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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 06-18-11, 03:45 PM   #1
CyclistforLife
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Would this amount of calories/protein be sufficent enough for doing half-century?

Hi all.

I'm new here.

I have cycled for just over two years. Even while taking off seven months worth of time, I've clocked in 7,700 miles.

Recently, I had discovered that I was not eating enough after cycling. I would often get light-headed or feel naucious.

I am a half-century cyclist. I do this on a regular basis (roughly 4 or 5 out of 7 days a week).

I average 18 mph, and I go for about.. 2 hours and 45 minutes.

About me: I am seventeen, weigh roughly 135 pounds, and ride mostly flat land.

I figured that I should eat about 3,000 calories for cycling, and get about 60g protein. Is this right, or should I cut back?

I also figured I burn roughly 1,600 calories. Is that correct?
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Old 06-18-11, 04:32 PM   #2
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I think you can easily ride 50 miles on much much less than that. I do 50 miles with a pair of cliff bars (500 cal) and a couple electrolyte tabs in my bottle, and I'm about 40lbs heavier than you are. For eating I recommend you look at the scale. If your weight is steady keep eating the same.
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Old 06-18-11, 04:58 PM   #3
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I think you can easily ride 50 miles on much much less than that. I do 50 miles with a pair of cliff bars (500 cal) and a couple electrolyte tabs in my bottle, and I'm about 40lbs heavier than you are. For eating I recommend you look at the scale. If your weight is steady keep eating the same.
I probably could, but I think the average caloric intake for a teenager my age is roughly 2,200? So wouldn't the 1,500 + 2,200 = 3,700?

So, I'd still have defecit.

So, in order to maintain myself shouldn't I be eating more than the average intake by a little bit?
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Old 06-18-11, 05:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CyclistforLife View Post
I average 18 mph, and I go for about.. 2 hours and 45 minutes.

About me: I am seventeen, weigh roughly 135 pounds, and ride mostly flat land.

I figured that I should eat about 3,000 calories for cycling, and get about 60g protein. Is this right, or should I cut back?

I also figured I burn roughly 1,600 calories. Is that correct?
1600 sounds reasonably close depending on how hard you are riding. 3000 Cals/day doesn't sound like enough given you're 17 and probably still growing. Are you losing weight by eating that amount? Why not try eating more and see if you feel better on the rides? If you start gaining weight then cut back a little. You shouldn't be dieting at your age.
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Old 06-18-11, 05:24 PM   #5
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To be honest, it varies. Some mornings I'm up to near 139, others I'm at 133.

I eat a lot of yogurt though, for both vitamins, minerals, and protein.

I know, I shouldn't be dieting. I have a reason though.

Two years ago, I started dieting to lose weight. I once weighed 260. All that cycling brought me to 130s.

Now, I want to lose very little, or maintain. But not gain.
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Old 06-18-11, 06:18 PM   #6
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Wow! Congrats on the impressive weight loss. Since you're probably pretty good at tracking your intake I would suggest just carefully monitor what you eat, use approx 35 Cals/mile to estimate your expenditure while cycling and keep track of your weight.

Eat enough to maintain a balance. If you gain or lose weight you would then need to adjust what you are eating. Bear in mind you're still growing so some weight gain in line with overall growth should be expected and accounted for.
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Old 06-19-11, 04:09 AM   #7
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Aim to consume 200-300 calories per hour while you are cycling your half century. Otherwise whatever you normally eat.

The fitter you get, the less you'll probably need to eat.
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Old 06-19-11, 09:45 AM   #8
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Wow! Congrats on the impressive weight loss. Since you're probably pretty good at tracking your intake I would suggest just carefully monitor what you eat, use approx 35 Cals/mile to estimate your expenditure while cycling and keep track of your weight.

Eat enough to maintain a balance. If you gain or lose weight you would then need to adjust what you are eating. Bear in mind you're still growing so some weight gain in line with overall growth should be expected and accounted for.
Thanks. Cycling has become a huge part of my life. I don't know what I'd do, or where I'd be without it. Those seven months (from a serious, but not life-threating injury, and then my body went downhill for a while in the winter of '10, so I thought I'd just pack up for the winter, and stay in and recover) were brutal for me. I felt like a part of me just wasn't there.

As for balance, I can't really tell all that much. I somehow gained 10 pounds in a month.. Not quite sure how that happened, but it's for the best. I was 127, and looked way to bony. But, in the process, my stomach firmed a bit? So I'm confused on that aspect.

All I know is from the past, that 2,400 calories was a bit low, and I would lose a little bit of weight. I also would not have energy for the next day. That was also when I was only doing 44 miles, not 50. My whole body is a big mystery to me.

As long as I can wear small shirts, and size 28 shorts, I'm happy.
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Old 06-19-11, 05:06 PM   #9
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Try it and see, don't short change yourself and just watch the scale for signs that it was too much. You may want to get bodyfat measurements since with the amount of training you are doing you could easily be adding muscle and don't want to start dieting again if you are adding lean body mass and not fat.
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Old 06-20-11, 09:43 AM   #10
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Aim to consume 200-300 calories per hour while you are cycling your half century. Otherwise whatever you normally eat.

The fitter you get, the less you'll probably need to eat.
+1
everyone's a little different though... many riders can go 50 without any additional calories during the ride.
If you do 50 regularly, as you note, then your body has adapted about as much as it might.
This is the time when you should 'experiment' and see what works for YOU.

BTW, I'm curious; you noted your weight and age, but not your height... what might that be...

Congrats on the weight lose - but don't fall into the trap of under-nourishment because you don;t want to revert back. At 17 you have some years yet during which your body can and should develop. Take that time now to really work on overall fitness.
Cycling is totally great, but you can't build a strong house on just one cornerstone.
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Old 06-20-11, 01:47 PM   #11
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Yes, everyone is different. As are rides.
I can ride a 70 miler on breakfast with a pitiful 1000 feet of climbing.
Send me up a steep mountain and I will need food for something under a third of that distance.
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Old 06-27-11, 11:43 PM   #12
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I think metabolism is going to play some sort of factor. On 50 mile rides I usually just use hammer gel and a bowl of sugar coated sugar bombs (cocoa crispies) before the ride. Post ride I drink a protein shake. From personal experience, it was just trial and error. I figured out how much was too much, and how little was too little. Congrats on the weight loss and falling in love with cycling, I did the same thing myself a few years ago.
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