Weight Loss - Dehydration or something else?



swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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After some fun riding in the canyons the past two days I've mysteriously found myself 9 lbs lighter - or right at 5% of my bodyweight. Yesterdays ride was 4.5 hours, mostly climbing the long climbs in the heat and todays was 3 hours and again it was up around 90F. During the first ride I consumed four 21oz bottles (two bottlecages on the frame and two behind the seat - it gets HOT around these parts and sometimes you get no wind/breeze on the climbs in the canyons) two of Hammer Perpetuem mixed a little strong and the other two were water. Being a little mindful of the weightloss yesterday (6lbs) I took the same amount today and finished them all even though it seemed a little too much. I think I ****** more when I got home than the horses in the fields that I rode past!

I don't feel any weird effects associated with dehydration. No dark yellow pee, no chills, weakness or fatigue - other than the fatigue I'd expect from having 'some fun' on the last 45 minutes on the run in to town such as trying to beat the traffic lights and having a few good digs on part of the course that they use for the local crits.

Truth be known, I don't think I've felt better on the bike in a long time as I did at the end of the ride today. I can see why people say they see higher readings outdoors.

Despite trying to drink extra yesterday after the ride, again feeling a bit 'bloated' from drinking too much I only put 1 lb back on as measured this morning before I went out.

So, after all that, my question is, if you're dehydrated how quick does the body take on 'water' and therefore weight and if I don't have any symptoms of dehydration (I'd expect to see something 'iffy' even if it were only dark urine at a reduced amount) was the weight mysteriously beemed up by Scotty, cause I know I didn't expend 70,000+ KCals this weekend...

What gives?
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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swampy1970 said:
... cause I know I didn't expend 70,000+ KCals this weekend...
Well that's the bottom line, you can't lose fat or muscle mass that quickly but you can lose water. There's a fair amount of water stored in the muscles and glycogen is stored with water so if you deplete your glycogen stores your weight drops until they're replenished. That's actually one of the big teases with low carb diets, you deplete glycogen stores and the water associated with the storage goes with it. Voila you lose ten pounds in the first two weeks, gotta be a miracle diet!

But as you know fat's 3500 Calories per pound and you just don't burn 35,000 Calories in a couple of rides or a week of eating steaks without the fries :)

Anyway I'm betting on dehydration, but the intramuscular variety which takes a few days to top back up. And don't it beat all, water's a diuretic so it's real tough to power load on the water and bring it back up in a hurry.

But the good news is that some of that weight is almost certainly legitimate with rides like that ... just not most or all of it.

Where were you, up on Mt. Tam?

-Dave
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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daveryanwyoming said:
Anyway I'm betting on dehydration, but the intramuscular variety which takes a few days to top back up. And don't it beat all, water's a diuretic so it's real tough to power load on the water and bring it back up in a hurry.

-Dave
On a side note:

That is something that most people must not realize. I hear it all the time from my cycling friends saying, "drink extra fluid the day before the century because you want to be plenty hydrated."

I made that mistake this past Friday even though I know of this falsehood of over hydrating. I was thristy so I drank several 44 ounce glasses of water on Friday afternoon and was going to the bathroom almost every 30 minutes later that evening, was going through out the night and had a century to do on Saturday. I knew late Friday night that my extra drinking of water was acting as a diuretic and there was nothing I could do about it. I had some problems on that century partially due to flushing body fluid and the other part was my ongoing battle with fatigue.

Drinking extra fluid was and is something that bodybuilders do as a natural diurectic to flush out subcutaneous fluid out of the body giving a more defined and lean appearance. That is a tricky item because each glycogen holds 2.5 to 3 grams of water and bodybuilders want intramuscular water retention, but reduce attempt to flush the retention from the skin by trying to wash out sodium from the body. Cyclists need the electrolytes, glycogen and the fluid retention for endurance events. As Dave mentioned that fluid retention will flucuate based on you glycogen storage and body weight will then flucuate, but you cannot store excess fluid if you body is already replenished with fluid and glycogen. Drinking in excess of your maximum storage will begin to work as a diruretic.

Stupid thing I did on Friday by drinking extra water :(
 

Spunout

New Member
Sep 21, 2005
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Felt_Rider said:
On a side note:

That is something that most people must not realize. I hear it all the time from my cycling friends saying, "drink extra fluid the day before the century because you want to be plenty hydrated."

I made that mistake this past Friday even though I know of this falsehood of over hydrating. I was thristy so I drank several 44 ounce glasses of water on Friday afternoon and was going to the bathroom almost every 30 minutes later that evening, was going through out the night and had a century to do on Saturday. I knew late Friday night that my extra drinking of water was acting as a diuretic and there was nothing I could do about it. I had some problems on that century partially due to flushing body fluid and the other part was my ongoing battle with fatigue.

Drinking extra fluid was and is something that bodybuilders do as a natural diurectic to flush out subcutaneous fluid out of the body giving a more defined and lean appearance. That is a tricky item because each glycogen holds 2.5 to 3 grams of water and bodybuilders want intramuscular water retention, but reduce attempt to flush the retention from the skin by trying to wash out sodium from the body. Cyclists need the electrolytes, glycogen and the fluid retention for endurance events. As Dave mentioned that fluid retention will flucuate based on you glycogen storage and body weight will then flucuate, but you cannot store excess fluid if you body is already replenished with fluid and glycogen. Drinking in excess of your maximum storage will begin to work as a diruretic.

Stupid thing I did on Friday by drinking extra water :(
When you pre-hydrate, you have to eat too. Carbo and hydro load (carbohydrates need the water) simultaneously.

...
 

Felt_Rider

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2004
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Spunout said:
When you pre-hydrate, you have to eat too. Carbo and hydro load (carbohydrates need the water) simultaneously.

...
I suppose you would agree that your system will only hold "x" amount of glycogen and water if you are already topped off with glycogen and fluid. After that point the water begins to act as a flushing agent.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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daveryanwyoming said:
Well that's the bottom line, you can't lose fat or muscle mass that quickly but you can lose water. There's a fair amount of water stored in the muscles and glycogen is stored with water so if you deplete your glycogen stores your weight drops until they're replenished. That's actually one of the big teases with low carb diets, you deplete glycogen stores and the water associated with the storage goes with it. Voila you lose ten pounds in the first two weeks, gotta be a miracle diet!

But as you know fat's 3500 Calories per pound and you just don't burn 35,000 Calories in a couple of rides or a week of eating steaks without the fries :)

Anyway I'm betting on dehydration, but the intramuscular variety which takes a few days to top back up. And don't it beat all, water's a diuretic so it's real tough to power load on the water and bring it back up in a hurry.

But the good news is that some of that weight is almost certainly legitimate with rides like that ... just not most or all of it.

Where were you, up on Mt. Tam?

-Dave
After the ride I went through my usual routine of a big bottle of Perpetuem and some high carb fruit like raisins and even snagged on my little nieces Pedalyte!

It's a pitty that you can't just go out and hammer for that long and lose that much weight and have it stay off - if that were the case I'd be out for 7 hours every Saturday and Sunday.

I was up doing laps of Mix Canyon. It's harder than anything I'll see on the Deathride and Alta Alpina challenge. I don't do the whole drive then ride thing as I'd have to use some of my riding time to drive somewhere...

Jonathan Vaughters and Chris Horner had 'fun' up there a few years ago:

3670.3961.jpg


Got Steep? It's like this in places near the bottom of the climb but the last 1.75 miles is like this all the way.

3670.3962.jpg


The profile for that 7 mile stage:

3658.3940.jpg

Up the 15 percent average grade, through the 26 percent inside line on the switchback and over a mile-long 22 percent wall, Vaughters and Horner pushed time and again for dominance on the hill.

Horner said his gear choice kept him in line. “Our mechanic put a 28-38 on. Most of the guys rode 27s and that was a mistake. A 28 was the gear to have, it was perfect, and I was never bothered bogged down with the gear, so I could get a good spin going.” Vaughters was not to be outdone by mere gear ratios, though, and he jumped at the end to take the stage.

“I think he saved a little something for the line,” said Horner. “Because he put in a punch coming around the last corner there and I couldn’t go around him for the line. He was riding really well today.”

Vaughters was calm after the race, happy for his first win of the year and impressed by the climb.

“I didn’t know what the climb was, but I kind of knew what to expect from the rumor mill,” he said. “It’s similar to the Angliru, just shorter and a little bit narrower. There’s another climb in Spain called the Lagos de Covadonga that it’s really similar to, as well.”
I normally just go up and down the hill a few times from the 'bump' shown on the profile at 4 miles to the the point shown at 7.2 miles which is right at 2,000ft and a 1/3 of the way up that final green section. There's a nice hairpin bend where it's not 20% so it's a little easier to stand upright in cycling shoes when you're blasted out your skull. It gets steeper from then on and requires 300+ watts just to keep the bike upright and moving. I've never really liked steep hills but it's the only hill that's pretty close that's more than a few miles long and gains more than 1,000ft so if I want to do hills then that's where I gotta go. I don't go up the last part because of the way up - it's the way down that's bothersome. Not even my Dura Ace 7800's with new pads and freshly 'degreased/derubbered' rims have an easy time slowing down, let alone stopping and although the road surface in those pics looks smooth it's get that annoying 'rippled' effect where the asphalt sagged a little when it was laid down. It makes braking a tricky afair on the bends as your wheels bouncing under full braking.

I stand here and think of beer and ice cream, whilst drenched in sweat and covered in flies... aint cycling grand. This is 'that flat' hairpin I mentioned...




MixCanyonHairpin2b.JPG