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Need food advice for long hard days in the saddle -- I keep wanting to vomit

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Need food advice for long hard days in the saddle -- I keep wanting to vomit

Old 04-09-12, 01:33 PM
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Need food advice for long hard days in the saddle -- I keep wanting to vomit

I live in SoCal and climb the San Gabriel mountains regularly -- but when I push on particularly long, hard day, I really have trouble finding food that fuels me without me wanting to throw everything up. Saturday was an example - ~ 70 miles with 8000 feet of climbing total, witha good 5 mile stretch averaging ~10% (this is the stretch that the Queen stage of the Tour of California does).

It's happened a number of times now to me, beyond about a 4-5 hour ride, it's not bonking so much as just feeling so queasy that it's hard to swallow anything -- including air for a deep breath, or a drink of plain water. I've never actually thrown up on the ride, but I almost want to so the feeling may go away.

I'm assuming it's related to reaching some processing limit and my muscles are eating themselves or something... (j/k...sort of)

I know I need to keep putting fuel in. Any sugary drinks (gatorades, nuun tablets with water) make me feel pretty bad, gels and cliff bars make me feel bad. I'm trying to stay with bananas and oranges and as much real food as possible.

Advice, tips, suggestions? It could be train more -- it could be i need more protiens/or less -- it could be i'm eating too much or too little (before a big ride in the morning I usually have a good bowl of oatmeal with nuts and fruit and milk).

thanks,
Jeff
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Old 04-09-12, 02:06 PM
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It may be low electrolytes (primarily sodium). When I am depleted I get sick to my stomach. Sports drink suddenly tastes bad, I crave ice and plain water (making the electrolyte depletion worse) and most food is unpalatable. Dehydration can cause similar symptoms.

But it's easy to test- eat some salt. If you feel better in 10-15 minutes, that's it. If not, it's dehydration. I discovered this by accident on a hot hilly 200k when I sampled the pretzels at a rest stop. Suddenly I felt so much better. NowI use electrolyte tablets (endurolytes, salt tablets) on long hot rides.

Nuun tablets don't contain any sugar- they're all fake sweeteners. Gatorade does, but it's at a high concentration which requires additional water for absorbtion. I'd use something like HEED, which is not so concentrated. The unflavored version doesn't taste like much, so it's easier to get down.
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Old 04-09-12, 02:34 PM
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I'd agree that this sounds like dehydration, and whether or not you are short of sodium, you'll probably rehydrate more effectively with some electrolytes in the water. Start drinking early - in hot weather I try to remember to have a swig every fifteen minutes whether or not I feel thirsty.

I'd say you are doing the right thing by sticking with real food, most of the sports drinks make me feel vaguely nauseous too.
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Old 04-09-12, 05:53 PM
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It's just your stomach osmolality getting too high from having its blood supply withdrawn and sent to legs. When that happens to me, I take a couple of Endurolytes and only drink plain water until I start feeling better.

As far as preventing that from happening, you need to take in foods that generate a lower osmolality in the stomach and so can pass the stomach wall more easily. Hammer Nutrition claims that their products do that. I've used their Sustained Energy and think it works. Now I mix my own. Racers haven't seemed to have had as much luck with Perpetuem. Some people can tolerate Ensure well. My wife puts one or two bottles of Ensure in one water bottle and adds water. Plain water in the other bottle is always critical.

I never eat real food when I'm going hard. Most sports drinks contain sugar and that's what screws up your stomach. The comments about more electrolytes are right on, IMO. HEED is good.
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