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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not a new rider... been riding for years and this has been something that has plagued me and I'm trying to get my head wrapped around. Yesterdays ride was a warm one... 30C/86F... and 70km... Anything over the 2 hour mark is where I seem to a have this issue but I'd bet that the dehydration is probably affecting me on the shorter and harder efforts too...
-Weighed myself fully hydrated pre ride
-Post ride weight difference was -5lbs
-I drank 4.5 bottles on the 3 hour ride "Endurance paced" ride
-This equals an intake of 4.5 lbs of fluid/electrolytes (50/50)

I still had a -5 lbs difference in fluid loss and bonked near the end thinking it was just the heat but I was actually massively dehydrated... I did not pee on the ride.

Questions:
-Should I be drinking double to avoid the bonk?
-Is caffeine or something else contributing to sweating?
-Are my electrolytes (Hammer Endurance) a factor?

My details:
-I weigh 194 lbs (5'9 - Muscular) so not a small
-Weight down in the past 2 months from 210...
-I ride with power and HR and monitor the crap out of numbers
-I average 4 rides a week no less than 90 minutes per (M3 racer)
-Just turned 50 so literally, still in my 40's. :)
-I've recently changed eating to more Plant focused...

Need to figure this out. Caffeine a factor? I have a coffee/espresso pre ride... always have? HR compared to power output was normal compared to other rides as were watts. Any thoughts, suggestions or similar experience shares in how you might have dealt with this, would be appreciated!
 

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-I drank 4.5 bottles on the 3 hour ride "Endurance paced" ride
I don't think caffeine is the problem, especially just a pre ride coffee.

What size bottles are you drinking?

Losing 4-5lbs is pretty much the norm for me. On long 30C/86F+ days I drink a 24oz / 700ml bottle every hour and it's not enough. I have trouble drinking more than that and struggle with dehydration.

Do you pre-hydrate? Starting the day before a hot ride, make sure you're drinking lots. You'll be up peeing all night :mad:. Then in the morning, make sure you drink 1-2 large glasses of water before your ride.
 

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Some people sweat more than others. In such case, little bit of sodium may help to reduce sweating. Our body try to conserve water by sweating less when sodium is increased in our system. There are salt pills (harder to find these days) available for people with such need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks Tlg for sharing your experience. I have 16oz bottles and that was my first thought as to whether this is just me and just go to bigger bottles. I do prehydrate the day before and the morning of... I try to pre-drink 20 oz for each hour I intend to ride then weigh myself just before kitting up.

Bvber, I have them... Hammer nutrition still sells them if you're looking. Interesting as I've not been using them this year but have in the past. I was more focused on ensuring I was drinking enough and not looking to hide dehydration behind salt pills... As a more muscular rider, I can suffer cramping too but that's not happening right now thankfully... Good thought with salt pills... I'll look into them again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To confirm, my "Bonk" is not cramping and it's just a feeling of being completely gassed... Like I got nothing left when I know I should not be that tired based on average HR, Power or where I am in my training... I'm not over training and not due for a rest day or week...
 

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Bigger muscle will burn up more calories. It's like a car with bigger engine having lower gas mileage.
 

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Your power drop/fatigue is due to hydration I'd bet. Anything more than 1% of your body weight lost starts noticeably hurting your ability to do work. You are at 2.5% which is a health concern too, particularly cardiac since that dehydration makes you blood thicker and harder to pump. That's the stuff heart attacks and vascular problems come from, don't do it. Ride shorter or when it's cooler or take on more liquid during your rides or all of the above.

Of course your body can only absorb so much liquid/hr so you may need to just ride when it's cooler or do shorter rides. On endurance rides where I plan to be out all day I drink a 25 oz bottle every 45 minutes to stay on top of hydration (close to weight neutral) and I'm not peeing often as a result of it so my body seems to be absorbing it. I would bet you can drink more than what you are right now. Pre-hyration is a good idea but you can't just drink alot an hour before a ride and expect it to be absorbed, you really need to start a day or more in advance to be really effective.

Maybe you need to do more to acclimate to heat? Things like turning your AC off in your car while out, raising the thermostat setting in your house, and spending more time in the heat of the day outside can help with that. I had to do that back when I raced motorcycles, or I couldn't deal with the heat mid summer. The heat off an asphalt track mid day @ 95 degrees F and full leathers while working hard throwing a 500lb bike around on the track was killer if not acclimated to the heat.

If you have access to a sauna or steam room those can help with heat acclimation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Srode, thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm normally fine with heat and have normally been a big sweater. This year I've changed my focus to ensure I'm balancing the performance losses which as you state, are also a health threat. Point taken for sure as I've never heard that 1% rule before. End of day rides are easier to hydrate all day for and morning rides I'll need to figure some way out to ensure I'm absorbing more water before those rides vs chugging before I go.

Not sure if balancing out heat will work for me as I trained yesterday in my basement with AC (on the trainer) and it still looked some someone poured a bucket of water over my head and I was doing a low HR/recovery ride!!!

I get your point about that leathers and motorcycle racing... I'm a track day car guy but still wear a full race suit (Cotton fire retardant)... Sweating is real there too on the hot summer days and some days I'll choose to not go out... Helmets just get soaked too...

Question:
25 oz ever 45 minute of just straight water?
Ive been doing some research and feel that part of my issues are electrolyte imbalances and just drinking more water puts me at risk of washing out electrolytes. How do you balance your electrolyte/water intake. I've been pretty much 50/50. I've considered getting back into Salt pills again see if something is out of balance.

I'm willing to accept that this is just an overall turning point in fitness that I need to get past too. I'd just like to do it safely.

Thanks for taking the time to reply!
Raye
 

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I have a mix in the bottles that covers the electrolytes and calories, custom blend from Infinit Nutrition which ends up costing about the same as other packaged fueling options. They helped me dial it in and it works well for me. Sometimes I will use a hydration pack and double dosed bottles (2x concentration of the mix) and sometimes just the bottles and prescribed mix. I use a saddle mounted holder so I can carry 4 bottles at a time. Either approach, I know how much I need to take in to stay close to neutral. Everyone is different of course, so your needs will be different than mine but that 1% rule is a good one to follow.

You can adapt to workload / heat. Even if you are not in a hot environment, your body has to do something with the heat from work to control your internal temperature or you can cause organ damage. I think your body can get more efficient at doing that and heat training is a good way to force the adaptation if you do it safely (don't get too dehydrated).

In the meantime, I would work on dialing in your hydration so you don't get dehydrated, weigh before and after all your rides bladder empty no kit on until you are within that 1% loss zone. Don't take your weight right after guzzling 50 oz of water as part of you preride hydration though, that's going to skew your results I think.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bvber, I'll see if I can make some adjustments first and foremost as it's just the longer rides that I need to find the balance on...I'm sure the shorter training rides I'm still getting a performance loss from the sweating but that 2.5 hour mark + seems to be the point of concern. I'll test a bit then look for more "Professional" guidance if improvements don't come.

Srode, Thanks for feedback and reply. My gut tells me so far that I'm way way down on electrolytes for warmer weather and also hydrating much too late in prep for the longer morning rides and then need to bring up my hourly consumption with a better mix of electrolytes and water... I'm going to test out those adjustments to start and see how we do from there and continue to weigh in pre and post ride. It's funny that cramping used to be my sign of dehydration but perhaps my fitness has improved enough whereby I'm not cramping... Or my change to plant based eating has an impact there too...

Thanks all. I'll report back.
Raye
 

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It's funny that cramping used to be my sign of dehydration
The latest study I've seen is our nervous system as the culprit of cramping. There is a new formula out (hotshot sports drink) that supposed to take the edge off of the cramping nerves and calm the muscles by using spicy ingredients. I tried a DIY approach with similar ingredients and seems to work for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've heard something about that too. Perhaps a youtube video that focused on cramping and mentioned pickle juice?! Blah, :cryin: just let me cramp!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just a quick update. I did a trainer ride tonight as we had thunderstorms. I hydrated all day and 90 minutes before the ride I started with Electrolytes. One 24oz bottle and then another during the event. It was a very hard 1 hour Zwift race so a big effort and power felt good all the way through the session. Sweating was drastically reduced and weight loss for an hour ride was minimal... I need to test outdoors but this is a positive result...

I'll post another update after an outdoor ride. I appreciate the feedback from all.
 

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To confirm, my "Bonk" is not cramping and it's just a feeling of being completely gassed... Like I got nothing left when I know I should not be that tired based on average HR, Power or where I am in my training... I'm not over training and not due for a rest day or week...
You need more carbs. Carb up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Methodical. Thanks for your thoughts... I actually just looked up the definition for Bonking...

What does a bonk feel like? The symptoms of a bonk can vary, but on a physical side you will generally feel extremely weak and tired and you may shake, sweat a lot and feel dizzy or light-headed. ... Bonking can also affect the brain as that too burns glucose, and you may feel anxious, irritable, confused and emotional.

So you can almost say they are very much the same. What I was experiencing was not food/carbs related although not getting hydration right might also means my eating during the rides was probably not right either!

I checked out this site (https://www.precisionhydration.com/) for some help and their sweat test subsequently gave me a number that showed I was taking in about half of the sodium an hour that I needed... I upped the sodium/electrolytes before and during rides and seem to have turned a corner... I've yet to order from them but will get there when I run out of what I have (eloads).

I've also gone back to myfitnesspal to track my carb and protein intakes as I changed my diet a few months back... Tied to the lack of hydration, I was also under eating (Trying to lose weight), and have made adjustment here too...

Lots of little things come into play here... But your comment is correct...It was a bonk but from electrolytes vs carbs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Methodical, you're missing the sweating and extreme sweating at that! The body losing that much fluid is not capable of having the blood work efficiently as it becomes thick from lack of fluid and the feelings are virtually identical.

For the rides. I was "Carbed" up prior to and during and I would agree that this was a carb bonk if not for the extreme sweating.
 

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Methodical, you're missing the sweating and extreme sweating at that! The body losing that much fluid is not capable of having the blood work efficiently as it becomes thick from lack of fluid and the feelings are virtually identical.

For the rides. I was "Carbed" up prior to and during and I would agree that this was a carb bonk if not for the extreme sweating.
Got it. Sounds like heat exhaustion or dehydration. I've experienced both far away from home and not a good feeling. I just get on the trainer now when it's extremely hot outside. My extremely hot threshold my be lower than most though because I do not like hot weather. I am more a fall and winter person.
 
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