Heat + Bike = Headaches and Sickness

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  • Heat + Bike = Headaches and Sickness
  • qwerty
    Member

    A sachet of diarolyte in the camelbak on hot days helps keep headaches at bay here.

    Premier Icon dknwhy
    Subscriber

    Get some Zero or Nuun tabs and pop them in your water. Your body needs more than just water in this heat. Hydrate before a ride too.
    I did a few hours yesterday and had about 6-8 litres over the course of the day. Still woke up dehydrated this morning.

    atlaz
    Member

    Drink more than you think you need to. Take electrolytes.

    mattrgee
    Member

    Drink more than you think you need to. Take electrolytes.

    Never really understood what electrolytes are tbh 😳 Are we talking off the shelf stuff or are they found naturally in foods etc?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    basically, stuff like SIS Go is carbs and salts.

    You sweat a lot of salts out when you’re riding in heat and need to replenish them. Just drinking water tends to dilute those left further.

    IHN
    Member

    And/or make sure you eat as well as drink. Apples are especially good for replacing electrolytey stuff. Bread has the salt you need.

    So, sandwich + apple = nice picnic/break + no headache

    I think they are the salts that your body needs to stay alive.
    You need some High5 Zero tabs, you could try leaving some water in your CB bladder and freezing it , so when you fill it in the morning its got a chunk of ice in it.
    Make up a 750ml bottle of squash to drink on your way to your start point if driving out somewhere .
    Get a top with mesh sides if possible to help with core temperature regulation.
    Ride in the shade + Stop in the shade where possible.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber


    I pull this out when it goes above 30, tastes nice has some energy and replaces the electrolytes.
    I know you can make your own from recycled cabbage and mongoose sweat but that comes in a tub and is easier for me.
    I generally go half strength for normal days and full for hot/long days. The pre and post ride are also important times for hydration.

    mogrim
    Member

    I’m wary of sticking that kind of stuff in my camelbak: they’re pretty much impossible to clean properly, and you could easily end up with a ruined bladder.

    I’d personally stick to water in the camelbak, and take along some kind of extra source of salt etc., for example gels.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    mogrim wrote:

    I’m wary of sticking that kind of stuff in my camelbak: they’re pretty much impossible to clean properly, and you could easily end up with a ruined bladder.
    I’d personally stick to water in the camelbak, and take along some kind of extra source of salt etc., for example gels.

    Wash/Rinse & freeze with some milton every so often to keep it clean. Be careful of the gels as a lot contain caffeine which should probably be avoided unless your really desperate.

    crikey
    Member

    Um, a quick ‘real physiology’ interlude;

    When you sweat you lose far more water than salts.

    Therefore the concentration of salt in your body goes up.

    Adding salty drinks probably doesn’t help.

    Best advice; drink water or very dilute drinks, and drink to thirst not some invented idea of what you think you should be drinking.

    Your body has been perfecting the whole water-electrolyte balance for millions of years, and an hour or so on a bike doesn’t need any special preparation.

    Thanks for listening, go back to your bottles of stuff…

    mogrim
    Member

    Be careful of the gels as a lot contain caffeine which should probably be avoided unless your really desperate.

    They’d be the ones with “caffeine” in big letters on the side 🙂

    TBH I use gels more when I’m running, on a bike I don’t mind carrying a bit more weight and usually go for a banana and some kind of cereal bar… but when I do take them I usually have a mix, maybe one with caffeine as a pickup towards the end of the run, and the rest without.

    mogrim
    Member

    Um, a quick ‘real physiology’ interlude;

    When you sweat you lose far more water than salts.

    Therefore the concentration of salt in your body goes up.

    Yeah, but if you’re continually replacing the lost water the concentration of salt will go down over time.

    crikey
    Member

    Yeah, but if you’re continually replacing the lost water the concentration of salt will go down over time.

    Perhaps if you were walking through the desert with an inexhaustible supply of water, but not going out to play on your bike.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    crikey wrote:

    Yeah, but if you’re continually replacing the lost water the concentration of salt will go down over time.
    Perhaps if you were walking through the desert with an inexhaustible supply of water, but not going out to play on your bike.

    What if you going for a 5hr ride at a high intensity with a good supply of water on a hot day? I can sweat buckets when I get going in the heat and there is a fair amount of salt in there. I feel crap when I just have water and better with some electrolyte drink. Must just be a placebo though.

    mattrgee
    Member

    Ok, this has happened a couple of times now and is not pleasant at all.

    Basically, when it’s hot like this and if I’m not careful, I become quite poorly when out on the bike. Last year we were on a ride around Ladybower, the temperture was around 26 degrees, and after a couple of climbs I started to get a terrible headache. It was so bad that it felt like my brain was banging around inside my head. Half an hour later I started vomiting (water), and had to abandon the ride.

    Last night I started to get similar symptoms but managed to get home before it got too bad. Nevertheless, I had to go to bed in order to clear the headache.

    I’m quite conscious of how much water I drink and try to stay well hydrated. In the Ladybower example, despite being sick the only thing coming up was water. I really fancy doing some sort of biking holiday abroad but worried about suffering in the heat.

    Anyone ever experience something similar?

    Cheers.

    Adjust your start time to avoid the hotter part of the day?
    I know at the moment that you would be 0600 but if it means you get 4 hours outside without puking thats gotta be worth it.

    mogrim
    Member

    Perhaps if you were walking through the desert with an inexhaustible supply of water, but not going out to play on your bike.

    Maybe not over an hour, but after 3-4 hours at high temperatures? Certainly been a number of documented deaths due to hyponatremia…

    (No idea if this is the problem the OP suffers from, and frankly I doubt it – it sounds more like he’s unaccustomed to the heat, and is suffering from heatstroke).

    crikey
    Member

    If you think you need the drinks, you ‘ave ’em. I’m only pointing out that the idea that you need to ‘replace’ all those ‘lost electrolytes’ is somewhat at odds with the actual physiology.

    Think also that the kind of ‘3-4 hours at high temperature’ would count as about half a days work for many people in hotter parts of the world, yet they seem to manage with buying stuff…

    mogrim
    Member

    Think also that the kind of ‘3-4 hours at high temperature’ would count as about half a days work for many people in hotter parts of the world, yet they seem to manage with buying stuff…

    They’re probably not sucking down huge amounts of water in a desperate and unnecessary attempt to avoid dehydration, though.

    crikey
    Member

    Best advice; drink water or very dilute drinks, and drink to thirst not some invented idea of what you think you should be drinking.

    From my post above.

    Read the article and read around on the site; it squishes a few hydration/electrolyte myths.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I went for a 182k road ride yesterday at a fairly high pace temps recorded up to 31 in places. After the third bottle my body was screaming for fluid. So as much as I understand about water and electrolytes, listening to your body is also important.

    rocketman
    Member

    It’s important to drink but even more important to keep drinking. Downing a pint of water in one go is not the same as staying hydrated. You have to keep sipping so that you body has a steady supply of water

    atlaz
    Member

    Given the amount of salt on my riding kit after a long, hot ride, I am happy that replacing some electrolytes is a good idea. I usually have one bottle with something in it on my road bike and one just water. I tend to use the water bottle most and take a swig or two out of the other one from time to time.

    Um, a quick ‘real physiology’ interlude;

    When you sweat you lose far more water than salts.

    Therefore the concentration of salt in your body goes up.

    Yes, but then you drink far more water than salt? Isn’t the whole point of those high5 Zero / Nuun tablets that they aproximately match the concentration in sweat?

    IHN
    Member

    Yes, but then you drink far more water than salt? Isn’t the whole point of those high5 Zero / Nuun tablets that they aproximately match the concentration in sweat?

    That’s what the marketingscience is behind it, certainly.

    Drink water. Eat food. Four million years of human evolution will take care of the rest.

    mrmo
    Member

    Do not drink too much, it can be fatal.

    Use thirst as a guide, take salt and water on board.

    Try a bag of Pretzels ( yes the crisp thingys )
    Really carby , up there with porridge and sprinkled with salty coating.

    Premier Icon hatter
    Subscriber

    As a proper sweaty individual I’ve long had severe cramp issues on long hot rides.

    I now swear by electrolyte tabs for keeping them at bay. The Maxim ones are good but I’ve now switched to Nuun, great stuff.

    Anecdotaly on a 4 hour road ride on a hot day (e.g. yesterday) I drink high5 Zero, 1 tab per 750ml bottle. On the MTB I jut drink squash. On a 4 hour road ride 2 bottles feels enough, on the MTB I’ll drain a 3l camelpack, piss halfway round, run out of water and still have a rageing thrist. So it would seem there’s something in it.

    I’m a very salty sweater through, usualy end up with salt marks on my jersey and helmet straps.

    Drink water. Eat food. Four million years of human evolution will take care of the rest.

    We evolved to sleep through the hot bits of the day, if we’d evolved to ride bikes through we’s have wheels not feet and camel humps :p

    Premier Icon dknwhy
    Subscriber

    Is it always just on hot days or on sunny days? Do you wear adequate eye protection?
    I often get headaches on very bright days if I don’t wear sunglasses.

    lemonysam
    Member

    Anecdotaly on a 4 hour road ride on a hot day (e.g. yesterday) I drink high5 Zero, 1 tab per 750ml bottle.

    Since we’re doing pointless anecdotes, I did 6 hours yesterday on water, chorley cakes and a bacon sandwich for lunch. I’m not dead, didn’t get cramp and my drinks didn’t taste like licking the armpit of the tango man.

    Sui
    Member

    The yanks did a huge study on the effects of dehydration. A part of the Army took about 100’000 soldiers (may have been 10K, but hey ho), and then did a controlled study, those taking on high levels of water before exercise and those taking on fluids by thirst. They concluded that the bodies ability to tell us when we need water is just as good as us trying to force water into it. This study was also backed up by the Ozzy SAS who did the same in the outback.

    Premier Icon howarthp
    Subscriber

    It’s also possible the OP gets exercise induced migraine. I take a couple of painkillers before I go on the ride, make sure I properly hydrate and continue to do so over the ride. Some studies suggest that supplementing Vitamin B and/or magnesium can help but I’ve not found that to help

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’m wary of sticking that kind of stuff in my camelbak: they’re pretty much impossible to clean properly, and you could easily end up with a ruined bladder

    No, it’s easy. Get the camelbak cleaning kit or just soak in milton when it gets manky.

    Re the science – if you lose some salts due to sweat, then it stands to reason you’ll need to replace it. Afaik you need the salt in your body to hold onto the water – more salt (ie from salty food) means you need more water to balance out salt conentrations, which is why you get thirsty after eating lots of salt (and you get heavier too).

    The debate about sports drinks is, afaik again, about the ‘isotonic’ ones. These have the same salt concentration as a normal human body. But if you do the maths, isotonic drinks replace more salt than you need I think resulting in you not having enough water for the salt you have, and being dehydrated.

    I think you do need SOME salt(s) though. quite a lot is excreted, so why wouldn’t you need to replace it?

    As for evolution – I’m sure half a million years ago early man was sitting around under trees in the heat of the day (along with most of his prey) thinking ‘bugger this, I’ll hunt this evening’. And it probably didn’t take him 4 hours of continuous exertion to find a meal either.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Simple option- try some electrolyte things- whether it’s a sports mix or a nuun tablet or whatever. See what happens.

    mattrgee
    Member

    Thanks all, I’ll try the electrolytes and see what happens. From doing a bit of reading it sounds like fixing this problem will help with the cramps I’ve been getting post exercise.

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    Another thing to consider is that your helmet isn’t too tight, especially as your bonce heats up and swells. Might sound obvious but, hey, people do overlook or aren’t aware of certain things 8)

    IanMunro
    Member

    What Crikey says, +1

    http://www.humankinetics.com/products/all-products/waterlogged

    A great read. Covers various electrolyte myths too.

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