So over the last few weeks after I’ve finished a hard workout on the trainer I’ve started having a migraine. It starts with a blurry vision and then the headache comes quickly with nausea included. I have a feeling this is dehydration but I’m curious if anyone else has experienced this.
I generally don’t have migraines at all. I also drink about 128 ounces of water a day.
what workouts have you done that cause migraine…
like other said, some workouts will need more fuel than others…
Make sure you have the right amount of fuel before and during the ride.
Also, heat might be an issue
Liquid intake DURING the ride could also be responsable.
Other could be your position on the bike may be causing stress in certain areas triggering the migranes.
i am not a doctor…so take this with a grain of salt.
I would try to eat somewhere in the 250-300 calories range. before for 1 hr rides.
and if you are doing more than 1:30 i would add either a gel or something like gu rocktane in your water.
you could try that and see if it improves your situation.
Agreed with @Joelrivera here. More fuel and more electrolytes! These workouts are taxing and fueling accordingly is super crucial to feeling good, and more importantly, to making the workouts effective!
The explanation for migraines that makes most sense to me (n=1!), is that they are triggered when your hypothalamus senses too much imbalance one or more of the things that it is trying to regulate. These include temperature, electrolyte balance, hormones and blood sugar. Too little salt is a big trigger for me. Salt depeltion and the increase in heat from the hard workout may be the triggers for your migraine.
I put about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of salt in my 900ml water bottles and this helps. I also find I need a lot more salt becuase I follow a lower carb, higher healthy fat diet, and you need a lot more sodium to maintain your top end power when fueling this way.
I have never had a migraine as such but I get exactly the same symptoms as you after my 3-4 hour hard MTB rides at weekends (early mornings too). I have entirely linked it to hydration/electrolytes. As long as i ensure I get my electrolyte tabs in about 500-750ml water pre-ride, a big bowl of cereal, approx 1.5-2 litres of water during the ride and some mid-ride snacks (clif bar, PB&J sandwich etc.) then I’m golden.
I used to be a migraine sufferer, and exercise was one of my triggers. I found that I could prevent them with a proper warm-up and especially a proper cool-down (10-15 minutes). That might help if the other recommendations don’t.
I occasionally get headaches after riding that almost feel like a hangover type headache. They sometimes come on the evening after a ride but occasionally not until the following morning. What’s interesting for me is they seem to be more linked to the intensity of the ride. If I’m doing a lot of above threshold work, even if the ride is only an hour or two, that may trigger them. Really long 5 or 6 hours rides don’t necessarily do it, but ones with some high intensity might.
Agree with all of the above in terms of nutrition, electrolytes etc. It is really important to get electrolytes in afterwards as well. I used to take my electrolytes during the ride and then drink water afterwards. However adding electrolytes for post-ride seems to have cut down on the headaches for me, although once in a while I still get them.
+1 on this based on similar experiences. Have spent many evenings after long MTB sessions in agony and throwing up until I hit on the electrolytes. Wish someone had told me way sooner… Might not be your trigger but worth ruling out.
I used to suffer splitting headaches after longer rides, or harder rides. So much so that I dreaded riding outside because I usually went long, and very often came back with a headache. I used to think “Man I love cycling, but maybe my body just isn’t built for it because those headaches feel very wrong. I hope I don’t have to give up cycling because of them!”
Then I switched from water (what was I thinking ) to an isotonic mix, and the headaches became much less frequent. They went away completely since I started mixing my own bottles with maltodextrin and electrolytes to my own dosage.
I do get post-workout headaches once in a blue moon now, but every time that happens I know I have underfuelled. I glance at my back at my bike and am guaranteed to find a bottle that is way more full than it should have been at the end of that particular ride.
So I have no doubts whatsoever about what causes the headaches in my particular case: not enough electrolytes.
Good point. Could it be that the “really long 5 or 5 hours rides” are low enough in intensity that your sweat rate is pretty limited? Whereas those with intensity have you sweating a lot more?
For me it’s very noticeable during intervals indoor. Warm-up and endurance are perfectly fine, but at sweet spot or above there is really a huge increase in sweat rate… Strangely enough even a single 1 minute VO2max interval is enough to trigger that
Going slightly off topic, I used to suffer the exact same headaches as well when I was diving in tropical places (I stopped since I have kids). That also made me wonder at the time if I had to give up diving. I thought it was caused by the compressed air somehow.
Now that I think about this topic, I wonder if this is the exact same cause. We tend to sweat and lose a lot of water/electrolytes getting kitted up and sailing to the diving location on a boat. And I tended to drink a lot less than I felt I needed to try and keep my wet suit… you know… a bit drier
Now I wonder if your question has fixed diving for me too I’m very eager to try it out one day. Thanks @ dschuemann
I don’t think it is just the sweat rate. Something else physiologically happens with the really hard efforts. I Googled this some time back and never could find much, so it’s interesting to see this thread now. Great discussion.