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Thread: Hypoglycemic

  1. #1
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    Hypoglycemic

    Sorry I'm not a nutritionist by any means. My whole life I have had an incredibly fast metabolism. I have also never been very athletic except skateboarding throughout high school for fun and as means of transportation. In high school I would get these dizzy spells rarely and was tested to see if I were Anemic, and I was not. Then I started commuting in college on a bicycle and one day at work I got so dizzy I had to leave sick early and make a Dr. app. They tested me and the dr. said I was hypoglycemic and I ate too much starch (love for french fries and potato chips) and should eat things like beans more often. Since then in age (23 now) I have gained more weight and no longer look malnourished like when growing up and I partake in more outdoor activities.

    My point is I feel like I burn food or nutrition faster than the average person. Often times on mountain bike rides or kayak trips I get dangerously hungry and if I do not stop to snack I will perform poorly, and often that can result in a crash while mountain biking. However, I feel foolish because I am usually the only person in the group who needs to snack and everyone else can go a whole ride. I'm relatively healthy except my addiction to pizza. I eat 3 meals a day and snack on a lot of nuts.

    Does anyone else have this problem of a feelings of malnutrition while doing anything physically strenuous? I really feel like it has put a damper on my athletic ability my whole life. Any tips? I really hate the taste of bars. Power bars, luna bars, cliffs bars. Yuck!

    EDIT: I read some "snack" forums in the nutrition thread and the reason for my asking is because I am only doing like 9 mile rides and still getting a little malnourished. So some similar insight would be nice.

  2. #2
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    I'm in the same boat as you are, at least, I think I am (very fast metabolism).. I've never been to a doctor or anything to get it tested, but my symptoms are "eat everything, no weight gain", extremely moody when I start to get hungry, especially in the morning; I find that eating 3-4 bowls of cereal clears that up though, due to the sugar content.

    Again, I'm not sure what this is, or if it is anything, but I always travel with snacks and water. My snacks for a typical 6-8 hour ride include a hershey's chocolate bar for the first 1/4, a sack of trail mix with peanuts, sesame seeds, and m&m's for the 1/2 marker, and a few peices of teriyaki beef jerkey seems to keep me up to speed, per se. All the while, every 10-15 minutes, I'll have my water intake to 1 swallow of water. Depending on weather conditions, I usually go through 2L of water roughly.

    My advice is to follow your "instinct" on when and what to eat, but don't be a glutton. If your adventure partners don't know, you should probably inform them, that way they don't think you're just some lightweight that is bringing the group down. If they disagree, then it is time to find a new group. Safety first, ya know?

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    I'm not a nutritionist either, but I used to have hypoglycemia quite a bit. I found that it had a lot to do with how much sugar I ate. Your doctor recommended that you eat less starch because starch turns to sugar. Beans, veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts are better because they metabolize more slowly. Check out this excellent video sometime when you have extra time:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunderland View Post
    I'm not a nutritionist either, but I used to have hypoglycemia quite a bit. I found that it had a lot to do with how much sugar I ate.
    Same here, I found that reducing the amount of sweet/sugary foods I consumed really, really helped in eliminating the feeling of "If I don't eat now, I'm going to kill someone".

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    Re: Hypoglycemic

    Me four. I suddenly get to a point where I'm weak like some 80 lb dork and as crabby as a crazy *****. I've had girlfriends tease "oh, is it feeding time? "
    It's not funny feeling this way though.
    I also end with a migraine if I let myself get to this point.

  6. #6
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    Maybe you should bias your nutrition more towards protein and fats and fruits and veggies with fiber. They will leave you feeling full for longer and are a slower release form of energy.

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    gran jefe
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    you can drink a lot of calories, which might be easier than snacking.

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    I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia almost a year and a half ago. Nutrition is key to helping with the symptoms. Complex carbohydrates, veggies, lean protein, and healthy fats are important. I try to time my rides with my eating schedule. I usually eat something light but with complex carbohydrates and protein about an hour before I first start pedaling. Then throughout the ride I like to drink Hammer Heed with water, it helps keep my blood sugar at tolerable levels, but I find that it will only last me for about two hours max. Small snacks work as well, like sugar free peanut butter on a slice of 100% whole grain wheat bread and an apple. Just some suggestions, good luck.

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    Thanks for all the great advice everyone!

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    I too was hypoglycemic,until I became Vegan.My life as a whole got better. I got faster on my bike ,my mood changed and my hypoglycemia went away. You need more complex carbs, more fruit. Ditch those chips, ease up of the nuts. The nuts are protein and fat. You need good carbs. Candy bars are not good carbs either. Try eating dates on your rides they are the superfruit for cyclists. 811 is the key number 80% carbs 10% fat 10% protein.

  11. #11
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    I recommend eating a high protein breakfast.

    Mix some whey with a glass a milk & cereal, and add a teaspoon of flaxseed.

  12. #12
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    I'm Hypoglycemic as well also around your age, one thing I do is make sure I eat before a ride, don't ever ride on an empty stomach. My secret weapon is ensure plus its a "Meal replacement " and Pedialyte before I ride and I eat cliff shot bloks while I ride doing this I'm able to ride without breaks, give it a try...

  13. #13
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    I concur that a whole foods plant based diet will give you much better control than anything. Read the China Study for a good background on this and how it relates to diseases, diabetes etc. My wife is a type one insulin dependent diabetic and this diet has made a big difference for her.
    Here is a search I did with some interesting reading. https://www.google.com/search?q=hypo...ient=firefox-a

  14. #14
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    I used to have reactive hypoglycemia, which is when your blood sugar crashes after having high glycemic index foods (sweets, etc). It took a few years and a lot of discipline but I was able to heal by eating well (cutting sugar mostly, adding lots of veggies and eating meat). I also practiced stretching out the time between meals. I went from having to eat every couple hours and now I can last all day without food.

    I think breakfast cereals are the worst thing. Whenever I started my day off that way, the rest of my day was hard to manage.

    The OP sounds like what I used to have exactly. Hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Awshucks View Post

    My point is I feel like I burn food or nutrition faster than the average person. Often times on mountain bike rides or kayak trips I get dangerously hungry and if I do not stop to snack I will perform poorly, and often that can result in a crash while mountain biking. However, I feel foolish because I am usually the only person in the group who needs to snack and everyone else can go a whole ride. I'm relatively healthy except my addiction to pizza. I eat 3 meals a day and snack on a lot of nuts.
    I had this type of problem of always being hungry in between meals but I solved that already. The problem was the wheat. Anything made with gluten like bread, pasta, cakes etc will make people hungry every 90 minutes. Cut out all wheat, barley, and rye food products and high carb foods like rice & potatoes. Eat protein and pleanty of good fats like coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, avacados, and meat fats. The you won't be hungry for 7 hours. For more info see Wheat Belly Blog | Lose the Wheat Lose the Weight.
    Get the whetbelly book too.

  16. #16
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    My sister in law is a dietitian (and a good one too...CNN, local news, books, etc) and we've been trying to help me through similar conditions. I don't necessarily have a super fast metabolism but my issue is with the crashes on rides. I live in Georgia now and most of my rides are short, 8-12 miles of punchy climbs and short descents. I'm on a single speed most of the time so I'm putting out a pretty hard effort. Since I try to ride early she told me to eat oatmeal but not the instant crap because of the added sugar. I'll add frozen fruit, protein powder, flax seed, honey, granola and wheat germ. It burns slow and that's the key for me. Slow burning, low glycemic foods. However, I also find that I do need some sugars on those short rides so she actually had me try to mix powdered (powdered doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it) Gatorade and unflavored Heed. It seems to work ok for me.

    However, I'm doing a 6 hour race next month and then an 80 mile race the month after that. Nutrition is going to be key so I'm experimenting and yesterday I tried a peanut butter sandwich with honey, bananas and some granola on wheat. I also had bottled Gatorade because it was hot as balls in TN where we were riding and that's all I had. Dude, I hit the wall HARD. I don't know if it's because of what I ate or if it's the Gatorade ( I didn't have my HEED with me) but whatever it was, I just hit the wall and couldn't climb or barely get out of the saddle for anything. After about 35 minutes I was fine.

    I also get dehydrated like a mofo on long rides too...anyways, bottom line is you got to experiment and find what works for your body but cutting out simple carbs is probably step number one.
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  17. #17
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    I wanted to revive my old thread and see if there was any new input or advice.

    Since I started this thread my diet off the bike has improved a bit. I try to eat way healthier and I even gave up soda.

    I saw this article on bike radar the other day (The best carbs for cycling - what to eat and when - BikeRadar) and it suggests a more carb heavy diet for cycling.

    I thought that was interesting and then I remembered my condition and researched carb intake for a hypoglycemic and found it is not actually ideal because carbs spike your glucose levels easily and then you crash.

    Aside from my normal diet (eating every 3 hours, hydrating, high protein) does anyone have any suggestions for what to eat drink during a ride? I'm still finding that I'm crashing in the middle of the rides. It's usually around 8 miles. I try to eat something light before a ride (fruit, turkey or peanut butter sandwhich) but in the middle or more towards the end I'm getting dangerously hungry. Do you guys recommend glucose tablets in my water, or some kind of protein drink I can sip out of a little 8oz bottle in the middle of my ride. Sure I can eat a bar but I don't think those are substantial enough honestly unless I have 2 or 3 and doesn't drinking something make react faster?

    Suggestions anyone?

  18. #18
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    I have the same problem. These things work for me. I hope they will help you too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Awshucks View Post
    ... and found it is not actually ideal because carbs spike your glucose levels easily and then you crash.

    Aside from my normal diet (eating every 3 hours, hydrating, high protein) does anyone have any suggestions for what to eat drink during a ride? I'm still finding that I'm crashing in the middle of the rides. It's usually around 8 miles. I try to eat something light before a ride (fruit, turkey or peanut butter sandwhich) but in the middle or more towards the end I'm getting dangerously hungry. Do you guys recommend glucose tablets in my water, or some kind of protein drink I can sip out of a little 8oz bottle in the middle of my ride. Sure I can eat a bar but I don't think those are substantial enough honestly unless I have 2 or 3 and doesn't drinking something make react faster?

    Suggestions anyone?
    Yeah, I've gone through this and over the years since this thread started, I have totally overcome this same problem and have found fuels that work great for me on long rides. FWW I am a top expert 40+ DH, Enduro guy now. I will tell you what works for me, but of course this does not mean it will work for you.

    #1 - Gatorade G2
    #2 - Bananas
    #3 - Lara Bars

    I have tried almost every known prepackaged product and food and these are my top three. On these, I can ride indefinitely without a blood sugar crash like you are having. And more importantly, there aren't many foods outside of this that if I ate two hours into a ride, that would trust not to crash my blood sugar.

    For me G2 is the most potent solution, by far. It actually improves my performance significantly. I am not selling it and I am actually a little embarassed to suggest it, but it works for me. It has only a little sugar and after a couple hrs you will start to slow down, but it does not cause me to crash, like most (every??) other sports drink. Most people's bodies do not tolerate liquids with a high sugar to water ratio and for some reason this seems to be perfect for me. Although, I have tried watering down regular gatorade to the same carb/water ratio and it does not work as well. Following this logic, you should be drinking lots of water with your carbs.

    I tried to keep this post as simple as possible, but if you need any more info or details, let me know. I know how frustrating this problem is.

  19. #19
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    I was tested as borderline. I have a really fast metabolism. When I'm very active, I have to eat like a horse. I swear that I could just eat slowly nonstop all day long. If I eat to many carbs, I'll start to have some signs about an hour later. It comes on really fast. My nose will start to run, my eyes will water, I'll yawn nonstop, I feel really hungry and a little nauseous. All I have to do is eat something and that all goes away in about 30 seconds. If I don't eat something all that will go away in about 20 minutes. If I don't concentrate on eating enough, I can drop a noticable amount of fat in one day. When it's time to lean up, I can hit 5% body fat pretty easily.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Awshucks View Post
    I wanted to revive my old thread and see if there was any new input or advice.

    Since I started this thread my diet off the bike has improved a bit. I try to eat way healthier and I even gave up soda.

    I saw this article on bike radar the other day (The best carbs for cycling - what to eat and when - BikeRadar) and it suggests a more carb heavy diet for cycling.

    I thought that was interesting and then I remembered my condition and researched carb intake for a hypoglycemic and found it is not actually ideal because carbs spike your glucose levels easily and then you crash.

    Aside from my normal diet (eating every 3 hours, hydrating, high protein) does anyone have any suggestions for what to eat drink during a ride? I'm still finding that I'm crashing in the middle of the rides. It's usually around 8 miles. I try to eat something light before a ride (fruit, turkey or peanut butter sandwhich) but in the middle or more towards the end I'm getting dangerously hungry. Do you guys recommend glucose tablets in my water, or some kind of protein drink I can sip out of a little 8oz bottle in the middle of my ride. Sure I can eat a bar but I don't think those are substantial enough honestly unless I have 2 or 3 and doesn't drinking something make react faster?

    Suggestions anyone?
    Maybe try eating no carbs before a ride. A lot of times what happens is, you eat carbs, your body responds by dumping insulin in the blood to break down the sugar. It breaks down to much sugar and you get the bad symptoms. Your brains natural reaction is to eat carbs to get back in balance and the whole thing starts over again. So, eat more protien and less carbs. But, during a ride you may find that carbs are ok to consume, because your body will use it up quickly.

  21. #21
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    Oh, I have read that it's not necessarily how low your blood sugar gets. It's the speed at which it gets low that causes problems. The faster it happens the worse it is for you. It's a vicious cycle, and refined sugar makes it worse.

  22. #22
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    It's me again, haha. So, when I first learned that I had this problem, I went on a no simple sugar diet for 30 days to see what would happen. The first week was hard. But then I started to feel much better and I wasn't having the sugar lows. By the end of the 30 days, I felt much better, I could actually hear and see better. And I felt much more relaxed and my body felt cleaner. At the end of the 30 days the first thing I did was take one drink of Pepsi. And, I could feel the warmth of the sugar running through my veins. It's very strange what sugar can do to your body. I need to clean my diet up a little more. I have a problem with chocolate though. I crave it and have to have it everyday.

  23. #23
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    What's up with you guys drinking sodas and Gatorade? That's high fructose corn syrup. That shit will kill you. Total garbage. Eat complex carbohydrates and protein. That's it.
    T275a

  24. #24
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    Gatorade is pretty good stuff for athletes that need to keep themselves going with quick energy and electrolytes.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Gatorade is pretty good stuff for athletes that need to keep themselves going with quick energy and electrolytes.

    It's garbage. Drink water and eat real food.
    T275a

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