Author Topic: Audax Indigestion  (Read 11480 times)

Spikey

Audax Indigestion
« on: April 12, 2011, 09:59:32 pm »
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has ever suffered from audax induced indigestion - the feeling that ones digestion has given up and refuses to process any more food/liquid. Typical symptoms include: feeling bloated, excessive belching, loss of appetite and thirst, followed by a gradual deterioration in energy levels etc.
What are the possible causes?
What preventative measures can be used?
What treatments/cures can be used to aid recovery?


Ade O

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 10:14:33 pm »
It's something I've suffered with  :sick:  I usually leave it too late before I eat anything and then it might only be cake and let's be fair the old body won't put up with that if you're out for the day.  I now try and eat early something like egg on toast which I did at the Elenith, then jkt pot and later on a chicken sandwich - I felt OK to the end.  So for me I must remember to eat well and not leave it too late otherwise the stomach rebels.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 10:14:53 pm »
Intense exertion will induce most people's guts to 'go on strike'.
This can be avoided by:
Reducing exercise intensity
Taking smaller, frequent feeds
Avoiding fatty food
Resting after eating

Some people can't tolerate solids at all and resort to sports drinks.

Make sure you don't overheat. Try to keep well-hydrated.

Different foods 'work' for different people.
I'm a CAKE lover but also love tinned fruit & custard.

I seldom had much trouble, though felt horrible after fish & chips at the Mariner's Café on the Brevet Cymru; lesson learnt!

Find out what works for you. The gut can be 'trained'; that's where getting more miles in the saddle can be helpful.

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 10:33:16 pm »

Some people can't tolerate solids at all and resort to sports drinks.


Then again, sports drinks commonly cause problems.  I could tolerate them if I diluted them more but even then I could only manage 2 bottles per day max.  It's all trial and error.




Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 10:42:11 pm »

Some people can't tolerate solids at all and resort to sports drinks.


Then again, sports drinks commonly cause problems.  I could tolerate them if I diluted them more but even then I could only manage 2 bottles per day max.  It's all trial and error.


For me sports drinks are the solution to the indigestion problem. I started experimenting with them after I packed at PBP 1999 due to indigestion problems. The cause was a combination of overeating before the start and heat during the day. My body simply stops digesting solid feed when the temperature rises above 30 degrees (C). I can hardly drink water above the same temperature. Sports drink (Overstim-s, the Decathlon brand and Born work good for me) rises that temperature treshhold at least 5 degrees and lets me function for quite a long time without a lot of solid food. Long enough to survive the hot periode of the day.
OTOH, some other brands I can't drink without stomach problems. You'll have to test it yourself.


hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 11:08:32 pm »
Make it a 'rule' that you always eat a little immediately as soon as you get off the bike, for whatever reason. Food absorption and glycogen synthesis are best then.
Don't wait half an hour for your food order; eat in the queue and take food away.
Eat if you get a puncture before your hands are dirty and before you battle with mechanicals.
Keep yourself cool with a wet flannel.

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 11:19:45 pm »
Make it a 'rule' that you always eat a little immediately as soon as you get off the bike, for whatever reason. Food absorption and glycogen synthesis are best then.

HM, can I ask why it is that food absorption and glycogen synthesis are better as soon as you get off the bike?
You're only as successful as your last 1200...

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 11:26:21 pm »
You aren't exerting yourself, so the blood can go to your stomach rather than your muscles.
Glycogen synthetase activity is maximal immediately after exercise and drops to 'normal' levels within two hours. I don't know why, I just know that.

LEE

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 11:32:49 pm »
Your body has been conditioned to process about 2500 calories in 24 hours, in 3 conveniently spaced sittings, between 8am and 8pm.

Occasionally, on a 400km Audax for example, you suddenly ask it to process 4 times that intake and at wierd times of the night. That intake probably consists of "weird" stuff as well (Jelly babies, milk-shakes, Red-Bull...all sorts of stuff).

A big part of me completing 400/600km rides was to learn what my body can digest and what I can actually physically eat when I'm in no mood to eat any more.

I think this is why you see seasoned Audaxers tucking into very plain foods like Beans on toast and Rice pudding.  The ONLY place I ever eat cold rice pudding is at the Menai control, about midnight, at 300km on the BCM600.  I have no inclination to eat it at any other time or place in my life.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 11:34:02 pm »
Some people only have the glycogen reserves for 45-90 minutes' exercise. They may need to eat every hour on the hour. It may not be helpful to exhort them to go 2-3 hours between feeds because that is what the 'hard men' do.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2011, 12:02:26 am »
i had a hard time after eating tesco's chicken pasta salad in chepstow during the dean. pasta itself and the chicken were fine i believe, it's the fat mayo in that made my stomach upset. it took almost 5hrs to digest.. lesson learnt.

one of the things i dislike about long rides is the poor/unusual diet that i'm "forced" to have. no easy solution to that unfortunately.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2011, 01:11:30 am »
It's good to be bad!
Your body needs little extra protein for Audax so 50 grams of protein can be split between several feeds. There are good reasons to avoid meat on Audaxes.
Your fibre requirements will be the same on or off the bike so there'll be space for some 'naughty' low-fibre high carb goodies.
Fat intake is moot; if your gut is threatening to strike, avoid BUT it's difficult to pack enough calories into carbs alone.
Some people's access to stored body fat is v-e-r-y s- l-o-w so they will need to eat and absorb some to fuel their effort.
CAKE is good, but too much CAKE too often can be nauseating.
Beans on toast are good fuel if you can tolerate them.
Potato crisps can provide a little fat and much-needed salt.
Personally I have never eaten, nor fancied, pork pies or pasties on a randonnée but they work for some people.
Jelly babies and licorice allsorts give an instant glucose boost. This might not last long. They should be washed down with quite a lot of water.
Toast & jam/honey give a mixture of quick & slow carbohydrate.
Enjoy being bad!
(& pack a little fold-up toothbrush!)

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2011, 08:14:36 am »
Rather than trouble with the distance, I purely seem to have food/drink related issues on brevets. My appetite just shuts down immediately, and totally, with predictable consequences.

For myself, I found that rather than force myself to swallow what is "right" I just have to eat whatever I can stomach at the time. (This weekend I had salt and vinegar crisps followed by a pack of sour haribo!)

For me, taking calories in with fluid has made a big difference. I started off with fresh orange diluted 50% with a pinch of salt, but after a few early successes that seemed to upset my guts, so last weekend I opened up with 4L of lucosade sport fuel stuff before taking on a further 3L of plain water (interestingly, when I switched on to water I started to get an upset gut!).

You have to experiment to see what works for you, but something along these lines is worth a try IMO.

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2011, 09:04:48 am »
To return from the Aegean to the OP....

Tea is the answer for me, with just a little milk and no sugar.

I'll only take one bottle of SIS Electrolyte for the whole day - but I will drink at least 3 cups of tea at each control where it is available, along with as much food as I feel I can take on without feeling bloated.

Belching.... unavoidable for me, whatever I eat or drink.   Done with enough gusto, it can be used instead of a using a bell or other audible warning device.

 

Justin(e)

  • On my way out of here
Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2011, 09:10:42 am »
To return from the Aegean to the OP....


The rowers have been sunk.

border-rider

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2011, 09:14:41 am »
They've just taken a slight diversion

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2011, 09:34:28 am »
or repeating themselves ?

Alouicious

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2011, 09:37:02 am »
And anyway, I don't recall Spikey mentioning what distance this affliction occurs!

It might be after 60 km, we do not know.


Talking about diversion, the blood is diverted away from the stomach and digestive tract, as Hellymedic says, when the demand for O2 by the muscles rises to near VO2 max. The stomach shuts down. Simple.

Haven't any of you got numbnuts due to this effect? Except Hellymedic.  ;)

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2011, 09:56:08 am »

Haven't any of you got numbnuts due to this effect?

No - just indigestion caused by constant unnecessary splitting off of threads and repetitious posting.

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2011, 10:20:08 am »
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has ever suffered from audax induced indigestion - the feeling that ones digestion has given up and refuses to process any more food/liquid. Typical symptoms include: feeling bloated, excessive belching, loss of appetite and thirst, followed by a gradual deterioration in energy levels etc.
What are the possible causes?
What preventative measures can be used?
What treatments/cures can be used to aid recovery?

As others have said, it would help if you told us the distance, level of effort etc., because everybody is different.

Happened to me last year, on a very hot 400km, I was drinking a lot of water but not replacing my electrolytes.

What happens in such cases is that you lose sodium and other minerals in your sweat, and as you drink the concentration of electrolytes in your body goes down. This is very dangerous. The body prevents you from killing yourself by stopping you from drinking - in my case, a mouthful of water would result in huge amounts of bloating, stomach cramps and belching. It became impossible to digest food. Eventually I threw up by the side of the road and could not continue, had to bail out in a hotel.

The technical name for this is "hyponatremia". Some good info here Ultracycling:  Electrolyes

I use Nuun now and have not had a problem so far this year. This may not be what is happening to you though: as others have pointed out vigorous exercise suppresses the digestion (with somewhat milder symptoms, for me) which is one of the reasons I don't like to ride 'balls-out to controls.
Next Rides: Poor Student, Willy Warmer?

"There are proven ways; play on the certain knowledge of their superiority, the mystique of secret covenant, the esprit of shared suffering"

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2011, 10:22:40 am »
How I avoid indigestion on 300km+ rides

1) stick to regular meal times.  Try to eat when it is your normal lunch/dinner/breakfast
2) after eating larger amounts, when you stop for food, take it easy for 30 minutes after to allow a bit of digestion to start
3) eat smaller amounts, regardless of how hungry you are
4) eat food that you know works for you.  in my case: cheese +beans+baked potato, tuna sandwich, Friji, salad with the meal,apple pie+custard, cheese panini, tea in the morning (not coffee)
5) don't have energy drink in your bottle that you sip as you go.  Have electrolytes.  Drink enough.
6) use "recovery" drink as a occasional treat/pick up/ instant energy.  Stop, mix up a shot of it, drink, carry on
7) carry snacks like bananas, cereal bars and try and eat one item per hour if nothing else.  Even if a control is coming up "soon"

How to get indigestion
1) use a "all in one" energy drink with electrolytes as your sole source of liquids
2) at the food stop have dessert and a main course
3) eat chips
4) immediately after dinner, race up a 25% hill

Specifically on the "take it easy for 30 minutes after"- I know that not everyone is a powerhouse and that controls are at the bottom of valleys.  If I have to climb away from a meal I will use the smallest, teeny tiny gear at a snails pace dragging along at a very slow speed.   If you normally climb at that speed and this rate of climbing requires a big effort too then maybe get off and walk on the steep bits
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2011, 10:28:47 am »
Back to the OP

Yes, I have had a lot of stomach problems on audax, from 200s to longer.  It can set in as early as 50 km. 

The way I have dealt with it is:

a) Eat a good breakfast of reasonable quality, but don't go crazy with the quantity
b) If I get ill on a ride, work out what it was that I ate and then don't eat it again
c) Don't eat stuff I know I'm not supposed to (being lactose intolerant doesn't stop me wanting a milkshake - guaranteed problem!)
d) Don't eat unfamiliar food - don't try stuff for the first time on a long ride
e) I find chocolate & cake easy to digest due to the low volume
f) If I even remotely need to go to the toilet at a control, I should go.  This is better than *needing* to go in the arse end of nowhere.  This is more of a problem for me as I am (a) female and (b) have fear of using public toilets (yes, really - it's apparently not that uncommon).
g) If the pain is horrific, aspirin will NOT make it go away and Ibrufrofen is guarenteed to make me sick.
h) Energy drinks don't do it for me, but Clif bars and jellies do.
i) I can't eat things that feel dry in my mouth.  I get the 'stuck halfway down' sensation.
j) Eat slowly to prevent eating more than my stomach will take and listen to the I'm full signs.

Unfortunately, all of this is from trial and error.  As Helly said, you need to figure out what are your easy foods.  Some people swear by jacket potatos, rice pudding, peaches, custard etc. Others will tell you that you should attempt to stick to the correct food for the time of day (breakfast in the morning; lunch foods at midday).  Don't be afraid of looking odd by asking for something unusual.  I have ordered chocolate pudding at 4am in a truck stop - no one batted an eyelid, but if I'd eaten something savory it would't have stayed down. If you think you won't be able to order what you want, carry it with you.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2011, 11:01:07 am »
I seem to be mainly a garbage crusher in this respect - just shovel anything* in at any time.
My only lost appetite was at about 1100k after 6hrs total sleep, and I could still ride the bike steadily (and eat jaffa cakes at 1225km). Other long rides (with more sleep) have been OK.

Lots of people mention eating at "normal" times. Well I know I'm a natural grazer in real life - I snack a lot between meals (not always, but mostly!). Maybe this helps me snack on the bike, and/or eating at odd times of day-night.

So maybe this sort of digestion pattern can be 'trained'?

Other thoughts;
- a lot of you probably have slight intolerances to certain stuff (e.g. lactose) which you really must avoid on a ride. You may not notice this in 'normal' life.
- eating big/fatty/meaty meals demands a good sit-down for digestion (or at least 5 miles very gentle spinning). Some people get caught up in the 20-mins-max-per-control mentality - on a 40h ride, time is a bit more elastic.


*although too much sugar makes me feel funny, and some stuff works better than others, etc ...
Has never ridden RAAM
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2011, 11:11:38 am »
Not "indigestion" as such, but I often find that I suffer badly from stomach wind when riding, and if I can't deal with it I lose motivation to continue.  I have found that I can usually shift the wind by "coughing" it up - a really deep cough or series of coughs, and up it comes.  Not very pleasant-sounding for anyone nearby, so I try to be alone when it's necessary!

DanialW

Re: Audax Indigestion
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2011, 11:33:27 am »
Of course, the OP should also take care that they are not suffering from GERD, a hiatus hernia or a stomach ulcer.

I got myself into a terrible state in 2008 with painful reflux, caused by one of the above. Strong coffee and coca cola really antagonised my problems, so if I want caffeine now on a ride, I use tablets and powders rather than espressos.