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Old 02-15-08, 09:59 AM   #1
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Pre-ride hypoglycemic meals

I thought I'd post this here rather than in my 50-mile post where it might get lost....

In preparation for our 50-mile ride tomorrow I know I need to eat well and hydrate well today (I usually do anyway, but I'm paying closer attention to that today). One thing of concern for me is carbs eaten the night before. I am prone to a hypoglycemic slump if I eat a lot of white pasta or rice without a significant protein balance; therefore, a huge plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce will cause the energy to just drain from my body and leave me feeling wilted and profoundly sleepy for the rest of the evening. Of course I do have this problem if I eat them during and immediately after a ride as long as I don't eat too much at one time. I do NOT get the shakes or anything like that, except for a cloudy head if I go way too long without eating (4-5 hours is a long time for me). The energy slump is the only thing I'm concerned about. Refined carbs on a long ride are no problem for me.

I'm thinking of making a dinner tonight of lean chicken w/whole whet pasta, chopped vegie salad, and whole wheat bread. I'm wondering if white pasta would be better in this case........

I'm wondering if anyone else here has this dilemma and what has worked (and not worked) for you. I think I will learn a lot from this experience that I can use in future long rides, of which there will be many....
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Old 02-15-08, 10:34 AM   #2
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On nights before a long ride like a century, I actually eat pretty light. To do that, I "spoil my appetite" around 3 pm with my own concoction of a super smoothie. I throw in anti oxidants (pomegranate/blueberry juice from Naked juice; Acai; blueberries), Indian Lassi drink, green leafy vegetables like spinach. Then for dinner, I "half-it". That is, whatever I eat, its about half the amount I normally eat. Then early morning the smoothie has an additional ingredient: dates, the kind sold at Costco.

The ground organic grown flaxseed may be a problem because it acts as a laxative to some people. You might omit that for the morning smoothie.
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Old 02-15-08, 10:43 AM   #3
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Dinner sounds fine - White or WG, whichever tastes best to you.

I'd stash a couple of 'breakfast cookie' or granola bar or fig newton cookie type treats in the jersey pocket (rather than powerbar type stuff) and nibble halfway through, rather than waiting for meal at end of ride.

It might be worth having a sports oriented health pro. look over your diet, maybe do fasting blood sugar test.

Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty. Water is really important for all the digestive, fuel transport, heat regulation, etc you are asking your body to do.
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Old 02-15-08, 10:47 AM   #4
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The idea of carbo loading has been somewhat debunked. If your glycogen stores are full you can't overstuff them. Unless you have depleted them significantly through a hard ride you really don't need to worry. Just eat a normal meal. Don't eat anything different or more than you usually would. In the morning it is important to eat a good breakfast of about 400 cal 2-3 hours before the ride. Eat the type of food you are comfortable with.

Once the ride starts, eat and drink regularly. Don't wait to feel hungry or thirsty. The general rule is 250-300 cal and at least one 24 oz bottle of fluid per hour. Don't over think all this. Just try to be consistent through the ride. Try to stay relaxed on the bike and remember to enjoy the ride. Have fun!
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Old 02-15-08, 10:59 AM   #5
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I've had problems with hypoglycemia since my early twenties due to a stomach resection caused by a perforated ulcer. I have a hard time predicting when my problems will occur because I can seemingly eat the same things with different results. I have passed out several times and once I actually lost my eyesight temporarily. My doctors feared a stroke at the time but I had no lasting effects. I can usually feel the "lsinking spell" coming on and know to immediately sit down and eat a "pick me up!" I used to think I needed sugar but have learned that complex carbs and protein is really what is needed.

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Old 02-15-08, 11:45 AM   #6
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I do best when I eat a complete breakfast - eggs, sausage and the like. Otherwise, at right about the 3 hour mark, I get shaky and cold sweats. When that happens I get the urge to wolf down whatever I can find to eat. YMMV.
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Old 02-15-08, 12:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I do best when I eat a complete breakfast - eggs, sausage and the like. Otherwise, at right about the 3 hour mark, I get shaky and cold sweats. When that happens I get the urge to wolf down whatever I can find to eat. YMMV.
You must be one of my long lost relations- Possibly from the better side of the family---although I doubt that.

On a 50 mile ride- not a great deal of energy will go from the Body- but I still do a few long rides each year. I carbo load for these for a couple of weeks before hand and I do put on weight. I also start the ride with a breakfast- Full English and 30 minutes later I start munching. For yourself tomorrow- have the breakfast and Munch. Now if a Decent homely cafe appears at about the 3 hour mark- get in and a couple of slices of pie will not go amiss.
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Old 02-15-08, 03:08 PM   #8
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Yen-once again, as much as you're tempted, don't do too much different tonight than what you'd normally do. I think you're already telling yourself to be careful about what you're eating so listen to yourself. Plus, what I've learned is that what works for one person is a trainwreck for another.

I will offer-watch out for consuming too much sugar in the morning pre-ride-like syrups, jellys, juices etc. They tend to cause stomach upsets when you follow them with intense workouts.

You'll do fine. Just keep your same routine and only take stuff on the ride with you to eat that you've already experiemented with on rides.
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