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PROPER HYDRATION WARNING!!!!
#1
I recently completed my occasional ride to work at the hospital. Approximately 40 miles of flat to moderately rolling hill terrain. I don't do it often due to my leaving work after midnight. It normally takes about 2.5 hours given the traffic lights and various slow downs. I do not crush it since I will be on my feet for 9 hrs during work and need to do another 40 mile return trip.
I left with ample time to spare (30 mins) and started my ride at noon under sunny, but cool (for Florida) and windy conditions; low 70s, 10-12 mph headwind the entire ride. I noticed that I was feeling like I had little energy and attributed it to the wind. This was in the first 3 miles! Not normal for me, but I just thought I had a very strong headwind and would just have to slog against it the whole way. I WAS NOT CARRYING ANY WATER, but I knew I had plenty of places along the way if I needed to get some. After 15 miles I felt absolutely knackered, and although I did not feel the need for water I stopped and obtained a sugary beverage with a little caffeine boost in it (I will not name the brand). It was not an "energy" type beverage, those of which I have never used, and I generally never drink caffeinated products either since I am hyperactive enough without it. I just thought I was a little low on energy so I drank a couple of ounces, maybe 2 swallows, and was back to riding after about a 3 minute stop. During the next 10 miles I took another swallow, and at about 25 miles I stopped for a another swallow and a 2 minute break. I do not utilize a computer so I really had no idea what my average speed was, but I knew I was slow with the wind against me, and I was riding an average of 2 gears lower than my norm. I never got, nor felt hot; and at 30 miles I ran into a cold front with more wind and some very light rain. I actually zipped up my jersey because I was feeling cold even though exerting myself more against the wind and having just gone through the hilliest part of the ride. I barely had to slow down at any intersection and about 2 miles away I sprinted to beat a traffic light which I did without issue. Never a drop of sweat the whole ride. Upon arriving at work I found out it had taken me nearly 3.5 hours, one hour longer than normal! I could not figure out what was wrong, but I was beat; breathing not heavily, but shallow and rapid. I felt light headed and started feeling nauseated. I started working, but my respiration was not recovering (my normal recovery time is 5 minutes). After about 1.5 hours my breathing was still abnormal, I drank about 8 ounces of water (slowly), and then had to sit down. A nurse asked me if I was okay and I said no. At that point I was feeling cold, and the nausea increased; as I told the first nurse that I was feeling more nauseated, another grabbed a vomit bag and within seconds I was emptying my stomach to the point of dry heaves. Only threw up liquid since I don't eat before a long ride. I was hooked up to a vitals monitor and my heart rate was tachy, again way out of my normal range, my blood pressure was off, my oral body temp was a full degree below my normal, and my O2 saturation was way low. I thought at this point that I might be suffering from COVID due to my work environment and the increased exposure I have with patients. I had just gotten my second vaccination dose 2 weeks prior and considered that I might be having a delayed adverse reaction to it exacerbated by my ride. I got wheeled off to the emergency department where I was immediately tested for the SARS COV 2 virus (it was negative!), given a chest x-ray (clear, no issues), and put a on IV drip. After about 2 more hours my vitals started to return to a more normal state, my breathing was better, no nausea, and the chills were abating; but my lab work showed a super high white blood cell count, and there was an indication of renal damage. Almost two days later everything was back to normal, labs and vitals. I had taken about 7 liters of IV fluids, not counting the liquid only meals I was allowed. Diagnosis: acute renal failure due to severe dehydration!
I had not felt ill prior to the ride, nor did I feel exhausted, hungry, or thirsty. I had not been exerting myself under any conditions which would have attributed to my condition. I regularly drink about 2 liters of water each day.
I believe that this resulted from a side effect of my second vaccination (I had no ill effects after the first dose) which had caused me to have chills for about 18 hours; and I think that during that period of time when I had my house at about 8-10 degrees hotter than normal so I didn't feel cold, I had not properly kept myself hydrated while in bed, and I was sweating a lot during that time. I never brought myself back to a normal hydration level which the long ride exacerbated. Less than one hour after being discharged I was back on the bike taking a short but speedy ride, and I felt like nothing had happened, and three hours later I was working my full shift. That ordeal started on Monday, I worked my normal hours from Wednesday through to Friday, and today I just took my first over ten mile ride (into a strong headwind) without any problem.
This was a first for me and hopefully a last. I have ridden 50 or more miles in over 90 degree heat and over 80% RH without issue. I know I'm getting old, but this still has me shaking my head.

So final word: make sure you are well hydrated no matter what; and especially if you have not felt well even weeks prior since it can have a cumulative effect, and it can hit you when you don't expect it. I have not had any health problems prior to this other than the normal bruises and broken bones of a crazy cyclist.

Please continue to be safe both on and off the bike!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#2
Wow, glad it worked its self out.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
  Reply
#3
@Painkiller,

Thanks, feeling much better!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#4
Thats probably what happens when what we used call " Crashed" would happen. I crashed hard One time mountain biking for the first time in many years with a young man in his early 20s and zero body fat and me 50 some needing knee replacements and 60lbs over what I should have been. But no heart attack, almost killed me though, and no hospital involved. still did about 14 miles non record breaking and was fine after a few min.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
  Reply
#5
(03-09-2021, 06:13 PM)Painkiller Wrote:  That's probably what happens when what we used call " Crashed" would happen. I crashed hard One time mountain biking for the first time in many years with a young man in his early 20s and zero body fat and me 50 some needing knee replacements and 60lbs over what I should have been. But no heart attack, almost killed me though, and no hospital involved. still did about 14 miles non record breaking and was fine after a few min.

I am getting close to 60, but still trim; about 5 lbs over my college weight, just not as much muscle. My crashing was in running, and not cycling. My brother thought it might be a latent problem from when I wrestled in high school and college. I was not physically overweight, but I would still drop about 5-10 pounds to make my weight class; mostly through starvation and dehydration. I had done over 3 days in a row in that manner and never suffered any ill effects (that I knew of) other than lack of strength due to no energy. It could be that I had caused some kidney damage back then, and now at my age it is catching up with me. I will know shortly since I have a 50 miler coming up that takes me about 3.5-3.75 hrs (over 50 traffic lights) so a good test for the new riding season. I will take it easy unless I feel super strong, maybe +4 hrs.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#6
Completing longer rides without issue. Just did 23 miles averaging 17 mph, 5 minute post ride recovery time and no ill effects. I did nothing different regarding hydration and nutrition than I have in the past. I'll kick it up to 35 miles this week.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#7
So this past weekend I rode nearly a 100 miles; two 40 mile rides on consecutive days and a short plus 10 mile ride after skipping a day for body rest and recovery. My 40 mile rides were an hour faster than the day of my ride requiring hospital admission for renal failure due to dehydration. I only mention this because the medical staff seemed to be stuck on the idea that my riding was too intense and the physical exertion was the cause of my condition. After feeling no ill effects from taking progressively longer rides I have determined that my dehydration was indeed related to the side effects of the vaccine, possibly combined with some other factors that led me to being slowly dehydrated over a period of days/weeks which I did not notice until I exacerbated that condition by taking a long ride where the prolonged exercersion exposed my pre-existing dehydrated condition and caused my hospitalization. The only thing not normal to my routine was the vaccine (second dose) and its after effects which only lasted about a day and a half, but which I highly suspect was the overall cause. I hope this helps those who might experience this same situation and I highly recommend keeping yourself well hydrated if you experience any effects from the vaccine. Of course, please keep youself properly hydrated at all times regardless!

Everything is back to normal!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#8
Thank you for sharing your experience, Jesper. Unpleasant one, but this might reach ears of some folks.
I have not had such crashing experience. Yet there have been periods where I do a lot of biking and have weak-to-mild headaches every other day. I link it to not having drank enough H2O, or having unbalanced coffee/H2O ratio. Do you consume coffee daily?
Autobahn
  Reply
#9
(03-29-2021, 09:48 AM)G_M Wrote:  Thank you for sharing your experience, Jesper. Unpleasant one, but this might reach ears of some folks.
I have not had such crashing experience. Yet there have been periods where I do a lot of biking and have weak-to-mild headaches every other day. I link it to not having drank enough H2O, or having unbalanced coffee/H2O ratio. Do you consume coffee daily?

I do not imbibe coffee or any other caffeinated products in general. I was drinking one very strong (triple brewed) cup of coffee about every other night on average when I was primarily working the graveyard shift over the last year, but I have since cut that down to 1 cup about every 2 weeks. I used to only allow myself 2 cups of coffee a year; I am pretty hyperactive most of the time, and don't sleep well even without any caffeine. My main liquid other than water is ginger ale mixed 50/50 with whatever fruit juice I have on hand (usually OJ, living in FL). I do enjoy a beer or 2, but maybe average about 1 a day, and if I drink 2 in one day (or the rare 3, I'm small) it is over a period of many hours (4-8, even 12 hrs). I am the youngest of 3 brothers (me 58 yrs, oldest 63 yrs), and we all wrestled in high school and college; we still all cycle and/or run, hike, and mountain climb (not in Florida!!) without having suffered any major problems. I think my recent situation is a first for us other than activity related injuries and the like. I am so happy to be back tearing up the pavement at a normal rate. I am getting ready to try my first personal time trial since the epidemic; that will tell me a lot if I can hold a decent pace (25 mph for 30 minutes) going all out over a short course with a pace car. I have not been able to build up to a 20 mph average speed for over an hour yet; those days may be long gone unless I get more time off to train regularly and my back, knees, wrist, shoulder, etc., etc. don't give me any problems.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply


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