Headaches and sugar

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Headaches and sugar

Postby eeksll » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:50 pm

wandering if anyone has had headaches after "long" rides in the heat and sun. Long being about 70km seems to also be linked with heat and sun. Seem to last till I go to bed that night.

I have done some on my own testing and I don't think this headache is cause by dehydration (although I do think I am dehydrated at the end of the ride)

Exertion headache seem to fit well as usually the onset is a little after the ride, e.g after my shower.

However, something else I seem to have found is that sugar seems to alleviate the headache. Twice (as in 2 rides) when I have had post-ride headaches I ate snakes and the headaches seem to go/lessen pretty drastically after that.

So I am wandering if lack of nutrition on the ride is an issue?

any thoughts?
thanks for reading.
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by BNA » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:34 pm

BNA
 

Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby CXCommuter » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:34 pm

Would suggest depleted energy stores coupled with dehydration as the cause. Do you drink say chocolate milk/protein recovery shake etc immediately upon finishing and or maintain energy input during riding?
I tend to get headaches mainly from dehydration though
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Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:43 pm

I get those headaches in the heat... nothing to do with dehydration / food intake for me. I get plenty of both in, lose very little weight at end of the ride. Just the heat gives me a headache.
These days it isn't a problem... never really gets that hot here!.
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Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby eeksll » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:53 pm

I do eat during the ride. been using honey since I tried those honey shotz.

Originally I thought it was dehydration. So I have been weighing myself before and after rides, i lose anywhere between 1-3 kg. I try to down as much water / weak powerade mix when I get home. I tried maintaining my liquids after rides, it got to a point where I was pretty much peeing water every hour or so. There where a few times when I didn't get the headaches (so i thought it was dehydration) but the headaches did come back even while doing this.

It might be due to just heat, I used to get them playing tennis, the first hot day of the season, but not again till next season.

Its just that consuming sugar (lollies/cakes) seem to have a direct effect on alleviating the headache. Its like within minutes I start to feel better. So I was starting to wonder if lack of nutrition/energy was the major cause in this.

I have "bonked" on rides in my early riding "career", I have no wish what so ever to feel like that on a ride again. I certainly am not "bonking" like that on rides I do now. Not sure if these headaches might be a form of "bonking".
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Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby Dragster1 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:57 pm

Try electrolyte in your water bottle, It helps me a lot even with your energy levels. I just sip it a little bit at a time before I get thirsty and just keep on diluting it as I ride by adding water to it. Hydrate yourself well before the ride and avoid caffeine products as they reduce water absorption into the blood stream. I use the self mix stuff ( bsc fuel ) from Woolworths. Also stopped the major cramps in my legs I used get after long rides.
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Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby TheBikeShed » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:54 am

I second the suggestion of electrolytes in your water bottle. Simple carbohydrates, too, can make a difference. Try adding one at a time—on your next couple rides, add some electrolytes to your drink, and then a few rides later, add some sugar, too (or just use a sports drink). If you keep adding things one at a time like this, hopefully you'll eventually stumble upon the solution, and then you'll know exactly what it is, because each step is isolated.
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Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby simonn » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:28 am

eeksll wrote:I have been weighing myself before and after rides, i lose anywhere between 1-3 kg. I try to down as much water / weak powerade mix when I get home.


You need to drink water/sports drink during the ride. Eat as well. A banana, some dried fruid? Try and not lose weight during the ride because that will be water and nothing else. Also, recovery drink/protein afterwards.

Also, what sort of temperature? I suffer when the ambient temperature is >= ~34°C. Not much I can do about it other than drink more, or sit in the shade for a while until I feel better (or not ride in those temperatures of course :)).
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Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby cancan64 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:39 am

I also get headaches after a long ride but I put it down to dehydrating...I sweat a lot and I mean a lot...over summer I am completely saturated in sweat...the top bar on the bike is saturated, clothes , gloves and helmet all saturated in sweat...I use electrolytes at the start of the ride and fill bottles up during the ride or if I don't know the route I will take a camelbak....over the christmas break near the end of a 3hr+ ride I can go through a 700ml bottle of water in 15min...finish the ride and hit the electrolytes and water again and still get a cycling hangover...always had the problem, playing Rugby in Townsville during the beginning of the season was always fun.
I haven't tried eating lollies but might try that next big ride...I am going to the Doctors just to run it all past them as lately I am getting dizzy spells if I stand up to quick after I finish a ride...This is my first year of cycling and didn't have any issues during winter but then I wasn't riding this many km or pace...On a side note I am not eating as much as I should be either pre ride or during the ride so also looking at increasing food intake to see what difference that makes...
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Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby ceciwecil » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:18 pm

I am yet to suffer this from riding, but encountered all the symptoms you describe a few times last year after going for long runs and not getting food into me soon enough. My first bout of it was awful as I ended up suffering from nausea for a couple of days and had a loss of appetite (despite my body screaming for food!)

The advantage of cycling is that you can easily carry fluids, so just make sure you have at least one bottle with an electrolyte+energy mix, and take food with you on the ride. Don't be ashamed to carry lollies (especially if you struggle to eat after/during exercise, which was my post-run problem). I recommend Killer Pythons :mrgreen: and avoiding that Powerade Zero crap. If you suffer from a loss of appetite like I used to, I found that getting the preliminary sugars in quickly did help my body return to something closer to normal and for my stomach not to reject proper food after.
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Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby eeksll » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:21 pm

Dragster1 wrote:Try electrolyte in your water bottle...

TheBikeShed wrote:I second the suggestion of electrolytes in your water bottle.

simonn wrote:You need to drink water/sports drink during the ride.


I tried to minimise the information in my first post, because when I did put everything down it got far too long. I do use electrolytes in my drink bottles. Refilling, I try to if I can, but usually the places I ride there is no place I know of to refill.

Camelbak is a solution I have used, still got the headaches. I have gone on 1 ride where I was fairly certain I did not go dehydrated based on before and after weight and colour of urine.

I have tried quite a few things and fairly certain its not dehydration (or at least dehydration alone) causing the headaches.

simonn wrote:Also, what sort of temperature? I suffer when the ambient temperature is >= ~34°C. Not much I can do about it other than drink more, or sit in the shade for a while until I feel better (or not ride in those temperatures of course ).


Yeah about that temp. I don't ever get the headaches (at least in a big way) on the ride, just starts a short period after the ride.

I do eat on the rides, honey (as said in the first post), I never feel tired on the ride, always able to put down the effort during the ride (e.g going up hills when coming home).

ceciwecil wrote:I am yet to suffer this from riding, but encountered all the symptoms you describe a few times last year after going for long runs and not getting food into me soon enough. My first bout of it was awful as I ended up suffering from nausea for a couple of days and had a loss of appetite (despite my body screaming for food!)


I have felt nausea as well as the headaches, kinda comes in waves. But doesn't persist. Always seem to feel better after a sleep.

ceciwecil wrote:The advantage of cycling is that you can easily carry fluids, so just make sure you have at least one bottle with an electrolyte+energy mix, and take food with you on the ride. Don't be ashamed to carry lollies (especially if you struggle to eat after/during exercise, which was my post-run problem). I recommend Killer Pythons and avoiding that Powerade Zero crap. If you suffer from a loss of appetite like I used to, I found that getting the preliminary sugars in quickly did help my body return to something closer to normal and for my stomach not to reject proper food after.


I try the water carrying thing, its not always feasible. I have lost almost 3kg on a hot 60km ride and that is with drinking 2 bidons. Also no loss of appetite for me. I do eat on the ride.

cancan64 wrote:I also get headaches after a long ride but I put it down to dehydrating...I sweat a lot and I mean a lot...over summer I am completely saturated in sweat...the top bar on the bike is saturated, clothes , gloves and helmet all saturated in sweat...I use electrolytes at the start of the ride and fill bottles up during the ride or if I don't know the route I will take a camelbak....over the christmas break near the end of a 3hr+ ride I can go through a 700ml bottle of water in 15min...finish the ride and hit the electrolytes and water again and still get a cycling hangover...always had the problem, playing Rugby in Townsville during the beginning of the season was always fun.
I haven't tried eating lollies but might try that next big ride...I am going to the Doctors just to run it all past them as lately I am getting dizzy spells if I stand up to quick after I finish a ride...This is my first year of cycling and didn't have any issues during winter but then I wasn't riding this many km or pace...On a side note I am not eating as much as I should be either pre ride or during the ride so also looking at increasing food intake to see what difference that makes...


I'd be interested to hear from you if the sugar/lollies alleviates the headache like it does for me.

Also curious to hear about the dizzy spells, I don't get them doing anything except for a particular exercise at the gym "back extension" and there has been one other time after getting up out of bed a few years ago. Which i remember cause I tried to push through it, continued walking and ending up smacking me head against the wall, I did put my hand out. So I won't be trying to "push" through it again if it happens again..
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Re: Headaches and sugar

Postby Dragster1 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:07 pm

eeksll wrote:
I'd be interested to hear from you if the sugar/lollies alleviates the headache like it does for me.

Also curious to hear about the dizzy spells, I don't get them doing anything except for a particular exercise at the gym "back extension" and there has been one other time after getting up out of bed a few years ago. Which i remember cause I tried to push through it, continued walking and ending up smacking me head against the wall, I did put my hand out. So I won't be trying to "push" through it again if it happens again..


There is tons of sugar in electrolyte. Have you been to the doctors for a check up, Blood pressure problem or possible light form of diabetes just a thought I am no expert on the matter
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