Nutrition Help: What To Eat Before/during/after A Gran Fondo


Apr 3, 2015
Hello people, I need some help getting to the next level in my cycling efforts.

I am signing up for Gran Fondos and other group rides and want to tackle a century ride, but the climbs are killing me. Not the distances...but the climbs. I have had to walk my bike up several of them and I am trying to get beyond that.

Besides learning to clip in and improving overall aerobic fitness, I really need help with what to eat before during and after the event.

So for you Freds and Weekend Warriors here, provide if you can some tips about the following:

1) Is carb loading still a thing? Do I eat some carb-y meals the day before or two days before or more?
2) What do you eat for breakfast the day of a big event? And how many hours before the event do you eat it?
3) What do you eat/ Drink during the ride? How often? How do I avoid needing a back pack to haul extra water and gatorade?
4) What do you eat at the feed stations? What do you avoid?
5) What do you eat/drink to recover? ( I currently go with chocolate milk or coconut water or a combination)

I am learning that power bars are not a sufficient breakfast before an event.
I learned that I need to drink a lot of water the day before I big event and drink more than I think I do during the event.

I read so much conflicting information from different magazines and books and websites- For once I'd just like to ask some actual cyclists.

Thanks in advance!
If you have to walk up hills I'd say it's more important to figure out your training and your gearing.

Food is the answer to your questions above. Carb rich but anything that's tasty.

A big bowl of oatmeal and some fruit for breaky.

Whatever they have at rest stops for the ride. Remember to drink enough - this is as important, if not more so, than food.

Afterwards - food.
It occurs to my mind that I really have no special food when I joined cycling groups and long rides. My only concern at that time was hydration so I have my water bottle or sometimes Gatorade. When I get hungry after a ride, I take an hour to rest before I eat anything for eating right after a long ride can give me indigestion. As with carbo foods, I believe that they can give you energy although availing it is far from my mind. What I want is a natural way to get exercise and a natural way of eating natural foods.
NJAgent020 said:
the climbs are killing me. Not the distances...but the climbs. I have had to walk my bike up several of them and I am trying to get beyond that.
Shifting to the proper gear is important. I see a lot of people walking up climbs with their chains on one of the center cogs.

Eat food. It is important. Some people fail to eat. I often go out to bicycle right after a meal. It takes about an hour for the fullness to go away. Get used to eating on rides. If you are putting out several hundred cal/hour, you should be eating that much. But any amount is better than none.

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