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Thread: Nuts!

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    Nuts!

    Have any of you found nuts to be a good source of sustained energy on longer rides? I have only completed two centuries. The first ride a did the caffeinated jel routine and struggled through the last fifty (plus I had to pee every half hour--I think from the caffeine). After the first ride I heard that some diabetics keeps some nuts in their pockets to much on when their blood sugar got low. So, on the second ride, I put some raws almonds in a baggie and munched on them regularly throughout the ride and stayed aways from sugary stuff. The second ride went much better but it could be that I was in better shape or many other factors. Just curious if others have found "natural stuff" to work better.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    The energy from nuts comes from fat. It takes a little longer for fat energy to get into the muscle cells, so you should probably try to eat them before you get hungry on a ride.

    If you're riding at a moderate pace (for you) on a long ride like a century, your body will be burning fat for much of your energy, especially if you're in pretty good shape. IMO, nuts would be a good food for that kind of ride. A peanut butter sandwich would be a good choice, IMO, since you'll get both carbs and fats. Nuts have a lot of nutrients beside fats, so I like to eat them almost every day. Of course, they're high in calories so I watch my portion sizes.

    If you're riding fast (for you) on a shorter ride, especially on sprints and hills, you'll be burning proportionately less fat, and you'll need food energy that can get to the muscle cells quickly. I think sugar might be a better choice on that type of ride. But that's mostly racing and hard training for races. IMO, the special "energy" foods, drinks and gels are not "real" food at all. I would not want to put that strange stuff in my mouth on a regular basis, but it might be OK on special occasions like a race.

    Did you have any problem with choking on the nuts while you were riding?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Nuts are primarily fat and protein. You have a virtually unlimited supply of fat already, so the presence in food is of little value during a ride. And, although there may a need for some protein during riding, it's need is small.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    On long rides, I LOVE salted almonds ... they're great!

    Almonds provide you with lots of calories consisting of fat, which is an excellent energy source on a long ride; protein, which is an essential element on a long ride; and of course carbs. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals. Plus, if you go with the salted variety, you're getting your electrolytes (salt is a main electrolyte, and potassium is another, which almonds also contain).

    http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c20nl.html
    http://www.nutsforalmonds.com/nutrition.htm

    Combine them with dried apricots, and a bottle of 100% pure orange juice, and you'll be consuming something that is much better than most (any?) energy bars out there. You'll be getting the calories you need and have pretty much all your vitamin and mineral bases covered.

    http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c20Te.html

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    Nuts are primarily fat and protein. You have a virtually unlimited supply of fat already, so the presence in food is of little value during a ride. And, although there may a need for some protein during riding, it's need is small.
    Then why would you need the protein, of which you also have "a virtually unlimited supply"? Nuts are a good source of essential fatty acids, which the body needs but can't manufacture on its own. And they also contain other nutrients, as Machka mentioned.

    The real question is, why do you need any food on a ride? You really don't, unless you're missing a regular meal because you're riding. In which case, it might be a good idea to pull over and enjoy a PB&J. Or whatever.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Try them and see if they work for you. I followed Machka's recommendation and they didn't work for me at all. Gave me an upset stomach and didn't digest. I can't drink chocolate milk on a ride, either. Give me one of the 500 cal. manufactured fruit pies and I'm happy! Disgusting, isn't it? In general, the harder you go, the simpler your food source should be. By "simpler" I mean the closer to straight glucose!

    If you're not used to caffeine, use it judiciously. Caffeinated gels are usually only appropriate for racing or 4 a.m. I don't find that caffeine dehydrates me at all.

    "In a recent review article, 'Caffeine, Body Fluid-Electrolyte Balance, and Exercise Performance,' published in the June 2002 issue of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, researcher Lawrence E. Armstrong, a professor of exercise and environmental physiology at the University of Connecticut, found that caffeine is not the dehydrating demon some people believe. In fact, he concluded that caffeine is no more a diuretic than water."
    http://www.ific.org/foodinsight/2002...hydnbfi402.cfm

    You probably had to pee so much because you were drinking more water than was appropriate.

    None of the type 1 diabetics I ride with use nuts. They use Clif Bars or the like.

    I have never found the "natural stuff" (other than bananas or steamed potatoes) to work at all. Usually natural foods are insufficiently dense in high calorie carbohydrates. Even potatoes are of marginal utility. Which is the reason natural foods are so good in your normal diet.

    One does need to eat on any ride longer than 2 hours. About 250 cal./hr works well. It's worth trying to meter out one's food so that one comes as close as possible to that goal.

    I have never blown chow on a ride.

  7. #7
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Then why would you need the protein, of which you also have "a virtually unlimited supply"? Nuts are a good source of essential fatty acids, which the body needs but can't manufacture on its own. And they also contain other nutrients, as Machka mentioned.

    The real question is, why do you need any food on a ride? You really don't, unless you're missing a regular meal because you're riding. In which case, it might be a good idea to pull over and enjoy a PB&J. Or whatever.
    You must not do many double centuries. For long distance riding, you must eat extra carbohydrates or you will eventually bonk. When you are burning 500-750 cal/hr over a 15 hour period, you are going to need to eat more than your typical meals. However, I agree that for the cyclist who goes out for a couple hours, there's no need to be eating a bunch of food on the bike.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    You must not do many double centuries. For long distance riding, you must eat extra carbohydrates or you will eventually bonk. When you are burning 500-750 cal/hr over a 15 hour period, you are going to need to eat more than your typical meals. However, I agree that for the cyclist who goes out for a couple hours, there's no need to be eating a bunch of food on the bike.
    You should read a little more carefully. I said that you don't usually need to eat on the bike "unless you're missing a regular meal because you're riding." Obviously, on a 15 hour ride you would be missing at least 3 or 4 meals. And obviously, you would need more calories than normal for those meals.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    i was never the worlds biggest nut eater...and i'm allergic to pistachios and cashews. I never liked cashews anyways. But i love almonds and walnuts.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

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    Aspiring TucsonKEG's Avatar
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    I don't like to eat (as in chew) while riding so I stay away from eating cliff bars and the like. I am also not a big fan of sweet electrolyte drinks such as gatorade. My long rides are usually from 60 to 80 miles and I have done 2 centuries in the past two months. What works for me - I eat a banana before my ride, hammer gel from a flask for up to 2.5 hours (a good swig every 30 minutes or so) then I switch to accelerade for the remainder. I drink water throughout my ride that has elete electrolyte added to it.

    Yeah, I know the accelerade is sweet. It is refreshing 2.5 hours into a ride, and I still drink the water with it. I just don't like drinking sweet stuff the entire time.

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