The Stomach Curmudgeon has minions: The Osmotic Police.
If the Curmudgeon has nothing else to worry about, the crusty minion calls in his cohorts, the Osmotic Police, to make sure that "not two sweet, just right" for the osmotic ratio.
Are the "Osmotic Police" similar to the Pillow Tag Police? Do they really cause the Stomach Curmudgeon to "close the door"?
So, there I was.
About 70 miles into my 115 mile ride and things weren't going so well. It was pretty hot: about 90 but fairly dry so it wasn't a problem.
I was feeling dry: my stomach was sloshing with a lot of water and Gatorade, but I was not in good shape. The energy drink tasted not so good and, 8 miles above the rest area at Kawaihae, I finished the last of my hydration pack of "just water". This, of course, educated me on the issue of a hydration pack: you can't see how much is left!
I made it to the rest area without keeling over but wasn't in good shape: with 35 miles yet to go!
I rested and drank and moped for an hour and then, feeling a little better, struggled back to town. It seems I wasn't interested in the energy drink or get and, having refilled my hydration pack and two bike bottles with water, that was all I drank as I crossed the 100 degree temps of the lava fields.
Funny, by the time I got to the top of Donkey hill, still 15 miles to go, I actually was felling better!
100 degrees, hot sun and feeling better? Who'd a thunk that?
So, who/what are the Osmotic Police?
What do they do? How does one avoid them?
The easiest way to think of this is thinking about what happens when an energy gel hits your stomach. There it is, a lump of glucose/fructose/sugar stuff.
The Stomach Curmudgeon knows that if the sugar is too dense, "it's not right" and it won't be passed out the door. Instead, it is held until it is diluted with water to a sugar ratio of about 6%.
What happens is that the Curmudgeon pokes the Osmotic Police and tells'em to "do their job".
The Police shackle the lump of sugar and takes it to the
Blood Stream Water and Electrolyte Bar
and tell the "sweet little thing" to "drink up, baby!"
The shackled sweetie then drinks for a while and slowly dissolves to slip away from the Police and sneak by the Curmudgeon.
All would be OK if the Bar has plenty of water, like say a person is sitting in an office. But if the person has been riding in 90-100 degree heat and is maybe a bit low on water, it can be time consuming to get that water from the Bar.
Of course if a person drank enough water, 8-12 oz/packet, then the level of water in the Bar doesn't matter: as the Osmotic Police rattle their shackles, the sweetie simply vanishes,
=> if it is not held up by other ruffians being quarantined by the Curmudgeon!
It is critical to get the fuel/sugar "out the door" past the Curmudgeon and into the small intestine where it can be absorbed. I now have two things to do:
Otherwise, just as the Curmudgeon will hold the heavies, the crusty minion will use the Osmotic Police to hold sweeties.
But, of course, this requires a bit of planning, coordination, metering, etc.
So, eat tons of sugar: bars, gels, candies, etc, get plenty of energy, and the Osmotic Police, in the form of a person's stomach, will promptly desiccate you into dried road kill! !!FAIL!!
This was the start of my "education", eat before you're hungry! Drink before you're thirsty!
It seems that, in a fit of enthusiasm/sloppiness, I was using the quart scoop measure to measure the Gatorade into a 3/4 quart bike bottle. I figured a little extra wouldn't hurt.
I had been making the energy drink too strong (for more energy) and, when it was cool and I was over hydrated, it didn't matter much.
When I was starting to really need fluid, the Osmotic Police told the Stomach Curmudgeon "Close and lock the door", holding everything back. Gatorade, energy gel: there it all sat as I slowly dried up.
This was not a big deal for the first 5 hours or so but as the temperature rose and I drank more and more: BAM! !!FAIL!!