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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 09-23-06, 01:49 PM   #1
BayBruin
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Breakfast before Riding? To "B" or not to "B"...that's my question

I usually take off pretty early in the morning....about 6:30. I'm not traditionally a morning person so getting up really early is a drag. I've been told in the past that eating before physical activity, without a good gap in between (2 hours) is usually not beneficial because it takes the food a while to digest and be made into energy. Plus if you bike right after eating a meal you are expending energy that your body would normally use for digestion purposes. Sometimes I eat and energy bar but I don't like eating those that much and I would actually prefer a bowl of cereal (Whole Bran) or an egg.

What's the scoop with you folks? Do you eat cereal, pound an energy bar, or just have some water and hop on the bike. Normally lately I do the latter and don't feel too much of an energy shortfall but maybe I'm missing out on my rides by not ingesting more stuff pre-ride.
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Old 09-23-06, 02:21 PM   #2
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It depends on how long I plan to ride for. If it not that long of a ride I will have a coffee and some all bran. If I have to go for longer I will eat something more substantial, but something that I am used to so I don't have an upset stomach. If I am leaving right after I eat I will not try to eat too much no matter how long I ride, but I will bring some dates with me to eat along the way, as well as some bananas and the like.
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Old 09-23-06, 04:15 PM   #3
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60 grams of carb 2 hours before riding is generally acceptable

watery spaghetti, potatos, cereal. whatever doesn't make you barf on the bike later
I eat sprouted bread PBJ's

50 grams of carb per hour on the bike
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Old 09-23-06, 06:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayBruin
I usually take off pretty early in the morning....about 6:30. I'm not traditionally a morning person so getting up really early is a drag. I've been told in the past that eating before physical activity, without a good gap in between (2 hours) is usually not beneficial because it takes the food a while to digest and be made into energy. Plus if you bike right after eating a meal you are expending energy that your body would normally use for digestion purposes. Sometimes I eat and energy bar but I don't like eating those that much and I would actually prefer a bowl of cereal (Whole Bran) or an egg.

What's the scoop with you folks? Do you eat cereal, pound an energy bar, or just have some water and hop on the bike. Normally lately I do the latter and don't feel too much of an energy shortfall but maybe I'm missing out on my rides by not ingesting more stuff pre-ride.
There are three options for this:

1) Eat nothing - just have some water
2) Eat a little easily-accessible carbohydrate - some sport drink, a few clif bloks, etc.
3) Eat a normal meal, and then ride more slowly for an hour or so.

If I'm riding for distance but not that fast, I'll do #3, though typically I'm eating at least an hour before I leave. If I want speed, #2 works very well for me.

#1 leaves me without a lot of energy.
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Old 09-23-06, 06:56 PM   #5
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High GI foods can be used as energy in as fast as 10 minutes.

Bran is going take a long time to digest. Better off shooting for something easily digested or, I guess, nothing at all.

It also depends what you do. Intervals? Endurance? Watch TV?
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Old 09-24-06, 10:06 AM   #6
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If it's a shorter ride, you could just have some juice or Gatorade beforehand and then keep drinking sports drinks or taking gels or bites of energy bars as you ride. This way you could get out the door as early as possible.

If it's a long ride I'll eat some cereal or toast and peanut butter beforehand, then ride pretty easy for an hour or even two. Or if the ride is like 8 hours for endurance, just keep eating and riding easy
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Old 09-24-06, 11:22 AM   #7
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If your ride is under 2 hours and you're well fueled from the day before, don't worry about it. Your body can handle a 2 hour ride with no calorie intake, though it is often a lot more pleasant to get some carbs in before/during a 2 hour ride.

If its longer, then eat a little something. I find that If i eat granola or cereal 20 mins before riding and extend my warmup to 40 mins, I have no problems. But each person is very different.
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Old 09-25-06, 09:36 AM   #8
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I always start off by drinking a glass of water, then have a cereal bar. Although not because i think it'll give me more energy, but because i wake up STARVING! But to be honest, like VosBike said, everyone is different, best to just experiment with everything and you'll find what suits you.
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Old 09-25-06, 10:31 AM   #9
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All depends on how big a dinner i had the night before.

Did a 40 mile ride yesterday but had a pretty big dinner saturday night... Ate afew Clif Shot Bloks 10-15 minutes before starting and i was fine the whole ride (drinking and eating at regular intervals).

If no big dinner, a bowl of cereal or something that would be enough to consider a small meal usually works for me.
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Old 09-25-06, 10:38 AM   #10
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glass of oj

my moring ride is 15 miles, so about 45-50 minutes or so of moderately intense riding.

bowl of cereal with yogurt afterwards.
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