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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-08-05, 02:45 PM   #1
Jarery
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Refuelling after commute

Currently trying to find a good routine for my commute. Yes, im another one of the new commuters
5' 10" , 165 lbs, 25k commute i do in an hour on my thunderpig of a 40 lb bike.

I eat a bowl of cereal before the ride. But once im at work should i eat something again right away to replenish glycogen ? Prior to commuting i ate a banana at coffee break, but would i be doing my body better to eat a granola bar, power bar etc soon as I got settled into work so that glycogen is refilled enough for the hour commute home ?

If so, how much should i be looking at based on my weight/ride time ?
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Old 09-08-05, 02:50 PM   #2
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Yes, you want to ingest carbs and protein after your commute, specifically a 3 to 1 ratio. I get my through recoverite which is made by e-caps. This can be had at www.e-caps.com

Also, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread would alos be good.
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Old 09-08-05, 03:02 PM   #3
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I normally eat a bowl of oatmeal when I get to work... cause I like oatmeal
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Old 09-08-05, 03:12 PM   #4
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Fruit or the new Kashi granola bars. Those things rock BTW. That and I nurse a gas station 64ounce coffee mug (with water).
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Old 09-08-05, 03:53 PM   #5
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Hrm, will be switching from cereal to oatmeal before ride in about 1-2 weeks as temp drops. So probably wont want it again when i get to work. That and we have crap for facilities here at work, for both cooking it and cleaning a bowl afterwards.

Kashi granola bars i might have to search out, i like their cereal. Is something like just a banana as soon as i get to work enough ?
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Old 09-08-05, 03:57 PM   #6
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Somebody in the nutrition forum advised me to consume .6-.8 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight (and I have confirmed this elsewhere) within 45-60 minutes after exercise. This helps prevent your body from catabolizing your muscles, which does a lot to prevent soreness.

I carry dried figs or dried dates with me for immediate consumption after my ride. Dried figs (on a gram per gram basis) are the sweetest food that exists (or so I read). They are also high (for fruit) in protein.

I would calculate how much carbs you need relative to your body weight and carry a food you enjoy that meets those pre-reqs. It works well for me.
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Old 09-08-05, 04:00 PM   #7
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The amount of work done will vary a lot depending on the terrain, the wind, the tires, your position, the style of bike, your fitness etc. It's a rough guess. If you are fit now, it's a short ride you may not need anything. If you are just starting it may be tough to do that ride. You'll have to judge by how you feel. If you feel tired later in the day, start following the above suggestions.
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Old 09-08-05, 04:49 PM   #8
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I'd advise mixing up the kinds of fruit you eat so you don't get bored. As for oatmeal, I get bored quick with it so I just toss in dried fruits, honey, dulce de leche, syrup, or whatever just to keep it somewhat interesting. And of course, nothing beats pizza for a mid-morning snack!
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Old 09-08-05, 05:31 PM   #9
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i follow the "eat proportionally every 3 hours" some yogurt and granola before leaving, then around 9-10 i have two slices of toast at work with some PB, and two hard boiled eggs.

if you have a small blender you can do all sorts of fun stuff with fruit, milk, or some protein shake mix - i use myoplex protein mix with banana and milk, but just half a pack at time.
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Old 09-08-05, 05:32 PM   #10
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also you can make your own granola bars, lots or recipes out there, and can out in exactly what you like
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Old 09-08-05, 06:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarery
Currently trying to find a good routine for my commute. Yes, im another one of the new commuters
5' 10" , 165 lbs, 25k commute i do in an hour on my thunderpig of a 40 lb bike.

I eat a bowl of cereal before the ride. But once im at work should i eat something again right away to replenish glycogen ? Prior to commuting i ate a banana at coffee break, but would i be doing my body better to eat a granola bar, power bar etc soon as I got settled into work so that glycogen is refilled enough for the hour commute home ?

If so, how much should i be looking at based on my weight/ride time ?
I was gonna say a banger and a beer, but they might frown on that at work.
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Old 09-09-05, 09:48 AM   #12
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I stopped at costco last night, they had cliff bars, so i got a box to try them.
Had one this morning after the ride in, feels like a big mac gut bomb sitting in ma belly now.

I think when i've burned thru the box, i'll just make a peanut butter and jam sandwhich at home and carry it in to eat once i arrive. When all else fails, back to the basics, hard to beat pb&j.
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Old 09-09-05, 11:23 AM   #13
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If you're so inclined, and I'm serious here, I love a nice beer after my afternoon commute. It's refreshing, and gives you some carbs and minerals and stuff. Guinness, for instance. Not "American yellow beer", if you know what I mean.

Guinness is also much lower in alcohol than the general public believes.
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Old 09-09-05, 11:32 AM   #14
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It's important to eat carbs throughout the day to replace glycogen if you exercise a lot. In the 1-2 hour time period following exercise, blood flow to your muscles is increased, so glycogen replacement is slightly more efficient. Even during this time, you will still only replace glycogen at about a 7-8% rate at best. A 1 hour ride might leave you about 50% depleted, so you will still have a glycogen deficit for many hours. Just continue eating lots of carbs with each meal.
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Old 09-09-05, 11:32 AM   #15
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I like to munch on a ham 'n jam sandwich and an maybe apple. Proteins, carbs, fruit, it's all in there.

Best,
e.
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Old 09-09-05, 11:45 AM   #16
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Beer sounds great, but im not talking about when i get home after the day, thats easy, i got a whole fridge and kitchen to raid.

Its the morning commute into work. I dont think the boss would like to see me chugging back a guinness at my desk first thing in the morning. No microwave, no kitchen area, no diddly squat as to any amenities at work except a fridge. So it has to be something i drag into work, and can just eat at my desk without a lot of preperation.

I just want to make sure im not riding in, then destroying good muscle while i sit on my butt at work all day.

Couple places now I've read the 0.6-0.7 grams / lb of weight for replenishment. So at 165 lbs, im supposed to scarf down 100 grams of carbs. But thats like 3 cliff bars. If i ate 3 cliff bars every morning as soon as i sat at my desk, id be gaining weight and going broke.

I guess thats where im confused. I can see the 100 grams to replenish my 165 lb weight, if i used up all my glycogen after a 3 hour ride. After an hour commute i doubt i'll need that much. I'll try a single clif bar till box gone, then onto the pb&j and see how i feel.
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Old 09-09-05, 11:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibikefor2
Yes, you want to ingest carbs and protein after your commute, specifically a 3 to 1 ratio.
Dang, so I guess my Mountain Dew after the ride in to work wasn't the greatest thing to have.
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Old 09-09-05, 12:28 PM   #18
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My ride is about half-an-hour around 7 miles. Before the ride I ussally do not eat anything I ussally have two bottles filled with Cytomax and drink those on the ride which keeps me well energized. I have one of those saddle bags with emergency fuel, with a couple of shots of GU sports Gel, some GORP (trail mix).

IMO... after your commute you should at least down one Powerade or Gatorade, or Cytomax powder mix, which I feel like is better then Powerade and Gatorade combined, and that should help you recover some of your electrolights.

http://www.cytosport.com/
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Old 09-09-05, 09:27 PM   #19
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I don't usually eat prior to my 15mi./50 min. commute, but once at work my usual breakfast is a toasted plain bagel with peanut butter, cup of yogurt, and green tea or yerba mate.

While on the bike I don't bother with anything other than water for rides of an hour or less.

After my commute home I usually don't eat until dinner 'cause I don't keep enough fast and easy foods around the house. If i'm not out of soy milk (I buy it all the time but a half gallon always seems to disappear w/in a day or two. Hard to buy much more than that at a time when you have other groceries to get and you're shopping on the bike.), I'll make a smoothie with frozen berries and scoop of protein powder and drink that prior to hitting the shower...

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Old 09-11-05, 07:35 PM   #20
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I guess what i need to know is not what to eat, but if eating is necassary.

7 hours sleep, then breakfast, then an hour bike ride. 25k. 70-85% max heart rate most of the ride i would imagine, with a few hill climbs where i hit 95%. When i wore my hrm one day it said 660 calories burrned.

Do i actually need to eat to refuel, or will that happen on its own with a snack (banana) at coffee break, subway 6" sub at lunch, granola bar at afternoon coffee.

Does one need to eat immediatly after a ride to stop muscles from being disasembled to replenish burned glycogen? Seems a lot of people dont eat immediatly after and they havnt turned into jelly on bones.

I know that up to an hour after exercise is 'best' time to replenish, but is a normal work day with lunch sufficient ? I dont want to pay for, nor eat extra calories i dont need, if not necassary.
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Old 09-11-05, 09:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
The amount of work done will vary a lot depending on the terrain, the wind, the tires, your position, the style of bike, your fitness etc. It's a rough guess. If you are fit now, it's a short ride you may not need anything. If you are just starting it may be tough to do that ride. You'll have to judge by how you feel. If you feel tired later in the day, start following the above suggestions.
I think 2manybikes is on the right track here (as he usually is!). Your commute will soon get to be very routine for you and for your body. An activity performed every day is not a strain for the body. (You increase fitness only when you increase the intensity or duration of your activity.) I used to get into that "replenishing glycogen" stuff until I started gaining weight, in spite of all the cycling I was doing every day. Now if you're training with extra miles on the weekend or whatever, you might need that extra carbs and protein.

Like my man 2many said, pay attention to how your body feels (hunger and muscle fatigue), and pay attention to the scales!

BTW, I'm a big fan of PB&J also.
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Old 09-12-05, 12:40 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Prairie
ham 'n jam sandwich
in the same sandwich? you're tougher than i'll ever be.

i really appreciate the advice on this thread. for the first hour or so after getting off my bike last week i felt like i could push down a mountain, and i was so cheerful i disgusted even myself. then some kind of physiological evil magic happened and within another hour i'd be a kind of shambling, snarling, drooling pumpkin. six-inch greenish fangs and hair on the palms of my hands kind of thing.

i'd like to:

a) get stronger so i can enjoy the bike more,
b) i'd also be pleased to lose some weight.
c) keep the job so i can buy more blinky lights and cool stuff for my bike.

so i'm trying to educate myself about the way to juggle all three. i do find that bagels, fruit, etc through the day have been almost a necessity in order to keep me civilized and leave me able to make it back home, but perhaps i should be going for more protein? this whole glycogen-versus-other-stuff thing is a bit over my head.

the only advice i have to go on so far came from asking a sports-nutrition guy about my son, who's doing some fairly intense extra sports training which calls on strength it's pretty clear he doesn't have yet. when i looked into ways of supporting this and helping him get stronger faster so he get more out of the sessions, i was told it would be good to have him get a good hit of protein at bedtime on workout days, so he can repair more efficiently while he's asleep. i was thinking this might also apply to the stuff i'm doing. i'm interested in anyone's thoughts or experience. i bought a giant jar of that whey protein stuff, and heck, someone's got to choke it down now.
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Old 09-12-05, 06:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtjim
If you're so inclined, and I'm serious here, I love a nice beer after my afternoon commute. It's refreshing, and gives you some carbs and minerals and stuff. Guinness, for instance. Not "American yellow beer", if you know what I mean.

Guinness is also much lower in alcohol than the general public believes.
We have a beer here in Oregon called "Black Butte Porter" that is a great after work, after ride drink. Not as stout as Guinness, but still a darn good drink.
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Old 09-12-05, 07:25 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tokolosh
in the same sandwich? you're tougher than i'll ever be.
Aww, that isn't so weird is it? Surely you've eaten ham or turkey with cranberry sauce; this isn't much different and I have been pleased with turkey substituted for ham. I'm told that cream cheese is a good addition to the recipe and now I wonder what a beer would taste like with this. I find the basic sammich to be a great mid-ride snack on a longer trip also. Anyhow, give it a try. I know you have it in you!

Lastly, as I should have said in my earlier post, apologies to vegetarians and no-pork eaters.

Best,
e.
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Old 09-12-05, 08:08 AM   #25
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I'm in a bit of a different boat since I'm trying to lose some weight. I try to stay away from refined carbs and just feed myself with fruits and veggies. Before my morning ride I have either a bowl of cereal (Kashi, Smart Start, Raisin Bran) with a sliced up banana mixed in (and strawberries if I have them). When i get to work, if I'm hungry or fatigued, I have some fruit - a Banana, Apple, Orange - whatever.

Fruit can be high in natural, unrefined carbs and is also packed full of fiber which is just a healthy choice. This is what works for me. Really, it's pretty simple. If you get to work and you are Hungry or you feel fatigued, then eat something! The way I look at it, the closer it is to it's natural form when you eat it, the better.
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