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    Weight loss nutrition during rides

    Aside from watching what we eat during the day/not riding, what do you guys recommend during rides. I mean, I know for shorter rides, gels are good for quick burn energy and sustained mixes are good for long rides, and then you have the after ride muscle milk style drinks, but I have been told by a lot of people that if you aren't doing intense rides/workouts, drinking some of this stuff with lots of whey protein and what not will cause you to just gain weight/bulk up. My girlfriend and I are trying to figure out the best pre/during/post ride items to help the weight loss. We tend to see how hungry we are before and if we haven't eaten in a few hours, we eat a Cliff/Luna bar, and we use Hammer gels during our rides, then use gatorade during/after to help. And after, we eat dinner usually consisting of protein/veggies. Would using the sustained energy mixes for our longer rides, 20+miles(these will go up when she gets used to riding), and the after workout drinks have negative effects?

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    This might be dorky, but I've been known to pedal down the road chomping on an apple. A handful of walnuts can give you nutrient dense protein as well. Usually, I don't do sports drinks I figure that water is enough considering all the salt normally in my diet. Of course I'm just now breaking 17 mile rides - so who knows for longer. I'm still learning.

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    Even on rides i still count calories, to maintain my weight loss.
    That said i eat:
    Banana
    Bonk Breakers
    Sport Beans
    And lots of water.
    Chuck

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I'm surprised at how much stuff people eat on short rides. I eat breakfast and do 30 miles up the mtn climbs on two bottles of water. 50 mile flat rides, MAYBE one Clifbar, MAYBE.

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    the amount of stuff that i found surprised me too. I know your muscles need food, but there seems to be all kinds of stuff to keep you full instead of trying to drop the weight. I think for now, we'll stick to the Cliffbar if we need some kind of nutrition, and stick to water for the rides. It seems that everything to help your muscles just has so much more that defeats the purpose of a ride when it comes to losing weight.

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    I'm with you again Mr B. 20 miles is not long enough to need a Cliff Bars and gels.

    Make sure to take in enough water though.

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    I'm with Mr. Beanz - anything under 3 hours, just water in the bottles and I'll throw a Cliff bar in my pocket just in case, but I haven't needed it yet. I find the time out on the road matters more than the mileage when it comes to this kind of stuff - if you're out 3-4 hours on a hot day, you'll need to replenish more than just water. If i'm worried that I'll need electrolytes on a shorter ride, I'll use this.

    FWIW, the various Gels out there are just concentrated sports drinks, as far as I can tell. The calorie content of sports drinks, gels, bars - it's all very high which can be good if they are used as intended, but not so good the rest of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IntegratedPi View Post
    Aside from watching what we eat during the day/not riding, what do you guys recommend during rides. I mean, I know for shorter rides, gels are good for quick burn energy and sustained mixes are good for long rides, and then you have the after ride muscle milk style drinks, but I have been told by a lot of people that if you aren't doing intense rides/workouts, drinking some of this stuff with lots of whey protein and what not will cause you to just gain weight/bulk up. My girlfriend and I are trying to figure out the best pre/during/post ride items to help the weight loss. We tend to see how hungry we are before and if we haven't eaten in a few hours, we eat a Cliff/Luna bar, and we use Hammer gels during our rides, then use gatorade during/after to help. And after, we eat dinner usually consisting of protein/veggies. Would using the sustained energy mixes for our longer rides, 20+miles(these will go up when she gets used to riding), and the after workout drinks have negative effects?
    I will chime in here with others and say that for the rides you are talking about you don't really need to be eating so much, or even at all. Most of my rides are in the 25-45 mile category. I rarely eat anything at all on these rides.It has happened but it is extremely rare. I do drink 1-2 bottles of plain old water though. I find water to be the best. For longer rides, which for me means 50-70 miles, I may eat 1-2 bananas or stop for a single cookie. If I am out riding for more than 70 miles I might stop somewhere for a sandwich but not necessarily. It's up to how I feel.

    I make an effort to eat normal meals outside of riding. It is a common mistake to ride hard and then eat hard and then actually start gaining weight. At any rate, riding and eating in this manner has led me to drop 20 pounds since April 1 of this year.

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    I just went to the Hammer gel website. They recommend putting away 300 calories of their product per hour when you are riding!

    I don't get it. I have been riding my bike for decades and never used this stuff. I think we're all better off just eating food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneez View Post
    I don't get it. I have been riding my bike for decades and never used this stuff. I think we're all better off just eating food.
    I agree, when I do my weekly brick (45km bike, 12km run) I have a lara bar. I found these at a food show, they were sample size about 3 bites worth. The are a raw muesli bar, made mostly with dates and nuts. Plus i have one bottle of sports drink and one of water

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    Agreeing with everyone else, I'm amazed how much people eat/drink/slurp during rides too. On a typical ride (about 10 miles) I'll have NOTHING - I keep a bottle of water handy, but rarely use it unless it's very hot. On a 20-30 mile ride I usually need 2 bottles of water and a few almonds or maybe half a powerbar.

    Of course, I'm a beginner and my longest ride ever was 30 miles. When you go further or faster you might need some carbs, but your body's pretty good at telling you what you need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneez View Post
    I just went to the Hammer gel website. They recommend putting away 300 calories of their product per hour when you are riding!

    I don't get it. I have been riding my bike for decades and never used this stuff. I think we're all better off just eating food.
    You have to take those recommendations in context. When I'm doing a hard century or longer ride, yes I use a sports drink, and it's often Hammer. One bottle is 250 - 500 calories (I use a 24 oz bottle,but usually dilute the sports drink somewhat). And I start as soon as the ride starts. When riding, your body can absorb only so many calories (usually 250 - 300 per hour, but it is more for larger people), but you'll use far more so you will be in a calorie deficit on days where you do a really long ride. The goal here is to minimize the deficit so the body doesn't run out of fuel while riding. On shorter rides, that just isn't likely to happen (your body has energy stores, in the muscles and liver, plus fat - plenty to get you through a couple of hours of exercise) so you don't need the extra fuel above and beyond normal meals. The sports drinks are a very convenient way to refuel on long hard rides. They also replace electrolytes, which can be very important - although there are very low calorie ways to get the electrolytes, too - like Nuun or Enduralytes.

    On long rides I try to eat real food supplemented with Cliff bars and either Cliff eclectrolyte drink or one of the Hammer drinks. I drink something every 10 minutes, and eat something every 15 (just a bite or two).Gels and Cliff shot blocks are saved for situations where I really feel fatigued and need a quick pick me up - certainly not used every ride, not even on the long hard ones. I try to not get behind on my nutrition early so that I don't need that stuff later. However, a bite or two of food regularly works far better for me than eating a lot once an hour.

    Also keep in mind that when you read about these products on the company websites you are really just asking the used car salesman what car you should buy.

    JB

    Edit: as I said before, for me long rides start at about 3 hours long - shorter than that and I don't need extra calories on the bike. YMMV.

    Edit #2: Lots of stuff out there on recovery drinks. A nutritionist who also does some racing once told me that the best recovery food is food. Drinks are convenient, but not optimal. Bring some balanced food in a cooler and eat that after you ride. For a long hard ride 500 calories does it for me. Less than 3 hours, and I find a handful of almonds and maybe a banana is fine. Then eat your normal meals.
    Last edited by jonathanb715; 07-30-10 at 09:10 AM.
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    Wow, a LOT of good info. Thanks guys! I used to eat a few bananas before riding for the potassium and just so I have something in my stomach since I usually hit the road after work some 4-5 hours since I had last eaten. I'll pass this along to my girlfriend, and hopefully we'll get on the right track. We've been using the gatorade G2, so we get the electrolytes and also low calories for the really hot days (we're in the Arlington area of Texas, nice hot 100+ days when we ride), but on our shorter rides, I'll make sure we stick to just water and something (small, albeit) real food wise if we get a little hungry. Thanks again!

  14. #14
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I find it very important to eat well but carefully on century rides and long training rides. If I don't eat enough, I am both fatigued during the second half of the ride and tend to overeat after the ride. If I eat about 250 calories per hour during the ride I stay strong and am not very hungry after the ride.

    I start with two bananas, the first eaten after 30 minutes and the second eaten one hour into the ride.

    I then will eat my own mixture of 6 dates, 6 dried apricots, 12 roasted almonds and a quartered Clif bar every 2 hours.

    I also consume a bottle of Hammer Sustained Energy mixture and 4 Endurolites capsules every 3 hours.

    I can finish longer rides in the 200k range without feeling tired or hungry. I don't overeat after the event and I'm ready for more riding the next day.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-30-10 at 09:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneez View Post
    I just went to the Hammer gel website. They recommend putting away 300 calories of their product per hour when you are riding!

    I don't get it. I have been riding my bike for decades and never used this stuff. I think we're all better off just eating food.
    300 cal/hr is a good number, but it doesn't have to be nutrient Slurpees and athlete kibble. I'm a big fan of Real Food, too... The problem is when you (maybe not you, but when I) start getting into events that last longer than 12 hours. Blood is being diverted from certain functions like digestion to keep my legs going, therefore it is more difficult to consume and utilize Real Food. That's why I end up supplementing my dietary regimen on long rides (300k+) with things like Ensure Plus, IsoPure, and CarbBoom.

    For a ride of 20 miles I'd bring water, and that's it. Even at a super leisurely 10mph pace, that's only 2 hours of riding.
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    Just water for rides 2 hr and less. Real food, banana, pieces of oranges slices of apples for rides of 2-4 hr.

    Longer than that Clifton is 100% correct. You will need a supplement, and seeing that I don't make those rides anymore.
    I can't tell you which ones work and what is just hype.

    For me what I eat before I ride is much more important. I like a small amount of oatmeal. But to each his/her own.

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    To ad on i like to drink powerade zero on rides less than 2.5 hours at an average of 19-20MPH, no food or supplements. I feel great, I tend to eat a zone bar or Kashi bar 15 minutes before departing. Eat my normal dinner afterward. I like the powerade zero over G2 as it has 0 calories and the 4 essential electrolytes and sucralose (the sweetner) is very deep on the list of ingredients. G2 has sugar and sucralose and both are relatively high in the ingredient list which means they make up more of the drink.

    rides over 2.5 hours I will switch over to regular powerade and then ad in a gel around the halfway point, although i am considering going over to hammer drink powder.

    remember your body has plenty of fat to burn and unless you are going very hard it will be able to keep up by using fat to supply the muscles, the only thing that can no operate on fat is your brain, and this is a good reason on really long hard rides eating lots of carbs is important.

    now on triathlon days i tend to have gels at both transistions and in the next one (olympic distance) I will probably eat a bar on the bike, but again that will be a 3 hour adventure with me working most of it at 80-90% of maximal heart rate.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I'm surprised at how much stuff people eat on short rides. I eat breakfast and do 30 miles up the mtn climbs on two bottles of water. 50 mile flat rides, MAYBE one Clifbar, MAYBE.
    I'm with you. I base my need to eat on time in the saddle as opposed to distance. I take maybe a protein bar and a Gu packet along on the very long rides, just in case. If I've been riding 3-4 hours and I'm feeling hungry, I'll munch a protein bar. Or if it's a particularly tough ride (maybe a lot of climbing, for example) and I need some energy mid-way through, I may suck down a Gu. But I don't really like to use that stuff as anything more than a quick snack in a pinch. And a ride that is 2 hours or less shouldn't necessarily require additional calories, as long as you're eating right when you're OFF the bike.
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    Ok dumb question - but if you are a clyde - is it not GOOD for your body to go, "well out of immediate food (carbs)" - guess I gotta burn fat for energy? At least that is my goal . . .

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    Okay, I guess I'm the contrarian a bit on this topic. I found that eating a good breakfast a couple hours before riding just isn't enough to keep me going, so I've generally been following the 250 calories per hour suggestion for my rides. On my commutes to work, an hour each way, I eat nothing additional before or during the ride, I just follow my normal daily routine. For mountain or road rides where I expect to ride longer than an hour, I try to consume about 250 calories per hour, usually using an electrolyte drink for anything less than 2 hours and a sustained energy drink for anything over two hours. I'm pretty much following the Hammer guidelines, although I'm not always using their products. I may eat oatmeal, banana, PBJ, whatever as long as I stay within the 250 calories per hour.

    I've tried riding without eating, and I find that my energy sags after about two hours and also that I'll eat the doors off the refrigerator when I get home. Following the 250 calories per hour rule, I feel good after my ride and not so famished. I'm also continuing to lose weight at a steady clip. I figure I'm burning 500 calories an hour, so eating 250 per hour still has me in a reasonable deficit, and I feel better.

  21. #21
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by episodic View Post
    Ok dumb question - but if you are a clyde - is it not GOOD for your body to go, "well out of immediate food (carbs)" - guess I gotta burn fat for energy? At least that is my goal . . .
    On a short ride, that's fine.
    On a long ride, you can't convert fat to energy fast enough to power yourself. If we could, I wouldn't need to bring any food on a 600k brevet.
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    It makes much more sense to me to be eating more on longer rides, meaning (for me) 75+ miles. If I am out for much more than 3-4 hours I will eat much more than a banana or a cookie. If you are going to be out all day or for several days then the situation is quite different from going out for 1-3 hours. Since I have never ridden more than 103 miles I will defer the superior experience of the distance riders among us.

    If I read the Hammer site correctly, they were recommending ingesting 300 calories of their product even for rides of 1-3 hours. I think the used car salesman analogy was fitting in this case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    On a short ride, that's fine.
    On a long ride, you can't convert fat to energy fast enough to power yourself. If we could, I wouldn't need to bring any food on a 600k brevet.
    Here is a question on that front. You are told to consume 250-350 cal per hour. if you are riding at a good clip you are burning a bare minimum of 600/hour. So you are always running a deficit (and I think the 600/hr is being very conservative). I thought the need to consume was to keep a sufficient blood sugar level to power the brain and nervous system (which can not burn fat for energy)? And that your muscles would power along via fat and hopefully not too much protein to power you along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daffonce View Post
    Here is a question on that front. You are told to consume 250-350 cal per hour. if you are riding at a good clip you are burning a bare minimum of 600/hour. So you are always running a deficit (and I think the 600/hr is being very conservative). I thought the need to consume was to keep a sufficient blood sugar level to power the brain and nervous system (which can not burn fat for energy)? And that your muscles would power along via fat and hopefully not too much protein to power you along.
    ...
    Last edited by Kneez; 07-30-10 at 01:39 PM. Reason: Stupidity...

  25. #25
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    On a short ride, that's fine.
    On a long ride, you can't convert fat to energy fast enough to power yourself. If we could, I wouldn't need to bring any food on a 600k brevet.
    600k brevet?? Clifton you need professional help!!! OMG 600k brevet! Please give us your feeding amounts as well as when you try to eat these on a 600k.
    Also, what times are you making these in?

    For the rest of us, you know, the sane ones . Sorry Clifton, It is a matter of calories in vs calories out. If you burn 500 an hr, and consume 750 and hr you will not lose weight.
    Burning fat takes a much lower heart rate, about 65% or so as a rule of thumb.

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