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  1. #1
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    Fighting a mild migraine as I type this. This only seems to happen to me if I ride in the morning. Last year the doc told me it was probably because I was eating sugar before riding, which made my blood sugar spike, then tank after riding.

    Today I are two pieces of toast, three eggs, and a bottle of water. During the ride I drank 32oz of Gatorade/water mix.

    I only ride 10mile or less usually in about an hour with a mix of up and down hill.

    This year I'm not in the shape I was last year, but I was in pretty damn good shape last year and it still happened. It has never happened after afternoon or evening ride.

  2. #2
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    I also ended up getting really sick to my stomach this time. After laying in bed for a couple hours I feel better. My mother in law said it sounds like I could be having blood pressure issues, which does run in my family.

    I just turned 30 and I'm 5'9" and 180lbs and have always had blood pressure around 120 over 80.

  3. #3
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    It happens to me from time to time, but it's always due dehydration on hot days and long rides, where I don't have chances to refill my bottles often enough. I know you will say, you only ride 10miles or less, but we are all different, and most important, we are in different shape. 80km ride for me might be same as 5km ride for some couch potato who never goes out. So if you are not in all that great shape, 10 miles can be enough to be counted as "long ride", and normally 1h is already something to get dehydration under right circumstances.
    Another thing is, proper body hydration is not about hydration during ride and half hour before ride, but at least through last day or 2 before rides. So if you didn't drink enough during last few days, or you were actually drinking some alcohol (and a lot of coffee), this water you have been drinking during ride won't be enough.
    My suggestion is, try drinking more during days before your ride... like a lot more then normal people are used to, because normal people are used to drink cup or two of water a day, when you should really drink 2+ liters a day. And another one, skip Gatorade and crap like that. No matter what people say, for recreational sport, just water is enough. You got more then enough electrolytes, salt etc. in those 2 pieces of toast and 3 eggs just just eat before you went, not to mention, you will get more then your daily need is, with lunch following your bike ride... and snacks during day, and dinner, and before sleep meal and...
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  4. #4
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    I have been drinking to much coffee lately... I've been in really good shape since I was a teenager, but the last couple years have spun me on my head. After my wife got pregnant gym visits lessened, then after the baby was born and I started working 55hrs a week they really went away.

    I'm still in better shape than most and I'm probably pushing my crappy cardio to far. I'm still very physically strong, but my cardio is suspect now.

    I'll stop the coffee, drink a gallon of water a day, and clean up my diet.

    Before I got married and had kids I ate clean, drank a gallon + water a day, and worked out 5 days a week.

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    Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to say you are not in good shape or anything similar. I was just telling that normally I have headache after workout, when I end up dehydrated. And good shape or no good shape, when it's warm weather (warm can be also +5c when I go xc skiing, so it's not necessarily to be +35c to have fear of dehydration), 1 hour of intense workout (with xc skiing when going hard, it's no problem for me to get to 150-160 average HR for hour or two) is more then enough to get these sort of headache if not drinking enough (during workout and day or two before those workouts, considering I'm trying to do something pretty much every day, this means drinking like crazy all the time ).
    If you can stop coffee good, personally I can't. I'm addicted to good espresso, so there's no way I could stop drinking coffee, but on hot days I try to keep it low, and I try not to drink it 3 or 4h before workout. I rather have two after I come back.
    As far as your stomach problems from second post go, I rather won't speculate on that, as for this, I would personally rather get some doctor's advice then someone on forum telling me what it could be, especially if this would happen often. If it was just one time, then I wouldn't bother. But I still wouldn't think blood pressure would have something to do with stomach problems, or even headache. With dizziness yes, but that's different. I have no idea how it's there where you live, but over here those home blood pressure measuring devices are relatively cheap (like 30-40eur), and even though not medical accurate, still good enough to get idea where you are, so why not getting one and you can check this yourself in few seconds.
    Primoz

  6. #6
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    I'm in the US and I already have one of the testers and will start using it.

    I'm going to go back to the doc and see if they can figure anything else out. Within the last six months I had extensive blood work done and it was all normal.

    It doesn't happen all the time and is very random. Has never happened if the ride is in the afternoon/evening, only in the morning.

  7. #7
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    1) Get ample rest before riding day.
    2) Eat balanced breakfast. Avoid the sugary drinks, just drink water with breakfast.
    3) Don't assign your current health due to marriage, children, or whatever. It's about what you do to yourself.

  8. #8
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    Where are your headaches starting? Back when I rode a lot of motocross and woods on dirt bikes I found I was death gripping the bars and by the time I was driving home my traps and between my shoulder blades were killing me. From time to time I still catch myself tensing up.

  9. #9
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    I rode today in the 90 degree heat and went the same route and about the same speed. I completely cut out caffeine and have been drinking at least 32oz more water than usual.

    Went into the ride dog tired because I worked a 10 hour shift prior to riding. I tried to make sure I warmed up and cooled down on this ride AND used a camel pack and drank a lot of water. And poured a bottle of water on my head afterwards.

    No headache at all and no other ill effects. I guess I will try to continue doing these things and I will try not to ride to hard until I get my cardio back up to snuff.

  10. #10
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    Went back to the doc yesterday and he said he doesn't think I have anything wrong. It seems to think that the change in routine, especially cutting the coffee could be triggering them.

    He did give me some stuff to help prevent them and some imitrex incase I develop one.

  11. #11
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    Re: Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    I suffer classic migraine, meaning I get a migraine aura (visual disturbance) for 45 then a major headache and diminished cognitive ability and concentration long after. If you do mean migraine (usually accompanied by other symptoms) then it's all about finding triggers. Keep a diary to find them.

    Surprisingly neck and shoulder tension can be a strong trigger for classic migraine (not often mentioned, usually it's food triggers in the literature) , which, means long rides exacerbate migraines. Cramped, shrugging positions on long rides do it. Once I discovered this, I got a physical therapist to look at my shoulder and neck tension and give me exercises and stretches. This has dramatically cut mine down. I'm stretching my neck and shoulders constantly now, 10-20 times a day.

    Edit : Thor said the same - that's two of us!

    Also, a clinical study showed a daily melatonin supplement at night reduced migraines by 30%. I feel this helps me too. At my peak I was getting one a week, now I'm one every 4mos or so.

    http://www.neurologyreviews.com/home...e48a64dc5.html

  12. #12
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    I used to get bad headaches after riding but lately I noticed if i take off my helmet when climbing I experience lesser intensity or no headaches at all. I do put my helmet back on if the climbs get gnarly or if its a new trail.
    Last edited by Daxdagr8t; 08-05-2014 at 04:13 PM.

  13. #13
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    I'm just glad I'm not the only one to suffer this. I was worried it could be serious but the doc kinda shrugged it off. Riding tomorrow morning for the first time since I got the meds, we shall see what happens.

  14. #14
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    Only if I'm dehydrated. I know I need to drink more because I'll get a hangover type headache which goes away shortly after I chug a liter of water.
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  15. #15
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    Got a headache again today after riding...

    Back to the drawing board.

  16. #16
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    I only started riding a week ago but the first three days of riding I got headaches after my commute to work.

    What I did was get up ten minutes earlier in the morning and I have a really big cup of tea and some breakfast - egg on toast usually, something light. I also take a bottle of water with me so I can drink as I go.

    Seems to have worked a treat.

    I still get a headache after my ride home, though, because I don't get to eat between 2pm (lunch) and 8pm when I finish. I'm thinking I might just get some breakfast bars or protein bars and have one around 7.30pm before I ride home.

    Don't forget man, that drinking whilst riding isn't the same as being hydrated properly - you need to be drinking plenty of water throughout the day. I also think that riding in a ketogenic state doesn't help (i.e. you need some food in your tummy.)

    -sc00t

  17. #17
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    I have noticed that I have been getting headaches after riding but only when I do a longer and hotter ride then usual. I work swing shift so I get to ride in the mornings not the afternoon and that helps. I run a HR of between 140 and 150 avg and drink a lot starting an hour before the ride. Just started doing some research and what I have learned is straight water and lots of it while riding and I am going to try a sports drink after the ride to see if that might help. What I am most interested in is getting the sodium and potassium in a solution that will absorb quickly. I am no expert by any means but from what I have read it seems like the commercial drinks have way too much carb and calories. Feed Zone Portables by Thomas & Lin has been a great read. IMO of course. Slim
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  18. #18
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    I've had similar problems when doing intense crossfit workouts. My sugar would drop and I would get a severe migraine / get super grumpy / couldn't concentrate. In short, I was over-training. I noticed I was getting weaker and felt like poo.

    So I started to scale my workouts / eat better and it worked. I wasn't pushing myself nearly as hard but started to get stronger and feel better.

    Same goes for biking...I've learned when I need to let off the throttle and let my body catch up.

    Do you get any relief if you drink/eat something carby after the headaches comes? I remember laying flat on my back, sweat pouring, and start feeling chilly. I had an intense craving for sugar when I'd bottom out so I started packing a chocolate milk. Within 10 minutes the headache was gone and I started feeling normal.

  19. #19
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    Actually one of two things fixed mine, no aspartame or taking a couple aspirin before riding.

    I started looking up common triggers and aspartame was one of them so I decided to quit consuming it. I was drinking diet pop and adding aspartame to my coffee.

    Mother in law, who is an RN, suggested I try taking a couple aspirin before riding.

    So far one of the two fixed it and I have a feeling it was the aspartame. I think this because the dull headache I got at work almost daily are completely gone...
    Last edited by Sickmak90; 08-28-2014 at 04:47 PM.

  20. #20
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    Awesome to hear! Happy riding!

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    I have this issue, my short after work ride is almost never an issue. If I do my 15 or 20+ mile rides I always get a killer headache afterwards.

    Im not sure I consume anything with aspartame...Ill try to find out. Im gonna try to drink more water daily and try the aspirin before the ride. We talking 80mg? or a more "pain relief" dose?

    Anyway, very helpful thread

  22. #22
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    Does anyone get headaches after riding?

    I took a "pain relief" dose of two but plan on trying one next ride which is 325mg I believe.

    I also got a MUCH better and more ventilated helmet which I'm hoping will help keep me cooler and possibly eliminate the problem.

  23. #23
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    Are you chewing any gum with aspartame?

  24. #24
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    This is some good info. I too get the post ride headache. Surely didn't expect to see a thread about this. I usually ride early mornings, few bananas and esspresso beforehand and water all throughout the ride. The headache is an almost sure thing, just the intensity that differs, some can last well into the next day. As with the OP
    I also have family things such as the blood pressure issues and Diabetes. I've read nerve pinching can be a cause. Noticed this was a slightly old post, anything working for anyone since?

  25. #25
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    Since this thread resurfaced, let me pile on.

    I used to get headaches after rides of any substantive exertion, even though I was well hydrated before, during and after the ride and even though I fueled during and after the ride (fueling is important to fight headaches, too). I've found that electrolyte pills (specifically Hammer Endurolyes) work for me. I say electrolyte pills, and not a drink, because I can better regulate how much I take in. With a little experimentation, I found the right dosage for hot days and for not hot days, and now the only time I get headaches is when I don't dose properly.

    BTW, I don't drink diet drinks or have more than 1 cup of coffee a day, so neither of those were a trigger for me.

    I also think that, prior to discovering electrolyte pills, I'd been over hydrating in an attempt to make sure I was hydrated. Over hydrating, I've learned, can cause the headache, too. I now consciously do not to drink more than one water bottle per hour.

  26. #26
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    I get headaches after riding if I don't eat well prior to the ride, drink plenty of water/Gatorade during the ride (and after), and eat small amounts at least every hour that day after the ride.

    My one cent...

    BTW, I get cluster headaches so I'm well familiar with the pain.


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  27. #27
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    To add to what others have suggested

    Eyesight issues or bad eyewear is also a common cause of headaches / migraines. It would be worth eliminating this as a cause aswell. Optical distortion in your lenses or even the color might be a problem.

  28. #28
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    after one ride I did... face planted after a drop ^^ had a doozie of a headache

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  29. #29
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    I can't believe ANYONE drinks Gatorade. Mostly because electrolytes are destroyed by light/uv and all gatorade is sold in clear bottles - which means after production, transportation, storage, transportation and then sitting on your bike during a ride - by the time you drink it - there is no electrolyte left. Also because it has more sodium in it than you should ever take in during/after a workout - but the sodium is in it for taste and water retention assistance - oh well. Gatorade was probably "good" when it was invented 30+ years ago. Now that Pepsi owns gatorade, I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tualmbr View Post
    I can't believe ANYONE drinks Gatorade. Mostly because electrolytes are destroyed by light/uv and all gatorade is sold in clear bottles - which means after production, transportation, storage, transportation and then sitting on your bike during a ride - by the time you drink it - there is no electrolyte left. Also because it has more sodium in it than you should ever take in during/after a workout - but the sodium is in it for taste and water retention assistance - oh well. Gatorade was probably "good" when it was invented 30+ years ago. Now that Pepsi owns gatorade, I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole.
    I'd never heard that. Do you have a source where I could read more on that?

    I use a powder called Enduromax, from Max muscle, which tastes rotten after it gets any sun, I wonder if there is a similar thing going on here.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tualmbr View Post
    I can't believe ANYONE drinks Gatorade. Mostly because electrolytes are destroyed by light/uv and all gatorade is sold in clear bottles - which means after production, transportation, storage, transportation and then sitting on your bike during a ride - by the time you drink it - there is no electrolyte left. Also because it has more sodium in it than you should ever take in during/after a workout - but the sodium is in it for taste and water retention assistance - oh well. Gatorade was probably "good" when it was invented 30+ years ago. Now that Pepsi owns gatorade, I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole.
    Not doubting you, but I'd like to see some credible source for these comments as well. For me, there is a world of difference ride day (including migraines) if:

    1. I drink 500 ml of Gatorade before getting on my bike;
    2. I don't drink an XL Triple Triple from Tim Horton's earlier that day; and
    3. I drink 500 ml of chocolate milk afterwards.

    Maybe it's all in my head but whatever.

    I have been waiting for my LBS to get restocked with Hammer Endurolytes. Until that happens, and unless I see some credible source substantiating that Gatorade is either ineffective or, worse yet, detrimental, I'm sticking with the Gatorade for now.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by tualmbr View Post
    I can't believe ANYONE drinks Gatorade. Mostly because electrolytes are destroyed by light/uv and all gatorade is sold in clear bottles - which means after production, transportation, storage, transportation and then sitting on your bike during a ride - by the time you drink it - there is no electrolyte left. Also because it has more sodium in it than you should ever take in during/after a workout - but the sodium is in it for taste and water retention assistance - oh well. Gatorade was probably "good" when it was invented 30+ years ago. Now that Pepsi owns gatorade, I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole.
    Never heard anything about electrolytes breaking down due to UV and considering what they are I have a hard time believing it. Have anything to back up this claim?

    Sodium is one of the key electrolytes and if you look at other drink mixes Gatorade is actually quite low. It's not made for sitting around drinking and when you are out sweating on a ride you need sodium. That said I'm not a huge fan of Gatorade because it is very heavy in sugar and lower in electrolytes compared to other drinks. But if it works for you then go for it nothing at all wrong with it.

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    Pedialyte is in a clear bottle, too. But, it's for the children.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Procter View Post
    I'd never heard that. Do you have a source where I could read more on that?

    I use a powder called Enduromax, from Max muscle, which tastes rotten after it gets any sun, I wonder if there is a similar thing going on here.
    My guess is the sugar (and protein if it contains that) are what are going bad/moldy, not the electrolytes.

  35. #35
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    Try skratch labs. All natural drink mixes. Have not had a headache or cramps since I started using. I hydrate the night before and all day. Minimal hydration during ride, mostly water. I ride mostly nights and still it's over 90 at times you can never catch up on hydration during a ride. It's physiologically impossible the most you can do is limit losses

  36. #36
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    I get headaches when I fail to hit dirt at least once in the week ^^ I get cranky and the wifey gets grumpy at my crankiness o_0

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  37. #37
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    Read the ingredients on Gatorade, enough said lol. Almost as bad as drinking soda.
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    Ive suffered from migraines since I was a teenager. The type with scotoma then headache. Usually twenty minutes of visual disturbance followed by a four hour + headache. I found that routine helped with me. Going to sleep, getting up, eating & exercising at regular times (within reason) helped a lot. Plus cutting back on alchohol, sugar and caffiene. The thing is that I eliminated a whole bunch of potential triggrs all at once so I still dont know what the actual trigger was...

    The few migraines I get these days tend to be "silent" i.e. The scotoma without the following headache. A definite improvement.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tualmbr View Post
    I can't believe ANYONE drinks Gatorade. Mostly because electrolytes are destroyed by light/uv and all gatorade is sold in clear bottles - which means after production, transportation, storage, transportation and then sitting on your bike during a ride - by the time you drink it - there is no electrolyte left. Also because it has more sodium in it than you should ever take in during/after a workout - but the sodium is in it for taste and water retention assistance - oh well. Gatorade was probably "good" when it was invented 30+ years ago. Now that Pepsi owns gatorade, I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole.
    Electrolytes don't get destroyed by UV light. That's just idiocy. Electrolytes are dissolved salts. Single atom ions. Where do they go? What is supposed to happen to them? I'll tell you...NOTHING. The only way you'll get rid of them is to pour the beverage out of the bottle. The only way you'll "destroy" them is by bombarding them with charged particles in a particle accelerator and either splitting the atoms apart or creating new ones. You could potentially do some chemistry in your drink bottle to make them inaccessible, but UV light isn't causing any of that chemistry to happen spontaneously. If it was, you'd likely be seeing some precipitate in the bottom of the bottle.

    I don't drink Gatorade for other reasons. I prefer electrolyte capsules, so I still only drink/carry water. I have had good results with Hammer Endurolytes, and if I get low on electrolytes, I get nasty headaches. Short rides are no biggie usually, but if it's an especially sweaty ride, or an especially long ride, it behooves me to supplement. Sodium doesn't seem to be a problem for me. Rather, magnesium seems to be what causes me problems. So I use the regular Endurolytes, which are relatively low in sodium.

  40. #40
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    After fact checking Harold, he's right, I feel stupid for not remembering my undergrad chem here, or for googling the same. Electrolytes are indeed just dissolved salts, positively or negatively charged atoms. They cannot break down any further.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolyte

    To be fair to tualmbr, there are actually two of the physiologically relevant electrolytes, which are indeed compounds:

    hydrogen phosphate (HPO42−)
    hydrogen carbonate (HCO3−)

    But they are stable covalent bonds which would not tend to split or recombine without significant external energy, I. E. a LOT of UV and /or high temperature.

  41. #41
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    I kind of chuckled when I read the UV degradation bit. I'm not chemist but I've tutored chem for HSers for years and have a background in it considering I do water quality type work.

    Anyway, I wanted to add this.

    I've always been a huge proponent of water consumption ever since my days as a lifeguard. I regularly drink in excess of 2 L and have been known to down a gallon a day.

    I too have had headaches after especially long/grueling rides (or other workouts) especially when done in high heat/sunlight. I use to associate "post workout headache" with "dehydration" but for me personally I think I need to watch electrolyte intake more.

    Which is basically what everyone in this thread has been saying...
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    Struggling with the same issue today. I bought some CarboRocket, and I use one scoop in my 25oz bottle on every ride. Until I started using it I would come home feeling drained and sick to my stomach. Now I have plenty of energy left after a hard ride, but I still get the stupid headache. It usually doesn't show up until a few hours after the ride, which irritates me. I even used twice as much CarboRocket today and feel fantastic aside from the terrible headache.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sickmak90 View Post
    .....During the ride I drank 32oz of Gatorade/water mix. ...
    A quick analysis if I may....

    20 oz (591ml) has 35g of sugar (took this online). So 30 oz would be about about 52.5g. of sugar....

    Which is equivalent to over 13 teaspoons of sugar during your ride (an easy calculation is every 4g is about 1 teaspoon).

    Your liver is overloaded, plain and simple. If you want to understand how bad this is, watch a youtube video by Dr. Robert Lustig called sugar: the bitter truth.....he even talks about gatorade.


    The only thing any of us should ever be drinking is water (and coffee or tea). There is nothing wrong with caffeine if you can tolerate it, other than having to pee more often. Sugar on the other hand is a toxin, that's why insulin is required to remove it from your blood stream.

    Quote Originally Posted by sc00t View Post
    ...I also think that riding in a ketogenic state doesn't help (i.e. you need some food in your tummy.)

    -sc00t
    I have been doing it for almost 2 years, but with much more success the last 6 months. If properly fat adapted (ketogenic), there is no such thing as preload, or worrying about nutrition before or after any ride....and there is no such thing as counting calories.

  44. #44
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    I sometimes get a headache some 2 or 3 hours after a ride even if I have stayed properly hydrated (clear pee). I have found that the headaches are triggered by longer or harder than usual rides or when I have been off the bike from more time than usual then come back with a somewhat demanding ride. I think I have also found an antidote that works for me once I feel a headache will set in... caffeine overdose. I drink 2 or 3 cups of coffee and bye bye headache.

    Cheers

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    I sometimes get a headache some 2 or 3 hours after a ride even if I have stayed properly hydrated (clear pee). I have found that the headaches are triggered by longer or harder than usual rides or when I have been off the bike from more time than usual then come back with a somewhat demanding ride. I think I have also found an antidote that works for me once I feel a headache will set in... caffeine overdose. I drink 2 or 3 cups of coffee and bye bye headache.

    Cheers
    Same here but I just take some Advil and a nap...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    '14 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '15 Salsa Bucksaw 2

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester7677 View Post
    Same here but I just take some Advil and a nap...


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    I prefer, "the organic" way. I used to take excedrin migrane or extra strenght for them. I found out the one of the main active ingredients in those pills was a boat load of caffeine, so I just decided to cut the middle man and got to the source!

    Cheers

  47. #47
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    Have been drinking 4 to 6 cups of coffee a day for so many years.....and never suffer from headaches, regardless of workout.

    Do you guys with the headaches afterward eat anything in particular before your ride?

  48. #48
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    Yeah? Caffeine raises my tension and that's what starts my headaches... So I limit to 1 cup a day. I get Cluster Headaches so I'll do anything to avoid any type of headache.

    Hard riding where I don't hydrate well enough or early a good enough breakfast will exhaust me and I'll get a headache that is only cures with lots of water, a little food, Advil and a nap.
    '14 Salsa Horsethief 2
    '15 Salsa Bucksaw 2

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