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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 05-13-05, 05:18 PM   #1
Chops83
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eating before riding

How far in advance should I eat a meal, like pasta, so that by the time I'm riding it's out of my stomach and I can properly use the digested food as energy?
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Old 05-13-05, 07:09 PM   #2
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My bicycle nutrition book, written by an M.D., says FOUR HOURS. And if you don't have four hours, eat heavily the night before.
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Old 05-13-05, 07:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chops83
How far in advance should I eat a meal, like pasta, so that by the time I'm riding it's out of my stomach and I can properly use the digested food as energy?
Three hours is the accepted norm if you are going to race. Much less if you are going to do just a reasonably quick training ride. I have breakfast about 50 minutes prior to my warm-up for the group ride, which starts about 1.5 hours after my meal. When I race, I need at least three hours for my stomach to empty - especially if I am doing a time trial which is a max effort above lactate threshold.
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Old 05-13-05, 07:20 PM   #4
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It really depends how long you will ride and if you will push hard.

It also depends on the quantity of food you will ingest.

In my case, I always take light meals. I'm fine if I eat an hour to half an hour prior to going out, riding 60 to 90 km.
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Old 05-14-05, 07:06 AM   #5
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Pasta digests quite quickly. Your blood sugar will be high one to two hours after the meal. If your muscles are already topped up on carbs it won't do any good to wait for total digestion, unless you get a sloshy stomach that needs time to settle but that is personal.
Muscles hold a certain amount of glycogen(muscle sugar), once full they're full, everything else turns into fat. There are ways to superload your muscles and get them filled above the normal 100% mark but eating the morning of is not one of them. Also, muscles cannot rapidly use blood sugar(glucose), this is a safety feature to protect the brain which runs on nothing but blood sugar. Blood glucose is used by muscles, even when they have glycogen, but it is not fully available for maximal fueling the way glycogen is.

Your muscles actually store about a 400 grams of glycogen on a normal basis, or 1,600 Calories.
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