It’s not uncommon for cyclists to experience nausea when riding in hot weather or during extreme cycling, so if you’ve ever had a wave of queasiness hit you while out cycling, you’re not alone. If you’re wondering why and how this happens, we’ve got answers.
When it comes to why cyclists often experience this uncomfortable feeling, there’s more than just one culprit to blame.
Insufficient hydration can be the cause of many problems. When you’re doing exercise, your body naturally cools itself by using fluid in your body to create sweat. When you’re dehydrated, there’s a lack of fluid so instead; your body will take the liquid from your blood.
When you’re doing an intense ride, your energy substrates in cells become exhausted and begin to produce acids. If you’re performing an exercise that is too vigorous, your body can’t always buffer the acids, and your pH level will become lowered. Low pH triggers headaches, nausea and you’ll generally feel weak.
Although staying hydrated is important, depending on the type of bike riding you do, too much liquid in your stomach can make you feel queasy. When liquid is sloshing around in your belly, it can irritate the mucous membrane and result in you feeling nauseous.
Slow Gastric Emptying
When you’re exercising, your blood flow increases, which also happens when your body is trying to digest food. So, if you’re on a ride and you have a lot of fluid or food in your stomach, both your belly and your muscles will have a battle for blood, and this can cause you to feel nauseous.
Be Free from Nausea
If you’re a keen cyclist, and you’ve experienced nausea before when cycling, there are a few ways that you can avoid that awful queasy feeling just by following some simple precautions:
- Before you go riding, eat a sensible amount of food. Don’t eat less than 500 calories and avoid eating more than 700
- Eat and drink sensibly not only before a ride but also on the night before. Avoid caffeine and alcohol and indulge on high-carbohydrate foods
- Stay hydrated, but don’t consume too much liquid just before your ride
- Don’t eat foods that are high in fat before or during a bike ride. These types of foods stay in your belly for much longer as your stomach struggles to digest them
- Although fruit is healthy for you, stay away from citrus fruits as they have a high acidity and can cause your pH to lower. It’s the same for sports drinks that have citrus flavors, steer clear of them if you don’t want to feel nauseous
- If you need to train for a long ride and you know you’ll have to consume food throughout it, take advantage of training to get your stomach used to absorbing foods while doing exercise
- During these training rides, it’s also the best time to test different foods and liquids and eliminate any that cause you problems or nausea
- If you’re riding in hot, sunny conditions, then wear sunglasses, a hat and sun protection. Squinting and too much heat on your head can cause you to have nausea and even heat stroke