me, a second or third year resident, as his neurologist. I think he survived, despite that.
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Old 09-07-22, 09:54 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
I don;t think [water intoxication/hyponatremia is] a thing for riders.
Hyponatremia happened to me at Climb to Kaiser (155 miles, 16,000 feet), on the hottest day of the year (114F at the finish in Clovis).

About half way through, I could no longer stomach the Gatorade mix at the aid stations, so I switched over to plain water only. Never more than one bottle per hour.

I struggled to maintain my speed in the last 10 miles, but I still finished in under 9 hours of riding time. Not long after finishing, I started getting a terrible headache, followed by vomiting. Soon, I couldn't stand or even hold my head up.

They triaged me at the Clovis ED, took my temperature (normal), decided I was not urgent, put me in a wheelchair, and wheeled me into a hallway (the waiting room was full).

I eventually became lucid enough to remember I had some Endurolytes in my jersey pocket. Still unable to hold my head up (and vomiting every few minutes), I opened up a capsule, poured the contents onto the back of my hand, and licked it off the back of my hand. A couple of those perked me up, and not longer after I walked out of the ED.
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Old 09-08-22, 12:47 AM
  #43  
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The key for me is to always be hydrated prior to a ride. I also drink a crazy amount of water during and after said cycling- have fun.
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Old 09-10-22, 08:20 PM
  #44  
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Being from SE Florida, hydration is always on my mind, as well as my local cycling friends. For long- endurance events, such as a century ride, I need to hydrate DAYS before the ride-- usually beginning Monday or Tuesday before a Saturday event. I personally have very little thirst during the week, so I need to force myself to drink even a liter of water per day. If I don't do this, my performance is decreased during the weekend ride. Hydrating the day before is not enough. I've forgotten to hydrate a number of times and try to do this the day before... it never really works well. When I have appropriately hydrated 1-1.5 liter/day a few days before the event, I ride a bit faster and with less fatigue. Yes, this is anecdotal, but I've repeated these results, good and bad, repeatedly.

Before my ride I drink a mug of coffee about 90 minutes before the ride and 8 oz of water about 60 minutes before the ride. During the ride, I drink Infinit Go Far in a 24 oz bottle every hour during the summer extreme heat and every 90 minutes during the cooler months here in Florida. It has all the electrolytes and carbs and amino acids used during a ride. I use a custom Go Far blend and cut back a bit on the carbs. The original formula gives me a bit of lead belly after my fourth bottle. I do this by drinking ever 10 minutes while rolling on the bike. If I get thirsty, I drink a few gulps of plane water that I keep in my back jersey pocket.

I'm a 57 year-old man with BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia)-- an enlarged, non- cancerous prostate. Yes, I pee more often than I used to, but during a ride like you've mentioned 45 miles/ three hours, I'll stop once, maybe twice to pee. Perhaps the Florida heat causes me to sweat more than most, I'm assuming reducing my need to pee.

After an endurance ride, I'll drink 8oz of almond milk with a scoop of protein powder, and then a glass of water. Later in the day, I'm more aware of my thirst and top it off as needed.

Before I started working with a coach, I did experience hyponatremia during a century ride on a hot day. I drank plenty of water but was not using any electrolyte powders. I started going into heat exhaustion, cooled off at a rest stop, indoors for 20 minutes, then got back on the bike for another 16 miles when I reached the last SAG stop. I began to go back into heat exhaustion again and really feared I'd go into heat stroke. I was also having difficulty concentrating during a conversation at the rest stop. They ran out of ice, so I requested to be driven back to the finish line. It was the smartest thing I did all day. I later realized I was hyponatremic when I felt better after some salty food, and I had peed large amounts of clear urine 5 times in two hours after the ride.

I hope this wasn't too long.
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Old 09-11-22, 10:21 AM
  #45  
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73 here. Because of the hot summer this year I decided to start adding some electrolyte to my water bottle. Two things happened. First, I liked the taste and so I started drinking more regularly through the day. Because I was more hydrated in general I didn't feel the need to be drinking en route as much as in the past, and I generally felt better. I started carrying my 24 oz bottle around with me through the day and am drinking two bottles a day a little at a time now.

The second advantage: for literally decades I have had a miserable time sleeping, often getting only three or four hours a night, a good full night only once every two weeks or so. Since watering up I am sleeping GREAT! So I guess that I was dehydrated all along and that's fixed. I would say now that avoiding drinking is a pretty bad life choice. OP, maybe if you spread it out a bit so you weren't always in deficit you won't have a problem with pit stops on the road?

The stuff I'm drinking is relatively weak and tastes sort of like lemonade. LYTEPOW! (which is cheap as dirt). I tried something more serious and could barely gag it down.
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Old 09-11-22, 11:12 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
For long- endurance events, such as a century ride, I need to hydrate DAYS before the ride
Thats interesting and surprising to hear, but what works works.

mdarnton, I think I was also chronically under-hydrated from trying to avoid peeing so often. It doesn't sound as extreme as your case as I usually sleep fine. Recently I have shifted the pendulum more toward the hydrated side. Getting up one more time per night is better than feeling out of it all day, no? 😁. This should also help with the pre-hydration aspect of rides, not starting out in the hole as much as I think I was.
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Old 09-11-22, 11:24 AM
  #47  
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scottfsmith This may not be your case, but I am actually getting up less through the night now. From an unrelated medical condition some years ago I learned that bladder irritation due to an over-concentration of some chemicals (calcium being one) can cause one to pee a lot at night, in small doses. In fact last year I had my old condition checked because I was experiencing this again, but I was OK, and now I think it was just simple dehydration at work.
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Old 09-11-22, 05:24 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Charles Lathe View Post
I’m also in the drink when you are thirsty camp.
You might want to de-camp according to the Baylor College of Medicine. https://www.bcm.edu/news/thirsty-you...ady-dehydrated

As a century and double century rider, proper hydration and nutrition are paramount to a successful ride. The rule is eat before hungry and drink before thirsty. When you wait until you are hungry or thirsty, you are already operating at a deficit which is tough to climb out of.
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Old 09-11-22, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
As a century and double century rider, proper hydration and nutrition are paramount to a successful ride. The rule is eat before hungry and drink before thirsty. When you wait until you are hungry or thirsty, you are already operating at a deficit which is tough to climb out of.
Yep, that's The Rule. But there's very little science to support it.
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Old 09-11-22, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Yep, that's The Rule. But there's very little science to support it.
Oh so true, I looked first before posting but could not find any studies validating that thought, but also could not find anything negating it either. False equivalency? Folk wisdom? You bet. From an intuitive standpoint it still tends to make sense. If it makes sense to others is up to them.
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