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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 06-29-09, 04:05 PM   #1
yuanja
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Empty stomach morning cardio

Hi guys, what are your thoughts on doing a 25mile ride with about 1500ft of climb without anything but water in the mornings? I do eat a bannana, couple of slices of whole wheat bread or a bowl cereal after the ride.

Would that throw my body into some kind of weird metabolism mode? I heard something about morning breakfast being important because it tells the body to maintain the metabolic rate. Without breakfast your body will be tricked into a lower rate to preserve energy.
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Old 06-29-09, 04:52 PM   #2
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Several publicized fitness people (refuse to use the word expert) indicate that 30 minutes of cardio before eating any food is best for the body.
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Old 06-29-09, 06:09 PM   #3
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URL? What did they say about after 30 minutes?
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Old 06-29-09, 07:42 PM   #4
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I do a 27 mile ride from Sept to end of November every other day. I start the ride at 4:00AM. It takes me about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I eat nothing, and drink only water. I don't think you need to concern yourself with rides of less than 2 hours.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:33 PM   #5
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It's called Bonk Training. It forces your body to burn fat as fuel. Some guys can do it, others just crash and burn. Have a cellphone handy.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:57 PM   #6
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It's called Bonk Training. It forces your body to burn fat as fuel. Some guys can do it, others just crash and burn. Have a cellphone handy.
Or you can also call it "Caveman Training". Our ape looking ancestors didn't wake up in the morning and find himself food at the back end of the cave. He must go chasing after animals for the entire day to get his meal. Fast forward couple millenniums, now we are just spoiled creatures of comforts that easily worry about his health on not having enough aunt jemimas's syrup on his morning pancakes.



H23NC,
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Old 06-29-09, 09:45 PM   #7
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Ever since I've started doing that, I noticed that my body gets much hungrier throughout the day, but I don't feel much of a difference overall.
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Old 06-30-09, 07:48 AM   #8
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I do that a few days a week, and don't have any problems unless I'm really going all out. Most days I eat nothing, but if I'm doing intervals I'll have a banana before I head out.

One thing I've noticed is that it does get easier over time. The first few times I did it after an extended break it was tough, but I got used to it within a few weeks and now I don't tend to notice that I'm hungry until I'm cooling down...then I eat a big-ass breakfast.

I've also lost about 40 pounds doing this (plus a lot of long rides on the weekends, and some running and weight training), so it can't be doing anything too horrible to my metabolism.
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Old 06-30-09, 08:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by H23Nutcase View Post
Or you can also call it "Caveman Training". Our ape looking ancestors didn't wake up in the morning and find himself food at the back end of the cave. He must go chasing after animals for the entire day to get his meal. Fast forward couple millenniums, now we are just spoiled creatures of comforts that easily worry about his health on not having enough aunt jemimas's syrup on his morning pancakes.

H23NC,
Maybe the Caveman had some beef jerky somewhere.
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Old 06-30-09, 10:33 AM   #10
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this would make me feel like crap. I'm personally not into feeling bad. I eat a small breakfast of oatmeal or toast before, then a banana on the ride. Then I feel grrrrrreat!
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Old 06-30-09, 10:35 AM   #11
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I always eat something before I start out. Perhaps a banana or a piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter or a cereal bar depending on the length of my workout.
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Old 06-30-09, 12:43 PM   #12
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The morning is the best time to burn fat apparently, according to my sports nutrition professor. Now I wish I could remember everything else he told me.
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Old 07-01-09, 02:30 PM   #13
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I can get by with a bannana. Problem is most of my rides average around 80k or 50 miiles and I need a little more in the furnace.
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Old 07-01-09, 10:26 PM   #14
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I think it's a bad idea. During the night, you're burning off glycogen, and then you haven't done any replenishment. You run the risk of bonking, which will generally affect you for a few days.
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Old 07-02-09, 09:31 AM   #15
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yep, eat that breakfast. I eat an omelet and 2 small sausage patties, then a small box of raisins, that plus some b6; b12 & caffeine and I'm on fire. can't rush it though - meaning can eat all that on your way out the door. for me - it's 1.5 hrs in advance, but I do eat the raisins out the door - the last blood sugar boost that I am about to burn up! :-)
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Old 07-02-09, 09:40 AM   #16
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It's called Bonk Training. It forces your body to burn fat as fuel. Some guys can do it, others just crash and burn. Have a cellphone handy.
I'm in the crash and burn column.

The other day I got up at 5:30 am. to get some miles in before the 98 degree temps and 90% humidity kicked in. Not being a morning person I just jumped on the bike with a bottle of water and took off. 20-25 miles and my pace just came to a crawl...

Note to self: Next time must have some fuel in the pipeline.
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Old 07-02-09, 09:55 AM   #17
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Having some carbs first thing in the morning is a good thing, because your body is in catabolic mode (since no nutrients have been coming in during the night). Carbs cause a spike in insulin which in turn stop the catabolic process. This applies especially if your bodyfat percentage is low. You don't want your body to use up your muscles as energy source!
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Old 07-02-09, 10:04 AM   #18
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re: "burn fat as fuel" um ... don't think so. fat comes out as energy too slowly for us to access it for fuel, instead the body gets the calories/energy from the most immediate source back into the blood streem, which unfortunately is from our muscles, so you'd be burning up muscle fibers. you have to eat to burn fat. fat burns when you aren't exercising ... the sad truth I think
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Old 07-02-09, 12:21 PM   #19
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Type 1 diabetics I ride with tell me that first thing in the morning you are in a special state of blood sugar stabilization. They prefer to start on a long ride without eating anything, then a bar or something at the first pee or rest stop. So that's exactly what you're talking about doing.

There's no worry about bonking. Good grief, you have 2000 calories of glycogen stored, plus what you'll get from fat burning. You'll ride 1.5 hours and burn about 1000 calories. Just take it fairly easy, especially until you've warmed up.

Here's a link to Sally Edwards fat burning white paper:
http://www.heartzones.com/_pdf/FatBu...posted8305.pdf
In zone 2, where you ought to be, you're getting 50%-70% of calories from fat. I can't imagine where people think we get our energy for brevets! We sure can't eat enough and definitely don't have enough glycogen stored.

I ride for 30 minutes every morning before breakfast. My energy is fine for that, and I'm sure I could go a lot longer.

Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 07-02-09 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 07-02-09, 12:28 PM   #20
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of course you could go quite far but you won't be burning fat and you certainly won't be building muscle (from the training research I've read)
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Old 07-02-09, 01:34 PM   #21
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25 miles. that's no biggie. go and hammer and eat later.
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Old 07-02-09, 01:39 PM   #22
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Actually, fatty acid oxidation is the preferred energy source for muscle cells if fat is present, muscle cells will burn it for fuel.

Once your glycogen reserves are out, you can't produce ATP at a fast enough rate to sustain muscle activity the trick is training your body to more effectively utilise fat reserves.

Fat is more easily burned in the morning because the body has entered a catabolic state and begins to utilise liver glycogen as its primary source of energy, while simultaneously increasing blood lipid levels muscle glycogen is unaffected by fasting, as it cannot leave muscle cells and therefore cannot be called upon by other organs in the body (muscle cells lack the enzyme Glucose-6-phosphatase, which allows glucose molecules liberated from glycogen to enter the bloodstream). Therefore, due to the higher demand on fat reserves, as much of the liver's glycogen reserves have been spent, the body will metabolise a higher percentage of fat for fuel during morning exercise (or, in general, exercise after periods of fasting after about 8 hours, liver glycogen is about 50% gone).

However, once your glycogen reserves have been fully utilised, the body is no longer able to produce ATP at a rate sufficient for high energy activities, nor is it able to maintain adequate blood glucose levels, resulting in hypoglycemia. So morning exercise can burn more fat right up until you run out of stored glucose. (If I'm not mistaken) The reason why the body doesn't burn fat during normal day-to-day (well-fed) activities is because a high insulin to glucagon ratio (as a result of consuming food 50 grams of carbohydrates are roughly what is required to stimulate insulin release) will put the body into an anabolic state, turning off the mechanisms by which fat is broken down in favour of building it up with fresh reserves. Therefore, maintaining your carbohydrate reserves below the level necessary to initiate anabolism would, I believe, increase your ability to burn fat. I believe most carbohydrates produce around 4.5 kcal/g, so [speculation take this with a grain of salt, or sugar, or whatever], I'd imagine an effective weight-loss exercise regimen might include the intake of, say ~50 grams of simple carbs every ~20 minutes or so of vigorous exercise, while in a catabolic state.

Then again, I'm no expert, nor do I claim to be. Most of this is from my professor's biochemistry lecture notes, my personal speculation, as well as reading this [interesting] book excerpt here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=iup...esult&resnum=7
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Old 07-02-09, 01:43 PM   #23
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Wow, good stuff!!!!!

I almost had to stop and eat a raisin before finishing reading it though! :-)
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Old 07-02-09, 01:54 PM   #24
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25 miles and 1k climbing used to be my morning commute...I didn't eat a thing beforehand, usually just a small bowl of oatmeal and maybe some fruit when I got to work. No problem.

Now that my commute is only 4 miles, I really miss the longer ones.
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Old 07-02-09, 01:55 PM   #25
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but were you building muscle or destroying muscle?
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