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    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Carbohydrates and Long Rides

    I've become convinced that carbohydrates are not good for you, and have limited my intake of carbs and especially sugars. But I haven't figured out what's the best thing to eat before/during/after long rides. What do you think?

    I'm also wondering whether 1+ hours of biking followed by pie followed by another 1+ hours of biking would avoid the ill-effects of the carbs in the pie..
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    BALM Co. 2005trek1200's Avatar
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    you kind of have conflicting ideas there. first and foremost by saying "not good for you" i have no idea what you mean. carbs are a necessary and critical energy source for the body, especially during hard efforts. you should read up about the carb/fat cycles of the body during exercise.

    i am also baffled by what you mean when you say "ill-effects." if you mean weight gain, then youre simply eating too much damn pie frankly. pre/during rides your food source should come from high glycemic carbs. for longer rides (greater than 2+ hours) high glycemic cards are needed along with some protein. post ride should consist of high glycemic carbs for a period after your workout that equaled your workout time (ie if you worked out for an hour, the hour afterward should consist of eating high glycemic foods as well as adding protein to aid recovery) after that then low glycemic carbs, healthy, nutritous foods should by the mainstay of your diet. and dont underestimate the amount of protein your body needs to recovery fully and grow muscle.
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    Let's see "carbohydrates are not good for you"... " limited my intake of carbs and especially sugars" Then this "I'm also wondering whether .... followed by pie". Am I missing something here? It's kind like arsenic. A little here and there may not seem to hurt you then WHAMMY!
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    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Carbohydrates are not bad. In fact there is a pretty big organ that relies on them. What is bad is processed "sugar". I put that in quotes because now it's mostly HFCC. I read someone mentioned they saw it in the ingredients list for HUMMUS. Seriously!

    As for intake it really depends on you, intensity you are riding and time. Personally for two hours I just bring water. For longer endurance ride some bananas. If it's an extra high intensity ride or a road race I'll add in some stuff in to my water that has carbohydrates and electrolytes. So enjoy that pie in moderation, and not often, stay away from junk food and eat food mainly plants.
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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I like pie
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  6. #6
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    I've become convinced that carbohydrates are not good for you, and have limited my intake of carbs and especially sugars. But I haven't figured out what's the best thing to eat before/during/after long rides. What do you think?

    I'm also wondering whether 1+ hours of biking followed by pie followed by another 1+ hours of biking would avoid the ill-effects of the carbs in the pie..
    :facepalm:

    Quote Originally Posted by 2005trek1200 View Post
    you kind of have conflicting ideas there. first and foremost by saying "not good for you" i have no idea what you mean. carbs are a necessary and critical energy source for the body, especially during hard efforts. you should read up about the carb/fat cycles of the body during exercise.

    i am also baffled by what you mean when you say "ill-effects." if you mean weight gain, then youre simply eating too much damn pie frankly. pre/during rides your food source should come from high glycemic carbs. for longer rides (greater than 2+ hours) high glycemic cards are needed along with some protein. post ride should consist of high glycemic carbs for a period after your workout that equaled your workout time (ie if you worked out for an hour, the hour afterward should consist of eating high glycemic foods as well as adding protein to aid recovery) after that then low glycemic carbs, healthy, nutritous foods should by the mainstay of your diet. and dont underestimate the amount of protein your body needs to recovery fully and grow muscle.
    It sure is sad how poorly many people like the OP understand nutrition.

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    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    :facepalm:



    It sure is sad how poorly many people like the OP understand nutrition.
    You mean like most of U.S.?
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  8. #8
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
    You mean like most of U.S.?
    Yes, I mean it is sad how many people are like the OP.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I have a friend, and quite thin she is, who rides for pie. She rides from pie place to pie place. The more she rides, the more pie she gets! She's quite fanatic about it, in a humorous way. Pie is good. Handmade pie is best, but after a couple hundred k, I'll go for the store-bought plastic wrapped kind.

    Then there's the ideal that your body will adapt to use the food available. Hostess cupcakes have fabulous availability and I have it on good authority that it is possible to adapt your body to process them.

    Then there's also the search for the most saline junk food made. Cheetos are right up there. Half a bag of Cheetos and a plastic pie and you're ready to go. Burp.

    To the OP: it depends on how hard you ride. If you average around 17 and climb at least 50'/mile, which isn't too difficult, you'll burn 700 cal./hour or so. Homemade pie will run 300-400 cal./piece, w/o ice cream. So you could eat two pieces/hour if you could just ride hard enough. Except that you'd barf if you ate that much of anything. OTOH, my favorite plastic pie runs about 700 calories, which just goes to show that you shouldn't eat junk food unless you can ride like an animal.

    But go out there and hammer for three hours, and you'll see why pie is really good for you. Give me road and give me pie!
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 03-03-10 at 10:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
    What is bad is processed "sugar". I put that in quotes because now it's mostly HFCC. I read someone mentioned they saw it in the ingredients list for HUMMUS. ... For longer endurance ride some bananas.
    Both high-fructose corn syrup HFCS and bananas have a sugar content that's about half glucose and half fructose, so the sugars in both will be metabolized in the same way by your body. The bananas also have other nutrients (esp. potassium) and fiber so they are healthier than items that only contain HFCS and few other nutrients. But there's nothing inherently that terrible about some amount of HFCS in our diets. The problems arise when it results in excessive consumption and obesity or when the diet is deficient in other nutrients.

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    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    To the OP: it depends on how hard you ride. If you average around 17 and climb at least 50'/mile, which isn't too difficult, you'll burn 700 cal./hour or so.
    wut

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    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Both high-fructose corn syrup HFCS and bananas have a sugar content that's about half glucose and half fructose, so the sugars in both will be metabolized in the same way by your body. The bananas also have other nutrients (esp. potassium) and fiber so they are healthier than items that only contain HFCS and few other nutrients. But there's nothing inherently that terrible about some amount of HFCS in our diets. The problems arise when it results in excessive consumption and obesity or when the diet is deficient in other nutrients.
    Yes. They put that crap in to pretty much everything now. Although maybe it's kind of chicken or the egg problem. HFCS is in all the processed foods, so high consumption of HFCS indicates high consumption of junk food. All this HFCS makes junk food less filling, so people tend to eat more junk food and ofcourse HFCS that is in it. Hmm not sure if I am explaining it correctly.
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    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    You guys hurt my feelings .

    But seriously, I would expect some people to disagree with the recent shift in attitudes towards carbohydrates, but I didn't expect responses like this: "by saying '[carbs are] not good for you' i have no idea what you mean."

    Here's a write up I did on this book:


    I read it not to find out how to lose weight, but to find out more about this low-carb business, and understand the country's obesity problem.

    I just finished it (you can probably read it online via your library and NetLibrary.com), and it's worth summarizing here. Here are the main points:

    Prehistoric man had very little starchy carbohydrates in his diet, and most of it was "entangled in fiber or locked in impervious husks." It's only in the last 10,000 years that changes in agriculture and food processing has made this starch more prevalent and more accessible to rapid digestion. The human digestive system has not had a chance to adapt to this change.

    In the 1970s, the government and medical organizations recommended that people cut down on fat and cholesterol, and as a result, consumption of carbohydrates increased significantly.

    The idea that ingesting less cholesterol will significantly influence your cholesterol levels is not a good assumption.

    When you eat something like a potato or piece of bread, the carbohydrates are broken down very quickly. "Within minutes, your blood glucose shoots up to levels never experienced by your prehistoric ancestors. These 'glucose shocks' are foreign to the way human digestive systems worked for millions of years..."

    This results in excessive insulin production, which in turn encourages your body to store calories as fat.

    Also, "...starch short-circuits into your bloodstream in the first foot or two of your intestine and never reaches the last part of your digestive tract, where important appetitesuppressing hormones come from."

    The author recommends that you avoid this by cutting down on potatoes, bread, rice, and sugar-flavored drinks. He says that if you want to keep it simple, just do this: "Donít eat more than a quarter serving of flour products, potatoes, or rice at a time, and
    abstain from sugar-containing soft drinks and fruit juices."

    Brown rice and whole wheat bread are just about as bad as refined white rice and white bread.

    Moderate exercise, such as walking, increases insulin sensitivity in slow-twitch muscles as long as it's done regularly (for example, not just on weekends).

    Atkins had the right idea, but his diet was too restrictive, eliminating some foods, like fruit and milk, that need not have been restricted. The result was that people were unable to stick to the diet.

    The current obesity epidemic is a direct result of the prevalence of starchy carbohydrates in our diet, and an indirect result of advice to reduce fat and cholesterol intake.



    The book is an easy read, and he presents good evidence for all of the above points. There's a lot more information in the book, of course, than I discussed here.

    ----------------

    As for "Carbs are bad" and "I want pie" being contradictory, the point is that carbs are bad because they cause such a jump in blood sugar. However, sustained exercise modulates that increase. So the question is, how does one play those two things off against each other?
    Last edited by TromboneAl; 03-04-10 at 10:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    The book is an easy read, and he presents good evidence for all of the above points. There's a lot more information in the book, of course, than I discussed here.
    The book may be interesting and his hypothesis may be correct but it really isn't applicaple to cyclists riding between 10 and 20 hrs/wk.

    A comment on the graph above showing a correlation between wheat consumption and the levels of obesity: I suspect you would find a similar correlation between most food groups since fatter people eat more of everything.

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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    The what prehistoric man ate books have been around for a long time - Pritikin, Sears, Atkins and etc. Here is a link to a long technical video that will provide the science behind sugar / fructose and its devastating affect on humans. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

    With respect to cycling and nutrition on the bike, I go for a couple of hundred calories per hour along with sufficient water. The reference to pie sounded strange. Per my power meter, I will burn around 1500 calories on a 3 hour ride but that is a function of how hard I ride. I do not like to take in too much food on a ride and upset my stomach. A piece of pie during a hard endurance ride makes no sense at all. Besides the large sugar load there is the fat. Cyclists need salt and glucose during a long ride. I like the gels / drops but I like to limit my caloric intake to small doses over time. At the end of a ride, I like a recovery drink that has protein. I do not eat pie. YMMV.

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    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    The book may be interesting and his hypothesis may be correct but it really isn't applicaple to cyclists riding between 10 and 20 hrs/wk.

    A comment on the graph above showing a correlation between wheat consumption and the levels of obesity: I suspect you would find a similar correlation between most food groups since fatter people eat more of everything.
    Kind of. The number of calories consumed total went up. Pretty much most of those calories are coming from processed foods. So the message shouldn't be "carbs are bad" or "fat is bad" or "protein is bad", it should be "processed food is bad. Eat whole foods, and eat less". All the rest is BS that allows food industry to introduce more and more processed foods and market them as healthy, because now they have whatever the latest research shows is good for you that X factor that magic bullet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    The what prehistoric man ate books have been around for a long time - Pritikin, Sears, Atkins and etc. Here is a link to a long technical video that will provide the science behind sugar / fructose and its devastating affect on humans. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM
    But, as was pointed out in a previous thread, he provides very little evidence to support his claims that fructose is particularly harmful in that video. The data he does show links excessive soft drink consumption with a variety of harmful outcomes and can equally be taken to show that excess 'empty' calorie intake is harmful which is hardly controversial. That data is hardly conclusive support of his thesis that fructose alone is the culprit. If fructose were as bad as he claims then it should be easy to do a controlled animal study with one group eating a high-glucose diet and the other a high-fructose one and evaluate the health effects. AFAIK, there has been no such verification of his claim.
    (And, BTW, the natural diet of our chimp-like ancestors is pretty high in fructose, although certainly not nearly as high as you get in soft drinks.)
    Last edited by prathmann; 03-04-10 at 12:11 PM.

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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    But, as was pointed out in a previous thread, he provides very little evidence to support his claims that fructose is particularly harmful in that video. The data he does show links excessive soft drink consumption with a variety of harmful outcomes and can equally be taken to show that excess 'empty' calorie intake is harmful which is hardly controversial. That data is hardly conclusive support of his thesis that fructose alone is the culprit. If fructose were as bad as he claims then it should be easy to do a controlled animal study with one group eating a high-glucose diet and the other a high-fructose one and evaluate the health effects. AFAIK, there has been no such verification of his claim.
    (And, BTW, the natural diet of our chimp-like ancestors is pretty high in fructose, although certainly not nearly as high as you get in soft drinks.)
    I do not consume fructose / sugar except on the bike and for recovery. Fructose and salt are the main ingredients in gels. Off the bike, I try to avoid eating processed foods where there are additives designed to increase consumption. And I am shocked, I did not know that chimps rode bicycles who would have thought. I suggest you straighten out that MD / professor that is trying to help obese children and get to the root cause of the their problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I do not consume fructose / sugar except on the bike and for recovery. Fructose and salt are the main ingredients in gels. Off the bike, I try to avoid eating processed foods where there are additives designed to increase consumption. And I am shocked, I did not know that chimps rode bicycles who would have thought. I suggest you straighten out that MD / professor that is trying to help obese children and get to the root cause of the their problem.
    Well if you believe the claims in the video you should avoid the fructose component as much as possible. Glucose-based alternatives are available to provide equivalent quick energy. And the chimp comment was in response to the advocate of a prehistoric diet since going even farther back our ancestors would have had a significant intake of fructose.

    BTW, with some training chimps can ride bicycles although they're not very good at it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kneDHG0yc4

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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Well if you believe the claims in the video you should avoid the fructose component as much as possible. Glucose-based alternatives are available to provide equivalent quick energy. And the chimp comment was in response to the advocate of a prehistoric diet since going even farther back our ancestors would have had a significant intake of fructose.

    BTW, with some training chimps can ride bicycles although they're not very good at it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kneDHG0yc4
    I am a finance venture guy and I ride and race my bike. But you...you are local and the professor is local so please go straighten the guy out. I am sure he will take a meeting with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I am a finance venture guy and I ride and race my bike. But you...you are local and the professor is local so please go straighten the guy out. I am sure he will take a meeting with you.
    Lots of hypotheses out there on the causes of obesity and a variety of other health problems that appear to be on the increase. The wheat consumption mentioned above and Lustig's fructose are just two of many. One or more of the myriad may have some validity, but it'll take some better evidence than we currently have to get a consensus on that in the scientific and medical communities, so I'll remain skeptical until such evidence is produced.

    OTOH, it's generally very difficult to convince anyone that their pet theory is false. Usually such theories gradually fade away if they fail to gather sufficient evidence without the originator ever reversing his position.

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    Heres an idea experiment on yourself and let us know. I myself like a hot ceral in the morning with scrambled egg whites, on bike I will take a gel shot every hour along with lots of water, I will sometimes have a recovery drink but normally have a 2-1-1 mix of veggies, protien and starchy carb usually a wrap. Then carry on with day. I have cut out all refined sugars and bad fats from my diet. It's very early in season and have not really noticed a huge difference on bikr but have noticed faster recovery time.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

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    Stratiotika ktemata
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    People are obese because they consume significantly more calories than they are burning. It doesn't take a pet theory to figure that out.

  24. #24
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    OP, your original equation is wrong. Two hours of hard riding, find a Starbucks, tall coffee with a slice of lemon bread, recovery ride for an hour to 1.5 home.

    Fruit smoothie with protein, creatine and glucosomine after a shower.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I still think pie is getting a bad rap here. Ordinary fruit pie runs around 56% carbs, 4% protein, and 40% fat. So it's really a slow burning, satisfying thing to eat. Not good for racing, but for LD or noodling around, it's just fine. The average piece of pie will give you about 170 calories from carbs and 125 from fat. It can be just the thing to get a tired rider back on the road.

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