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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 03-14-10, 10:09 PM   #1
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when to use gel shot?

when do you guys think it's time to use the gel shot. i get tired sometimes on my ride, about 20 miles into it. should i take a gel shot? they have about 100 calories per pack, i don't want to have to much calorie intake.
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Old 03-14-10, 10:19 PM   #2
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How long is the ride? Gels are not these magical things that will prevent you from getting tired, they are just quick source of easily available carbohydrates. So you need to consider how long is the ride, what intensity it is, etc.
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Old 03-14-10, 10:22 PM   #3
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40 miles, moderate intensity

perhaps i should be eating something rather than gel shot?
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Old 03-14-10, 11:12 PM   #4
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40 miles takes you, what, a little over 2 hrs? you may be better off with a sports drink, rather than a shot.
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Old 03-15-10, 01:39 AM   #5
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How long have you been riding? Honestly for 40 miler you don't really need any special food, unless it's very high intensity or something. If you are getting tired 20 miles in to it I would look in to the routine off the bike. Are you getting enough sleep, are you eating enough off the bike, what kind of food you are eating, etc.
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Old 03-15-10, 02:02 AM   #6
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I carry gel with me for when ... a) my stomach will not tolerate solid foods anymore; or b) I need a quick boost. Therefore, I rarely use the gel I carry with me.

Instead of gel, I eat something before my ride which usually lasts me 1-2 hours, and then I eat granola bars or cookies or something periodically throughout the ride ... if the ride is longer than 2-ish hours.
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Old 03-15-10, 07:38 AM   #7
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Old 03-15-10, 07:49 AM   #8
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Short ride (<3 hours): when you're hungry / feeling low on energy.

Long Ride: intake about 15-250 calories / hour (you have to figure out the right amount for *you* by trial and error), starting at around 1:15-1:45 into the ride.

That said, there's no real rule, it will depend on what you ate before the ride, how long ago you ate it, what you did yesterday and the last few days before that, how good your body is at switching from carb-burning to fat-burning, etc. etc.

If you are counting calories to lose weight, you still don't want to restrict calories too much during your ride - before & after the ride are the times to eat less.
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Old 03-15-10, 01:17 PM   #9
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i eat a good meal today before my ride, waited about and hour and felt a lot better. i think i need to be eating better off the bike.
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Old 03-16-10, 09:48 PM   #10
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I always have gel with me but don't always use it. Sometimes on short, under 3 hour rides, I'll use it especially if on a group training ride and expending a ton of energy. If I know I'm in for something over 4 hours I'll take a shot every hour.
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Old 03-20-10, 09:53 PM   #11
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I tend to judge how much to eat on the bike based upon what I expect to do in the next 20-30 minutes. If I am just spinning along at a moderate pace I would sip on an energy drink mix. If I am headed for a long climb I will eat a gel 5 or 10 minutes before I get there. Once over the top I will have 1/2 of an energy bar that has some protein. For me I always do better if I am ahead of the curve for food. As has been said in the past, drink before you are thirsty and eat before you feel hungry or down on energy.
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Old 03-21-10, 04:35 PM   #12
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what about a 60 mile high intensity race (very hilly). i ate two cliff bars and a banana while on the ride and drank two bottles (water). and was really fatigued after at the last 7 miles, and had my legs cramp up bad.
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