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  1. #1
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    avoiding gas and bloat

    Has anyone had any success overcoming these issues?

    I switched to Tailwind about a year ago and that has helped tremendously. I use it at 1 scoop per 10oz of water, and eventually I'll get hungry, every hour or two, for solid food. Still, at times my GI system can just get bogged down and gassy.

    I read one article that said you can only consume 50g of carbs (that's 200 cal.) for every L of water. That's on the higher end of what I drink, but on the lower end of what I need for calories to keep going.

    When it comes down to it, I should have put in more long days and more hard efforts in this season. No arguing that. But any advice I could get to get me through The Big Race this weekend, and a few days of bikepacking next month, would be a big help.
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  2. #2
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    My son calls me the Fart Factory. I haven't found anything that helps. Would be interested to know if there is.

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Fish, besides Tailwind, is there anything you eat on the bike that you normally don't eat at home? If you eat normal "home" food, do you get gassy? Can any of these home foods work for you on the bike?

    Curious about what you eat on the bike and whether you've tried more normal stuff. I don't really get especially farty unless I'm fighting with my wife, but I have to have a way to end arguments...

    On the bike, I eat a lot of things like gummy bears, little bars of halva (crushed sesame candy), pasteli (uncrushed sesame and honey bar), basically, not energy foods, but high in sugar with some protein and admittedly probably too much fat (sesame seeds have a lot of fat). Just some ideas (though the fiber in the sesame seeds might not be great for you)...

  4. #4
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    Generally I'm pretty tolerant of all the food I eat in day-to-day life. I'm vegetarian, so that limits my palate a bit.

    However, I do have an issue with chronic fatigue syndrome at times that presents itself with some GI distress, gassiness and upset stomach, but nowhere near the pain I feel with riding-induced GI issues.

    My race two weeks ago I ate some chocolate and a bagel with cream cheese less than 2 hours before the race, so I think that may have been my issue that day (too much fat to digest). This past weekend it was just hot, maybe I got dehydrated and didn't have enough water to digest. In any event, it seems my stomach looks for any excuse it can to make me suffer.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    I'm vegetarian, so that limits my palate a bit.

    My race two weeks ago I ate some chocolate and a bagel with cream cheese less than 2 hours before the race.
    Going by this, I am going to assume that you eat dairy, how about eggs?

    Personally, I am not vegetarian. Nor do I believe that any "exclusion" diets (diet as in "what you eat" not "eating to lose weight") are sustainable and/or overly healthy.... but that's besides the point.

    What I do know from my personal experience is two things:

    1 - High carb diets cause me severe bloating and stomach discomfort.
    2 - The crappier carbs and carbs with more starches bother me more.

    Example, if I ate 300 grams of carbs (spread out during the day) from green vegetables I would feel better than if I ate the same from potatoes, and potatoes would leave me feeling better than if I got 300 grams of carbs from whole grains.
    I would be on the toilet all day if the 300 grams came from refined/white carbs.
    I have tested this numerous times, and for me, it's 100% consistent.

    Last month I lowered my carb intake to less than 200 grams per day, and in 2 days the bloating was down and stayed down.

    In the past week I limited carbs to 180 grams per day (allowing for slightly more on cardio days), and GI system feels great.

    I have been replacing carbs with fats, mostly from nuts (NUTS, not legumes... more on that later).
    I also limit my dairy to 1 serving per day of organic yogurt.
    Most people have some sort of intolerance to dairy.
    Cheese and yogurt seem to effect people the least. Goat cheese would technically be the best, but its flipping expensive.

    So legumes.....

    Everyone knows beans can cause gas and bloating.
    What a lot of people don't know is peanuts are in the same family.
    Peanuts are also the cheapest "nut", and are the main ingredient in a ton of bars, trail mixes, etc.
    Peas, string beans, lentils, asparagus, etc etc.
    All high protein, but all can attribute to gas/bloating.

    Lastly, raw veggies are harder to digest and can add to bloating.
    Cooking them for a few minutes may help ease the digestion process.

  6. #6
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    If you're getting gas & bloating exclusively when you're riding the first thing I'd do is check or replace your water/fluid containers...bladder etc. They are a harbinger of bacteria, especially if you're using sugary/carb products like tailwind in them.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  7. #7
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    Fish, if I were you I'd try to do either super processed carbs for fuel, so traditional sports drinks, gels, gummy bears, things like that and if that causes bloating I'd swing in the opposite direction so like nuts, dried fruit (without lots of added sugar). See what works and then at least you'll know if you have something more to do with a problem processing fast carbs quickly or if it's an issue of too much fiber, fat, and so on.

    You might also want to pursue traditional medicine routes - ie, check to make sure you don't have any major food allergies or intolerances through a skin test, just to eliminate the "low hanging fruit" (ie, if you're allergic to X, you don't eat it, problem solved). I've read that chronic fatigue syndrome and food intolerances can often go hand in hand. That said, I would very much encourage you to first pursue traditional medical routes before going way left field, because there is a lot of "medicine" on the fringe concerning this particular issue.

    Another thing that comes to mind since you're vegetarian is that, especially if it's a recent change in your diet, you might be eating too much fiber which can cause bloating and gas. I'm not vegetarian, but when I made significant changes to my diet in favor of fruits, veggies and beans, I noticed more gas - but it was never painful, just funny.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    If you're getting gas & bloating exclusively when you're riding the first thing I'd do is check or replace your water/fluid containers...bladder etc. They are a harbinger of bacteria, especially if you're using sugary/carb products like tailwind in them.
    That's really interesting. I don't think its the issue in my case (my last two long rides have both had brand-new bladders), however, a good note to consider for the future.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    Fish, if I were you I'd try to do either super processed carbs for fuel, so traditional sports drinks, gels, gummy bears, things like that and if that causes bloating I'd swing in the opposite direction so like nuts, dried fruit (without lots of added sugar). See what works and then at least you'll know if you have something more to do with a problem processing fast carbs quickly or if it's an issue of too much fiber, fat, and so on.
    15 years ago I could take a couple bottles of very concentrated Hammer Perpeteum, a couple flasks of Hammer Gel and a 100oz bladder on my back and ride all day. Then I started to have the GI issues, dropping the Perpeteum seemed to help. Then I had to drop the hammer gel, then I had to drop the Heed. For a couple years I was just on natural foods like you stated, nuts (not peanuts), raisins, apples, bananas, granola, crackers.

    All that stuff is kinda hard to to eat in a hurry(and/or is heavy and bulky. After my daughter was born I wasn't racing for a couple years, so that wasn't a big problem. When I got back into it, I tried out Tailwind, which seems much better... most of the time.

    I don't think its an overall diet issue, I don't seem to have a problem with starch, lactose or gluten, it seems to be more of what I am eating/doing during the race, and perhaps the 24 hours before the race.
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  10. #10
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    Fish - sounds rough. I eat the builky natural stuff in training and go for the sciency-sporty stuff for races, only training with it occasionally.

    If you google "exercise induced gastrointestinal stress" you'll see a boat load of articles about it, but it seems kind of dry on the solution. Most dependable sources seem to recommend using a carbohydrate drink to help with quicker gastrointestinal emptying and avoiding hyperosmolar solutions. Have you tried drinks like Skratch and/or Osmo which are designed around being isomolar (also gels like the Science in Sport ones?). Maurten might also be an option, people with sensitive stomachs really seem to like it but I haven't seen anything but anecdotal reports about it. I'm a little more skeptical about Maurten than the others because maltodextrin typically empties a little slower than more simple carbohydrates like sucrose or dextrose.

    I've never used Hammer but I've heard about some poop-y effects from triathlete friends on the run...

  11. #11
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    well, if it's worth anything I've dropped my intake to about 200cal/hr (from ~300) over the past 10-12yrs. Is it age related? No clue. Also switched brands a few times and now kinda split between carbo rocket & Infinit - some of the carbo rockets have enough citric acid that i get sour but not gassy. I did get some SIS gels (decent enough that I might order some more to experiment this offseason) through some USAC promotion.

    Do you keep track of your food stuffs? not just race food or what have you? FWIW (and yeah this is anecdotal) but I minimize fiber up to 2 days before an event depending on the expected duration.

    This is a pretty icky place to be man and I hope you figure it out.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    Fish - sounds rough. I eat the builky natural stuff in training and go for the sciency-sporty stuff for races, only training with it occasionally.

    If you google "exercise induced gastrointestinal stress" you'll see a boat load of articles about it, but it seems kind of dry on the solution. Most dependable sources seem to recommend using a carbohydrate drink to help with quicker gastrointestinal emptying and avoiding hyperosmolar solutions. Have you tried drinks like Skratch and/or Osmo which are designed around being isomolar (also gels like the Science in Sport ones?). Maurten might also be an option, people with sensitive stomachs really seem to like it but I haven't seen anything but anecdotal reports about it. I'm a little more skeptical about Maurten than the others because maltodextrin typically empties a little slower than more simple carbohydrates like sucrose or dextrose.

    I've never used Hammer but I've heard about some poop-y effects from triathlete friends on the run...
    Huh, I've used Hammer gel, Heed and Perpetuem for 100 and 50 mile mtb races for almost 15 years (and training).

    Couldn't be happier in all regards.
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  13. #13
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    A lot of people have issues with Heed after a given time frame for me I can do it for 4ish hours but not much beyond that with out some stomach issues. I dropped it completely couple years ago.

    In general need to find that one thing (really just one) that when you do start to get issues in a londg ride or race you can use just that and just water for a couple hours to get everything in check. For fish that might be tailwind but your body is craving something esle.

    Fish I would say why not just find one or two other items of something solid to supplment and if do get stomach issues slow down the pace just for a little bit and just use tailwind maybe if that is working for you wont be ideal amount of carbs or calories maybe over a given hour but shouild keep you moving.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    A lot of people have issues with Heed after a given time frame for me I can do it for 4ish hours but not much beyond that with out some stomach issues. I dropped it completely couple years ago.
    I guess everybody is different.

    I and my loose band of racing cohorts use it without problem. Personally, I run a 50/50 mix of Heed and Perp for anything longer than 3 hours. Love it. No GI issues. Ever.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Huh, I've used Hammer gel, Heed and Perpetuem for 100 and 50 mile mtb races for almost 15 years (and training).

    Couldn't be happier in all regards.
    Yeh, I suspect that most people who use it (and for that matter most people who use any product that's been around as long as they have) are probably ok with it.

  16. #16
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    Nothing works. I've just learned to enjoy the farts.

  17. #17
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    I was skimming through that fasting thread on the xc forum and it sounds like they all go on multiple hour z4 rides without eating. Bet they don't have gas and bloating.

    htfu

  18. #18
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    Eat less, is the simple answer.

    Which includes consuming fewer calories via fluids.

    You can get away with a lot fewer calories than you think you can, or than the marketing has led you to believe.

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    [QUOTE=mikesee;13962964]Eat less, is the simple answer.

    Which includes consuming fewer calories via fluids.

    You can get away with a lot fewer calories than you think you can.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^This x's infinity. I do all my training rides on no calories, only water and endurolytes. I'll ride 5-6 hrs with no calories. No problems or issues. I have enough stored calories around my mid-section to fuel me for days and I'm pretty skinny.

    Rob

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiva View Post
    This x's infinity. I do all my training rides on no calories, only water and endurolytes. I'll ride 5-6 hrs with no calories. No problems or issues. I have enough stored calories around my mid-section to fuel me for days and I'm pretty skinny.
    Rob

    Zackly.

    I did the entire Kokopelli Trail in one ~16 hour push on a small handful of pretzels. Maybe 100 calories total. Did it again the next year with zero calories on board in 14 hours.

    Did the Vapor Trail that same year with no calories and even experimented with limiting water to ~80oz for the ~16 hour event. Felt fine throughout.

    The main limiter is mental.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Zackly.

    I did the entire Kokopelli Trail in one ~16 hour push on a small handful of pretzels. Maybe 100 calories total. Did it again the next year with zero calories on board in 14 hours.

    Did the Vapor Trail that same year with no calories and even experimented with limiting water to ~80oz for the ~16 hour event. Felt fine throughout.

    The main limiter is mental.
    I totally agree. Man, you and I would be the perfect 2 man team at Break Epic!

  22. #22
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    Most energy carb drinks contain maltodextrin. Because its it's cheap. If you're low on the enzymes to break it down it will ferment in the intestines. Look into HBCD its expensive at most stores but you can order online cheaper. The best company IMHO is True Nutrition. You can get pretty much what ever flavors you like.

  23. #23
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    I've accepted it as a part of life unfortunately. It doesn't matter if I make my own cheap bottle mix or buy Tailwind, I always come out a bloated mess. I think I've narrowed it down to the maltodextrine, but I can't prove it. I would love to experiment with whole foods on the bike, but I can't get past the logistics of just carrying it... so for now, I suffer.

  24. #24
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    Not only maltodextrin, many are sensitive to fructose.

  25. #25
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    Highly experienced pro endurance riders around here give seminars on endurance riding and being bloated is just a fact of life when you are trying to retain water and keep your electrolyte balance. This is what they preach and seems to make sense to me. I try not to take in too many calories via fluid, I try to use that mainly for electrolytes.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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