Headaches after cycling are fairly common, but that does not mean that you need to avoid the bike. With a little technical know-how, headache-prone cyclists can share all the benefits of exercise without the pain. In fact, if you adhere to a few guidelines, cycling can help prevent headaches and migraines. The two keys to eliminating headaches associated with cycling are food and liquids. Dehydration and hypoglycemia are your enemies. Be sure to eat a light meal and drink water an hour before exercise. Continue drinking regularly both during and after exercise. This will help you replace the fluids you lose through perspiration. Eating fruit, some power gel, or a light snack before and during your ride can help prevent a sudden drop in blood sugar which can lead to a headache.
When most people experience a headache, they take a couple of tablets of Tylenol or similar pain reliever. From my experience, as someone who suffers from headaches after cycling, I can tell you that Tylenol does little to help these post-exercise headaches. The best way to recover from one of these headaches is to rehydrate and refuel your body. I sweat quite a lot when I ride my bike, and if I fail to drink adequately both before and during my ride, I suffer the consequences in the form of one of these headaches. Through trial and error, I have learned that drinking either water or a sports drink and eating a light snack helps. I have found that a bowl of soup or broth is especially helpful, as the sodium helps your body retain fluid. Try to avoid any heavy meals or large snacks, as these headaches can be accompanied by nausea. And it should go without saying, but do avoid any alcoholic beverages as they further dehydrate the body.
Another remedy for headaches after cycling is to use an ice pack or cold compress on your forehead. This works by reducing the flow of blood to the affected area. You will probably find that moving about increases the pain, so try to lay down or sit still, if possible.
If you regularly experience headaches after cycling, even when you are properly hydrated and have eaten, visit your physician. There are some medications that can help prevent these and other types of headaches. And, of course, if you ever experience a very severe headache, or one that you feel is the worst headache you have ever had, you should seek medical attention immediately. Fortunately, most headaches after cycling are not signs of more serious issues.
At Kass & Moses, we specialize in representing injured cyclists because we ride, ourselves. We have chosen to practice this type of law because we respect cycling and want to help fellow bikers who have been injured in crashes. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a cycling crash, don't go it alone. Contact us today to learn about how we can help you recover fair compensation for your injuries!