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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 08-03-09, 09:50 AM   #1
njlonghorn
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post-ride gorging

I need advice on how to avoid going into gorge mode after a long (for me) ride.

First, the back-story. I'm 40-year-old male, 5-11, 180 lbs. I have a motion-less desk job, so I'm fortunate to have a high metablosim -- to maintain a steady weight without exercise, I need to consume around 2500 calories per day. When I want to, I can slim down pretty easily by cutting back to 2000 or so. To be honest, though, I'd rather eat more and remain a little bit (15-20 lbs) overweight.

For the last decade or so, most of my exercise has been basketball and fitness classes. I rarely exercised longer than 1 hour at a time. I got into cycling two years ago, but I mostly went on short rides that took less than an hour to complete. Thus, I never adjusted my calorie intake based on activity.

This year, I've gotten the bug for longer rides. I typically ride hilly routes, with anywhere between 1000 and 1500 feet of climbing per 10 miles. I am slow, so my my best guess is that I'm consuming 700 or so calories per hour.

The problem is, when I come home from anything longer than 2.5 hours or so, I am famished and feel the urge to gorge all day long. I've read that I should tide myself over with small meals every 2 hours, but I eat a small meal and I'm starving again 30 minutes later.

(1) Should I be eating more BEFORE rides? If I'm riding in the morning, I usually have a banana, a Powerbar, and a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter.

(2) Should I eat more DURING rides? I usually have a gel after 45 minutes, and a Powerbar/Cliff Bar/etc. after another 45. If I'm planning to go 3+ hours total, I'll stop for a bagel with cream cheese and jelly at the 2 or 2.5 mark. If I don't plan to go past 3 hours, I'll have another gel instead.

(3) Should I have a bigger meal right after cooling off? What I eat after a ride varies widely, but I keep it healthy and balanced, and try to avoid eating until I'm full.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:31 PM   #2
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That sounds like plenty of food during the ride. It's way more than I eat for a ride that long, but I eat a larger breakfast before the ride.

When I come back from a long (4-5 hour) ride I'm hungry. I'll eat a reasonable meal but not stuff myself. If I am still hungry an hour later, I'll eat some more. If you are really hungry there's nothing wrong with eating. It's normal for athletes to eat more. If you think that you just have the munchies and don't really need the food, have a glass of water. Then if you are still hungry a half hour later, perhaps you really do need food.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:34 PM   #3
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I dont believe you should eat anything before rides unless you're biking to work. the food just sitting there in your stomach and will not digest.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:53 PM   #4
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I might try less during the ride and more real food for breakfast. Why the powerbar? Sounds like you're eating plenty during the rides, so you probably don't need more there. You might want to try something with a little protein in it on the long rides, and skip the bagel (probably unnecessary for 3 hours anyway).

Also, how long/frequently have you been doing the longer rides? I find that when I suddenly change up my routine it takes my body a while to adjust, especially when I'm adding distance or intensity, which often leads to me feeling way hungrier for a few weeks. I also find that I need much less food on long rides than I used to when I was just starting out.

Finally, stay hydrated! I find that I feel much less munchy-prone when I'm drinking plenty of fluids...
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Old 08-04-09, 09:43 PM   #5
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Generally, 250 cal/hour is a good target during the ride.

But more importantly, what you need is to get recovery calories into you as quickly as possible. I used to have the same issue that you have, but since I started using Endurox (chocolate for me), it doesn't happen any more. You need the recovery calories to start replacing your glycogen stores and to support your blood sugar levels.

Your blood sugar is down a bit when you exercise, but the exercise suppresses your hunger. If you don't eat something right after you're done, you will get hungry, but then you don't get exacty what you need, so you eat something else, etc.

Endurox has been great for me, but there are other recovery drinks out there. Chocolate milk is a pretty good one if a) it has sucrose, not HFCS in it and b) you tolerate lactose well.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:09 AM   #6
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It usually takes an hour or two after a long ride before I want to put solid food in my system. The exception being post-ride drink or if its early enough a simple egg dish. Anything else, like dinner, no way.
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Old 08-05-09, 09:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cleansheet View Post
It usually takes an hour or two after a long ride before I want to put solid food in my system. The exception being post-ride drink or if its early enough a simple egg dish. Anything else, like dinner, no way.
I'm the same way. I usually have a recovery drink right after long rides, then a small meal one hour later. I find I'm often hungrier the day after a long ride than the evening of...
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Old 08-05-09, 11:23 AM   #8
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Drink more fluids before/during/after ride. You didn't say what your post-ride meal consists of... Could be key... You're eating plenty before and during the ride although you'd be better off replacing the Power Bar with nutritious real food.
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Old 08-06-09, 03:16 PM   #9
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I am struggling with similar issues - major hunger while putting in 150-200 mile weeks on the bike. It's so bad last night I had to get up twice to eat just so the hunger pains would stop and I could sleep! I'm trying to limit daily caloric intake to about 2600-2750 (at 39, 5'11", 190 lbs, I need about 3300 calories a day to maintain weight, based on a high activity level.) I am growing skeptical of many small meals during the day approach because I think it ends up with me just being hungry all day long. Instead, I am trying to focus on eating three bigger meals each day, with some lighter, healthy snacking in between. On a 50 mile ride I'll drink two sports drinks (200 calories) one cliff bar (230 calories) and sometimes a gel if I have done alot of climbing. My best advice is to really track the calories carefully, but eat what your body demands. I think as you get used to the mileage your body's desire for calories will taper off...keep up the good work!
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Old 08-06-09, 03:18 PM   #10
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yeehaw, that last post bumped me up from "Junior Member" to "Member."
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Old 08-11-09, 05:07 PM   #11
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I would suggest to have a recovery drink right after your ride and then have a nice healthy meal, consisting of lean protein, complex carbs, and a good fat source. A good rule of thumb to follow after a long hard ride is, if you are hungry eat, but make sure it is the correct foods. Your body is craving good nutrition and is very depleted after a long ride. Replace those lost calories.
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Old 08-11-09, 11:37 PM   #12
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Nothing is better than a nice steak on the grill after a 3-4 hour ride. I hear you on being hungry, but I crave meat specifically. A nice piece of grilled meat!
I also Ride mid-day to night time.
Im glad you asked though, because now i'm wondering if I'm defeating all the exercise portion of the ride by stuffing my face with steak.
Huh...Thanks for asking!
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Old 08-12-09, 08:23 AM   #13
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If you're training intensively most of the week and on those rides are spending around 3,000 kCal on them you should have a meal after the ride with around 1g CHO per pound of body mass. Enough protein to have a 4:1 ratio CHO to Protein and as near to 0 fat as you can get. After 2-4hrs after the ride you should have another exact meal like this one.

This meals will pretty much restore your glycogen faster, so you can ride in the afternoon or the next day. The rest of the meals should be more balanced, ending up with a 60% CHO, 20% Fat 20% Protein ratio at the end of the day and whatever is needed to mantain your body weight. Most of your calorie intake will come from your after ride meals and ride.

The hunger you're feeling is normal, at least I feel it too even after chowing down 3k worth of calories after a ride.
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Old 08-12-09, 01:23 PM   #14
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Make a protein/carb shake right after you ride and down it. Then go take your post-ride shower. When you get out, see if you still feel like gorging. It works for some people.
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Old 08-12-09, 03:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RespectTheWheel View Post
I crave meat specifically. A nice piece of grilled meat!
A couple of weeks ago, I was about 45 miles into a ride and started to crave onions for some reason. There must be something in onions that my body needed, because I don't really like onions all that much.
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Old 08-12-09, 10:31 PM   #16
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After long rides I always feel super hungry, and then I eat and drink a lot to replenish my stores, but then my stomach hurts for the rest of the evening...
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