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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 07-05-10, 11:16 PM   #1
vantassell
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Eating/Drinking on Long Rides

With the high temperatures lately (95+ degrees) i've been having trouble on longer rides (60-80 miles).

I got some NUUN tablets for my water and i'm wondering if people just drink straight NUUN, or do you swap off between NUUN and plain water?

Also, how long do you guys wait to start eating? I usually wait about an hour before I start eating, is this too late?
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Old 07-06-10, 02:17 AM   #2
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Nibbling might work for you. I put my food into a bento bag on the top tube and then take a bite every so often. Much easier than trying to down an energy bar or something all at once.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:18 AM   #3
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What does "having trouble" mean?

I don't use NUUN. If I am going to have to drink flavored water it better have some calories in it.

How long I wait before I start eating depends on how long the ride is and how long its been since I last ate. For longer rides I don't want to fall behind in my food consumption so I start earlier. Usually not before at least an hour. But that is variable between individuals.
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Old 07-06-10, 12:33 PM   #4
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I start eating at 15 minutes. I use Endurolytes instead of NUUN. I prefer separating all my fuel sources so I can vary each to suit my current complaint.
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Old 07-06-10, 04:49 PM   #5
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Having trouble = feeling naseous and not wanting to drink anymore water towards the end. My legs usually feel ok the whole time but they do get a little heavy.

I tried some drinks with calories in it but I think the sugar in it upset my stomach after a while. After switching to the NUUN tablets, I didn't feel as sick/sloshy/nauseous.

So as long as I don't start out hungry, an hour might be an ok time to start eating. I think on my really long rides (80-100 miles) i'll start at 30 mins though, just to be safe.
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Old 07-06-10, 05:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by vantassell View Post
Having trouble = feeling naseous and not wanting to drink anymore water towards the end. My legs usually feel ok the whole time but they do get a little heavy.

I tried some drinks with calories in it but I think the sugar in it upset my stomach after a while. After switching to the NUUN tablets, I didn't feel as sick/sloshy/nauseous.

So as long as I don't start out hungry, an hour might be an ok time to start eating. I think on my really long rides (80-100 miles) i'll start at 30 mins though, just to be safe.
"sick/sloshy/nauseous."
That can be an indication that your drink was too concentrated. If it is too concentrated (electrolytes and 'sugars') then your system will dilute it while it is in your intestines by absorbing water from your blood until it's at an equal concentration as your blood. This delay in absorption and the additional water in your intestines causes a bloated and sick/sloshy/nauseous feeling.

Additionally, I have read (as I recall) that you can only process (absorb/digest/etc) about 220 calories an hour. If you eat more than that then it's just going to sit in your stomach until it's good and ready. That's one reason that it's a good idea to start eating early. Besides which it takes a while for the digestion process. When it is hot, I find that I'm better off drinking something with fewer calories, because I need the water and electrolytes more than the calories. And because I will actually be drinking more I'll probably end up with just as many calories.

And, not all sports drinks are alike. Gatorade sucks, in my opinion. Stuff with sugar (sucrose) or high fructose corn syrup are bad. The best ones have maltodextrin as the largest ingredient, along with dextrose (glucose) and some fructose.
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Old 07-06-10, 06:02 PM   #7
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for 60-80 mile rides how many bottles of whatever, or whatever, are you drinking? I know for everyone it is different but i always hear about 16-24 oz an hour...and in 95 degree heat even more. I know you're asking about food but hydration may be just as key of an issue as food intake.

regarding food, it all depends on how long the ride is... 2+ i'll have a cliff bar in about 45 minutes and nibble on fig nuttons every 5-10 miles. every 45-60 minutes beyond that i'll just add more cliff bar or home made stuff.

regarding hydration, I have two cages on my frame and a tri cage on the back of my seat that holds 2 more, so i always bring 4 bottles with me. I find for about a 50 mile ride I do i use 3 and into the fourth bottle, but will every 20 minutes or so pour cold cold cold water over my head and neck--i find this works great.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:57 PM   #8
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I use gatorade powder in my bottles. That stuff is great and is cheap. If i'm going out on a long ride where I know I'm going to be booking it, I usually eat 200-300 calories per hour. Ofcourse, my longest ride is only 50 miles. I don't use cages so I put the bottles in my jersey pockets.
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Old 07-07-10, 09:16 AM   #9
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On extremely hot days, I will intentionally taper off the mileage and time spent on the saddle. Moderation in things like exercise is the first thing. Everything else is compensatory, meaning you pay for it.

I find less enjoyment with the long rides in extremely hot days. If you had to rank your rides, you might find this to be true.
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Old 07-08-10, 03:22 PM   #10
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Wouldn't that be something? Just tell some guy you never met -you never rode with - exactly what /he/she needs eat and drink to keep up the vim, vigor and vitality we all so preciously crave.

Wow, that would be really neat oh!
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Old 07-08-10, 04:53 PM   #11
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Hmmm, seems like the OP was asking what other people do, and ta-da: other people responded with what they do. I guess I missed the replies where we were instructing the OP how to hydrate/fuel him/herself.
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Old 07-08-10, 05:50 PM   #12
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Wouldn't that be something? Just tell some guy you never met -you never rode with - exactly what /he/she needs eat and drink to keep up the vim, vigor and vitality we all so preciously crave.

Wow, that would be really neat oh!
Well, you know it's a funny thing. I've been leading and riding long enough that I've kept company with quite a few people I've never ridden with before who are losing it. So what was I supposed to do, say "Sorry, I'm not your coach?" No, I give them advice, electrolytes, food, water, whatever works for me when I feel like they're feeling, and 90% of the time they're all fixed up in an hour or so, and'll probably drop me next ride. So yeah, it is pretty neat when you can use your experience to help someone. That's one of the huge rewards of having done one's own suffering.

That other 10% they're just way over their head and there's no hope on that ride. Doesn't do them any harm to try to help them, though.

The OP is noticing the favorable effect of adding electrolytes to his fueling. It's just a matter of dialing it in for his needs. Takes a lot of rides under different conditions to get a feel for it.
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Old 07-13-10, 02:32 AM   #13
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I had another long day today (with 96 degree heat) and felt a little better.

I tried to eat half a cliff bar on the half hours (so half at 2:30 and the 2nd half at 3:30) and then an energy gel on the hour. I think this is too little of food for me, i might try upping my food intake a little. I noticed towards the end that the GU might make my stomach upset, but I may have been slightly dehydrated. Does anyone know a good energy gel alternative? (i've tried GU, honey stingers gel, cliff shot blocks)

I also emailed NUUN asking what they recommend for whether i should be drinking only NUUN laced water, or alternate between the NUUN water and plain water. They said that everyone has different routines. Today I started off with two bottles full of NUUN and I think that's too much, maybe I should start with 1 and 1, and later maybe go out with 2 NUUNs. I'm also thinking of maybe doing some double strength NUUN in one bottle and then plain ice water in the other. Any thoughts? Anyone here use NUUN?
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