Caloric Needs Changing With Increasing Fitness?



incircles

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Oct 19, 2014
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When I go on significant rides (25-50 hilly miles), I've been trying to refuel based on a formula of 25-30 calories per mile. I ride a touring bike, so I'm not that fast. Thing is, riding 25 miles doesn't wear me out nearly as much as it did when I started cycling last year. At first I was hungry all the time and eating all the time and I still lost weight. These days, though, cycling doesn't seem to make me much hungrier until I get past 40 miles, and 25 miles barely tires me out at all. Wondering if I should still be refueling at the same rate?
 

Ulysses31

New Member
Sep 2, 2015
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Thing to remember is to drink before you're thirsty and eat before you're hungry. Even though at 25 miles your not tired and not hungry, you will have still been burning energy.
To answer how much energy to consume is difficult, as depending on fitness and exertion, exactly how much energy you need to consume will vary. If you're touring then I expect you'll be better eating slower release carbs from real food, these will also help fill you up and still provide you with the energy you need.
 
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An old Guy

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Feb 12, 2011
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incircles said:
When I go on significant rides (25-50 hilly miles), I've been trying to refuel based on a formula of 25-30 calories per mile. I ride a touring bike, so I'm not that fast. Thing is, riding 25 miles doesn't wear me out nearly as much as it did when I started cycling last year. At first I was hungry all the time and eating all the time and I still lost weight. These days, though, cycling doesn't seem to make me much hungrier until I get past 40 miles, and 25 miles barely tires me out at all. Wondering if I should still be refueling at the same rate?
Your body adapts. You have trained your body to expect 40 mile rides. It knows that you eat after the ride.

It takes about the same calories now as it did when you first started. A bit more because you have more muscle and less fat. A bit less because you weigh less. But nothing important.
 

neednoexcuse

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Jun 2, 2016
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Well, you need to compensate the calories. You should use a fitness watch to calculate the calories you burn during your riding session. There are many fitness watches available on the Internet. You should also drink some energy drinks before your cycling session so that your calorie needs are met.
 

gracer

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Jul 1, 2016
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I agree with what @An old Guy said. Your body might have already adapted to the regular routine you're doing since you started cycling last year. I think same is true as with any other form of fitness or exercise where one starts low and slow then gradually increases according to his/her endurance. It is a positive thing in my opinion because it means that your body is finally getting used to the regimen thus increasing your energy and endurance as you go along. :)
 

sharkantropo

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Apr 11, 2016
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Seems that your body is adapting to the strain and consuming stamina more effitiently since your developed muscles require les workout and thus less calories. To trigger glycogen stored in your body you should increase the workout. Keep up the good work.
 

Corzhens

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2015
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Thing to remember is to drink before you're thirsty and eat before you're hungry. Even though at 25 miles your not tired and not hungry, you will have still been burning energy.
To answer how much energy to consume is difficult, as depending on fitness and exertion, exactly how much energy you need to consume will vary. If you're touring then I expect you'll be better eating slower release carbs from real food, these will also help fill you up and still provide you with the energy you need.

I agree with that eating and drinking when you feel hungry or thirsty. It's punishing for the body to ride when in that condition - hungry or thirsty - and also not good to ride just after eating. I believe that we need more food or calories when we do physical activities particularly those strenuous like riding because food is the source of our energy.
 
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