This may or may not be the appropriate forum for this (not sure if its here or Nutrition..), but considering its specific about long distance riding, I'd try throwing it out here.
Some of you may remember from my other post that I wanted to get into doing some distance cycling (mainly brevets or radonnees). Well, I've finally got some gear to do a leisurely longer distance ride to test my endurance, but if I'm going to be in the saddle for 3-4 hours I probably need to think about some basic nutrition needs.
I know I could probably train without a lot of this knowledge at the moment, but I figure its best to to get into habits as you start them, as so you get used to using such methods.
I went pouring over Machka's and Ultracycling's sites to look over nutritional info, but its all spread out over many articles without specificity that I'm looking for. Using a few calculators and assumptions, I gathered the following considering I weigh around 130lbs:
1. In an hour I burn around 500-625 calories.
2. In an hour I need to take in around 40 Carbs.
3. Since I dont know my target sweat rate, I'll just try downing a 20ish ounces every hour.
Now, I realize this isnt an exact science, but I'm trying to find a relative starting point to see how it runs when I try going out for a long jot in a few weeks. Most likely I'll be getting some HEED (cant stand gatorade..) and downing granola bars. No reason for granola bars except thats what I usually eat minutes before I sprint off to work, so I'm just used to them, and I like them. Here comes the questions..
a) Most things I read says you get by with far less calories than you burn on even very long distance rides. Why is this? Is it because that the body can only absorb a certain amount of calories in a given amount of time? At my eating and drinking rate I should be taking in around 380 an hour (granted I eat 1 granola per hour and my appropriate amount of heed). I'm assuming this would be sufficiently adequate? If not, how are you supposed to shove in the extra calories without getting nauseous (its a lot of extra food after all..).
b) How do electrolytes fit into all of this? At the rate I should be drinking and eating granola I should be getting around 341mg of Sodium and around 156mg of Potassium per hour, which is close to the rate I'd be losing it considering I was sweating at around 1 liter/hour. Is enough? Or should I consider getting something like Endurolytes to supplement it with a pill or two an hour (ie, is it livable to be slightly under, or is it incredibly bad to get too many electrolytes?)
I cant think of any other questions, but this is long enough for now. Thanks in advanced!
Edit: Question c) Is there any side effects of taking in too many carbs? What I'm going to be eating is fairly simple, but I may be taking in around 70-75 carbs an hour, which is definitely more than I need.