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Headaches and sickness after riding.......please help(9 posts)

Headaches and sickness after riding.......please helpIndyMike
Jul 22, 2001 7:42 PM
Hello,

I rode this morning 25 miles but the heat index was over 100 degrees with the humidity. After the ride I had 2 bagels and had fluids most of the day. However, in the afternoon I developed a headache and soon I had to throw up. After I threw up I felt a better. This is not the first time this has happened. I know when the headaches sets in there is no getting over it until I throw up. Admittedly I had pure water today and should have had a sports drink mix to replace my electrolytes. Could it be a glucose problem? I am not asking you to play doctor here but if you have had similar symptoms I would appreciate your input.

Thanks,

Mike
re: Headaches and sickness after riding.......please helpLC
Jul 22, 2001 8:00 PM
I have seen it many times in hot tropical climates, and even experienced myself...heat exhaustion. Even though you are drinking the water, your body may not be able to remove it out of your stomach fast enough to do any good. Drinking gatorade does help your body to absorb the fluid, but it also takes many months of conditioning to teach your body how to absorb the fluid. Take it easy till the weather cools down.
re: Headaches and sickness after riding.......please helprollo tommassi
Jul 22, 2001 8:18 PM
Assuming that you are not prone to migraines, this would seem like a case of dehydration. One thing to check though, is to make sure that you are not running a fever - you may be just plain under the weather. But, you do say that this has happened before - with just what sort of frequency? If this only happens when the heat index is over 90degrees, then the headaches are likely a result of dehydration. Anything else and you should consult a physician.

A sports drink would help a lot, but also work into your diet fruits like bananas. Your problem could be glucose related, but it is more likely sodium/potassium depletion (brain function has electrolytic properties) Bagels and other carbo-heavy foods may be filling but do not have what you need for heat recovery.

Although you may not want to eat much or at all after a very hot day on the road, the first hour after extreme exertion is critical in recovery - you should eat as well as drink, if even you are "grazing", eating tiny amounts at a time. Carbs like bagels would be better consumed 5-6hrs after the exercise is completed.

Read the other posts from/to Kristin on this board about hot weather hydration as others make very good suggestions. It is pointed out there that soaking yourself with water helps cool you off, but does nothing for 'internal' hydration. Also, avoid 'dunking' yourself in ice cold water, be it a shower or just a water bottle. Such a shock is too much for an overheated core body temperature, and can cause headaches as well as accelerated heartrate. Like you need more of that!

Be sure that you are drinking enough on the bike; mostly water, but you do need to experiment with what your stomach can, er, well, stomach, when the heat and humidity are at its worst.

Lastly, monitor your frequency of urination once you get off the bike; you should be peeing within one hour of stopping the exercise; this tells you if you've hydrated enough on the bike.

Urination frequency during exercise is not a good indicator, as there is a level of renal shutdown during exertion. But as soon as you get off the bike, you should be making a beeline for the WC!

On top of all of this, if you live in an urban area (as I do), often the extreme levels of pollution in the air compound the effects of the heat; it is sometimes best to avoid putting yourself in this environment when the city issues "smog alerts" or "ozone warnings". For example, you can stay inside your house with the lovely AC and watch Lance exert himself, and not cause yourself any headaches!! ;)

Ah, winter....
Dehydration or electrolyte imbalance will do it ...Humma Hah
Jul 23, 2001 5:02 AM
... there are other possible causes, such as flu or food poisoning, and probably a hundred others.

In my case, I have a hard time absorbing plain water, and have been known to down a over a quart and still be thirsty, my belly sloshing. An electrolyte mix with just a little sugar in it does me much more good.

Dehydration causes exactly the symptoms in me as you describe.
Dehydration or electrolyte imbalance will do it ...indymike
Jul 23, 2001 5:21 AM
Thanks,

Do you use a mix of sport drink and water? Or just straight sport drink? How much sugar do you add?

Thanks for advice

Mike
Gookinade ERG, half strength ...Humma Hah
Jul 23, 2001 4:22 PM
I use a little-known mix that's been around for decades, Gookinade ERG. Stands for Electrolyte Replacement with Glucose. It is the highest potassium, lowest sugar of any sports drink I've tried. I mix it half strength.

Second choice would be PowerAde, also cut 50:50 with water. Last choice is Gatorade, which should have about a 1/4 tsp of Morton's Salt Substitute to bring its potassium level up to PowerAde's. Also dilute Gatorade.
hey Hummacyclopathic
Jul 23, 2001 12:08 PM
how was your ride on Sat? was it hot?
Delightful ...Humma Hah
Jul 23, 2001 4:25 PM
... 5 riders. Mark and Mercedes, plus two gearies. I managed to pass them twice when they took breaks. The morning was cool and I hammered like crazy. The afternoon got a little warm but not bad. I did my best ever century time, set a few other PRs. They say they'll do it again Sept 29 (one week after the 200k Brevet -- I need to decide which type of abuse I'll do).
are you using sunblock?cyclopathic
Jul 23, 2001 12:41 PM
I had thrown up after spending a few hours at the beach and I wasn't cycling..

You should be really careful cycling in hot weather. I did a century ride in 92-98 deg 80% humidity and despite drinking 200oz (!) still got dehydrated.

Also when that happened did you get heartburn? Then stomach acid is to blame for. Happened to me once /though I have heard similar story from 24hr racer/. I was finishing ride dehydrated with stomach full of Gatoraid. I was miserable after the ride until I ate threw up and took heartburn medication. THe "easy" fix is to put baking soda in your water, 1/2tsp bottle