Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Love 2 Ride; Ride 2 Live
    Reputation: DrumsXO's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    533

    I Think I May Need Electrolytes

    Hey, everyone.

    I went on a ride with a local mountain biking group today (this was my second ride with them actually), and at one point, I started to get a pretty nasty side stitch. I've never experienced this before when riding, but know from getting them when I used to play paintball, that it's usually a result of a bit of dehydration.

    The total ride distance was about 12.5 miles that we completed in about 1.5 hours. During that time, I sucked down almost all 2 liters of water in my hydro bladder, but it was just plain water. When the ride was over, my base layer was literally drenched with sweat. I think I need to go about getting more electrolytes while I ride, but I'm not sure of the best way to do that.

    Should I replace the water with sugar-free (I have Diabetes) Gatorade / Powerade, or use electrolyte tablets to put into my hydro bladder? If your suggestion is the latter of the two (the tablets), can you recommend a brand to me?

    Thanks, everyone! This is something I've already decided to do, so please save your comments about not needing electrolytes for a 1.5 hour ride for another thread. At this point, it's happening; I'm just looking for suggestions on what brand of tablets to use (if I go that route), or opinions on whether Gatorade or Powerade are the better option.
    • Started riding on 05/01/16 •
    • Riding a heavily upgraded Trek Marlin 5 29er •

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: blacksheep5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    357
    I went with the product tailwind . I tried a couple others and they made me thirsty . Just did a 35 miler climbing 5500 ft , usually i eat something every hour . I found that with tailwind , i was not hungry and i stayed hydrated ..there is lots of options , you may have to try different ones to find what works for you


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: watts888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    5,633
    pick an electrolyte, any electrolyte. You can get them from the tabs you mentioned above, but I'd be reluctant to put them in my camelbak or good water bottle. They can cause mold/funk in the bladder, and nobody wants that. A simple cheap waterbottle for the mixes is all I use. Easy to clean, and I don't worry about it if I can't clean it.

    Other sources of electrolytes that I like

    GU/gels. might not work the best for diabetes because of the high sugar content, but they are effective for midride energy. I think there are some low-sugar/sucralose options, but I haven't looked for them.

    Bananas/broccoli, Best before a ride, but they are good mid-ride too

    Pickles. It's a vegetable soaked in salt brine. Hard to get more electrolytes than that. Classic pickles, or the pickled vegetables like carrots, onions, and cauliflour.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  4. #4
    because GIANT
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,995
    I am not sure you need anything other than ride harder and ride longer

    I get this same side stitch stuff when I let myself get out of top condition and try to get back in. it goes away over time

    anyhow

    type 1 here

    and to me 1.5 hours is barely a ride, 3 hours getting a stitch I would then
    worry about electrolytes, but everyone mileage varies I don't know anything else
    about what you eat and how your body works or runs or seen your bloodwork
    or anything else really

    try this

    pop a 500mg calcium supplement morning and night if you don't do it already.
    this mineral regimen stops any leg cramps (for me) if I do not take calcium
    may also help side stitches (never get cramps unless I am out 2+ hours anyway)

    a) w/o calcium
    when I get a cramp on a ride, it stays and I might have to stop.
    with calcium I get a cramp it goes away quick with a little adjustment in what I am doing, and I can work it loose while riding, and keep on the rivet

    b) nighttime legs cramps. with calcium, never. without, sometimes.

  5. #5
    Log off and go ride!
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,226
    Side stitches are usually lactic acid.
    Use any electrolyte. See which works for you. Everyone is different.

  6. #6
    Love 2 Ride; Ride 2 Live
    Reputation: DrumsXO's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    533
    Picked up a bottle of these at my LBS today.



    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    • Started riding on 05/01/16 •
    • Riding a heavily upgraded Trek Marlin 5 29er •

  7. #7
    because GIANT
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,995
    being diabetic you should absolutely do this (if you have not already)

    figure out what type of [effort and adrenaline load] does to your blood sugar level

    do a major ride

    bring alcohol wipes and your blood tester

    every 30 minutes stop and test blood like clockwork

    continue

    do this for at least 3 major rides. get a feel for what your blood sugar level is and how it responds to your efforts on bike. do not want any sugar or carbs intake during any ride if your BS does not drop below 170 give or take. in some diabetics BS climbs during hard efforts, others it drops, others it depends on basal insulin. you just don't know till you do some testing cycles and find out for sure

    depending on what I am doing, I can ride and drink gatorade and BS stays at 80. other types of rides it'll climb to 300 or more if i just look at carbs. all depends...

    generally I ride with water only and if i start ride at 110 it stays right at 110, but again, it all depends on day, temp, planet alignment, what I had yesterday...etc....

    so if you have a meter it will help a LOT at understanding things and might even help identify cramping such as, if BS goes to 600 while riding you are really gonna suffer and no electrolyte on earth will fix it

  8. #8
    Team Velveeta™
    Reputation: TomP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,003
    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    pick an electrolyte, any electrolyte. You can get them from the tabs you mentioned above, but I'd be reluctant to put them in my camelbak or good water bottle. They can cause mold/funk in the bladder, and nobody wants that. A simple cheap waterbottle for the mixes is all I use. Easy to clean, and I don't worry about it if I can't clean it.

    Other sources of electrolytes that I like

    GU/gels. might not work the best for diabetes because of the high sugar content, but they are effective for midride energy. I think there are some low-sugar/sucralose options, but I haven't looked for them.

    Bananas/broccoli, Best before a ride, but they are good mid-ride too

    Pickles. It's a vegetable soaked in salt brine. Hard to get more electrolytes than that. Classic pickles, or the pickled vegetables like carrots, onions, and cauliflour.
    I also use Tailwind Nutrition. It has enough electrolytes that I don't need anything else. How it would work with your diabetes I do not know.

    Assuming you aren't going to use an energy/electrolyte product, I'd say watts888 is pretty much right. Before I discovered Tailwind I was using a variety of strategies. One thing I discovered was that electrolyte products didn't have much on good ol' table salt. Sodium Choride. I used to carry around a little film can (look it up on the internet) of sea salt crystals. I think normal table salt would be plenty effective, but it is kind of nasty to dump some into your mouth. With salt crystals you can just toss them in and swallow. I never did more than about half a teaspoon at a time. And it was really only 3+ hour rides. I had access to a nearly unlimited supply of Hammer Endurolytes. They had seemingly no effect. Even when using them to supplement Hammer HEED.

    I also agree that your basic diet is an important consideration.

    As for foods that have helpful nutrition, everybody thinks bananas are the premium source of potassium, but the Medjool Date has as much potassium as several bananas and all in a small fruit that can be eaten in two bites. Very good for jersey pocket, easier by far to eat on the bike than a gel. Bite off the side, pluck the pit out with your teeth and drop it, eat the rest.

    Good luck.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  9. #9
    aka: Bucky Fikes
    Reputation: Oh My Sack!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,949
    If you put them in your water bladder, just spend $3 and buy a big box of effervescing denture cleaner tablets at Walmart. Throw a couple in your bladder every few rides, let it soak, and rinse out. Bladder stays clean and pretty much taste free of any product. Works on water bottles, too....and coffee cups/pots, etc.

    I use Tailwind Nutrition by the bag. Stuff is great but again, it's using maltodextrin so I don't know that you can get away with that from the Diabetic standpoint.
    Always ride with a porpoise.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: watts888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    5,633
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    ... buy a big box of effervescing denture cleaner tablets at Walmart. Throw a couple in your bladder every few rides, let it soak, and rinse out. Bladder stays clean and pretty much taste free of any product.
    Have to try this.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  11. #11
    Love 2 Ride; Ride 2 Live
    Reputation: DrumsXO's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    533
    Thanks for the information, everyone. Especially 127.0.0.1 for the blood sugar information. I never thought that my sugar could be rising instead of falling, so I'll have to do some testing.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    • Started riding on 05/01/16 •
    • Riding a heavily upgraded Trek Marlin 5 29er •

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: watts888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    5,633
    Blood sugar is a twisted mess. My wife is diabetic with full blown dead pancreas and pump. If she starts exercise, her blood sugar goes all over the place, and it's different every time based on what she's doing, how much she's exerting herself, and food. Also found out that alcohol really messes with blood sugar. Couple glasses of dry wine (no sugar in it after fermentation), sugar levels rise like crazy, then tank.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  13. #13
    Love 2 Ride; Ride 2 Live
    Reputation: DrumsXO's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    533
    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Blood sugar is a twisted mess. My wife is diabetic with full blown dead pancreas and pump. If she starts exercise, her blood sugar goes all over the place, and it's different every time based on what she's doing, how much she's exerting herself, and food. Also found out that alcohol really messes with blood sugar. Couple glasses of dry wine (no sugar in it after fermentation), sugar levels rise like crazy, then tank.
    Yeah, I've had some crazy moments in my life as a Diabetic. I've yet to have any issues while hiking (for years) or biking (only recently).

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    • Started riding on 05/01/16 •
    • Riding a heavily upgraded Trek Marlin 5 29er •

  14. #14
    gone walk about
    Reputation: nvphatty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    8,586
    plus+, plus+ = win:

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtnbkrmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    631
    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    I have been using Hammer products exclusively for years, mostly because they are always very gentle on my stomach. Good to see that they are a decent product.

    I am perpetually dehydrated. I went through a period where after each ride, I would cramp up so bad in one of my hamstrings that I would literally crumble to the ground, no matter where I was when it happened. It would take a few minutes for me to even be able to straighten my leg, after writhing on the ground in pretty intense pain.

    I began trying to do a better job hydrating pre-ride. I always eat a banana on the way to the trail head and I take Hammer Endurolyte capsules during the ride. Since making these changes I have been 100% cramp free.

  16. #16
    gone walk about
    Reputation: nvphatty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    8,586
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I began trying to do a better job hydrating pre-ride. I always eat a banana on the way to the trail head and I take Hammer Endurolyte capsules during the ride. Since making these changes I have been 100% cramp free.
    nice to hear results can be had. The pre-ride ritual is a major key to supplying our bodies (more so as we age) with essentials.
    plus+, plus+ = win:

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1
    Electrolytes is what you need to get rid of the cramping and feel better after riding in general. My new favorite way to get electrolytes that i found is called Totelytes. You get them on amazon and they've been working wonders for me

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Choice Cut Nutrition's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    17
    Always interesting hearing from people with type 1.

    I teach diabetes education classes every day. Mostly type 2. Just a few type 1's here and there. None of them being endurance athletes.

    I had a good time reading this thread. Thanks guys.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Steezus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    422
    I put electrolyte mix in my water bladder and always use it. I just make sure that I empty it to about 1/4 full, blow air into it so the water pools in the bladder and not the hose or the opening and throw it in the freezer. Keeps my water cold for the next ride as well. I've never needed to clean out my bladders doing this, just the hose and mouthpiece from time to time.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    101
    I too am type 1. I found it is as becauseGIANT says. Dropping BS can cause 'stitches'. A good trick I use is to mix up good old Kool Aid with whatever sweetener level you need. Currently I've been using 2/3C Splenda and 1/3C sugar to get the right balance. Your needs may vary. You could add an electrolyte to that if needed, but watch your BS first (wait, this ain't a political thread )
    And the comment about denture tabs for cleaning potable fluid containers, yup. Been doing that for years. Just rinse the Bejesus out of it.

  21. #21
    9 lives
    Reputation: cyclelicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    10,681
    Interesting article:


    I Think I May Need Electrolytes-sportsdrink770.jpg

    Sports Drink Vs Water

    What is your pleasure when it comes to hydrating your body? Water or sports drinks?

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that when the human body is moving it loses more water than in a sedentary state, and in order to function properly these fluid levels need to be replenished. The hotter the temperature and the more intense the exercise, the more water is lost. In fact, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, people loose between 2% and 6% of their body weight, on average, during exercise.

    Given that water comprises much of the human body, dehydration carries with it serious consequences. These include fatigue, cramps, dizziness, heat stroke and heat exhaustion, which can be life threatening.

    No-one can possibly argue that consuming water is a poor choice to rehydrate, but how does it compare to its sugary counterpart, the sports drink? According to research, water actually works better at fluid replacement, but anecdotally sports drinks are often more appealing given their enhanced taste and therefore people are likely to consume more during exercise leading to better hydration.

    Sports drinks contain electrolytes and carbohydrates too, which water doesn’t. These offer the body energy and help fight fatigue. Athletes exercising for an hour or longer can benefit from electrolyte replacement. The longer and/or more intense the workout, the more carbohydrates are required.

    When exercising, especially for longer than an hour, always attempt to keep fluids nearby. This could mean using a running belt, a vest or backpack with a bladder inside, using your drink cage if on the bike, planning to use water fountains along a designated route, or taking a few coins to buy a drink mid-session. Drink an average of 4-6 ounces of liquid every 15 minutes during intense periods of activity and drink frequently, but be sure to also drink before and after activity.

    One key thing to remember is that by the time you feel thirst you are already starting to become dehydrated, so try to be preemptive and keep on top of fluid needs regularly.

    Also, it’s worth noting that we should be cautious with regards to energy drinks as the high sugar content in these drinks offers empty calories and the carbohydrates only offer short bursts of energy minus the positive long-term effects. That said, coke is still a hugely popular drink at the back end of endurance events and is even promoted by some leading runners and triathletes as a wise choice when the body is depleted.

    So the great debate between sports drinks and water seems to boil down to this; the length and intensity of an athlete’s workout session. Water is never a poor choice, but there are benefits to incorporating sports drinks as well, especially during workouts exceeding an hour or intense sessions. That said, more important than selecting between the two is the absolute necessity of pre, during and post exercise consumption of fluids to keep the body properly hydrated.
    Sauce: Get Out There : Sports Drink Vs Water
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    101
    but anecdotally sports drinks are often more appealing given their enhanced taste and therefore people are likely to consume more during exercise leading to better hydration.
    this times a bazillion. Luvs me some peach mango Kool-Aid

Similar Threads

  1. Favorite Electrolytes Drink
    By sammysanchez in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 07-18-2014, 01:03 PM
  2. Loking for Electrolytes
    By Wiplash in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 08-22-2013, 06:49 AM
  3. Whey protein and electrolytes
    By cr500taco in forum Nutrition and Hydration
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 12-04-2012, 01:33 PM
  4. electrolytes drink one day before the ride
    By Tjay in forum Nutrition and Hydration
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 11-20-2011, 01:31 PM
  5. electrolytes capsules vs sport drinks... what is better ?
    By dfms2004 in forum Nutrition and Hydration
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-27-2011, 07:44 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •