Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Lethargy and digestive problems

carbineacscarbineacs Posts: 65
I've got a bit of a problem, and from talking to other club members they don't seem to have this problem, so I'm hoping someone with experience might be able to help!

After any normal club ride, so 50 miles+, regardless of the pace we do I always get extremely lethargic and have digestive problems after the ride. It's annoying my girlfriend that I'm a zombie after I do a ride, so she's saying 'the day is written off' if I do a ride! It's annoying me too, as if I want to ride consecutive days, I feel like I'm probably not getting the nutrition in from the food I'm eating after I ride.

So for a normal riding day for example;

Eat breakfast shortly after I get up, normally porridge or some other multigrain cereal like kellogs 'just right'.
Do the ride, using High5 Energy Source+ or EnergySource 4:1 and (sometimes) a High5 Extreme tablet if I know it's going to be a fast ride.
Stop for cake and coffee, I normally have flapjack and sometimes a coffee, tried a diet coke or similar, no difference
Feel great after the ride, as soon as I get home around 2pm, I have a High5 recovery drink (400ml water or milk, 3 scoops)
Check Strava etc for a bit maybe 30 mins, then get in the shower. I still feel fine at this point. Then, after the shower, I get extremely tired, mood sinks and I can't be bothered to move at all. If I mentally force myself to do something small, like tidy up a bit or wash the bike, it physically exhausts me. All I want to do is sit and do nothing. During this time I try to eat some food, like a normal lunch but with more protein. 1 pint of water as well, so I can't be dehydrated (pee is clear!) Around 1 - 2 hours later time my gut starts rumbling like mad, sometimes get the runs, and if I pass any gas, it smells like something has died.. If I stand up, it's normal for me to get black dots all over vision and I have to sit down as I know I'm about to pass out, so I guess blood pressure is very low. HR is always elevated to 10 - 20 bpm above my normal resting but I think that's expected.

It's getting quite annoying now.. as it's putting a downer on my rides a bit! I normally ride 3 times a week, so I 'doubt' it's overtraining. If it was every time I hit it hard then I could understand, but today I had a fairly sedate ride, sitting in the bunch, not exerting myself too much and exactly the same symptoms. I figured I would be fine as the Strava suffer score was only 110!

Anyone else had experience of this, or know how to fix it?!
Rule #65 // Maintain and respect your machine.

Posts

  • neebneeb Posts: 4,387
    Hmm. Quite common I think. You've got to embrace the lethargy and call it "recovery".. ;-)

    Seriously, this is one reason I tend to ride in the late afternoon/evenings during the summer, you can do other stuff during the day and it feels OK (pleasant even) being frazzled for the rest of the evening if you get back at 9pm..

    More seriously still - don't underestimate dehydration - one pint of water is nothing, and your pee can be clear shortly after drinking a lot of water in one go even when you are still dehydrated. You need to keep drinking every hour or so for a bit. Also you may find as you get fitter it gets better - I associate this type of extreme post-ride exhaustion with pushing a little harder / further than normal, especially at this time of year when you are perhaps still building up fitness a bit.
  • SMESME Posts: 348
    Personally I'd try staying off of all those energy gels/tablets/additives, and try something more natural. I usually find bananas are quite good. I don't know the sugar content off those energy items, but I've found that too much sugar intake can give you a great burst of energy, but a big slump afterward.

    Also, are you resting/getting enough sleep?
  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    Have you tried having a nap after your rides?
    25% off your first MyProtein order: sign up via https://www.myprotein.com/referrals.lis ... EE-R29Y&li or use my referral code LEE-R29Y
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,168
    I kinda get this, but mainly when it's been a harder ride. Mainly my own fault for insisting I go on the fast/hilly group.

    Have you tried a 10 minute nap and a strong coffee? 10 minutes because it's enough to perk me up, much longer and I get more tired.

    To be honest if it's a Saturday, a couple of coffees and then onto the beers seems to work... doesn't help me on the sunday though.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,168
    Also yes skip the energy gels etc, I mainly have soreen and flapjacks etc.
  • QuinsQuins Posts: 239
    I only hit the " useless" stage after riding with a club fast group. Every week , post ride I was half man half settee. It was definitely down to effort. Sounds like busting your is not the issue based on your last ride? Could the gels and the amount of sugar your consuming cause your energy /stomach/mood dip? be worth getting a check up with your GP. As said above, give the powders and gels a swerve and I would get a check up with GP just for peace of mind. I only carry a couple for emergencies now, stick with real food, it suits me better and I prefer savoury at the cafe stop instead of )cake ( eggs, beans, meat).
  • Yeah I've had a nap after these rides, sometimes I have no choice!
    Today, I did a very average ride, another 50 miles. I took the above advice and didn't use any High5 powder, and as of right now, so far so good. I'm tired, but the gut ache isn't there at the moment and it's been 3 hours since I stopped. Got out of the shower and also felt ok. However on the ride I didn't have quite the 'oomph' I normally do, especially in the final sprint which is normally what I live for! I will try the 'normal' food as advised above as well, like soreen and maybe a banana. Probably better for keeping the weight off too, forcing the body to revert to fat stores later on.
    I've got a training camp in a couple of weeks so hopefully I can crack this before then! Hopefully it is just the glucose powder.. I just need to find something to help me keep max power for the very end of the ride though.
    I tasted the contents of Edvald Boasson Hagens bidon once, and it was awful. Wonder what that was..
    Rule #65 // Maintain and respect your machine.
  • Eat the more normal stuff at start and during first half of ride.

    Save the fancy stuff for the end.

    Seems like sugar sugar caffeine caffeine during ride.. a bit too much. Crash after? depression downer etc. need bester sugar balance.

    At end eat normal stuff earlier on in recovery. And eat again when stomach rumbles!.

    Could possibly get this reaction from extreme effort (sprinting at end - do you warm down?).

    If you want to bury yourself gonna have to potentially face up to after effects (grim and bear it MTFU etc, put on a show for the GF!). I get the panic when I realise I'm knackered and have to transform to be a Daddy immediately! with the visual dots etc. Just got better at playing on through it over time.
    I reckon beer is much underrated recovery drink! :-)

    You don't want to be doing extreme stuff every day on a training camp, otherwise you won't recover next day EOS!
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    carbineacs wrote:
    I've got a bit of a problem, and from talking to other club members they don't seem to have this problem, so I'm hoping someone with experience might be able to help!

    After any normal club ride, so 50 miles+, regardless of the pace we do I always get extremely lethargic and have digestive problems after the ride. It's annoying my girlfriend that I'm a zombie after I do a ride, so she's saying 'the day is written off' if I do a ride! It's annoying me too, as if I want to ride consecutive days, I feel like I'm probably not getting the nutrition in from the food I'm eating after I ride.

    So for a normal riding day for example;

    Eat breakfast shortly after I get up, normally porridge or some other multigrain cereal like kellogs 'just right'.
    Do the ride, using High5 Energy Source+ or EnergySource 4:1 and (sometimes) a High5 Extreme tablet if I know it's going to be a fast ride.
    Stop for cake and coffee, I normally have flapjack and sometimes a coffee, tried a diet coke or similar, no difference
    Feel great after the ride, as soon as I get home around 2pm, I have a High5 recovery drink (400ml water or milk, 3 scoops)
    Check Strava etc for a bit maybe 30 mins, then get in the shower. I still feel fine at this point. Then, after the shower, I get extremely tired, mood sinks and I can't be bothered to move at all. If I mentally force myself to do something small, like tidy up a bit or wash the bike, it physically exhausts me. All I want to do is sit and do nothing. During this time I try to eat some food, like a normal lunch but with more protein. 1 pint of water as well, so I can't be dehydrated (pee is clear!) Around 1 - 2 hours later time my gut starts rumbling like mad, sometimes get the runs, and if I pass any gas, it smells like something has died.. If I stand up, it's normal for me to get black dots all over vision and I have to sit down as I know I'm about to pass out, so I guess blood pressure is very low. HR is always elevated to 10 - 20 bpm above my normal resting but I think that's expected.

    It's getting quite annoying now.. as it's putting a downer on my rides a bit! I normally ride 3 times a week, so I 'doubt' it's overtraining. If it was every time I hit it hard then I could understand, but today I had a fairly sedate ride, sitting in the bunch, not exerting myself too much and exactly the same symptoms. I figured I would be fine as the Strava suffer score was only 110!

    Anyone else had experience of this, or know how to fix it?!

    Post hard ride bad tummy does happen at times. Try changing some of the food/drink and see if you get an improvement. Just a pint of milk for recovery for example and try some bars instead of energy drink. Also, not sure cake is that great if you're planning to hammer it. Basically, treat your gut with respect and don't make unreasonable demands of your body.

    I find an antacid immediately after the ride can help. If it's a short race, I sometimes have one before too.
  • Try staying off loads dairy based stuff. its very bad for producing snotty noses and your guts end up grumbling. There are plenty of great rice , oat , hemp , almond , milk replacements , don't bother with soya milk though.
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    Try staying off loads dairy based stuff. its very bad for producing snotty noses and your guts end up grumbling. There are plenty of great rice , oat , hemp , almond , milk replacements , don't bother with soya milk though.

    Snotty noses? Didn't know that. How/why? Also, why not soya? 8)
  • stretchystretchy Posts: 149
    How long have you been riding? I've been at it a few years and used to be written off after a 50 miler, now I get up early, do 50 miles, then have a full day with the family before passing out on the sofa at 9pm.
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 906
    Alex99 wrote:
    Try staying off loads dairy based stuff. its very bad for producing snotty noses and your guts end up grumbling. There are plenty of great rice , oat , hemp , almond , milk replacements , don't bother with soya milk though.

    Snotty noses? Didn't know that. How/why? Also, why not soya? 8)
    Dairy doesn't cause snotty noses. It's an alternative therapy myth. If it did it could be proven with science.
  • neeb wrote:
    More seriously still - don't underestimate dehydration -

    This was my first thought, how much do you drink whilst riding? I've taken to having two 750ml bottles (with some SIS electrolytes added only) on even a 2 hour ride and therefore drinking a lot more freely. I also glug a pint of water just before i set off. Previously i would take just a single bottle and only really sip at it now and again.

    I find my recovery is a lot quicker as a result of this and definitely not wiped out as much.
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
  • ... also does the High 5 have caffeine in it?

    Are you just suffering a caffeine come down (caffeine also notorious for playing havoc with your guts in concentrated doses)
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
  • stretchy wrote:
    How long have you been riding? I've been at it a few years and used to be written off after a 50 miler, now I get up early, do 50 miles, then have a full day with the family before passing out on the sofa at 9pm.

    4 years for road, but was fairly avid MTB'er before that. I've done plenty of much longer rides, but regardless of the distance and intensity, I tend to always get the same symptoms. I just used 50 miles as an example as that's a 'normal' club run.
    Rule #65 // Maintain and respect your machine.
  • ... also does the High 5 have caffeine in it?

    Are you just suffering a caffeine come down (caffeine also notorious for playing havoc with your guts in concentrated doses)

    Yeah, I went from Energy Source 'Xtreme' (140mg per 500ml) to Energy source+ (28mg per 500ml) but sometimes put a tab in there too, so that's 103mg per 500ml bottle. Which is similar to a can of red bull or cup of coffee. However, I do sometimes have a cup of coffee at the café stop as well!

    Maybe it's a combination of the glucose and caffeine, as I had 75mg + a coffee yesterday, but not the glucose powder and I was okay. Main thing was that I didn't get the bad guts, which I think most of the lethargy comes from as my body can't refuel, and I run out of energy later on in the day once my blood pressure and HR stabilises.
    Rule #65 // Maintain and respect your machine.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,171
    If I was going on a club run of 50 miles plus with a cafe stop. I would have my breakfast, just have water or no calorie squash in my bottles. Then have beans on toast or cake at the cafe with tea or coffee, then when I got home have a sandwich or toast after I had a shower. Then I would get on with the rest of the day. If you are seriously fatigued after even a fast club run it's the rest of your training that's not right not your nutrition.
  • If i were you I would experiment with a more natural solution for one ride and see how you get on.

    Water or just water with simple tabs to top up electrolytes. No caffeine other than a tea or coffee at your cafe stop and banana or flapjack/cereal (not energy) bar if you need a little fuel.

    I'm fairly new to road cycling. I rode 50 miles on Saturday at reasonable pace with 3000ft of climbs thrown in.

    Bowl of porridge when i got up (hour before setting off), glugged a pint of water just before we set off.

    On the ride I had 2 x 750ml bottles 1 with (zero calorie) electrolytes and one plain water. A lump of home made flapjack for fuel after 10 miles or so and a coffee and a croissant at about 30 miles.

    Got home, shower, poached eggs on toast and a cuppa and i was right as rain for the rest of the day.

    Give it a go and see how you get one. Personally for that mileage i dont think you need all the supplements, caffeine and sugar. Tried a caffeine/electrolyte tab on a longer ride once and all it did was make me need a poo
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
  • duplicate
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
  • If i were you I would experiment with a more natural solution for one ride and see how you get on.

    Give it a go and see how you get one. Personally for that mileage i dont think you need all the supplements, caffeine and sugar. Tried a caffeine/electrolyte tab on a longer ride once and all it did was make me need a poo

    Yeah I will for a few weeks, and hopefully that will fix it.

    It's not that I 'need' the supplements, it's not as if I'm struggling on these rides, but it's more that I use it to give me the extra boost to stay on the front that bit longer, sprint that bit harder, push up the hill etc.. and in my head, if the sugar and caffeine is helping me push harder, then I'm training a bit harder, and making extra gains. But where does it end, what's the benchmark, and I'm realising that the thought of the 'boost' from the supplements may be in my head, and in the long term may be doing more harm than good!

    Thanks all, there has been some good advice from some of you :)
    Rule #65 // Maintain and respect your machine.
  • Just try ditching the dairy , I found my nose and chest feel much clearer of phlegm and no more stuffy nose during sleep.
    The soya can alter the oestrogen levels , and high levels can alter a womans monthly cycle , whereas blokes lay down fat more easily like a woman. Moobs !
    try it and I reckon there is a good chance you will loose weight also.
  • Just try ditching the dairy , I found my nose and chest feel much clearer of phlegm and no more stuffy nose during sleep.
    The soya can alter the oestrogen levels , and high levels can alter a womans monthly cycle , whereas blokes lay down fat more easily like a woman. Moobs !
    try it and I reckon there is a good chance you will loose weight also.

    Utter, utter bollox.

    Sounds like a sugar crash OP (reactive hypoglycaemia). As others have already suggested, cut back on the gels and energy drinks - if you're stopping for coffee and cake halfway round you shouldn't really need them. Try a ride with water in your bottle and stick a couple of gels in your pocket just in case maybe?
  • renevatrenevat Posts: 56
    I get headaches regularly after rides, not a great deal of lethargy, but have started sipping on 'Dioralyte', or own brand alternatives, and that seems to delay the headache etc and does help with rehydrating.
  • cut back on the gels and energy drinks - if you're stopping for coffee and cake halfway round you shouldn't really need them. Try a ride with water in your bottle and stick a couple of gels in your pocket just in case maybe?


    You Knob head micrographia .
    cut back on the gels you shouldn't really need them, then put a couple in your pocket ? oh hang on its a sugar crash , should we eat sugar filled cake.
    You really understand shi*e about diets.
  • tumblr_lh1sve2s9d1qg3ycwo1_500.jpg
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
  • cut back on the gels and energy drinks - if you're stopping for coffee and cake halfway round you shouldn't really need them. Try a ride with water in your bottle and stick a couple of gels in your pocket just in case maybe?


    You Knob head micrographia .
    cut back on the gels you shouldn't really need them, then put a couple in your pocket ? oh hang on its a sugar crash , should we eat sugar filled cake.
    You really understand shi*e about diets.


    Eeesh, I've already accepted the solutions above and I'm going to try some as they make sense.
    I think what micrographia was saying, was that I should lower my sugar and caffeine intake via the bottles I use with glucose in them, and keep gels in my back pocket just in case I bonk out on a ride. Other than that, eat healthier foods at the cafe but I don't need the extra glucose in the bottles.

    Either way, I'm happy with the answers given above from people, please don't turn this informative feed into a some slagging match as other people can read some good advice without having to scroll through people arguing.

    As far as I'm concerned, (as OP) Topic Closed!

    Thanks all for your input. It's appreciated and I will look forward to getting my Sunday afternoons back :-)
    Rule #65 // Maintain and respect your machine.
Sign In or Register to comment.