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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 03-03-14, 10:36 AM   #1
BikeOnly
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What to eat during short rides?

Asking from ignorance, I've heard eat this, don't eat that, conflicting statements. Confusing enough that I am inclined to eat my favorite soft peppermint balls (close to 100% cane sugar, 20 calories each) on the bike.

If it matters I am BMI 24, in decent shape for 65 and have never been overweight.

I am talking about rides of three hours or less between meals. Looking for convenience.

What should I eat while rolling or on very quick rest stops?

Thanks.
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Old 03-03-14, 10:41 AM   #2
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Peanut butter and jam sandwich works for long or short rides.
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Old 03-03-14, 10:57 AM   #3
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For anything under 2 hours, I typically just take my water/gatorade if that.
And I always keep a pack of fruit chews or applesauce in case I get dizzy from low blood sugar or something.

x2 on the PB&J sandwiches. It's easy to throw one of those in the back of a jersey, and they have a decent amount of calories.
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Old 03-03-14, 11:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
For anything under 2 hours, I typically just take my water/gatorade if that.
And I always keep a pack of fruit chews or applesauce in case I get dizzy from low blood sugar or something.

x2 on the PB&J sandwiches. It's easy to throw one of those in the back of a jersey, and they have a decent amount of calories.
+1
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Old 03-03-14, 11:53 AM   #5
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On rides of less than 3 hours I don't eat anything during.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:14 PM   #6
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Whatever works for you. Simple. Peppermint balls are fine. Only real issue is teeth. I take a sports drink, about 180 calories, and a Clif bar. I use HEED now for sports drink because it contains a lot of xylitol, good for your teeth. Clif bar is easy to eat on the bike as long as I tear the wrapper before leaving. If I don't eat it, I stick it in a Ziplock.
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Old 03-03-14, 01:03 PM   #7
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I generally just carry some things "in case" but otherwise I don't eat for 3 hours or less. Other than my meals. My hydration is what I pay attention to more on that.
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Old 03-04-14, 06:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeOnly View Post
Asking from ignorance, I've heard eat this, don't eat that, conflicting statements. Confusing enough that I am inclined to eat my favorite soft peppermint balls (close to 100% cane sugar, 20 calories each) on the bike.

If it matters I am BMI 24, in decent shape for 65 and have never been overweight.

I am talking about rides of three hours or less between meals. Looking for convenience.

What should I eat while rolling or on very quick rest stops?

Thanks.

The answer is indeed really convenient ........ nothing.

Quick and easy!

If you're eating regular meals you don't need to eat anything extra on a ride less than 2 hours. You also don't need anything other than plain water.

But when a ride gets up toward 3 hours, you might want to pack a granola bar or two, just in case you feel hungry. You might also want to consider a sports drink.
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Old 03-04-14, 08:13 AM   #9
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I normally don't eat on rides shorter than 3 hours. We generally have 1000-1500 calories stored as glycogen when we start. Assuming that you are not riding at threshold levels, your energy will come from a mix of fat and glycogen. If you burn 700 calories per hour and glycogen provides 60% of those calories! you should be able to get three hours in before running out of glycogen. Worst case, you only need to consume a few hundred calories if you feel the need to supplement.

That said, I usually carry a honey stinger waffle and/or a gel for such rides. The recipes in the Feed Zone Portables book look awfully good too - and are much more cost effective.
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Old 03-04-14, 09:10 AM   #10
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banana
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Old 03-04-14, 09:26 AM   #11
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I will normally carry a gel in my pocket just out of habit but rarely do I actually use them.
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Old 03-04-14, 11:16 AM   #12
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banana
But of course the peel goes back in your pocket, just like a gel package.
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Old 03-04-14, 02:56 PM   #13
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But of course the peel goes back in your pocket, just like a gel package.
If you're riding in the city maybe. Otherwise its going in the ditch where like other naturally occurring plant matter it will be broken down as nature intended.
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Old 03-04-14, 03:31 PM   #14
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If you're riding in the city maybe. Otherwise its going in the ditch where like other naturally occurring plant matter it will be broken down as nature intended.
I see a lot of them on the shoulder where I'm riding. And too much of that sort of thing both in the country and in the mountains. It's ugly. Nature didn't intend ugly. I put it on the level with roadkill.
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Old 03-04-14, 04:18 PM   #15
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I put it on the level with roadkill.

Oh please. Support your local Meals Under Wheels program. Our feathered friends are depending on you.


Last edited by BikeOnly; 03-04-14 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 03-04-14, 08:24 PM   #16
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I see a lot of them on the shoulder where I'm riding. And too much of that sort of thing both in the country and in the mountains. It's ugly. Nature didn't intend ugly. I put it on the level with roadkill.
As someone who does solid waste management work, I've come to believe that many people just don't understand the difference between waste that's biodegradable and harmless, waste that never breaks down, stuff that's toxic, etc. To some, it's all just garbage, and seeing a banana peel by the side of the road makes it easier to throw out a styrofoam cup, cigarette butt, beer bottle, bag of garbage, or whatever else comes to hand. I know that throwing a banana peel by the side of the road is harmless by itself, but garbage of any sort seems to breed more garbage.

When I see this, I'm reminded of the line in Alice's Restaurant where he says "and we decided that one big pile was better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up, we decided to throw ours down."
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Old 03-04-14, 08:36 PM   #17
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I'll have a zone type bar at most and drink my coconut water in my bottle.
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Old 03-04-14, 10:43 PM   #18
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Depends on how intense you're riding, if you've eaten recently, if you have recovered from previous days rides.
For high intensity riding Hammer gel or Heed play nice with my insides.
For lower intensity, fig newtons/oreos/powerbars/Clif bars taste good.
I keep a powerbar or clif bar in the saddlebag "in case of emergency".
I always carry a flask of Hammer gel. It is my 1st choice "hill helper".

And yes, please carry the trash back out. It is ugly when illegal dump sites form along my favorite riding routes - starts with some little stuff, add a few bags of grass clippings, next it's car tires and dead appliances. My mood goes from enjoying peaceful country scenery to being acutely aware that I am all alone in a deserted questionable area.
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Old 03-06-14, 02:23 PM   #19
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some chocolate covered raisins won't kill ya'
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Old 03-06-14, 08:25 PM   #20
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Peppermint balls provide zero nutrition, rot your teeth, and any energy boost is probably offset by the blood sugar peaks and valleys. A three hour ride is a long ride for me and I'll happily devour anything in sight after an hour or so. I try to bring something with minimal refined sugar like crackers, whole milk, and unsweetened chocolate so I'm not tempted to buy some random crap I find at a store along the way.
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Old 04-10-14, 12:27 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the advice - everything from "I don't eat anything" to "I always carry a t-bone and potato."

In the meantime I found that Clif makes mini bars at 100 calories each instead of the regular 230 calories. My wife picked up a box at Target and one every hour seems to suit me on short rides.

But as far as peppermint balls being bad for teeth, at least they will dissolve completely. Clif bars are bad for sticking to teeth. I carry sugarless gum to help after every bar.
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Old 04-10-14, 12:39 PM   #22
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For a three hour ride, I'll throw a banana and a Clif Bar in my pocket. Half the time they come back untouched. Better to have it and not need it....
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Old 04-10-14, 01:22 PM   #23
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I've been putting individually wrapped prunes (my wife buys them) in my jersey lately for short rides. Two or three takes up very little space, and it's just enough to keep the wolf from the door til I can eat a proper meal at home.
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Old 04-10-14, 01:26 PM   #24
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I throw a Chipotle burrito in the jersey pocket if I plan to be out longer than 15 minutes.
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Old 04-10-14, 02:37 PM   #25
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I've been putting individually wrapped prunes (my wife buys them) in my jersey lately for short rides. Two or three takes up very little space, and it's just enough to keep the wolf from the door til I can eat a proper meal at home.
I love prunes. In fact, I worked in a prune orchard moving one summer when I was a kid. But why would you take the time to wrap them individually? Just curious.
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