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Bonked

Old 06-05-17, 10:08 AM
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luddite_68
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Bonked

I've been back to cycling for about 4 months. My goals are to 1) lose weight 2) improve my cardio health 3) work my way up to a 50 mile ride for my 50th birthday 6mo from now.

I've been riding three evenings per week with one longer ride on the weekend trying to improve my stamina and speed. I live in the sub-tropical climate of South Florida. Right now, my weekday evening rides are a 10mi loop and I've worked up to a 25mi weekend ride down the beach. This Saturday, I did my 25mi ride and averaged 10.5mph including traffic lights and 2 draw bridges. It was overcast and rained most of the time so heat wasn't really an issue. I drank 2.5 bottles of water on the ride.

I ate oatmeal before I left on the 25mi ride. When I got home, I stretched and showered and felt so low energy that I might fall down. I had a banana and went to get breakfast with my family. I ate an egg white omelette, two pieces of toast and a fruit cup and some juice. I still felt like crap. I had plenty of water.

I started to think electrolytes may have been the issue. What are your suggestions for not bonking on these longer rides?
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Old 06-05-17, 10:24 AM
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Maybe just lingering fatigue.
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Old 06-05-17, 10:35 AM
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Oatmeal. eggwhite omelet, fruitcup.....
How about bacon and eggs with a couple of P-cakes and maple syrup, coffee, OJ ?
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Old 06-05-17, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Oatmeal. eggwhite omelet, fruitcup.....
How about bacon and eggs with a couple of P-cakes and maple syrup, coffee, OJ ?
See goal #1. Do you think I was light on carbs?
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Old 06-05-17, 11:14 AM
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I have only truly bonked one time on an 80 mile ride. I felt soooo bad. For 6 months after that I had a hint of that same feeling on hard rides.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
I have only truly bonked one time on an 80 mile ride. I felt soooo bad. For 6 months after that I had a hint of that same feeling on hard rides.
I seemed to have fully recovered by evening, but it took all day.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:17 AM
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Don't drink water.

Drink water with a pinch of salt, or some Gatorade/Sports drink of your choice.

The body does not adsorb water all by itself very well and a little salt or a little salt+sugar will help you adsorb it.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:20 AM
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I think next weekend, I will mix a bottle of gatorade in my 2 water bottles and see if that helps. I didn't think i should need anything to eat on a 2hr 15min ride.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bscarpenter View Post
I think next weekend, I will mix a bottle of gatorade in my 2 water bottles and see if that helps. I didn't think i should need anything to eat on a 2hr 15min ride.
Maybe not most people, but you're not most people. You have to do what works for you. I hope the gatorade helps.

I have my tea in the morning, otherwise it gets ugly. And I figure that simple carbs like OJ will give you an initial energy boost while the complex carbs like oatmeal kick in. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:28 AM
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Oatmeal or any kind of cereal makes me really hungry in about 1-2 hours, so I don't do that.
I'm better off with a pancake of a piece of toast and some cheese, or grilled cheese sandwich.
Or one fried egg and toast, and an orange. I can't handle cereal, you might be different.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:39 AM
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True Bonk:

https://www.ride25.com/cycling-blog/bonking-birds-bees/
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Old 06-05-17, 11:43 AM
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I had bonked once on a 30 mile ride. After that, I started mixing gatorade in my water too.
Now, I just make sure I eat something every 45 minutes to an hour. By something, I mean nuts, fruits, a croissant or some energy gel.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:45 AM
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Ugh, just say no to sugary Gatorade drinks. Look into the Skratch Labs hydration products. They arent cheap but they are a much better product IMHO.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bscarpenter View Post
I think next weekend, I will mix a bottle of gatorade in my 2 water bottles and see if that helps. I didn't think i should need anything to eat on a 2hr 15min ride.
If you aren't used to riding a lot, your body will use up all of its stored glycogen in the first hour. Then you become hypoglycemic (not enough sugar), which is also called "bonking". The way to prevent it is to ingest sugar while you ride. Sugar water (like Gatorade) is the easiest to absorb. Gatorade also has some other salts that can prevent hyponatremia (not enough salt).

As your body becomes more efficient at biking it will need less sugar, but you will always be able to exhaust your glycogen stores if you ride long enough.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bscarpenter View Post
I think next weekend, I will mix a bottle of gatorade in my 2 water bottles and see if that helps. I didn't think i should need anything to eat on a 2hr 15min ride.
I would eat a bar or banana or something.

2hrs 15min means 2000+ calories for me at 215lbs, 16mph pace
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Old 06-05-17, 11:56 AM
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Handlebar bags are useful to carry snacks to nibble on as you ride, think of it as your gas tank.



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Old 06-05-17, 11:58 AM
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I have found that I no longer get very hungry during a ride of several hours but when I first began riding, I did. There are experiences cyclists on this forum who ride 50 miles or more with very little food intake. The explanation seems to be that our bodies become more adept at burning fat as cycling fitness improves. You likely need to eat a bit more of simple and complex carbs.

There are many You-tube videos on how to fuel for a ride. You can pick up some tips by spending some time with a few of them such as this one.
Everyone is different so that fueling requirements would also differ and you need to try several different approaches. For example, some people may find some types of foods that are not palatable while riding and then there is the question of how much. For your rides of 25 miles or so, try several hundred calories per hour but experiment. Eating too much diverts blood from muscles to digestion. This is why Moms tell their children to wait after eating before going swimming.
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Old 06-05-17, 12:03 PM
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Try an experiment: When you wake up, have a banana and maybe a piece of toast. Then go for a 25 mile ride, and keep fully hydrated with just water. I am going to go out on a limb here, but I think you will feel perfectly fine at the end of it.
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Old 06-05-17, 12:05 PM
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It takes more effort (and blood) to get sugar out of solid food than out of sugar water. Why punish yourself? Just drink sugar water. It's all the same to your body.
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Old 06-05-17, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by boozergut View Post
Ugh, just say no to sugary Gatorade drinks. Look into the Skratch Labs hydration products. They arent cheap but they are a much better product IMHO.
I'll look into that. I have never liked sugary drinks either.
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Old 06-05-17, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
It takes more effort (and blood) to get sugar out of solid food than out of sugar water. Why punish yourself? Just drink sugar water. It's all the same to your body.
For a 20 year old under (or at) - weight athlete, maybe. In this case, it is likely too much sugar.
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Old 06-05-17, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
For a 20 year old under (or at) - weight athlete, maybe. In this case, it is likely too much sugar.
There isn't a fixed amount of sugar in Gatorade. Drink less or mix it with less powder. The key is ease of digestion. Your body needs simple sugars it can use without diverting blood away from your muscles.
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Old 06-05-17, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
There isn't a fixed amount of sugar in Gatorade. Drink less or mix it with less powder. The key is ease of digestion. Your body needs simple sugars it can use without diverting blood away from your muscles.
Assuming powder...

before I had to stop eating free sugars, i really liked the Cucumber-lime flavor. Not available as a powder
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Old 06-05-17, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rgconner View Post
Assuming powder...

before I had to stop eating free sugars, i really liked the Cucumber-lime flavor. Not available as a powder
I just buy whatever Gatorade powder Costco sells. Makes 9 gallons, costs $10 or something. I don't care about the flavor. I just drink it for the sugar and salt.
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Old 06-05-17, 01:00 PM
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I may have something else happen to me but when I 'bonk' I usually feel like I am going to puke when I get off the bike. this had only happened 2 or 3 times. Countless times after a hard ride I have no energy for at least 2 days especially after a hard ride 60+ miles @20MPH. I eat before I go, 24oz electrolyte drinks every 45 min to 1hr and usually a 10 min stop for a snack.
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