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  1. #1
    Senior Member Burke Wells's Avatar
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    Wondering what (& how much) to eat before early morning ride

    (First post here in the "Training & Nutrition" forum... I'm usually lurking & occasionally posting in the Road Cycling forum, but I figured this post might be a little more suited for here...)

    Primarily due to the heat, I would like to start trying to ride in the early mornings, rather than my usual late afternoons & evenings. Ideally, I'd like to hop out of bed and hop onto the bike, but I don't wanna set out on a 25 or 30 mile ride on an empty stomach. But on the other hand, I don't want to eat too much of a breakfast and then feel full when I get out on the road...

    For those of you riding first thing in the morning, what do you eat or drink before leaving the house? I guess I'm curious as to what others consider to be good, quick, & easy, along with how much is enough but not too much. I'd also like to know what you'd recommend upon returning home.

    (Please forgive me if this type of thing has been done to death here. I tried a couple of searches, found a ton of stuff about weight loss, etc, and figured I'd just start a new thread .)

    Thanks,

    Burke

  2. #2
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    I generally eat a bowl of cereal (shredded wheat or somthing similiar) and a piece of whole wheat toast w/peanut butter as well as a small glass of juice or coffee before my usual saturday morning ride of about 50 miles. I then generally eat a power gel at the half way stop and a few bites of a clif bar. I may eat a few more bites of the clif bar on the way back if the group is setting a fast pace and then finish it when I get home. You generally want to eat something small and light and try to eat about an hour before you ride to allow for time to digest and settle. Try to stick to complex carbs (whole wheat) and avoid simple sugary carbs as they can give you a energy spike and then leave you zapped.

  3. #3
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    When I first started riding, I thought I needed a big breakfast, then would get going and feel like I was going to vomit with all that food in my stomach.

    Now, if I do a morning ride, I generally eat light. Probably a bagle or a few pieces of toast. Then if I feel hungry and lacking energy while I'm about, I'll have an energy bar.


    Lately, because of heat, I've found it more enjoyable to ride in the evenings. So I've tried to not eat for a few hours before heading out, then I'll keep bannanas on hand and make a quick bannana shake (blend bannana, milk and a little splenda with a few ice cubes).
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  4. #4
    ambassador of good will *new*guy's Avatar
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    I commute just over 50 miles a day and I workout at lunch. I usually have oatmeal (not the instant stuff) w/ a bit of brown sugar or honey, some fresh fruit and a large glass of water before leaving in the AM. I eat again as soon as I get settled at work. Generally my second "breakfast" is 2 bananas and "natural" PB&J's on 10grain or whole wheat and a protein bar if I have one.

    I think eating just after your ride is just as if not more important than eating before.

  5. #5
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    I live in central Florida where, as you might imagine, it's hot as hell and very humid in the summer, so I ride as soon as it gets light in the morning. I eat either a very large bowl of oatmeal or cream of wheat, drink a large glass of papaya juice (too much acid in oj), a mug of green tea, and a big glass of water and I'm good for 40 miles. If I'm going more than 40 I take a Power Bar with me and eat it at around 30 miles. I never get sick and never have trouble finishing my ride. Oh yeah...I drink plenty of water while riding. After riding I drink a large glass of Accelerade and eat a banana. That gets me through until lunch.

  6. #6
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    If it's a first-thing-in-the-morning ride, I eat very little beforehand. Maybe a banana, or a smoothie with a little protein powder. Then I'll take a Clif Shot after an hour or so.

    I don't tolerate much food in my stomach when riding.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  7. #7
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Small Bowl of oatmeal and a banana before a ride.. Make sure to pre-hydrate, an extra bottle of water before riding when it's hot..

  8. #8
    Pat
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    Like Anhinga, I live in Central Florida and I ride nearly every morning (I get out early). I don't really need food if I am riding for less than 50 miles. So I generally go out and ride and eat when I get back. On longer rides, I will eat a bowl of cereal and a banana or an orange and a banana before going.

  9. #9
    Senior Member juf2m's Avatar
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    I usually have oatmeal w. brown sugar and a glass of apple juice or my smoothie, a cup of 1% milk with a banana, frozen blueberries and honey. It's amazingly light on my stomach and lasts for at least an hour or longer.

    I am amazed though at how you guys can go on a 50 mile ride and only have 1 gel or bit of bar. On my 50 mile ride I eat a little something (gel or granola) every 45 mins to an hour! Otherwise I don't feel as strong or energized, especially with hills, but maybe I should be cutting back??

  10. #10
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juf2m
    I usually have oatmeal w. brown sugar and a glass of apple juice or my smoothie, a cup of 1% milk with a banana, frozen blueberries and honey. It's amazingly light on my stomach and lasts for at least an hour or longer.

    I am amazed though at how you guys can go on a 50 mile ride and only have 1 gel or bit of bar. On my 50 mile ride I eat a little something (gel or granola) every 45 mins to an hour! Otherwise I don't feel as strong or energized, especially with hills, but maybe I should be cutting back??



    I totally agree. After about 15 miles I start getting seriously hungers. Maybe it's because I'm really skinny and can't afford to burn too many calories too quickly...


  11. #11
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    I like to try and get in a ride one or two mornings a week before work, so I don't have the time to eat a regular breakfast. But I usually don't have time for more than 20 miles anyway, so sometimes I'll just grab a power bar as I go out the door.

  12. #12
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    For early morning rides, I'll usually eat a bowl of cereal before a ride, and skip the coffee (makes me pee). Then I scarf a bar of some kind or a banana about every 25 miles or so during the ride. It's more important to eat well the night before the ride than to load up in the morning.

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