Headache after long rides

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Headache after long rides

Postby brit_in_oz » Fri May 21, 2010 9:56 pm

I ride 3-4 days a week to work on my road bike, around 23km each way. When i go out for a longer 60-70km ride on a weekend i find that when i get back i get a hangover like feeling - not a cracking headache but a throbbing feeling that tends to last several hours. Any ideas what the reason may be - i make sure i sink at least 750ml fluid though dont eat much during riding just before - health otherwise is fine, 60kg, 170cm and blood pressure if fine (in fact its dropped so much since starting riding doctor has taken me off blood pressure lowing medication).Ride tends to be from Melbourne suburbs to beach road, into the city and back out so a mix of gentle hills and flat - average around 26-27kph.
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by BNA » Sat May 22, 2010 2:29 am

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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sat May 22, 2010 2:29 am

Dehydration. Drink regularly and before you're thirsty, even if you don't think you need it.

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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby Pax » Sat May 22, 2010 6:44 am

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:Dehydration. Drink regularly and before you're thirsty, even if you don't think you need it.

David


+ 1

You don't reallise how much fluid you lose on a ride. for 70k, I'd strongly recommend being well hydrated before the ride but also drinking throughout the ride.
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby AUbicycles » Sat May 22, 2010 7:11 am

That was my thought as well. A lot of riders have a water bottle and second bottle with juice and water, the sugar in the juice helps. Agree with bigfriendlyvegan about drinking regularly rather than first when you feel thirsty.

One thing you could also try is a gatorade or powerade or something similar directly after the ride - for electrolytes. Helps me from being dead tired.


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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby trailgumby » Sat May 22, 2010 12:48 pm

Sounds ike a dehydration headache. Adequate hydration is vital. +1 to the comments above.

One tip is to weigh yourself with all your ride food stuffed into your pockets, and then weigh yourself again afterwards. The weight reduction will be what you're short on in fluids.

I aim for one 750ml bidon per hour. That will go up a lot or down a little with temperature and humidity. For multi-hour mtb rides I take a 3L Camelbak.

For a two hour road ride, one of those bidons will be gatorade, one will be plain water, and I'll carry a gel or two.
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby flammer » Sat May 22, 2010 9:30 pm

... but if you are properly hydrated, it could be exertion headache. They are relatively common for cyclists and weight lifters. I used to get them, but rarely now. A google search will give you the various approaches and treatments. But the only thing I find works for me is two ibuprofen as soon as I stop after a hard ride. :wink:
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby brit_in_oz » Sun May 23, 2010 1:14 pm

Thanks for the tips - did a 40km ride this morning to the base of the Dandenongs and weighted myself before and after - drank 750ml powerade and put on 0.1-0.2kg, so must be losing 500-600g in fluid loss over 90 minutes. Even after drinking extra when I got back i still can feel a head throbbing a bit (not painful, more uncomfortable like my heartrate is high, but its not as i recover in a couple of minutes)
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby Wino » Sun May 23, 2010 1:31 pm

Yep exertion headache. I get them too. I'm very conscious of hydaration on rides and usually well hydrated before, during, and after a ride. I usually get them around 80-100ks. Then they stop as soon as I'm home.
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby Colin_T » Mon May 24, 2010 1:51 am

I get headaches from having my head tilted up so I can see when I'm out cycling. It is because my neck is stuffed (pops out of alignment) and having my head tilted up for so long on the bike puts pressure in areas on the neck and spine. This results in nasty throbbing headaches that start at the base of the skull where it meets the neck and can spread up to the temple region.
I found by sitting up more and using a bike with a more relaxed riding position (like a flatbar or mountain bike) I have much fewer headaches caused by this problem.
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby Ziga Sparovec » Sun May 30, 2010 2:10 pm

I agree with Collin_T. If you're sure that you're keeping properly hydrated (during the ride as well as before), then it's quite likely that your headache is caused by your neck/upper back muscles stiffening up. Try adjusting your bike so that you have put less strain on the back neck muscles. Also stretch your upper back, neck and shoulders well before a ride and take a few moments during the ride to straighten up and stretch out you back.
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby brit_in_oz » Sun May 30, 2010 10:23 pm

Its not a headache like a migraine, more a throbbing like you heart is pumping too hard but the feeling lasts for hours even though my circulation is back to normal. Another way to explain it would be a similar feeling to trying to read a paper without your glasses and you have to strain to read it, leading to a head stress.

Doesnt feel like anything at the back of my head / neck, more the front / top.

Hope that makes some sense - i guess its hard to describe
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby flammer » Sun May 30, 2010 10:57 pm

Mine are similar, front and top of head. If I take 2 ibuprofen quickly, that's it. If I wait, it gets really bad. Again, the info out there suggests different causes, including those listed above. Find a solution that works for you.
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby ValleyForge » Mon May 31, 2010 11:04 am

Dehydration does not cause headaches. Sorry, that's a great myth, and perpetuated by lots of medical people.

Look up exercise induced headaches, that what it will be. A few blood pressure medications make it worse, but some ibuprofen before riding will usually cure it.

And drink lots. Usually every 30 mins is a good start.

But it's not dehydration. Sorry.
Last edited by ValleyForge on Mon May 31, 2010 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby Colin_T » Mon May 31, 2010 7:55 pm

ValleyForge wrote:Dehydration does not cause headaches. Sorry, that's a great myth, and perpetuated by lots of medical people.

What about alcohol? That absorbs moisture from the body and causes dehydration, which causes a hangover type headache.

Maybe it is sunstroke, too much time out in the sun and your noggin is getting cooked.
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby velocopedant » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:10 pm

On a different track, are you wearing sunglasses during your ride? Too much time in the sun without any eye shade will give me a headache more often than not.
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby brit_in_oz » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:45 pm

I do wear sunglasses - but have not the last 2 months since its pretty dark nowadays
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby singlespeedscott » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:44 pm

I get the very same problem on the roadie and on the MTB. If I take it steady no headache. If I push it I'll have a headache in the frontal lobe about 2 hours later that will last for a couple hours. It's not a thumper, just annoying. I have put them down to a combination of exertion and eye strain. I find it disappears if I have a kip (not something I can usually get away with without guilt). I used to try the Ibuprofen but it usually has little effect. I just put up with it these days. :?
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Re: Headache after long rides

Postby Baldy » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:47 pm

Choc milk works for me. Either the premixed full fat stuff or a choc protein powder mixed with skim milk, depends what ive got.

You can look up the reasons milk is good as an after ride/exercise drink, plus the choc part just makes me feel better and I think its that part of it that cures the bit of throbbing I was getting. Ive got no proof of that its just what I think, I dont eat much chocolate but half a mars bar or something does the same thing in relieving the headache but I much prefer the milk. Plus it has the protein and other goodies you need after exercise.

On the roadie im the same as TG, one mixed drink and one water. 750mm each and Im using them up even now at night, ride time is just under 3hrs with 40kms with the bunch and 30kms getting there and back. Im 180cm and 67kg, so apart from a few cm's I reckon we are a similar shape.

I hope your not lactose intolerant :lol: :lol:

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