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Post ride headache - cause?

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Post ride headache - cause?

Old 06-27-11, 08:00 PM
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rocketJeff
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Post ride headache - cause?

I had my longest road ride (urban, with lights and stop signs) today.

Essentially this ride:
https://www.mapmyride.com/s/routes/vi...ustin/30676108
plus a a couple of miles to get to the starting point and a few missed turns here and there, adding up to 38.5 miles.

My previous longest road ride is 25 mile and non-road (no lights) is 40 miles. This ride is considerably harder than my previous 40 mile ride. There's a lot more rolling hills than I expected (hills kills me!). My avg speed today was 14.5 mph and my non-road ride was 17.5 mph.

Today is the first time I got noticeable headache near the end of the ride and post-ride.

Could it be dehydration? Lack of eletrolyte? I started at about 5pm (near 100F) and went through 2 bottles of water and a big Gatorade I bought along the way. I am still really new to road biking (started about a month ago) and this headache worries me.

Thanks
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Old 06-27-11, 08:02 PM
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dehydration fo sho, judge your hydration status by how much you take in versus how much you put out, and color too. dark yellow, no bueno, straw color, ok, clear is optimal.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:06 PM
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Dehydration.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:44 PM
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2 bottles @ 24 oz. plus a 32oz Gatorade for 2.5hrs + exercise in 100F heat. That is not enough, I would argue that if you pre-hydrate prior to your ride you shouldn't experience this, however 100F takes alot out of your body.

I strongly suggest pre-hydrating before rides over 2hrs. It works, especially when stopping is not an option or not desired.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:47 PM
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Dehydration for sure. And I heartily second the idea of pre-hydrating.
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Old 06-27-11, 09:26 PM
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Dehydration or a brain tumor. I'm going with the tumor.
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Old 06-27-11, 09:30 PM
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It's your brain adjusting to it's new found freedom. Sometimes it hurts.
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Old 06-27-11, 09:30 PM
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Dehydration guaranteed
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Old 06-27-11, 09:35 PM
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pinch the back of your hand.. how fast the skin snaps back is a good hydration indicator..

Of course it could be the drugs..
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Old 06-27-11, 09:46 PM
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Altitude sickness from going over Mt. Bonnell.
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Old 06-27-11, 10:55 PM
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I get post ride headaches too... when I don't drink enough. Seriously (not being sarcastic). I can almost predict them to a 'T' based on how much I drank, outdoor temp and distance/time I rode. Unfortunately, drinking a bunch after the headache arrives doesn't help much. It is too late at that point and usually I need a good dose of Advil to get rid of it.

Drinking extra water / sports drink pre-ride even when I don't feel thirsty most certainly helps me fend these buggers off.
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Old 06-27-11, 11:03 PM
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dehydration = heat stroke = headache
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Old 06-27-11, 11:07 PM
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Did you ride with PCAD because that can give someone a headache. However, it was probably heat and hydration as others have said.
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Old 06-27-11, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by flaco View Post
Altitude sickness from going over Mt. Bonnell.

he didn't climb bonnell... probably sucking down too many car fumes on that city center route! cycling in the summer in austin gave me headaches also, sometimes during riding... it was hard to stay hydrated on long rides. plus cycling around around traffic just made it seem hotter, seriously, stopping for red-lights, etc...

dehydration
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Old 06-27-11, 11:35 PM
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ditch the gatorade get some heed
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Old 06-27-11, 11:43 PM
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Wateeeeerrr
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Old 06-28-11, 12:17 AM
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Well, seems like there's a consensus that it's hydration (except for the tumor theory, but I'll stick with hydration )

I will preload next time. Aside from the headache, the ride was great! Good scenery of Lake Austin and Town Lake. There is also a place to refill water bottle at the pedestrian bridge.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-28-11, 12:20 AM
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hydration is not just about water, it's also electrolytes, if you're riding more than 30 miles you need something more than plain water in your bottles, imo
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Old 06-28-11, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by jmio View Post
dehydration fo sho, judge your hydration status by how much you take in versus how much you put out, and color too. dark yellow, no bueno, straw color, ok, clear is optimal.
This is a good rule of thumb but only shows hydration and not electrolyte levels. If you've taken on too much water you could be passing clear urine but still be desperately low on electrolytes.

If you're riding in 100F heat I'd guess you're sweating profusely during the ride, so my first thought would be some combination of dehydration and/or electrolyte depletion.
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Old 06-28-11, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
hydration is not just about water, it's also electrolytes, if you're riding more than 30 miles you need something more than plain water in your bottles, imo
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Old 06-28-11, 09:17 AM
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Hilarious - I added Idiocracy to my Netflix que. This could almost be a Gatorade commercial...
Originally Posted by spock View Post
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Old 06-28-11, 09:51 AM
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It's dehydration - but it also has to do with your rate of sweat loss as well. I usually get a massive dehydration-type headache after my first hard race of the season, where I'll push near max for 45-90 minutes depending on the race, and lose a ton of fluid very quickly. Even with water & electrolyte replacement, I can't replenish fast enough in the following hours to offset the dehydration headache.

Your body does adjust to it though - it tends to go away the next time, so long as you're not restricting your water intake. Salt intake helps, but is only crucial for 4+ hr workouts - else you can generally replenish the salts at home after the ride.
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Old 06-28-11, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jonathdo View Post
dehydration = heat stroke = headache

at the point of heat stroke you would also be showing signs and symptoms of confusion, lethargy, loss of sweating. Headache would have started long before 'heat stroke' in the heat exhaustion phase, even possibly as early as the cramping phase.

I'm not trying to be a dick but heat stroke isn't always 'heat stroke'. dehydration does not always = heat stroke. You can be fully dehydrated and your temp normal.
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Old 06-28-11, 10:04 AM
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While on the topic of dehydration, another signal from your body is if your heart rate goes up and you aren't working too hard or have little energy.
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Old 06-28-11, 10:08 AM
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For all you science nerds out there, the likely explanation is that it's due to dehydration, specifically a decrease in CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) pressure.

As you dehydrate quickly & rapidly, the water in your body will shift out of places to maintain equilibrium. One of the places where the water can get stolen from is your CSF - the fluid around your brain & spinal cord, which usually has a pressure of 80-100 mmHg. (Which is directly measurable with a spinal tap/lumbar puncture.) If your CSF pressure gets too low, your nerves start complaining, and you get a 'CSF headache.' This occasionally happens after surgery when someone nicks the sac holding the spinal fluid and you get a positional-dependent CSF leak, which improves when you lie down but gets bad as you sit up. (The solution to this is a 'blood patch' where they inject some blood into the CSF sac, which effectively seals the leak.) It's a very similar mechanism.

If you dehydrate too quickly, your body can't quite keep up even with salt+fluid intake, and you get these headaches until you re-equilibrate. Fortunately, with training, your body will get better at avoiding this situation altogether, until it will rarely happen at all unless you willfully ignore fluid+salt intake for a long time.
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