Post-race water retention?

I have done more races than usual lately, and I have noticed that I actually weigh several kilograms more the day after a race. I then lose this weight over the course of a few days. My calves sometimes get noticeably taught when this happens.

I assume this is a combination of carb loading and water retention.

This is normal, right?

How long are your races?

How much sodium are you consuming on the day of the races, from all sources? Rough estimate is still useful.

Between about 25 minutes (flat out) and about two hours (high zone 3).
I’ve also gained weight the day after a 5-hour ride.

No idea about sodium… I do eat more carbs than usual before and after, though.

same, and even on hard 3+ hour rides. And then it comes off over the next couple of days, like you said. But nothing going on with my calves.

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I found an old blog post of an ultra-endurance rider who gained 15 pounds / 10% body weight after a 500-mile race basically overnight and his skin was uncomfortably taught. Haha.

Usually 2-3lbs for me the day after a big/hard ride. Rebound effect after depleting glycogen stores? I dunno.

Perfectly normal - although less so in cycling. I use to gain about 2kg after a marathon which is about 3% of body weight as I weigh about 60kg. It is water retention around muscle fibres as the micro traumas are healing. It is especially bad in marathons or other long distance running events as they really destroy your legs. It last about 4-7 days in my experience. I don’t get it so bad from bike races as although there is fatigue you don’t get the same level of tissue damage from non weight bearing racing…still likely to happen a bit. Always a good idea to keep protein levels high in your food during recovery but watch the overall intake if you take a break from training…again more an issue for marathon runners than cyclists. If you can walk properly the day after a flat out marathon then you haven’t been trying hard enough :laughing:

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This is normal. Your muscles retain water after a major insult (i.e., a long, hard ride or race). It is part of the normal repair process.

I have the same issue. After a brutal ride my lower legs get stiff and full. It will take a few days to flush them out. Makes tuesday intervals feel weird.