As a cyclist, there are many ways to keep allergies from ruining your ride. In fact, allergies can destroy a cyclist’s training plan. Depending on the severity, seasonal allergies can cause fatigue, red eyes, and interrupt your sleep. If you have these symptoms, you need to keep allergies away before starting to ride again.
Luckily, there are treatment options available—depending on your symptoms and severity—that will help you keep cycling strong.
What Are Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies, sometimes called “hay fever” or seasonal allergic rhinitis, are allergy symptoms that happen during certain times of the year, usually when outdoor molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.
However, there are more triggers to your allergies, such as pet hair, pet dander or dust. When pollen and other allergens contact the outer surface of the eye (conjunctiva) and the lining of the nose, there is a cellular release of inflammatory chemicals that include histamines.
The most common symptoms of allergies are itchy and red eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy/scratchy roof of the mouth and throat, post-nasal drip. These symptoms can interrupt sleep as well, causing fatigue and daytime drowsiness.
Now, time to our main question.
How to Keep Allergies From Ruining Your Ride?
While allergy testing can be performed to identify specific allergenic types of flora, the treatment of seasonal allergy is generally the same, regardless of what allergen is found to be the cause of a person’s symptoms.
However, because you are a cyclist, you can’t just stay indoor and cycle in the air conditioner. It’s difficult to avoid being exposed to airborne allergens, being indoor or outdoor, unless you are using best air purifier for allergies. These devices are necessary, but you still need to do it along other prevention.
1. Taking a shower to rinse off pollen from hair and skin after exercise
When you expose yourself to all things outdoors on a ride, the longer you go without a shower, the greater the likelihood your allergy symptoms will linger. And don’t skip washing your hair. If you get allergies from the pollen, then you need to take a shower after exercise. By doing that, you will be kept away from the annoying pollen, and can keep up with cycling the next day.
Related post: Cycling Training Tips for Beginners.
2. Plan Your Rides Accordingly
Also, you can ride at the end of the day, if you’re able. Typically, there are higher pollen levels in the morning. Moreover, the tree allergens are reducing significantly after a rain, or a snowfall. For a mold allergy, you should bike at the end of the day, after the sun has a chance to dry things out.
Related post: What You should Do to Have Successful Bike Training Ride.
3. Wear a mask to filter out pollen
No one want to weak mask when cycling, but the allergies are more severe than any inconvenience the mask may bring to you. First, you need to do a web search for the pollen and mold counts in your area can help you decide if you need to plan your ride around the air, or even if it just might be a day for an indoor workout. Then, if you are able to start training, weak a mask.
Related post: Best Stretches for Cyclists.
Moreover, you can also use an over-the-counter nasal spray called Nasalcrom right before a ride to ward off nasal and eye allergy symptoms. These things will help you ride better without any allergy symptoms.