Anti-depressants (SSRI's) and Cycling

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by andyjee86, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. andyjee86

    andyjee86 New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm struggling to find some decent information on this, and was hoping someone who may have been on SSRI's (or is) could comment on how it affects or has affected their cycling.

    Mainly, I'd like to know if anyone has noticed a change in heart rate or breathing. I.E. Can you not get your heart rate as high when on SSRI's? Or, the opposite... Does your heart rate go through the roof when exercising on SSRI's?

    Also, I currently do between 50-100 miles a week, plus 2 or 3 spin sessions a week, but am still worried about all the stuff I've read about weight gain from SSRI's. Has anyone noticed any weight gain? I ask this, because the discussion on SSRI's causing weight gain or not is really untrustworthy, as I don't think people are honest about their eating habits/exercise routines on the net - I mean, I could be lying couldn't I? Plus there doesn't seem to be enough information on it either way.

    I'm confident I do enough exercise to completely eliminate weight gain, but after reading so many stories of "I went to the gym every day for 3 months and didn't eat a thing but put on 120lbs" I'm starting to wonder if there's truth behind it. I was hoping a cycling forum might help me get a more realistic understanding.

    If no one is on them, or hasn't tried them I'd prefer to not get a slating off them for considering trying them. But anything helpful or constructive is appreciated, positive or negative. I'm aware cycling is the best anti-depressant, but right now I'm in need of something else too, but I don't wanna prevent myself from getting up hills.

    Thanks!

    P.S. I think Cycling News did a topic on this, but the link I found for it was dead.
     
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  2. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    A pharmacist friend once mentioned to me the percentage of Americans on anti-depressants. Apparently at one time or another... nearly everyone finds a need for a little pharmaceutical mood adjustment. There isn't anything wrong with that... we are all just humans.

    Everyone knows a healthy body makes a healthy mind..... or is that just lyrics to a song. Maybe having a healthy body is still worth the effort even if depression isn't related to a persons fitness level. I can't see how the joy and pleasure of cycling or being fit could be harmful even if your cycling isn't a cure for anything.

    I think there is sometimes a link between depression and weight gain. Eating is often used to relieve boredom and depression. Watch what you eat... don't over eat... and you won't gain weight. I am a believer is calorie counting. There is plenty of apps and on-line information that can help with that.

    Hang in there. It will get better.
     
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  3. andyjee86

    andyjee86 New Member

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    Thanks Dave,

    Yea, that's the thing. If the weight gain is purely down to an increase in appetite, then bring it on! As a bit of a calorie counter myself I'd still be able to manage my consumption. But if it's more down to a change in metabolism that affects the weight, then I'm a little worried about it. Hence why some feedback from cyclists who've been on them would be really helpful.

    I have the prescription, but am going to try do some more research in to it before I start.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Did you ask your doctor these questions? I certainly would take any internet advice with a very large grain of salt, especially on an internet forum populated with people unknown and unfamiliar to you. You've already expressed doubt about the things you read in the internet tubes, so why do you think medical information here will be any more reliable? If you already watch how much you eat and if you accept that regular exercise, especially exercise like cycling, increases your metabolism, how much more do you need? Not to be flip, but there's a pretty big difference between cycling's effects on body morphology than weight lifting's.
     
  5. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    +1.

    Posters would be prudent to get "face to face" medical advice rather than solely relying upon internet exchanges (even if those exchanges are well meaning and genuine).

    For what it's worth, I do subscribe to the "healthy body healthy mind" ethos.
     
  6. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    Then... why go to a doctor to begin with? If you don't trust your doctor enough to accept his/her research... then maybe you need a new doctor.

    I didn't mean to offer advice.... only encouragement. Not feeling like yourself today.... doesn't mean that is the way it will always be. But seeking medical attention... then turning your back on it to gather Internet advice? Man... that doesn't make good sense. If you don't trust your doctor... see another one ASAP. But treating yourself with Internet research and forum opinions... isn't a good idea at all. I feel sorry I replied.
     
  7. andyjee86

    andyjee86 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Dave what did you mean by "I feel sorry I replied"? Didn't mean to sound unappreciative or offend you.

    Obviously I went to my GP and she prescribed me CBT and an SSRI called Paroxetine (Paxil). I knew there was side effects attached to any SSRI but didn't know the specifics. Foolishly I got into the Google game and found this particular one increases weight the most. I have taken your advice on board, and do think I do more than enough exercise to blow the weight gain out of the water. I suppose I was just looking for reassurance from other cyclists. For example if one of you guys said "I do 200 mile per week, and I still put on weight" I would've taken that as a more trustworthy piece of information, than if someone from a 'Call of Duty' forum had said the same thing...

    My main point of concern though was whether SSRI's can affect your cycling performance, such as slower heart rate, fatigue, temperature increase etc. The main reason for my post was to ask if anyone who cycles a lot but uses SSRI's could report on such a thing. The weight thing, whilst it is definitely a concern, is less of one - if you get me. But thanks for addressing that, as I did ask about it.

    Yes, you are right - I should've asked all these questions at the docs, but I don't think she was a cyclist (well, she could've been, but asking about her hobbies wasn't really on my list of things to discuss). To to be honest, I don't really trust doctors due to a serious mis-diagnosis which almost killed me last year. And because of that I did change doctors, and this is the first time I've visited them.

    I'm going off on a tangent now and didn't intend on justifying myself or going into so much detail. I just thought it was worth asking the question, because if taking these pills stops me from enjoying the one thing I love doing, then I don't wanna take the damn pills. And I'll just have to be a nervous wreck and put up with the panic attacks instead.

    Cheers for the replies anyway.
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Given the frequency of the prescription of SSRI's, there is no doubt there is a significant portion of the cycling public that takes them, well, at least a non-zero portion. Hell, it's likely there are even ProTour riders, maybe even in the Tour de France, who take them. Given the dearth of articles about problems with side effects of SSRI's while cycling, it's unlikely there is a known problem with combining the two. That's not to say you won't experience a side-effect. Your best options are to consult with your doctor and keep track of how you feel while taking the meds and riding your bike.
     
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  9. andyjee86

    andyjee86 New Member

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    Yea man, that's a good point. At the rate they are prescribed, and the amount of cyclists there are nowadays, you'd expect something somewhere about the two if there was a known issue. I should know better really, I had 3 months of chemotherapy last year and didn't get that many of the side effects from that (or at least that I know of) so I should just get on with it. I just don't want anything to ruin my cycling, or make it less enjoyable. Plus I got so fit over the last year I don't really want anything to ruin what I've worked hard at. I'll just get on with it, but keep track of any change in performance so I can refer back to the GP if somethings not right. Ya never know, it might make me faster.... ha. Thanks, I feel a lot better now.
     
  10. andyjee86

    andyjee86 New Member

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    Yea man, that's a good point. At the rate they are prescribed, and the amount of cyclists there are nowadays, you'd expect something somewhere about the two if there was a known issue. I should know better really, I had 3 months of chemotherapy last year and didn't get that many of the side effects from that (or at least that I know of) so I should just get on with it. I just don't want anything to ruin my cycling, or make it less enjoyable. Plus I got so fit over the last year I don't really want anything to ruin what I've worked hard at. I'll just get on with it, but keep track of any change in performance so I can refer back to the GP if somethings not right. Ya never know, it might make me faster.... ha. Thanks, I feel a lot better now.
     
  11. David Gerchman

    David Gerchman New Member

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    no idea man, I am a Marine with ptsd. they are always fucking with my crack pills(as I call them). I know the are SSRI's. But all I see is my distance increasing, along with my speed. But I do take one of those 100mg of caffiene gel things. they taste horrible but you get so cracked out you feel like the hulk. Its like "HULK SMASH PUNY 6% GRADE WITH STANDARD GEARING"-David
     
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