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  1. #1
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    Orange juice and pop-tarts question

    My wife and I did a medium length over-night ride over this past weekend along a rail trail here near D.C. We only rode 45 miles daily, so this is obviously not a big deal compared to what a lot of you do on a daily basis. So please bear with me.

    My question:

    On the first day I mainly just sipped alternately on a bottle of water and a bottle of orange juice I felt good! I drank much more water than juice, and was able to refill at points along the way.

    On the second day I ate a pop tart (along with the "sipping" plan above) and felt crappy! I assume I consumed too many calories and upset my stomach in one sitting.

    On the third day I felt great on the juice and water regime again.

    Anyone else had this happen? I'm starting to think that just sipping on juice is the key to keep my going during longer rides....

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Generally speaking ...

    - If the ride is less than 2 hours, all you need is something to eat before you go out, and possibly something to eat when you return.

    - If the ride is more than 2 hours, aim for 250 calories per hour. Those calories can be liquid or solid or both. In other words, juice, poptarts, or both.

    - If you ride fast/hard, your stomach will have a harder time digesting solid food. Therefore, if you are going to consume solid food, ride slowly for a while after eating solid food.

    - If you are not used to riding those distances, your stomach might not be trained to digest foods while riding. One way to train your stomach to eat solid foods is to nibble. Put the poptart in your bento bag or handlebar bag ... take a bite, and put the poptart away. 10 minutes later, take another bite, and put the poptart away, etc. Consume your 250 calories per hour throughout the hour, rather than trying to consume 250 calories all in one sitting each hour. You sip your orange juice ... do the same sort of thing with your poptart.


    While poptarts are a decent choice for a long distance ride, there may be certain flavours that go down better than others. I love chocolate of all sorts when I am sitting at home in the evening ... but I have trouble eating chocolate when I'm on a long ride. For me, a strawberry or other fruit flavoured poptart goes down much better than a chocolate one. You might need to figure out which solid foods go down the best.

    I like things like the following on long rides:
    - poptarts
    - pastries
    - cookies
    - granola bars
    - bananas
    - potato chips
    - cheezies
    - beef jerky

    Just to name a few. Don't give up on solid foods just because one particular item upset your system. Try other solid foods ... and train your stomach to eat them.

  3. #3
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    Thanks Machka! I probably ate too large a portion in one sitting. I'll try munching throughout the hour next time.

    I think I'll also try bananas, pears, and fig bars next time as well.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    don't experiment with food and drink on your bike. meaning: stick to food and drink you are accustomed to. I can't imagine orange juice being good with anything cuz it's so acidic. when I want fruit juice (sugar) I use apple juice cuz it is kind to the tummy. don't get me wrong, I like orange juice and I like pop tarts but I wouldn't consume them together, and for me not on a bike ride. next time try a banana, they are wonderful.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Do experiment with food and drink on your bicycle ... on shorter and medium length rides. If you're aiming to ride a century (100 miles) for example, as you build your way up through the 50 mile ride, the 60 mile ride, the 70 mile ride, and all the shorter rides you're doing during the week, you should be trying out different foods and drinks to find out what works for you. If you don't experiment with foods and drinks on your rides, how are you going to know what you can stomach as the rides get longer? How are you going to find out that you need to nibble foods rather than eating something all at once?

    And as for orange juice on a long ride ... it's wonderful!! One of my favourite combinations on really long rides is either orange juice and salted almonds or orange juice and beef jerky.

    Most energy drinks, granola bars, energy bars etc., end up being way too sweet after a relatively short time on the bicycle, and you want something more sour or salty. The orange juice becomes a very refreshing choice. Orange juice has a lot of Vitamin C, a decent amount of calcium, and potassium. Combine it with something salty like the salted almonds or beef jerky and you've got your electrolytes.

  6. #6
    Randomhead
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    You probably would have gotten better answers in the touring forum. I believe that if it is taking a significant number of hours to ride 50 miles, your food intake per mile is going to go up.

    for rides shorter than 100 miles you can get away with a lot, but I don't think a filled pastry would go over well with my stomach at all. I can ride 50 miles without eating, just water. The problem is the next 50 miles after that so I eat from about 20 miles on. I have eaten cookies with no problems, even when my stomach was rebelling against most solid food.

    For the final 30 miles of a long ride, say at least 200k, I have been going with chocolate milk and Reese's cups. I consider this cheating fate, but I usually feel pretty good at the finish. I have had problems drinking milk or eating any protein at all in the first 50 miles or so. That being said, if it's hot, milk is a great way to get electrolytes even early in a ride. After about 90-100 miles, protein seems like the way to go. I try to eat sandwiches where I get a fairly significant carb component.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I cannot drink milk on a long ride. Bad reaction.

    But as for electrolytes in milk ... there isn't much in the way of sodium.

  8. #8
    Randomhead
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    that's why you have to drink chocolate milk. As I said above, I have had trouble with milk early in a ride. Once my body kicks into starvation mode, it always processes milk just fine. Although I'm guessing that a lot of people have some degree of milk intolerance that is exacerbated by exercise.

    There were a couple of times where I couldn't find anything other than low fat chocolate milk. Annoying. The other funny thing I noticed is how many zero calorie sports drinks there are. What's the point of that?
    Last edited by unterhausen; 05-06-10 at 12:53 AM.

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