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After a 90 mile ride with 6000 feet of elevation gain, in 95 degree heat, I dismounted, and about 15 minutes later passed out and just keeled over. Never happened before. Two doctors could find nothing wrong but said maybe I could have prevented this with a cool down ride at the end. Is it a good idea to do a cool down ride after a long hard ride? Do others do this?
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Not good for your heart/lungs just to start or stop exercising quickly. In track in high school we always had both a warm and cool down, if you felt like passing out the last thing they wanted was us to lay down as it pushes a lot of blood to the brain much faster.

I am not great shape now but after pushing hard always take about 10-15 minutes to cool down. Do some lighter riding followed by a little walking and you will feel better after a workout, allows your muscles and heart to cool with less stress. This keeps then from freezing up after a workout by working down to a normal resting range.
 

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One of the most common reasons for passing out or fainting is low blood pressure after exercise. I experienced this for myself 2 years ago when I passed out at the gym. Had an ambulance ride to the ER, a battery of tests and nothing was wrong with me. I simply didn't allow myself enough time between exercises to recuperate properly. My muscles were demanding blood and my heart couldn't get enough to my head so down I went. Fainting and the resultant prone position on the floor is the bodies' way of getting blood to the head. Saying the last thing you should do when you feel faint is to lay down is just wrong. If I would have laid down I would not have passed out, simple as that.

So, to the OP's question - I sometimes feel faint about 15 minutes after a hard ride on the trainer. I do cool down but, when I stand up quickly I will sometimes feel dizzy and faint. The cure is to sit back down or lie down. Then get up slowly. Your blood pressure naturally drops after exercise, sometimes below normal values. At least that's what happens to me. So yes, a cool down ride may help but just being more aware of what's going on with your body will help too. At least that's the approach I take.

Cheers!
Kevin
 

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It's probably due to dehydration and or low blood sugar. HOWEVER, please do yourself and your family a huge favor, go see a doctor and tell them what happened and get it checked out, because if we're all wrong and you just go on your merry way thinking there's nothing wrong after reading this stuff and you believing there's nothing wrong, and there is, the next time you could die. I too knew of guy who died after he felt like fainting after a ride, then he thought he recovered because he felt fine a bit after the fainting spell, then suddenly suffered a fatal heart attack. Not saying that's going to happen to you, but you need to get checked out to make sure all is good.
 

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A few months ago I blacked out in a restaurant about an hour after I had stopped riding. Woke up surrounded by EMS
Doc couldn't find anything wrong with me

I had gone straight from the 50 mile ride to a quick shower and then took my kid to the pool for swim lessons and was in the water for about a half hour. I hadn't eaten anything after the ride, but had had cliff bars and water on the ride.
My internet diagnosis suggested that it was a electrolyte imbalance
 

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I think I was getting enough hydration, but that could have been it. I did drink a whole bunch of water after dismounting though. Is it common to have your eletrolyte balance thrown off as well? Two doctors, EKG tests, blood tests, and more revealed nothing.

One person told me the following - any truth in this?

They said this: Your legs act like a second heart when you are riding, helping circulate the blood. When you stop a long ride without a cool down, your blood vessels are dilated, which means your pressure drops, with high heat making it worse. So if you stand up quickly, your heart can't deal with the force required to keep your blood pressure up so you pass out.

I have no idea if that's true.
 

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What skinner222 said. If you were calm for the 15 minute prior and were seated or reclined, getting up quickly can cause short black out moments. This happens to many cyclists I know and I've had it happen from time to time. Mostly for me it's a brief narrowing of the vision (tunnel vision) and a very light head. Post ride re-hydration helps to thin the blood and helps prevent this from happening imo. i have not had it happen in a long time however. Puzzling.
 

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Your legs act like a second heart when you are riding, helping circulate the blood. When you stop a long ride without a cool down, your blood vessels are dilated, which means your pressure drops, with high heat making it worse. So if you stand up quickly, your heart can't deal with the force required to keep your blood pressure up so you pass out.

I have no idea if that's true.
It's exactly what happened to me. I don't know about the "second heart" thing, but when I passed out I had just finished a circuit workout on the machines. I did alot of leg work and wasn't allowing myself enough time between sets. Lots of blood in the leg muscles, not enough in my head. Hello floor!
 

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I fainted at the end of a hard ride one time. It was the Climb to Kaiser. I was cramping something fierce, so it was almost certainly dehydration. I was actually talking to a nurse at the time. I had stopped to try to stretch out my cramps, and she was driving by. I probably looked awful. She asked if I was okay. She also offered me a ride. She was actually working the ride. I said no thanks. But then I changed my mind. Next thing I knew, I was on the ground staring up at the sky. She wanted to take me to the hospital, but I wouldn't go. Got back to the hotel, jumped in a cold shower. All was well the next day.

It really sucked. And not just because it was three miles from the finish.

Lesson learned. When a nurse stops her car to ask if you are okay, you're probably not.
 

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One person told me the following - any truth in this?

They said this: Your legs act like a second heart when you are riding, helping circulate the blood. When you stop a long ride without a cool down, your blood vessels are dilated, which means your pressure drops, with high heat making it worse. So if you stand up quickly, your heart can't deal with the force required to keep your blood pressure up so you pass out.

I have no idea if that's true.
I suppose you could consider it true in the sense that the muscles in your legs (as well as all other skeletal muscles) help pump venous blood back to the heart. If you're doing something like riding a bike, when your muscles are constantly contracting and relaxing, they're able to pump more blood.
 

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95 degree heat is something that is too much for a lot of people. So is climbing. So is distance. Maybe these things together were too much for your body to handle. Or maybe there is something wrong with you that isn't apparent until you do too much.

But a second and third opinion from a doctor are important. What did they do when you went the first time? CT scan? Cardiogram? Just guess?

It's important to figure it out.

There is a point where you can push yourself into too much, where too much can kill you.

JMTC.
 

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I would agree that the heat+climbing+distance probably did it. Until I'm used to it, I avoid climbing on 100+ degree heat index days.
 

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It shouldn't be news to anyone that after strenuous activity you should do a cool down. I always have since my track days in high school.
 

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I sometimes experience dizziness soon after a ride if I have not ridden in awhile.. Last month I traveled a lot on business and had not ridden for a couple of weeks. Did my usual 40-mile ride and almost fainted a few minutes after returning home. Blood pressure and sugar readings were normal. Next day I did the same ride and experienced no dizziness whatsoever. Same distance, same pace, same temperature, same amount of liquid consumption, same everything. I have experienced this before but only after I have not ridden for more than a week (which is not very often).
 

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Someone took my earlier comment of not laying down as my recommendation, simply I stated our coaches didn't let us, in fact in many areas after increased cardio (sports, military, etc) they have you walk with your hands on your head to increase lung area for oxygen. Natural reaction is to lean over, hands on knees, constricting oxygen from getting into the bloodstream, never said anything about dizziness or fainting, they did this to keep us from getting to this point.

Since I am at work I asked my pharmacists here causes, etc. he said first if it happens during exercise the person should immediately stop, there is probably an underlying concern and pushing forward is very bad.

If it happens after it is natural with strenuous exercise to a degree, usually minor and has to do with not enough nutrients and hydration. Hydrating and keeping lungs as open as possible as oxygen is as important as fluids. If bad sit still trying to take in fluids, and if still not under control or loss of balance lay down, but keep head even or elevated compared heart. If it is this bad he said medical attention is needed, especially a loss of consciousness as this could be a sign of a stroke.

In the ops case and a few others they did the ride thing getting checked out, many times just our body hitting the limit and telling us but these are not times to push past that limit.
 

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It's never happened to me after a ride, because I hydrate myself, and replenish carbohydrates during a ride of more than 2 hours.

However, it does happen occasionally during the day, after I've been sitting for awhile, and then stand. It's due to low blood sugar. I'm a diabetic, and I restrict my carb intake to 50 gms or less at meals. I'm supposed to eat a snack of 25 gms between meals, but often I can't due to the nature of my work. So when my glucose is low, I can get light headed if I'm been sitting for 15-20 minutes and then get up. I've never completely blacked out, though.

Now that winter is here, and my weekly mileage is about half of what it was through spring and fall, I'm not using as many calories and it doesn't happen.
 

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I'm not bashing the idea of a cool down workout, but by what mechanism(s) would it help prevent the OP from passing out?
 

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One person told me the following - any truth in this?

They said this: Your legs act like a second heart when you are riding, helping circulate the blood. When you stop a long ride without a cool down, your blood vessels are dilated, which means your pressure drops, with high heat making it worse. So if you stand up quickly, your heart can't deal with the force required to keep your blood pressure up so you pass out.

I have no idea if that's true.
Edited: This looks like your issue

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypovolemia

"Hypovolemia is characterized by salt (sodium) depletion and thus differs from dehydration, which is defined as excessive loss of body water"
 
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