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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 02-03-06, 01:22 PM   #1
banerjek
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Long distance fuel recommendations?

I really like going on long rides, but I've never been happy with the way I get energy into my body. What do people do for especially long rides such as double centuries, or rides over 100 miles in mountains?

My basic method is to eat well before the ride, and then to guzzle gatorade and eat energy bars (normally Odwalla) at measured intervals during the event. On the STP last year, I ate 10 bars and drank about 2 gallons of gatorade. The gatorade isn't too bad, but after you've eaten a bunch of energy bars, they all taste like oversweetened cardboard, paste, or plumbers putty depending on the brand.

I would like to consume all the calories through liquid that is possible. That is partially to regulate caloric intake better, but also because I really don't like to eat when I'm riding. Is there anything high in calories that's not sweet that will give good energy? If not, what's my best option? I really like the long rides, but I absolutely dread the food part for anything much over 100 miles.
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Old 02-03-06, 01:43 PM   #2
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2 gallons of gatorade? Holy crap... I think I'd barf.

I try to eat a little something every 0.5-1 hours on a century. I'll usually have a bottle filled with gatorade, and another bottle and camelbak filled with water.
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Old 02-03-06, 02:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dwayne
2 gallons of gatorade? Holy crap... I think I'd barf.
Believe me, I strongly prefer water. However, if you're going to be out for 10+hrs, you need calories. A couple gallons yields around 2000 calories which is not nearly enough, but it provides a substantial boost.

On a regular century, I don't have to eat/drink so much because I can rely a lot on what I had before the ride for energy. For a normal century, I normally drink 1/2 gallon of gatorade, eat 3 energy bars, and use water for the rest of my hydration. However, if I'm going to be out for a really long time, I just have to ingest an insane amount of calories to prevent from bonking.
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Old 02-03-06, 02:33 PM   #4
Dwayne
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Originally Posted by banerjek
Believe me, I strongly prefer water. However, if you're going to be out for 10+hrs, you need calories. A couple gallons yields around 2000 calories which is not nearly enough, but it provides a substantial boost.
Ohh... gotcha. I thought you drank 2 gallons just for a century... yeh, I can see where two gallons might go over the course of an entire day though. But blech, I'd still barf if it wasn't diluted at least or a different flavor for each gallon. Can't stand how sugary the stuff is.. I usually dilute it 50/50 with water.
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Old 02-03-06, 02:56 PM   #5
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My typical weekly long ride is about 12-14 hours. I personally like something a little on the sweet side, I buy the $ 1.00 a gallon fruit drink at the local Supermarket. I mix it 50/50 with water. It gives me most of the calories I consume while actually on a ride. I've been doing it for about three years like this. If you add a little salt it will be just like Gatorade. However, just about anything you eat, has plenty of salt in it, read the label. Even sweet junk food!
The High C brand of fruit drinks has some salt and is not as sweet, you might like that taste better, try 50/50 with water. I've been doing weekly centuries for years and long rides for a decade, I've consumed many sports bars over the years. Now I have a tough time finding ones I like. Just for the one day on a ride you can eat some low fat (really!) Twinkies or even a Hostess fruit pie (read the label, it puts Cliff bars to shame for amount of fast fuel (carbs), the pie filling is ~ GEL ~ it absorbs fast. Great for an almost bonk situation. Way too much fat for normal eating or good nutrition. Great when you are exhausted.
The only problem I have with having all my calories from liquid on a long ride is that my stomach is empty and I get hungry, but not always tired. So if needed I hit the convenience store or bring a snack. Just about anything that digests well and is easy on the stomach is OK if there are plenty of carbs and calories. PB and Jelly if you like. As you say you can meet a lot of your calorie needs with liquid. If you don't want to stop, cut up your food into bite size pieces and wrap them for easy eating on the roll. Eat what you like that digests easy and has lotsa carbs. Experiment with fruit drinks from the local store, add salt if they are too sweet. Bring something you really like, you end up eating more.

When you find out that eventually all typical bike bottles leak sports drink on the BB, the frame, and your hands, etc. try either type of the Nalgene bike bottles. They have a different valve that does not leak.
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Old 02-03-06, 03:07 PM   #6
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I would look at some of the Hammer nutrition products, such as sustained energy or Perpeteum.. Sustained has no flavor and Perpeteum has a light orange flavor.. I prefer the Perpeteum.. They have a wide variety of sizes so you can try both and see what works for you..

http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=PR...0047&AMI=10082

http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=PR...0047&AMI=10082
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Old 02-03-06, 03:28 PM   #7
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I second the hammer nutrition product recommendation.

And also ... on my brevets and randonnees (12-90 hours on the bicycle), I use "real" food as much as possible.

I drink iced tea and pure (100% - no sugar added) orange juice (the stuff you can buy in bottles from convenience stores) because that is what sits well with me, and I really start to crave orange juice when the rides get long.

I eat whatever I can can buy in convenience stores and/or restaurants which appeals to me ... and that can vary quite a bit throughout a ride. At one stop it might be those pre-packaged pastries found near the coffee. At another stop it might be a small bag of potato chips. At the next stop it might be a bag of salted almonds. Then it might be beef jerky. I've gone for pizza and hamburgers on some long rides ... garlic toast and cinnamon buns ... french toast ... perogies .....

Just eat what you crave ... but don't get too carried away with extra spicy stuff.



BTW - I can only handle gatorade for about the first 200-300 kms of a ride. After that, I need something else.
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Old 02-03-06, 06:00 PM   #8
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Have you tried Ensure Plus? 350 calories in a 8 oz bottle. On some of the brevets I have done, I saw people with 24 oz of that in one of their bottle cages, taking a sip every 15 to 20 minutes. It is one of the "foods" that I like drinking on my long rides.
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Old 02-06-06, 11:00 AM   #9
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I'd take Gatorade over pedialite any day. But as others said, Gatorade with water is best.

I'll eat gu gels, granola bars, Little Debbie's Oatmeal Creme Cookies (whole lot of carbs). Best food I've had at a rest stop was a *******, peanut butter, and a slice of banana. It was oooohhh sooooo gooood. Ever since then, I have a theory that the more miles you put in, the better stuff taste.
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Old 02-06-06, 01:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banerjek
Believe me, I strongly prefer water. However, if you're going to be out for 10+hrs, you need calories. A couple gallons yields around 2000 calories which is not nearly enough, but it provides a substantial boost.

On a regular century, I don't have to eat/drink so much because I can rely a lot on what I had before the ride for energy. For a normal century, I normally drink 1/2 gallon of gatorade, eat 3 energy bars, and use water for the rest of my hydration. However, if I'm going to be out for a really long time, I just have to ingest an insane amount of calories to prevent from bonking.
Since the burn-rate when you're riding is always gonna be faster than what you can digest, regardless of type of food, it's an ever-losing catch-up game. So you want to eat about 200-300 cal/hr. At that rate, any kind of food will do. I prefer real food on my rides rather than bars/gels/drinks. So I'll pack pizza, PB&J sandwiches, dinner-rolls pre-filled with jam, bananas, dried-fruit, etc. I'll stop off at the turn-around point and grab some fish-tacos and monster burritos.

The trick then is to ride at a slow-enough pace where you can supplement the burn-rate deficit with fat-metabolism. Calories from fat ends up peaking at about 200-350 cal/hr depending upon your fitness level. So you can calculate how far you can go at various intensities before you bonk.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 02-06-06 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 02-06-06, 05:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
I prefer real food on my rides rather than bars/gels/drinks. So I'll pack pizza, PB&J sandwiches, dinner-rolls pre-filled with jam, bananas, dried-fruit, etc. I'll stop off at the turn-around point and grab some fish-tacos and monster burritos.
Fish? One strange vegetarian.
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Old 02-06-06, 05:36 PM   #12
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If the fish is green does it count as a vegetable ?
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Old 02-06-06, 08:39 PM   #13
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Ok, ok I'm not that strict of a vegetarian, I'll eat fish & shrimp for the various fatty-acids. Personally I do think you need some animal-protein sources. Vegans are just weird... and pale!
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Old 02-15-06, 08:23 AM   #14
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There is a product called Eload that I've been using for 3 years now that has twice the electrolyte content of Gatorade, no artificial colors or flavors, is 35x less acidic than Gatorade, and has a blend of 5 electrolytes, not just 2 or 3 like most other products. Having the correct amounts and ratios will help your muscle tissues retain the proper amount of fluid needed to perform correctly for longer periods of time. I used to drink tons of water/gatorade/accelerade/cytomax, you name it. Now just Eload and I've never felt better. The biggest reason you can't eat on a ride is because your digestive system is overloaded with a bunch of junk. You don't need all that. No one ever DNF'd in any race, especially those in the heat, due to lack of protein, root extract or B vitamins etc., regardless of the length of the race/ride! But they do DNF due to dehydration, electrolyte depletion (especially sodium), and glucose depletion (bonking). I never cramp, bonk or get an upset stomach and Eload has a money back guarantee stating that. You can get it online at http://www.bikeworld.com/components...y.html?cat=1093
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