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  1. #1
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    Early morning cycles on an empty stomach are killing me.

    I am new to road cycling but have defo caught the bug.

    I have been getting up early to get out on the road when the traffic is low, problem is I cant eat that early in the morning, makes me feel sick. Then about 1 hour in I am starving, a work out with no energy cant be great.

    Have been looking at high5 energy drinks and things like jack3d but think I will just be getting sucked into a world of taking crap.

    Any advice on cycle nutrition would be great.

  2. #2
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Bring some food with you. A banana or PB&J sandwich can easily fit into a jersey pocket. You don't have to eat it all at once; take small bites during your workout so it doesn't upset your stomach.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcmorrow30855 View Post
    I have been getting up early to get out on the road when the traffic is low, problem is I cant eat that early in the morning, makes me feel sick. Then about 1 hour in I am starving, a work out with no energy cant be great.
    It's not going to hurt you to ride on an empty stomach. If you want to go for a long ride you'll need to eat something along the way. Another alternative is to eat something before you go to bed, that should give you a little more energy in the morning. If you're trying to lose weight riding in the fasted state can be a good way to increase fat utilization.

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    I don't have any problem with riding 50 miles on an empty stomach. But I think I am a bit of an outlier on this one. There are all sorts of things you can eat. If you feel beat up during the ride, try eating a small snack before starting: a small banana, a piece of fruit, grapes, some toast, a little cereal. Almost anything would work. A preride snack might work. Some people can not ride with solid food in their stomach so you might have to go with something liquid.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nick Bain's Avatar
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    Depends on what you ate the night before.

    Try fruit only in teh morning.
    Last edited by Nick Bain; 01-12-12 at 01:19 PM.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcmorrow30855 View Post
    I am new to road cycling but have defo caught the bug.

    I have been getting up early to get out on the road when the traffic is low, problem is I cant eat that early in the morning, makes me feel sick. Then about 1 hour in I am starving, a work out with no energy cant be great.
    Then at about 45 minutes into the ride, start eating a granola bar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcmorrow30855 View Post
    I am new to road cycling but have defo caught the bug.

    I have been getting up early to get out on the road when the traffic is low, problem is I cant eat that early in the morning, makes me feel sick. Then about 1 hour in I am starving, a work out with no energy cant be great.
    Sounds like you're trying to "run on fumes," so to speak. If you're going to exercise hard for an hour, I'd strongly recommend eating well first, letting the food digest, then exercise. Perhaps get up even earlier or try riding other times of day.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
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    i have a small protein shake with water/ milk and some powdered green foods for good measure. goes down easy, not too filling, gives some carbs and protein to work with. Also bring along a cliff bar for 45 minutes into ride.

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    You shouldn't have a problem with riding without eating first. Don't use an "energy" drink. Most of those are rather similar to caffeinated sodas, but with more caffeine. I use a commercial powdered sports drink, putting 100-150 calories in a water bottle. Try drinking a few swallows of sports drink about 15 minutes into the ride. You might find you'll drink about 3/4 of the bottle during your ride. That should do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    You shouldn't have a problem with riding without eating first. Don't use an "energy" drink. Most of those are rather similar to caffeinated sodas, but with more caffeine. I use a commercial powdered sports drink, putting 100-150 calories in a water bottle. Try drinking a few swallows of sports drink about 15 minutes into the ride. You might find you'll drink about 3/4 of the bottle during your ride. That should do it.
    I would think that would depend on a host of factors: age, metabolism, body fat, time of last meal and amount/type of calories consumed, duration and quality of sleep, cycling experience/efficiency (the OP says he/she is new to road cycling and cycling for an hour+ on an empty stomach), etc. I don't know that there's a one-size-fits-all answer to such a situation, but given what the OP says, it sounds like some calories are in order

  11. #11
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    I (and my daughter) can't ride hard for very long on an empty stomach; we're all different. Sounds to me like OP is burning out all available muscle glycogen. The answer is simply to eat something. Doesn't need to be much, as other posters have mentioned. Another possibility would be to back off slightly, burning more fat and less sugar, while letting your liver make more sugar available through the bloodstream. You'd burn slightly less in calories per minute, slow down slightly, and potentially be able to go much longer. That's the sort of trade many long-distance tourists make -- go slow, but go all day long, then repeat the next day.

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    Avoid Jack3d. Not that it doesn't have it's place...but this is not it. Use a glucose drink or some substitute. Even a glass of juice will put some carbs in your system. After that keep a slower pace to allow your body to make sugar available from it's stores (like pdlamb mentioned).

  13. #13
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcmorrow30855 View Post
    I am new to road cycling but have defo caught the bug.

    I have been getting up early to get out on the road when the traffic is low, problem is I cant eat that early in the morning, makes me feel sick. Then about 1 hour in I am starving, a work out with no energy cant be great.

    Have been looking at high5 energy drinks and things like jack3d but think I will just be getting sucked into a world of taking crap.

    Any advice on cycle nutrition would be great.
    Well you wouldn't want advice from me, because I guess I have a very different metabolism from you!

    My absolute BEST ride is set the alarm for 5:00 AM, pour myself a 12oz tumbler of iced coffee with no sugar, just skim milk and head out the door @ 5:50 fueled by nothing except the coffee which is now kicking in. I ride 15 miles to work, and, by my humble standards, HAUL ASS. Sometime before 7:00 I am outside the coffee shop near my work waiting for them to open drinking the protein shake I prepared the night before and browsing newsfeeds on my smartphone. I am not really that hungry but I don't mind the protein shake. I put extra cocoa in it, a few frozen berries, a little ground flax seed and sweeten it with stevia. If I have an appointment with my trainer I ride my bike to the gym, 9 miles, do my one hour session and then ride 9 miles home or into town all on coffee alone. I am ready to eat something after all that. One time I rode to the gym, did my hour + a one hour makeup session back-to-back, rode into town and by then was starting to feel the low blood sugar.

    I have read about working out or exercising on an empty stomach and how bad some people say it is. I read one fitness "guru's" blog where he said if he had a client come in for training on an empty stomach he would send him back home rather than have him puking and weak. Sure glad that's not my trainer!

    Like I said, I think your metabolism and mine are not the same!

    Sorry, can resist giving advice.....

    What COULD you eat that would be slow-release energy before you take off? I sometimes fuel with good pure organic peanut butter. A milk/fruit/flax seed smoothie in one of your water bottle cages? Take a sip from time to time? I think you would be wise to avoid "energy drink" type crap.

    Don in Austin

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