What should I eat on rides?



Tw00sh

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Aug 1, 2009
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I find myself lacking energy around the 20 mile mark. I normally do not eat anything on my rides and just drink about a bottle to a bottle and a half of water.

I think that I might not have enough energy to go any real distance due to not eating anything. What should I be bring with me to continue to have enough energy? Should I eat at a set amount of miles or time? Should I stop and eat or just eat on the fly. I want to push myself to 30 miles, but just cannot get enough energy to make it.
 

64Paramount

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Jul 25, 2009
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How fast are you riding those 20 miles?

I'm not sure what your situation is, but I'd have to be in the saddle 50 miles +, or over 3 hours, before I'd need to eat during my ride.

But, I only average about 17mph over 40 miles and if your intensity level is much higher maybe you would need to eat.

It's going to depend on your level of fitness, the intensity/difficulty/distance/speed of your riding effort, and probably other factors that I'm not aware of.
 

Tw00sh

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Aug 1, 2009
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64Paramount said:
How fast are you riding those 20 miles?

I ride around 10-12 mph uphill and around 22mph on the flats.

My bike is a 16 Speed and I ride in 14th gear on the flats and 12th gear uphill.

I am 65" (5'5") When I started around 8 months ago I weighed 186 lbs, I weight around 166 lbs now, so I have been riding pretty hard for my fitness level.
 

64Paramount

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Jul 25, 2009
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IMHO, based on the info you've given I would think you would do better to eat enough carbs prior to your ride to make sure you have good energy for the 2 hours you are on the bike.

And I have to eat well in advance of my ride, normally at least 2 hours before I ride to make sure it's digested, and I rarely eat or even drink anything within an hour before my ride.

But, everyone isn't the same.

If you feel you need some food on your ride take a banana, or some fig newtons, or one of those energy bars along with you and see if it helps.
 

georgetcr

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Sep 10, 2009
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Don't eat within 2-3 hours of starting a ride. Consume 200-300 calories an hour during the ride from a carbo rich source ( I eat fresh dates - packed with carbs/sugars). Power bars and cliff bars etc. are garbage and over priced. By this point, you should probably hit your goal of thirty miles. If you start to ride longer than two hours, you need to be intaking some protein as well as the other food. Keep your fluid intake up as well, about 20 ounces an hour, more if it is hot. Too many people don't drink near enough.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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georgetcr said:
Don't eat within 2-3 hours of starting a ride. Consume 200-300 calories an hour during the ride from a carbo rich source ( I eat fresh dates - packed with carbs/sugars). Power bars and cliff bars etc. are garbage and over priced. By this point, you should probably hit your goal of thirty miles. If you start to ride longer than two hours, you need to be intaking some protein as well as the other food. Keep your fluid intake up as well, about 20 ounces an hour, more if it is hot. Too many people don't drink near enough.

Cliff bars are garbage? When was that officially made public?
 

martineargent

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Sep 11, 2009
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Hi Tw00sh,

Well dude, My suggestion is that don't prefer eat-ables during riding because during riding the body is full position of energy releasing and muscles of parts are on contraction and expansion. In the case , you eat something then that thing is not consumed in digestion and releasing energy is circulated through the whole body which is not good thing. Digestion requires the energy which is not sufficient when another process is consuming that energy. Drink the water and juices which give instant energies.

Thanks
 

64Paramount

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Jul 25, 2009
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alienator said:
Cliff bars are garbage? When was that officially made public?

I hadn't heard about that either.

I used to buy those by the case on the internet when I raced cars. They're a good mix of protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They taste good and they don't feel heavy on your stomach. That was my experience anyway.

They are a bit expensive if you buy them individually at the grocery store, but I sometimes will buy one or two if I'm going to be traveling.

I'd rather eat one of those than what they serve on airplanes these days..or rather than eat fast food in the airport.

If I was going on a long enough bike ride ( for me 60 miles or more ) to need to eat, my first choices would be either a Cliff bar or a Kashi bar.
 

georgetcr

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Sep 10, 2009
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alienator said:
Cliff bars are garbage? When was that officially made public?

I guess that i shouldnt say "garbage", as there are definately worse things out there, and on second thought cliff bars arent to bad. I would just rather stay away from the processed, packaged/pre made stuff - i think that it is just marketing hype. My point is to eat real food.
 

georgetcr

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Sep 10, 2009
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martineargent said:
Hi Tw00sh,

Well dude, My suggestion is that don't prefer eat-ables during riding because during riding the body is full position of energy releasing and muscles of parts are on contraction and expansion. In the case , you eat something then that thing is not consumed in digestion and releasing energy is circulated through the whole body which is not good thing. Digestion requires the energy which is not sufficient when another process is consuming that energy. Drink the water and juices which give instant energies.

Thanks

I agree with you; during intense stress, the body best assimilates liquid nourishment because solid foods require more blood to be taken away from the muscles and sent to the digestive system. However, for the person asking how to make it to the thirty mile mark on a ride, I am assuming that he/she is not in top racing shape and putting out such a grueling effort like a pro racer would. Good evidence is watch pro races, for the first few hours of a long stage, when the pace is not to high, those guys eat a lot of solid foods. When the pace steps up in the second half, they start using gels and carb drinks, etc.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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georgetcr said:
I guess that i shouldnt say "garbage", as there are definately worse things out there, and on second thought cliff bars arent to bad. I would just rather stay away from the processed, packaged/pre made stuff - i think that it is just marketing hype. My point is to eat real food.

I don't know how much, if any, of a Cliff Bar is processed, but they do contain a pretty ideal combination of carbs, proteins, and etc. Maybe best of all, they're compact. On an unsupported ride, just with Cliff Bars you can carry quite a bit of nourishment. It's tough to do that with regular food. At any rate, what you eat is, like saddles and shoes, a personal choice. On mountaineering trips, Cliff bars have nearly always been my nourishment between breakfast and dinner (usually late at night dinner). Unlike Powerbars, Cliff Bars are tasty (as are their Mojo Bars). For me Powerbars are only good for inducing vomiting.

On most of my long rides, I've got a peanut butter, peanut butter and banana sandwich, or pb&j. I find bananas by themselves don't last long in jersey pocket. Gorp is useless to me, as it's difficult to consume on the fly.
 

EuroG

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Sep 6, 2009
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Everyone's caloric intake during rides is different, the amount of food required should be calculated before the ride based upon suggested intensity/duration. Regardless cycling over 2 hours at X intensity requires food - period. Unless you enjoy that pre-bonk, sluggish feeling.

As for me I enjoy low calorie/sugar syrup mixed with protien powder, gatorade powder and heed in a bottle. PBJ on bread, pankcakes and sometimes whatever I can dig up! One time I brought pasta leftovers in a zip lock baggie for a ride. Didn't have time to cook or buy anything.

:)
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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martineargent said:
Hi Tw00sh,

Well dude, My suggestion is that don't prefer eat-ables during riding because during riding the body is full position of energy releasing and muscles of parts are on contraction and expansion. In the case , you eat something then that thing is not consumed in digestion and releasing energy is circulated through the whole body which is not good thing. Digestion requires the energy which is not sufficient when another process is consuming that energy. Drink the water and juices which give instant energies.

Thanks

You're joking right? I've not heard such headshrinker horsesh1t in years. I thought they got rid of folk like you about the same time as they drowned witches and snake oil was the 'in thing'.
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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EuroG said:
As for me I enjoy low calorie/sugar syrup mixed with protien powder, gatorade powder and heed in a bottle. PBJ on bread, pankcakes and sometimes whatever I can dig up! One time I brought pasta leftovers in a zip lock baggie for a ride. Didn't have time to cook or buy anything.

:)

Many folk don't know that pre-made Gatorade in a bottle contains high fructose corn syrup but the powered version does not...

... just sayin'
 

Steezlo

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Jul 30, 2007
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Just to chime in, I do 2 hour rides regularly without any food, you might want to drink more water but I don't think that's it either. I would examine your nutrition before the ride, and in general as well as how much sleep you are getting. Sleep is a big one, and it kills me sometimes.
 

aworthycause

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Aug 26, 2009
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georgetcr said:
Don't eat within 2-3 hours of starting a ride. Consume 200-300 calories an hour during the ride from a carbo rich source ( I eat fresh dates - packed with carbs/sugars). Power bars and cliff bars etc. are garbage and over priced. By this point, you should probably hit your goal of thirty miles. If you start to ride longer than two hours, you need to be intaking some protein as well as the other food. Keep your fluid intake up as well, about 20 ounces an hour, more if it is hot. Too many people don't drink near enough.
Rubbish:D Provided you eat healthily you should have enough energy to go for two hours without eating. However, if you are doing more than this you need to eat earlier; it takes up 45 mins for the food you eat to take effect, so if you don't eat for 3 hours in you are going on empty at about 3.5 hours. Eat earlier and eat small bits at a time, but you are right about needing some protein too.
I also used to think these bars were over priced ( i tried this recipe to make my own) but have since mostly found I like the convenience of ready-made bars. Mostly I just prefer the fact that they stay unmushed in your pocket.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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It's important to make sure that this point isn't missed: you have to also pay attention to what you eat after the ride. I like to have a tasty cheeseburger:
 

Palerider62

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Sep 30, 2009
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Hi, I'm new here... but I find a generous handful of unsalted almonds just before the ride helps to curb "the hungries" after 2 hours on the bike. ( I also ride a heavy bike on the road too...):) Yogurt or bananas just don't last long...
 

RWeb

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Oct 12, 2009
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64Paramount said:
I hadn't heard about that either.

I used to buy those by the case on the internet when I raced cars. They're a good mix of protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They taste good and they don't feel heavy on your stomach. That was my experience anyway.

They are a bit expensive if you buy them individually at the grocery store, but I sometimes will buy one or two if I'm going to be traveling.

I'd rather eat one of those than what they serve on airplanes these days..or rather than eat fast food in the airport.

If I was going on a long enough bike ride ( for me 60 miles or more ) to need to eat, my first choices would be either a Cliff bar or a Kashi bar.

I find those protein bars not THAT nice to eat (we're probably talking about different brands here) but another thing that I take are portable juice packets that are loaded with protein/nutrients but sometimes I have trouble opening them while riding. The other alternative is having a drink bottle with a protein shake inside. I generally ride with three drink bottles, though lately I've been testing with the 3rd holder to hold the protein shake. If you have one with milk during the summertime, and it warms up, then that's the only downside...otherwise give it a go. Sure more weight on the bike, but weigh up your options I guess. Bars are lighter for sure...btu I like my shakes...