Heat and Salt and A Fib

As stated previously I get pretty lightheaded when I get up from a sitting position after a hard workout, particularly in hot weather. Orthostatic hypotension. I don’t know why I get dehydrated so easily now, but I have learned that I need to eat something salty and drink a lot of water  after a workout, particularly a run or a bike ride which is longer than an hour or two, otherwise I get pretty dizzy when I first standup, and I’ve had a friend who is an nephrologist and another friend who is an internist both tell me to make sure I drink plenty of water after a workout and get some salt. Just one more fun aspect of being in persistent atrial fibrillation.


Pre-Race Motel

This is the first time in my life I’ve ever actually been trying to get more salt. Most people spend their lives trying to avoid salt. I have started bringing potato chips for a post run snack to the trailhead for my long runs. Another great post run snack is some blue corn chips with some hummus with some Hoisin sauce.



Although it is neither here nor there, I’d like to state that I am a vegetarian (nearly vegan – if not for the occasional veggie pizza) as far as diet is concerned.

I also find that I am more sensitive to heat, which is obviously related. Last summer I would often start to feel pretty tired 17 miles into a 20 mile training run. In cool weather a 20 mile trail run is no problem. When I’m training for a 50K I basically try to do a 20 mile run every weekend.

Fortunately I live in Klamath Falls, on the East side of the Cascades of Oregon, where we have relatively cold Winters and generally cool Spring and Autumn. Summer, obviously, can be pretty hot – but nothing like Southern California, Arizona, Mexico, the South, etc.


Resting During a Trail Run

I have also noticed over the past several years that I did quite poorly during marathons if the weather got hot. The concept of hot weather is a relative term – for me anything over 70°F (21°C) would be considered hot. My ideal running weather would be 35 to 55°F. Ten years ago I could do a 20 mile run when it was 90°F (32°C) without much problem. Those days are over.

I’d be interested in hearing from other people with atrial fibrillation with respect to this. Please comment.


Ringo – Pooped Out After a Long Trail Run

7 thoughts on “Heat and Salt and A Fib

  1. Pingback: Summer Training | The way I Run my life

  2. I also have an atrial fibrillation and a flutter. I had an ablasion done for the flutter, but it didn’t do much good because my heart would still go into afib and cause it to flutter! I have the same problems with light headedness, but I thought it was caused from my medications. I recently did my first 70.3 Ironman, but had no signs of afib, but I had to fight off cramps for 30 miles of the bike and the whole run. It’s great information about the light headedness. I’m definitely going to have to increase my salt intake after my hard workouts. Especially because I live in Vegas, and its starting to heat up. Thanks for the info!

    • Thanks for your comment.

      That’s what works for me – I did a two hour trail run today (sort of warm) and made sure I water with Gu brew during the run, and then three pints of water when I returned plus a bowl of potato chips. No dizziness.

  3. Pingback: Next Event – Veronia Marathon Sunday, April 13, 2014 | A Fib Runner – Distance Running and Mountain Biking With Atrial Fibrillation

  4. Pingback: Too Much Water? Not Enough Salt? Hyponatremia in Marathon Runners | A Fib Runner – Distance Running and Mountain Biking With Atrial Fibrillation

  5. I know this is old, but I’m new to AFIB, and have Cycling OCD 😉
    I’m 66, fit, with no other health issues, and was diagnosed with Paroxymal AFIB 6 months ago.
    Put on a channel-blocker 180mg Diltiazem once daily and everything has gone back to normal…until a turn in the weather. It has become extremely hot and humid the last week, so I have been hitting the trails earlier in the morning to “beat the heat”. I’m retired, so I have the luxury of riding every day…nothing serious, 25-40k daily, and when warmer I keep the GU tabs fizzing. Typically, one half bike bottle of GU, and another water bottle when it heats up. My last ride was yesterday morning…like I said..every day, but I’m sadly skipping my”fix” this morning because…last night I was experiencing ecoptics like crazy…my Apple watch did not pick up AFIB, but it was annoying anyway. This morning, even hotter/muggier…going up to 42c with the humidex. But, like I said, lately I’ve been getting out right after my daily dog hike…2-4k…they are aging labs…their get-up-and-go is gone 😉 So, this morning, I got our late because…shite sleep because of aforementioned ecoptics, which not a huge deal, as my rides are mostly forested. After I got home with the dogs, I was sweating like a pig, and my HR was up into the 158-160 range for about 20 minutes…its been bouncing its way down to normal for an hour.
    Sorry for the novella, but just wondering if this happens to you or any of your competitors on hot-humid days? BTW, my HR during rides rarely gets above 150…typically 134-140.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s