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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 06-29-08, 09:51 PM   #1
Machka 
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When do we need recovery food/drinks?

At what point does a cyclist need recovery food/drinks? Are there some good articles on that subject?


I don't even consider consuming a "recovery food/drink" until my rides get up over a metric century. And then it's usually just a few cookies or a sandwich or perhaps something more ... simply because I'm hungry.
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Old 06-29-08, 10:08 PM   #2
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I just try to plan to ride just before lunch or just before dinner. Unless it's a long ride when I just plan lunch and dinner stops.

It just seems easier than fooling with all the supplement/recovery/electrolyte hooha.

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Old 06-29-08, 10:17 PM   #3
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There was a recent article in the new york times debunking the recovery food myth.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/he...ssandnutrition
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Old 06-30-08, 06:52 AM   #4
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I wouldn't say debunked. We need more research, but there are some things that are basic.

If you are exercising hard and long, it makes sense to have a recovery snack.
When I am exercising several hours a day, I can almost feel my muscles sucking
the nutrients in.

For most of us, most of the time, it's not a big deal.

I also think a snack that includes fruit is a good idea.
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Old 06-30-08, 07:12 AM   #5
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I think that point is when ever you are pushing your limits over a series of days like during a build cycle

basically, when you are trying to build yourself up to reach something you can't do yet

That's when you need to make the most out of your recovery, but as you pointed out, that recovery snack can be normal food. I remember reading Greg Lemond saying that his team used to eat a bowl of cereal after training rides.
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Old 06-30-08, 07:58 AM   #6
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Well, we store carbohyrates as glycogen and we can store about 2,500 calories. If you ride far enough to deplete the muscle glycogen and you plan to go out and do it again tomorrow, you need to eat enough carbohydrates to replace the reservoir. Beyond that and electrolyte replacement, I have not really been all that zealous about recovery meals.
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Old 06-30-08, 06:51 PM   #7
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I don't quite know what a "recovery drink" is.

It seems to me that one needs to keep one's body nourished and hydrated as you go along, not at some moment at the end of the ride when you need to "recover."

If you have done things properly along the way, why the need to "recover?"

I would understand if you haven't done things properly - then you might need to recover.

I followed closely as my friend, Will Dehne (66 years old), posted his daily log of his 2nd fast trip across America in about 27 days of bicycling.

His problem was primarily getting enough nutrients into his body daily to keep going, and he resorted to some special supplements in order to do this. But, he was bicycling at high average speeds 120-150 miles per day with only a couple of breaks.

But, I don't remember him writing about a "recovery drink."

I do know that after he was completely done with the 28 days, he did slow down some and rode gently for a bit - but I guess I would also.
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Old 06-30-08, 07:00 PM   #8
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I ask all those same questions too ... but we seem to have people doing short 20 mile rides who feel they need a recovery drink for some reason.
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Old 07-01-08, 11:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
There was a recent article in the new york times debunking the recovery food myth.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/he...ssandnutrition
Eh? Did the author read her own article? From the article:
Quote:
Other researchers take their own nutritional advice. Dr. Tarnopolsky has a huge glass of juice, a bagel and a small piece of meat after a two- or three-hour run. Or he might have two large pieces of toast with butter and jam and a couple of scrambled eggs.
So is this not a recovery meal, at about a 4:1 ratio? Mostly what the article says is that this is too hard to study scientifically. Some of the rest of the article is either nonsense or, more likely, the author didn't understand what they were told. I'm guessing that Dr. Rennie meant 10-20g protein and 70g carbo after a hard workout, not per day. IOW, a huge recovery drink or meal.

This is plain wrong:
Quote:
Itís not that exercise is damaging your muscles; itís that they halt the maintenance process until exercise is over.
Not so! We are sore the next day or the day after because of the microtears in our muscles. Assuming of course we went hard enough to do some damage. Personally I believe in not worrying about it. I just have a home-made recovery drink after every ride or workout! I make it up and put it in the fridge when I do my bottles. A little whey protein and a little natural sugar. Sugar and milk or chocolate milk works, too, for those who can tolerate it. I'll make it smaller for shorter rides and bigger for longer ones. It takes no time, costs almost nothing, and it works for me.

I also always workout before, not after a meal, but meals take time and the recovery drink keeps me from falling over before dinner is ready. That's important to me.
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Old 07-02-08, 01:22 AM   #10
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I never do a recovery drink or food thing after a ride. I just drink lots of water and have dinner whenever it's ready. This weekend I did 116 miles and had a big glass of water and showered. Then I had a normal sized dinner. I felt somewhat tired but I still went for a 5 mile walk with my wife after dinner. Watched some TV with the kids and went to bed. Following day, I felt great.

During the long ride I drink lots of water, Gatorade, powerbars or some other energy bars, and sometimes a gel or two. I don't really feel hungry on long rides. I did 140 miles one day last year and had to force feed myself.

I'm not sure what a recovery drink or food is supposed to do for you? I think it's simply a marketing effort to sell you more stuff. I'm sure that they are going to have a recovery drink for doing 10 sit ups real soon..................

How about a recovery drink for getting out of bed?

Last edited by pista; 07-08-08 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 07-02-08, 09:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post

If you have done things properly along the way, why the need to "recover?".
Whatever the recovery food, I do need something at the end of a longish ride. I can't eat enough on the bike during 3-4 hours to replace what I've burned-- so there's no way to get off the bike in any kind of equilibrium. If it's an early morning ride, I'll be fading fast as the day wears on unless I eat something substantial soon after such a ride. For 1-2 hours, no particular problem.

But then, at 61, I may have to be more mindful of such things than younger riders.
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Old 07-02-08, 11:00 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
... but we seem to have people doing short 20 mile rides who feel they need a recovery drink for some reason.
I think we need to be careful using distance as an indicator of effort. What if I rode at LT for 20 miles? That may warrant some sort of recovery aid. On the other hand I rode 20 miles with my wife last night on her first road bike ride ever, so of course we went a lot slower than normal, thus no need for recovery anything.

I do agree with the thinking that if you have been hydrating properly, you really don't need a recovery aid at the end of a ride. HOWEVER, for daily exercise of significant effort, then I think it is essential to use some recovery aids. I know for personal experience that it helps me to get some sort of carbs with a slight amount of protein. I also train and compete with high power hunting dogs. We use maltodextrin powder as a reovery agent for them and we have noticed significant improvement in their performance. In fact, Purina published a very well done study showing the performance enhancement for dogs who were fed maltodextrin during and after exercise. Again, the improvement was for daily exercise routines. I think if you were exercising less frequently than that, a recovery aid probably isn't necessary.
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Old 07-02-08, 12:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sharptailhunter View Post
I think we need to be careful using distance as an indicator of effort. What if I rode at LT for 20 miles? That may warrant some sort of recovery aid. On the other hand I rode 20 miles with my wife last night on her first road bike ride ever, so of course we went a lot slower than normal, thus no need for recovery anything.
I used to lead our shop ride which was billed as no drop, but was very hilly so not for beginners. One night this older, pretty fat guy shows up. No problem, I'm old and not exactly thin. If he's a little slower, I just ride slower.

After the first couple of hills, maybe 3 miles into the ride, I decide to turn around and go back to the parking lot with him. He's getting out of sight and I'm riding as slow as I ride my fixed gear on the hills. I'm concerned that he might not make it back!

Anyway, as we're riding back, he blames it all on his lack of an energy drink. Apparently, he left it in his car.

I also have a neighbor that has to drink Gatorade while mowing his yard on a hot day. On a riding lawnmower!

So yes, people have been brainwashed by the marketing to think that somehow these energy drinks help performance... even if you're just walking your dog.

The truth is that you'd be amazed by the marketing budgets of these companies and disappointed in the R&D. And the profit margins on this stuff is way bigger than anything else in your LBS.

Az
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Old 07-02-08, 01:12 PM   #14
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recovery drink/bar/food should be taken within 30 minutes of the end of your ride for fast absorption, within the hour min. This is the usual time frame i see in most of the articles i have read aobut recovery, whether its been triathlon or muscle building or running/crosstraining.
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Old 07-02-08, 10:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
At what point does a cyclist need recovery food/drinks? Are there some good articles on that subject?


I don't even consider consuming a "recovery food/drink" until my rides get up over a metric century. And then it's usually just a few cookies or a sandwich or perhaps something more ... simply because I'm hungry.
I wrote the following tonight to address this question.

http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx/arch...nutrition.aspx

The real answer is "give it a try, and see whether you think the benefit is worth it".
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