Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Hydration as we get older

Notices
Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Hydration as we get older

Old 04-30-23, 07:20 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada
Posts: 5

Bikes: 2011 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 2022 Roubaix Expert

Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 1 Post
Hydration as we get older

I know that hydration has always been an issue with me since the beginning of time. If I
don't pay attention to it carefully, I'll get a leg cramp at the 48 minute mark. You can literally set your watch by it.
It doesn't matter how warm or how cold it is. I've tried the one leg circular drills among other things because it always occurs in my right leg with mixed results.

I've always used electrolyte supplements or in a pinch, dilute fruit juice with a pinch of salt. Water alone doesn't work and I'll only use water only if
it's for a very casual ride of less than an hour.

My understanding is that hydration becomes even more important as we get older and I'm curious about what other people have experienced.
OldRonin is offline  
Old 04-30-23, 07:35 PM
  #2  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 678
Liked 348 Times in 195 Posts
What is weird is that after I had a heart-attack and surgery, i no longer craved water anywhere near as much as I had for decades. I have to make a conscious effort to drink so much before and during and after riding. I won't feel thirsty, I will just get tired first and take a nap, then when I wake up I really am thirsty. Another odd thing is that I can go a long time without having to stop and take a leak if I am riding with effort, but at night I have to get up and take a leak at least once, and although I am not exerting myself I am more often thirsty at night. My strategy has just been to drink all the water I can remember to drink, I don't think it can be overdone, it is much more likely for people to drink less than they should. I just take plain water on rides, but I also usually have a banana and an apple in my messenger bag I may stop and eat at some point on my rides which are usually 1.5 to 3 hours long. I am in my early 60s. I have never had a problem with cramps when being active. If I ever get a cramp it might be when I am in bed at night I might get one in the bottom of a foot. Weird.
beng1 is offline  
Old 04-30-23, 07:52 PM
  #3  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada
Posts: 5

Bikes: 2011 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 2022 Roubaix Expert

Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 1 Post
I know that a lot of the blood pressure meds also contain a diruretic which can cause problems. I've been on them for years and so I have to be careful about my electrolytes when I'm out riding. Statins can also be responsible for muscle pain which is why they want you to take them before bed where in theory you should be able to sleep through them. However I get a double whammy at night sometimes because the arthritis in my hands will act up and keep me up at night. Sometimes you can't fight genetics since both hypertension and arthritis run in my family.
OldRonin is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 06:02 AM
  #4  
Newbie
 
77record's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 62
Liked 21 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by OldRonin
Statins can also be responsible for muscle pain.
I took statins for a year and they really messed me up. I had brain fog, forgot details, had lousy balance and fell a couple times, I couldn't stand up in the boat without holding on, I choked a lot, had lethargy and exhaustion, and debilitating muscle and joint pain. They also affected my speech somewhat. I was a shell of my usual self. Some days I hurt so much I just couldn't ride my bike.

I stopped taking them after a year and everything was back to normal in 4 or 5 weeks. Statins are aggressively marketed, and pushed by doctors, but watch out if you decide to take them! Some people do tolerate then. My cholesterol is now in optimal range and controlled by niacin and watching the kind of fats I eat.
77record is offline  
Likes For 77record:
Old 05-01-23, 06:50 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
boozergut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 506

Bikes: Kona Dew, Gary Fisher Paragon, Salsa Campeon

Liked 140 Times in 90 Posts
I seem to need more and more water as I age. I do think the BP drugs play a role. My riding partner never needs more than one bottle whereas I need to cram a third bottle in my middle cycling pocket.

As far as statins a simple change to a different statin came make a big difference.
boozergut is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 07:15 AM
  #6  
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Interesting
Sasares is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 07:23 AM
  #7  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago
Posts: 309

Bikes: nothing to brag about

Liked 206 Times in 116 Posts
I had sleep problems since I was 30 (74 now). A couple of years ago I started drinking a lot more water regularly because I was biking in the hot summer. Immediately my sleep problem went away. Bought a steel water bottle and take it everywhere now, and drink two 27-ounce bottles a day (that's that much on top of what I used to drink). I can't stand bare water, so I use LITEPOW! as an additive. I don't think it really has much in it, but the change in flavor helps me tolerate the water.
mdarnton is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 07:30 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Los Alamitos, Calif.
Posts: 2,492

Bikes: Canyon Endurace

Liked 936 Times in 544 Posts
Water works fine for me. I don't see what the big problem is remembering to to drink water throughout the day? I've never had problems with cramps even on longer rides where I ran out of water. Hydrating yourself the day before a ride is the trick, drink a couple extra glasses the day before your ride.
TakingMyTime is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 07:35 AM
  #9  
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 33,280

Bikes: 02 GTO, 2011 Magnum

Liked 1,255 Times in 631 Posts
Never Cramped while riding. Only at night when leg stretching.
Hot with High Humiidty on The Texas Gulf Coast. So I Drink all the time.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"

10 Wheels is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 08:20 AM
  #10  
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 19,638

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Liked 2,005 Times in 1,424 Posts
I don't notice any difference. I have never been able to tolerate a statin, any statin. I'm on Repatha which works very well, no side effects. Blood tests say that nether hydration or electrolytes are associated with cramping. That said, some people seem to do better with potassium citrate. Pickle juice will knock out cramps, 3 swallows works well, Doing a good stretch routine every morning is helpful. When I cramp, it's because I'm not in shape and overdid it. How about strength training at the gym? Deep barbell squats, lunges, that sort of thing?
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 08:34 AM
  #11  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada
Posts: 5

Bikes: 2011 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 2022 Roubaix Expert

Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 1 Post
I've been told that part of the reason behind the cramps that I get in my right calf come from the fact the we all favor one leg over the other.

Doing the one leg thing on a trainer focusing on applying power throughout the circle sort of helps to prevent that sort of thing.

I tend to sweat buckets no matter how warm or cold it is and if I'm in Zone 3 or above then I always have to make sure that I drink before I get thirsty which

means a sip two after no longer than 20 minutes, earlier if it's hot.


If I do get hit while I'm on the road, I also carry some fast acting electrolyte supplements in capsule form.

Weight training is something that I've been pretty lazy about and I should really work that in along with other load bearing activity.

The cramping is always in the same leg and it's always triggered by rapid acceleration or during a hard climb so the weight training should help in keeping

the muscles in shape bilaterally.

But yeah, the stretching and weights are something I really need to get going on. The things that you used to take for granted become harder

and harder to do with every passing year.
OldRonin is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 01:16 PM
  #12  
Lance Legweak
 
HIPCHIP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Woodland, California, USA
Posts: 867

Bikes: Felt Z-70, GT RTS-2

Liked 20 Times in 16 Posts
Thirst is not a good indication of hydration as you may be dehydrated long before you get thirsty. Sport drinks are good, but often too concentrated. I use a 50/50 solution of water and Gatorade and that helps with the uptake. I utilize a product called Sport Legs. While I have always been skeptical of ergogenic aids these actually seem to work. Reduces the buildup of lactic acid. I always carry two full bottles of the 50/50 solution, and a little bottle of just Gatorade so that if I have to fill up I can still do a mixture. Just try and get into the habit of sipping after a certain period of time, like every 15-30 minutes. And remember that as the weather changes it takes 2 weeks to get acclimated to the new temperatures.
HIPCHIP is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 02:49 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 13,061

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Liked 4,091 Times in 2,643 Posts
Originally Posted by HIPCHIP
Thirst is not a good indication of hydration as you may be dehydrated long before you get thirsty. Sport drinks are good, but often too concentrated. I use a 50/50 solution of water and Gatorade and that helps with the uptake. I utilize a product called Sport Legs. While I have always been skeptical of ergogenic aids these actually seem to work. Reduces the buildup of lactic acid. I always carry two full bottles of the 50/50 solution, and a little bottle of just Gatorade so that if I have to fill up I can still do a mixture. Just try and get into the habit of sipping after a certain period of time, like every 15-30 minutes. And remember that as the weather changes it takes 2 weeks to get acclimated to the new temperatures.
I've read that our thirst sensation is regularly behind the times and not an early or even on-time indicator. And:

And remember that as the weather changes it takes 2 weeks to get acclimated to the new temperatures - the permanent joke the New England weather I grew up and raced in played on us. Getting the weather to stay the same for two weeks? Yeah, right!
79pmooney is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 03:21 PM
  #14  
Mother Nature's Son
 
delbiker1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sussex County, Delaware
Posts: 3,162

Bikes: 2014 Orbea Avant MD30, 2004 Airborne Zeppelin TI, 2003 Lemond Poprad, 2001 Lemond Tourmalet, 2014? Soma Smoothie

Liked 1,493 Times in 842 Posts
I am 70, I have bodily function issues that make it difficult to stay hydrated, toss in a couple of scripts that affect it also, and I some difficulty keeping hydrated. I have to be sure to be conscious of drinking enough fluids, water mostly. I go almost nowhere without water. Even a quick drive for fast grocery shopping, I take water with me. When it starts to get into the warmer weather, I will make my own sports drink and keep it light on the sweetener, but add a bit extra salt. I have never been real bad at too much salt in the diet. But I have started to consume more with my food, I had a couple of blood tests that came back borderline low on the sodium.
delbiker1 is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 03:29 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 9,009

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Liked 2,014 Times in 1,258 Posts
We're getting to that time of year when I'll have to start drinking by the clock. I've got a 15 minute alarm on my GPS, and as the weather warms up, I have to force myself to start drinking every time the alarm goes off. After an hour or so without drinking, I may start to get thirsty. But I'll be one or two quarts low on fluids, depending on the temperature, by then.

What to drink? For a couple hours, water's fine for me; after that, I need some salt as well. My favorite is a 50/50 mixture of HEED and lemonade mix in one bottle with a bottle of plain water to cut it.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 06:15 PM
  #16  
climber has-been
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 7,351

Bikes: Scott Addict R1, Felt Z1

Liked 3,837 Times in 1,905 Posts
Originally Posted by HIPCHIP
Thirst is not a good indication of hydration as you may be dehydrated long before you get thirsty.
However, some dehydration is to be expected when exercising, and it's rarely a problem. Even though the sports drink manufacturers try to convince otherwise.

"From a biological perspective, it’s hard to imagine that the human body is so delicate that it can’t function properly without scientists (or football stars) swooping in with calculators to tell us how to keep it running properly. 'You have to trust your body,' says Knepper, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute expert. Humans have evolved to survive exercising without chugging water or sports drink on some rigid schedule. 'You get clues about what you need if you listen to your own body. You don't have to know chemistry to survive.'"

Excerpt From Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery, Christie Aschwanden, https://books.apple.com/us/book/good...n/id1397970427
__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat. ROUVY: terrymorse



Last edited by terrymorse; 05-01-23 at 06:23 PM.
terrymorse is offline  
Likes For terrymorse:
Old 05-01-23, 06:15 PM
  #17  
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 19,638

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Liked 2,005 Times in 1,424 Posts
I always drink to thirst. That's why our DNA contains information about it - because that's what we're supposed to do. This works fine even on hot 400k rides in the mountains. Only trick is that one has to have enough water to quench said thirst. It's fine to ride a bit dehydrated - in fact one is a little bit faster because of being a little lighter. I take enough Endurolyte caps so that I get thirsty enough to pee about every 3 hours. That takes a bit of practice in varying weather conditions to get dialed in.

Besides thirst, the other indicator I use is HR. HR goes up for my effort, need more water. HR goes down for my effort, need more carbs. It's pretty simple, really.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 05-02-23, 09:10 PM
  #18  
Grupetto Bob
 
rsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 6,593

Bikes: Bikey McBike Face

Liked 6,129 Times in 3,132 Posts
As I have aged (68), I tend to develop post-ride cramps, much more easily. Another side effect of being dehydrated, which I have not experienced until this year, is vertigo. This may happen an hour or so post-ride. This goes for using the trainer as well as outdoor rides above 70*. I tend to push myself hard which increases respiration rates as well as muscular fatigue.

I use a Garmin bike computer which has a drink and eat reminder I have set at 15 minutes for drinking and 45 for eating. I need to reduce that 10 mins and see if that helps. From the Stone Age the rule was one bottle per hour and may have to up that to 1.25 or slow the h down - Nah.

My remedy for cramps besides pounding fluid in the evening is drinking pickle juice and taking a magnesium pill - no more cramps at night now.
__________________
Road 🚴🏾‍♂️ & Mountain 🚵🏾‍♂️







rsbob is offline  
Old 05-03-23, 05:07 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
gif4445's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kearney NE
Posts: 600

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Specialized Diverge, Volagi Liscio, LHT, Trek 1.2

Liked 46 Times in 33 Posts
[QUOTE=beng1;22876086 My strategy has just been to drink all the water I can remember to drink, I don't think it can be overdone, it is much more likely for people to drink less than they should. Weird.[/QUOTE]

Drinking too much water can actually be a bad thing. Possibly worse than dehydration. I have a friend who had his cycling curtailed for a good stretch because his sodium levels were dangerously low. Long story short, he was taking in too much water. A long while back, I remember a news report of a radio show that had a water drinking contest. One guy died as a result. It's a balance. I've been on the other side. Kidney stones two straight years on the exact same date in August. Traced it to a work activity that required me to be out in a crop field in the hot weather for an extended time period. After realizing this, the next year I really pounded the water during these times. Insane amounts. No kidney stones.
gif4445 is offline  
Old 05-03-23, 05:16 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 4,083
Liked 2,097 Times in 1,314 Posts
Some older folks have less muscle than in their younger days and therefore less water stored for cooling, which when combined with more body fat, they have more need to cool and therefore, riding in the heat doesn't go as well.

My experience is to drink 6-24 oz/hr depending on exertion level, temperatures, RH. Thirst generally works for me. I weigh myself before and after rides to keep an eye on hydration. I think I drink more compared to my younger days.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Likes For GhostRider62:
Old 05-03-23, 05:30 AM
  #21  
Junior Member
 
papaki72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 75

Bikes: Specialized Allez Sport Sora (now), Whistle Modod Flatbar (retired)

Liked 21 Times in 17 Posts
I had frequent cramps mostly in the soles of my feet and my calves. I started working out things a bit every other day with squats and calf raises and the cramps stopped. Also, in rides longer than 1 hour, I drink an isotonic (500ml of it). Two gulps every 20 minutes. It helps quite a bit. I perform better and I have no cramps no matter how long on the saddle.
papaki72 is offline  
Likes For papaki72:
Old 05-03-23, 12:09 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 29,595

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Marin Muirwoods 29er, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Liked 3,612 Times in 2,360 Posts
I use hydration to help keep my gout under control

electrolytes & cramps is a whole 'nother story
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 05-03-23, 06:40 PM
  #23  
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,998
Liked 546 Times in 373 Posts
For me, cramps are more related to the hard climbing efforts than electrolytes or hydration. I forget to keep up with drinking on cool, shady days, and seem to be a slower than usual toward the end of those rides.
rm -rf is offline  
Old 05-05-23, 02:33 PM
  #24  
Veteran, Pacifist
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 13,448

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Liked 4,989 Times in 2,294 Posts
I'm a cramper. Always post-ride. Mostly at night.
No BP meds. Have tried many electrolyte products, V-8 Original is my post ride go to.
But mostly - I've just reduced the intensity of my rides, , which is not a good solution but helps abundantly.

I've read the many threads on the topic and 'bout the only thing not tried is pickle juice. My conclusion = Muscle cramping is more complex than hydration and moderating exertion.

A full day of yard work - not in the heat - will result in cramps, too, regardless of my liquid intake.
__________________
Vintage, modern, e-road. It is a big cycling universe.
Wildwood is offline  
Old 05-10-23, 12:09 PM
  #25  
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,280
Liked 384 Times in 289 Posts
Hydration is important to keep the blood thin and circulating well and to be able to sweat effectively to maintain ones core body temperature. For most riding I need no more water now than I did 50 years ago.

As we age our body's ability to absorb key nutrients from food decreases. For example, I need a 10x RDA of vitamin D to keep my blood serum level in the "normal" range.

The focus is usually on staying hydrated during a ride but it is better to stay hydrated throughout the day and not start out dehydrated and then try to add water while riding. How much in the way of electrolytes are lost from sweating depends on the situation and a pro football player out in full sun and bundled up in padding and a uniform has more of a problem than the average cyclist.

I would expect that the electrolyte needs can vary both by individual and their diet as well as their age. Low potassium and low magnesium are often found in patients who have had a heart attack and a deficiency is known to provoke cardiac cardiac arrhythmias. Magnesium is crucial to the body being able to utilize potassium and sodium and calcium. I take magnesium and potassium supplements on a daily basis.
Calsun is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.