Weight Gain after 2 consecutive weekend endurance rides

Sat Outdoor Endurance Ride: Calorie deficit of 3869 (150km ride z2-z3)
Sun Outdoor Endurance Ride: Calorie deficit of 2681 (114km ride z2)

Surprisingly, I weighed myself today and gained 2kg.
What happened?

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I tend to eat more after an endurance ride.When I rode my end to end (1000miles+) I put on 7lbs

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Weight doesn’t really work that way is basically the issue. Calories deficit over a longer period will result in less weight typically, but not 2 days.

Any number of things - if you weigh yourself two days apart, your prev measurement may have been ‘low’ through hydration, energy stores, anything, and 2kg is nothing really.
Workig hard can result in a birt of weight retention as your body creates a bit of inflammation to rebuild.
You may have since taken on loads of water and be better hydrated now

you haven’t intrinsically made changes to your body weight balance in 2 days - anyone can and does vary a lot day to day when training and depends on individual pre training to post training eating habits

In short - it doesn’t matter - and I bet if you recreate whatever conditions/eating/drinking that you did prior to the day you measured the first time, then you’re overall weight will be much the same


Ps. Good weekend though !! That must’ve been fun !!


See the #2 reason here: https://www.nomeatathlete.com/marathon-weight-gain/ (tl;dr: DOMS and water in your muscles)

Me, sometimes my electrolyte drinks and my post-ride food is enough to make me bloat up like crazy. I am really susceptible to retaining water.


With any kind of training efforts, the body’s response can vary quite a bit from what might be “expected”. The intensity of the ride, fueling during/after, weather conditions, dietary intake before, etc. can all have interactions in what happens.

Expending a certain amount of calories during a training session does not indicate weight loss. As an example - the body stores about 500 grams of carbohydrate for some who weighs about 75kg. That is about 2,000 calories worth of carbohydrate stored in the muscles and liver. Each gram of stored carbohydrate carries with it nearly 3 grams of water. If one were to ride at an intensity and with limited carbohydrate intake that could deplete their glycogen stores, we could see an immediate post-ride weight shift of nearly 2kg (4.4 lbs). BUT…nothing ever happens in isolation. If you eat well and replete those carbohydrate reserves, or potentially even supercompensate and increase storage glycogen to 600g (and therefore 1800g of water) you’d see a net increase of 1 pound of “weight”.

There are other fluid shifts that can happen due to training, including changes due to dehydration via sweating and rehydration afterwards. High sodium intake can also affect fluid shifts and lead toward a significant increase in water retention.

Also, high intensity training sessions tend to cause an inflammatory response will can also significantly increase water retention. During a 1-week long stage race, it is not uncommon to see riders gain 2-4 lbs due to inflammatory responses. Often it takes between 10-days to 2-weeks for the body to reflect changes in nutrition intake and exercise.

Also, in hot/humid weather it is not uncommon to see massive fluid shifts and therefore body weight due to sweating and fluid intake. In fact, just yesterday I saw a 4kg difference from the highest weight to lowest weight during the day (76kg pre-ride; 74kg post 3-hour ride (even though I drank 2.5 liters of fluid during those 3 hours); 78kg 4-hours post ride after dinner/rehydration (including a beer).

The thing that I tend to look at over time are the weekly trends in morning weight. Looking at daily fluctuation in weight gives insight about current hydration/inflammation/etc. rather than changes in weight/body composition.


Great info Neal, thanks for sharing!
I often noticed weight increase after longer rides, associated with legs/abdomen puffiness, which seem to indicate water retention. I’m a heavy sweater and lousy drinker (not a good combo). Currently supplementing with electrolytes (in particular Potassium and Magnesium) seems to limit retention.
Very interesting take on weight, so long term fluctuations are actual change, vs short term indicated inflammation state. Makes sense.


@Coach.Neal.H, thank you for the information. Value in smart scales? I have been using these for the past two years and look at trends, weekly/ monthly and composition rather than weight per se. I race multi day MTB marathon (5-7 days/stages) and my weight will not “settle” until around 14 days after the event, usually I hit my lowest weight at around that time as my body stops eating itself! :grinning:


Thats why i have chosen Sufferfest as my guide to cycling. Real experts! Respect