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  1. #1
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    Liquids vs. solids during Century

    I'm one of the 60+ guys and have ridden many centuries, but as I get older, nutrition becomes more and more important to me. Can anyone answer the question of: If a liquid drink provides the same calories, carbs, sodium etc. as a solid food/sports bar, etc., does it matter which I intake? I only ask because during a century, I'm a sweater and I have to drink a lot of water/sports drinks, so if I can get the same replentishment from the drinks, can I forego a lot of the solids?

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    A calorie is a calorie. Doesn't matter if you get it from a liquid source or a solid source.

    I will select sugared beverages from convenience stores (i.e. orange pop) because of their calorie content ... a beverage AND a calorie boost. And on rides longer than a century, I have trouble digesting solid food, so I'll drink Ensure.

  3. #3
    Hello :D kidonabike's Avatar
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    For me I like to have at least a little bit of solids on longer rides or I start to feel very hungry and get an empty feeling in my stomach.

    Maybe its a psychological thing but I like to eat a little bit.

  4. #4
    Pat
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    I know some people who use liquids. They have difficulty with solid foods. Many liquid foods are easier for your stomach to handle. That is why they have liquid diets. So they may be a good choice.

    Personally, I generally go for a see food diet on centuries... I see food and I eat it.

  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Many long distance riders believe that liquid foods are easier to digest or at least go across the stomach wall faster.

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    Doesn't matter where you get your calories. Like kidonabike, I like to have some solid food in my stomach, and I especially like to have something that's not as sweet as my accelerade.
    Eric

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  7. #7
    ... Brett A's Avatar
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    All your body needs during exercise is sugar for energy, and water and salt at your sweat rate. Anything else (such as fats and fiber) is extra and unnecessary. Although you may still like to have some-up to you, but your body doesn't need it.

    At a point around 60 percent of max effort, the blood is diverted away from digestion and goes to work keeping the muscles fueled and the core temp cool. In this state, you can't really extract the nutrients out of solid food and it can sit undigested causing discomfort---an uncomfortable waste of food and energy.

    If you're out for an EZ ride, just making the pedals go around, this isn't an issue. But if you're endeavoring to work some effort into your century, best to stay with simple sources such as sports drinks and gels.

    Also, the body can't absorb much over 250 calories an hour, so i keep track of this also. Too many causes bloating, gas, and lower torso discomfort.

    All that said, if you enjoy stopping for a turkey sandwich or coffee and pie mid-ride. I don't think there's any real harm in it--you just might experience some discomfort and drop in performance (FWIW).

    Ride on!!

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett A View Post
    All your body needs during exercise is sugar for energy, and water and salt at your sweat rate. Anything else (such as fats and fiber) is extra and unnecessary. Although you may still like to have some-up to you, but your body doesn't need it. <snip>
    This is still a subject of debate:
    http://www.hammernutrition.com/za/HN...RTICLE.ID=1718

    Also, injesting salt equivalent to sweat rate has been found to be problematic:
    http://www.hammernutrition.com/za/HN...ance%20Library

  9. #9
    ... Brett A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    This is still a subject of debate:
    http://www.hammernutrition.com/za/HN...RTICLE.ID=1718

    Also, injesting salt equivalent to sweat rate has been found to be problematic:
    http://www.hammernutrition.com/za/HN...ance%20Library


    Thanks for the links.

    I'm familiar with the protein debate, but had not heard about the discrepancy between salt loss rate and absorption rate. Makes sense that you'd only want to ingest what you can absorb.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Roll Tide
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    A calorie is a calorie. Doesn't matter if you get it from a liquid source or a solid source.

    I will select sugared beverages from convenience stores (i.e. orange pop) because of their calorie content ... a beverage AND a calorie boost. And on rides longer than a century, I have trouble digesting solid food, so I'll drink Ensure.
    I second this. I tried Machka's suggestion on my first century. I used Ensure Plus. High Calories, Lots of Carbs. Easy on the stomach. Drank one towards the 90 mile mark, when I was starting to tire, and it was like gas on a fire! Literally felt the engine coming to life. Really cool experience.
    Ride More.

  11. #11
    SSP
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    If I'm riding at high intensity, I prefer liquids only (maltodextrin, with some electrolytes).

    If it's an easier social ride, maltodextrin in one bottle, water in the other, plus some energy bars to chew on.

    On longer rides (over 100 km), I like to have some mid-ride protein. A protein bar if I don't want to stop, or a turkey sandwich if I do.
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