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  1. #1
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Ride Food - What works?

    What do you eat and how often during a ride?

    I have tried many things over the years - Fig Newtons were a staple for a long time. Dried fruits were used for a few seasons.
    Power bars - look the same going in as coming out, taste the same too.
    I tried a lot of stuff but I think I am narrowing in on what works for me.
    Last year I discovered Soy Joy bars, they are light and tastey, easy to eat. I take a berry flavored one with a lemon lime gu after every hour in the saddle. Seems to work well for me. At the end of the ride I take a bar heavy in whey protein (Balance Bar).

    What works for you?
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    On the bike, I've been experimenting over the past few years and have settled on Clif Shot Bloks and Cytomax. Half a pkg of bloks every half hour or so, and drink often (what "often" is depends on the weather: more when it's hot, less when it's cool.)

    At rest stops or convenience stores, I usually down some v-8 (carbs, fluids and electrolytes), strawberry Quik (LOADs of calories), chips (for calories and salt), a yogurt fruit smoothie, or if it's around meal time on a long ride (400k or more), a cheeseburger. Really - it goes down easy, settles my stomach (if it's bothering me), and gives me lots of time-release calories. If I'm feeling sleepy or sluggish, a Starbuck's Frappucino does the ticket. 300cal, and enough caffeine to wake the dead. It's the long distance cyclists' equivalent of nitrous. Oh, I almost forgot - PB&J sandwiches! Love 'em!

    Scott P
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  3. #3
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    Small bag of trail mix:
    peanuts
    raisins
    sunflower seeds
    almonds
    banana chips
    dried apricot

    I also carry a Cliff Bar and a gel just in case.

    If I need lunch, then I stuff in a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread.

  4. #4
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    I found a place to buy honey in packets of the same size used for ketchup at fast food joints. I take Wal-Mart Oats N Honey bars, two in a package, with me. When I stop I squeeze one packet of honey onto one bar and go down with it. I eat both bars at a stop. Also, I'll take along some beef jerky and dried apricots. A doctor told me that the protein in the jerky minimizes large swings in blood sugar. Also, I drink Gatorade mixed at home with the Gatorade powder. All of this seems to work. I have noticed that when I don't include the honey with the granola bar, I don't get the same boost. Perhaps honey is nature's original "gel shot."

  5. #5
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    I have never tried gels or energy drinks; I figure if I need calories I would rather eat "real food."

    On long rides, I try to have some kind of bland, hot breakfast (something like oatmeal, omlette, pancakes, or peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat toast) before the ride. Snacks are bagels, bananas, home-made trail mix. I will take an energy bar of some kind with me but only for emergencies. On really long rides I try to eat some protein too -- like some kind of blander flavored beef jerky.

    If I stop at convenience store for food I'll get oreos or Fig Newtons.

    Today I was on a long ride in the country and ran across an espresso stand at a crossroads -- it was chilly, and stopping for a double espresso was *perfect* and a nice pick-me-up.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
    I found a place to buy honey in packets of the same size used for ketchup at fast food joints. I take Wal-Mart Oats N Honey bars, two in a package, with me. When I stop I squeeze one packet of honey onto one bar and go down with it. I eat both bars at a stop. Also, I'll take along some beef jerky and dried apricots. A doctor told me that the protein in the jerky minimizes large swings in blood sugar. Also, I drink Gatorade mixed at home with the Gatorade powder. All of this seems to work. I have noticed that when I don't include the honey with the granola bar, I don't get the same boost. Perhaps honey is nature's original "gel shot."
    I agree on the honey. I don't eat most of the stuff in energy bars (Dr. Esselstyn diet). But I get a big boost out of whole wheat pita filled with honey inside a ziplock bag. The pita gets saturated with the honey, which would be a mess to eat, but I just open the ziplock and sort of squeeze the honey saturated bread out and eat it. Seal the bag back up and everything stays neat.

    Eric

  7. #7
    Happy Rider
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    less than 2 hrs, some gel and maybe a sports drink. if towns are around, i stop at a mini mart and usually get peanut butter crackers and a gatorade. on tour or long rides if towns are sparse, perpetuem
    Bike to live, live to eat!!

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Less than 2 hours and nothing- at 2 1/2 and I should eat something. I normally do an hour before stopping at a Cafe on the casual rides and normally carry an Oatmel Flapjack with me for later on. Longer rides up to 6 hours and it is ceral bars- dried fruit- Cake- small pack of cheese(For protein) and the bottles have energy carbo-hydrate drink in them. Longer than 6 hours and I have to find a shop or cafe to replenish with.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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    I can go a long way if I have a jersey pocket full of raisins, cookies, PBJ in any combination.

    Tip: pick up those jelly packs at fast food joints, stuff a few in your seat pack for a quick energy boost in a pinch.

  10. #10
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    anything I can get my hands on.
    at the moment its mainly fried rice, chicken, roti for breakfast or rice porridge.

    I would love some fig rolls or jelly babies.

    and mashed potato, I have been dreaming of mashed potato and gravy.

    george
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    https://sites.google.com/site/imjibi/home

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  11. #11
    Pat
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    Just about any food works for me

    bananas
    oranges
    apples
    fig newtons
    pb&j
    pretzels
    cookies
    and so on.

  12. #12
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    Gummi candies work for me.

  13. #13
    Senior Member geofitz13's Avatar
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    When I did the PMC last year, on the first day, 112 miles, the only thing I ate was fruit at the rest stops. Melon, bananas, grapes. I thought it was odd, (it was my choice, there were plenty of other options) but this seemed to be plenty. It was 95 degrees, so maybe that was a factor.
    On short rides, I usually take along a banana or a small pack of fig newtons. Usually only drink water, tend to stay away from anything else.

  14. #14
    Team Poseur Metric Man's Avatar
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    I take a couple of PowerBars with me when I'm going to be more than 90 minutes and usually stop at about the one hour mark for one. If it's warm I'll take some Gatorade/Powerade for the break but just water if it's cooler. I've never ridden more than 50 miles using this combination but I plan on doing my first Metric in the next couple of weeks.
    The thoughts and opinions expressed by this poster are his own and should not be misconstrued as gospel. They are and were not meant to inflame, enrage or otherwise tick anyone off, usually. ©
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  15. #15
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Today was 50 miles - after yesterdays 40 miler in the hills. There was no attempt at a land speed record as I was still tired. Avg speed was just over 15. I used a gu and a soy joy at 25 miles, also a few dried apricots and another soy joy at 40 miles, carried a Hydration pack full of straight water and a single water bottle filled with Nuun at 1/2 strength. I finished them both by the very end - I could have used more Nuun. When I got home I downed a Balance Gold high protein bar (230 calories). The ride plus the food should have put me at a 2000 calorie defecit. So I can have a nice lunch and dinner.

    So far since I have started riding again at the beginning of April I have lost 5 lbs, this summers goal is 12 more. The 5 lbs is half of the 10 I picked up over the winter. Not only am I trying for lower weight, I want to get to lower body fat and a better BMI. In the past I was never much for eating during a ride - what I was eating would make me sick to my stomach. Gatoraide, Poweraid or Cytomax would all make me gag on a hot day - even watered down. Most energy bars sat in my stomach like a ton of bricks. The Soy Joy is light and at 130 calories is just right and combined with the gel (100 cal) seems to be easy to hold down. That makes 230 calories which is about right for an hourly intake since the Nuun is just electrolites.

    Next weekend when I ride the metric I will carry 4 bars as well as 4 gu gels and 3/2 Nuun tablets as well as one bottle premixed and the Hydration pack with straight water. My goal is to average at least 18 mph over the coarse and not fade at the end. There will be two rest stops and I can pick up more food if needed. I will be with 2 other riders and we can draft each other so this should not be much of a stretch.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  16. #16
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    I have come to the conclusion that I need to eat more often while on the bike. Did a pretty tough metric century--4400 feet of climbing--and felt a little bonkish for the last few miles. I really hadn't been paying much attention to my eating. I'm good with about anything. I like Clif's Mojo Bars (Hmmm. Wonder why). I am also going to start carrying GUs because they are easy to eat while you're moving.
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  17. #17
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Doesn't anyone ever just eat a sandwich?
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    -- Albert Einstein

  18. #18
    Yen
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    We buy Nature Valley Honey 'n Oat (or is it Oats 'n Honey? -- it's the one in the green package) bars in large boxes at Costco. They're a good, healthy source of carbs with a little protein.

    On rides at least 2 hours I like to add O.J. to the bottom of the bottle with a squirt of honey and fill to the top with water. Or apple juice which also is a good source of potassium.

    Bananas

    Dried apple pieces

    Homemade cookie bars with nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips

    Oatmeal anything (cookie, bar, etc.)


    Hubby recently read that you don't need to eat on a ride 2 hours or less. That might be the general rule, but everyone needs to find what works for him/herself, and I think it's a good idea to take along a snack on every ride because you never know if you might go much further than planned or get stuck somewhere with a flat and get hungry while you're fixing it.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member RoMad's Avatar
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    If I am riding early morning I start off with PB on whole wheat toast or sometimes oatmeal. Lately I have been leaving the house about an hour before I would normally eat supper. I have PB on whole wheat (not toasted) before I leave and after about 1 1/2 hours of riding usually a kashi TLC bar. They come in 3 flavors to a box. I mostly drink water but if it is pretty hot I will start off with a home mixed slightly weak gatorade.

  20. #20
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Forget peanut butter and jelly. Try peanut butter and honey, preferably with a banana.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megaman View Post
    Doesn't anyone ever just eat a sandwich?
    I do.

    I do better if I have a complete real breakfast - eggs, sausage or bacon, toast, maybe some potatoes in the morning. If I'm riding all day at lunch time I'll eat whatever they have wherever I happen to be. Deli sandwiches are a favorite but a hamburger is OK if that's all they've got. At the end of the day I tend to go for an electrolite replacement drink and maybe some fruit.

  22. #22
    tsl
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    I'm with RG. I like to start with eggs, bacon, home fries, toast, juice and coffee. (Although as a concession to hydration, the coffee is decaf.)

    On the ride, I prefer fruit. My favorites are apples and oranges. They don't go bad on a hot day, do well on cold days, and are packed with good stuff. Tasty too. And I don't mind leaving an apple core or orange rind in the ditch.

    On anything over 50 miles, I stop somewhere for lunch.

    And pie.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  23. #23
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    For me it's almost the less the better. For long rides I eat a good breakfast of eggs and pancakes and go easy on the syrup.

    Bananas and Lance Toastee Peanut Butter crackers are usually all I need. I'll also throw in some Cliff shot bloxs for electrolytes as well-and to break the monotony.

    Yesterday I rode for 4+ hours and just had 1 banana, 1 pack of crackers 3 shot bloxs and 2 bottles of fluids.

  24. #24
    Newbie Redoxguy's Avatar
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    PB and H on CR

    That stands for peanut butter (or almond butter) and honey on cinnamon raisin bread.
    In the bottle it is usually a gatoraid-ish concoction, maybe add a little protein or vitamin mix.
    And, if stopping midride at a store, it is coke and chocolate chip cookies (indulgences!).
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  25. #25
    Question Authority JoeMan's Avatar
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    Ride Food

    Twinkies work for me.

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