Ride tolerance decreasing with age.. Anyone else?

I just literally made an account just to be able to vent about this. Im 34 and been riding coasters since 1993. I had an iron stomach to the point marathoning rides like the zipper, starship 2000 and kmg Fireball back to back to back, maybe 4 times each. Never had an issue with any flat ride. Until maybe around 2012, then it stopped being enjoyable.

But my theory was, forget the flat rides, imma be able to ride coasters forever, no worries. I could go on Kumba 5 times in a row like it was nothing, even drinking couple of beers in the queue. However, my first ever wake up call came in 2017 after riding Canyon Blaster at Vegas. I felt dizzy and queasy for 15 min and i was so disappointed, couldn't believe it.

2019 SF over texas, Batman, Mr freeze, Titan, NTG, Joker, shockwave. No problem

2020 i go to CP. First ride on Magnum, felt queasy after it for 30 minutes, and i have been on magnum a dozen times. Didn't make sense since theres no inversions and i adore airtime. Went on MF, not a problem, SV, surprisingly not a problem, but Gatekeeper made me a bit dizzy again.

Kennywood was next. Jack rabbit, thunderbolt, Racer, Phantom and skyrocket all in succession, cero problems

Kings island. Diamondback, Timbers, Orion, feeling good. Rode Banshee and thought, that was intense. Immediately rode Bat, then rode banshee again and boy.... it was a struggle, i was praying for the ride to be over. Felt nauseous for at least an hour. Then rode Beast and i was good

Fiesta texas came next. Rode Iron Rattler right off the bat, gave me a tummy ache that lasted for 3 hours. Rode 4d spin, i was glad it was over quick but had to wait hours to feel like riding anything again. Then i rode the drop tower and all of a sudden i felt like my old seld again and rode Iron Rattler, wonder woman and poltergeist back to back and was perfectly fine like the old days

Its very depressing to be slowly losing my resistance and the biggest issue here is that i have emetophobia (extreme fear of vomiting) and since some coasters inexplicably bother me now, im starting to second guess myself while i wait in line and create an extra anxiety that doesn't help the cause. It this keeps up, i could see myself just sticking with woden coasters and short coasters like TTD, Xcelerator, Storm runner and B&M hypers.

Moved to Cali, have a trip to MM and Knotts in the next month, hope i can dominate my mind and stay calm

ApolloAndy's avatar

Have you tried Dramamine or ginger supplements or other medicinal solutions?

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Tried the dramamine pills that the parks sell but it was on an empty stomach and it didn't help about the upset stomach. Liquid pepto is the thing that always works for me. The thing is I've going to parks on a completely empty stomach and its backfiring cause i get tummy aches later and the appetite is lost for hours. Then i feel weak

Motion sickness/queasiness isn't typically related to eating or not eating. There's a difference when folks eat a pound of junk and then it jostles into a protein spill and when inner ear stuff brings on motion sickness.

For me the biggest culprits are not drinking enough water and B&M loopers. I just make sure to drink plenty of water on park days, as well as the day before, and I've resigned myself to only one Raptor or Hulk ride per day.

Tommytheduck's avatar

A few replies:

Desperado did re-open for a brief period. I rode it November 2019, 3 rides, front middle and back, and it was meh. Not painful or anything, just very shuffle-ey. Especially in the middle.

Dramamine: I bought a pack of this at SFNE a few years ago *after* I already was feeling nauseous. The Dramamine only made me feel worse, and I actually fell asleep on a bench while the rest of the group kept going.

How I feel during a day at the park directly corresponds to previous nights sleep.

Oh, and I rode Manhattan Express last month against my better judgement and it's still absolute garbage.

Last edited by Tommytheduck,

I haven't had issues with ride tolerance so much as my tolerance for walking the park an entire day or the heat. My cardiologist told me to drink Gatorade in the heat instead of just water which has helped some I can tell a difference. Still haven't figured out the magic cure for the feet.

One of my wife's quirks is chewing gum when going on a ride with loops. She says it keeps her from getting nauseous.

Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

That actually makes some sense, as they act of chewing gum would massage the area of the inner ear, which when it's "upset" can cause nausea.

I think the inner ear plays a huge role in this. Keep in mind, it is a muscle (or a couple of muscles actually). When we are young we "exercise" the inner ear muscle all the time. We are swinging, doing somersaults, rolling down hills, etc. Our inner ears are actively engaged and, as such, children and young adults generally have no problem with the spin and pukes, going upside down on coasters, etc.

As we get older we get more sedentary. I can't remember the last time I was on a swing or doing a somersault. Heck, if I try to do a somersault in a pool these days I'm queazy for a good 15 minutes. The muscle is not in shape and, therefore, we become much more susceptible to motion sickness.

I have a friend who swears by this. He is 50+ and he installed a swing in his backyard at the suggestion of a doctor. Anytime he is getting ready to go on a cruise he spends several weeks going outside periodically and getting on the swing. By the time he is ready to cruise he has minimal, if any, effects even during rough conditions. He has basically used the swing to get his ear muscles back in shape.

I now know my next project after lumber prices go back down again.

ApolloAndy's avatar

To be the "well actually" guy, I don't think it's a muscle, but related to the viscosity of the inner ear fluid. Though I don't doubt that swinging and tumbling a lot can help.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Jeff's avatar

Not just the viscosity, but also the presence of particles in that fluid that irritate the little hair-like structures in there that help you with balance.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

LostKause's avatar

Jeff is right. There are tiny fibers in your inner ear, and sometimes the fluid gets thicker with age. That's probably the biggest problem with older people feeling sick after riding rides. Also, particles, or crystals as it was explained to me, can sometimes break off and float around in the fluid. They tickle, for lack of a better word, the little hairs inside your inner ear, and this makes people dizzy. This was what happened to me. I felt like I was on a tilt-o-whirl for months at one point in my life.

My Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor told me to drink lots of water, reduce salty foods, and lay off the caffeine. That helped my dizzy spells, but when that problem was fixed, it also helped with visiting parks and riding rides overall.

Also, I have found that when I have an upset stomach at the parks, it may be because of greasy foods. Eating some crackers to soak up the grease has helped me in the past.

Swinging to prepair for a park trip works for me too. I get funny looks at the playground when I swing, but I don't care. I'd get funnier looks if I explained why I was on the swing.

I'm a few years shy of 50 years old now. I can't ride spinny rides without feeling queasy. The rides that are especially bad for me are rides in which riders sit in a large circle while facing outward. I can ride a S&S Swing Thing and have so much fun, but put me on a Huss Giant pendulum ride, and I'll be sitting on a bench for a few hours.

My days of marathoning roller coasters is over too. But I am fine with it. I enjoy looking at coasters while in line. I enjoy taking it easy at the parks, like people are supposed to.

Thanks for reading my Ted Talk.

Tommytheduck's avatar

I was with you until "lay off the caffeine."

Last edited by Tommytheduck,

Aw, c’mon now. You’re just being cilia.

I admittedly learned to not have my usual big cup of coffee on a park morning. It definitely makes me feel queasy after certain rides that I'm fine with if I don't have the coffee.

RCMAC...now that was funny.

And, for this 50+ the coffee or coaster debate is a short one. I need the coffee more.

Last edited by wahoo skipper,
Tommytheduck's avatar

I seem to have worse days at a park if I didn't get enough sleep the night before, if I'm hungry, or if I'm getting worn out as a long, hot day drags on. I would have honestly assumed that the caffeine would help. Plus, being a drug addict, I often feel that I need the caffeine to get my day started. I sure do feel better after my coffee.

Last edited by Tommytheduck,
sirloindude's avatar

Tommytheduck said:

Plus, being a drug addict, I ...

You had me worried here. “Oh, wow, should we refer this guy to some sort of recovery organization? Stage an intervention?”

Tommytheduck said:

... often feel that I need the caffeine to get my day started. I sure do feel better after my coffee.

And then my worry dissipated with this. “Never mind, he’s fine.” ;)

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones


Update - im very happy that i did well today in Knotts. It started so bad before the first ride that i thought it was over. Started feeling queasy out of anxiety to the point that i wanted to get off the queue of Coast Rider lol. Stayed, went well, Xcelerator went well, Ghost rider no problem, Montezuma the loops made me dizzy visually but i was fine after. Anxiety started coming on before riding Hang time, startes a tummy ache, but i was determined to ride it and i did fine. Silver bullet was next and also no problem. Im surprised i did hang time and silver bullet back to back and went that well. Gaves me confidence for Magic Mountain. Hope it goes well over there

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