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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 03-05-14, 11:59 AM   #1
foodie4bikes
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New to cycling and getting braces...I have a couple of questions!

I'm fairly new to cycling and I'm worried that once I get my braces that I won't be able to eat my typical bars, ie; inKind, Cliff bars etc... Does anyone have any experience with that? I'm open to suggestions, even if I have to make something homemade! My orthodontist is not a cyclist and because I'm pretty new at this, it's hard for me to explain what my nutritional/recovery needs will be during and after rides/training, especially during the big rides I've signed up for - Tour de Cure and the STP. I won't have time to experiment with bars because I get my braces on 2 days before my first big ride, the Tour de Cure, so I was hoping someone out there has already been in this situation.

Thanks for any guidance and/or assistance you are able to provide!
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Old 03-05-14, 12:13 PM   #2
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I'm a fan of these from various different companies and varieties. . They are easy to open, easy to eat, easy to digest, reasonably inexpensive, and gives you a quick 70-100 calories depending on the brand/fruit. PowerBar makes one as well that costs 2-3 times as much, but it says "PowerBar" on it.

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Old 03-05-14, 12:22 PM   #3
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Bananas are good. If you are not allergic to nuts, mixed nuts are good. Peanut butter crackers also. Drink lots of H2O. I'm not a big fan of energy bars and gels, they don't sit well in my stomach.
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Old 03-05-14, 12:23 PM   #4
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Thanks, I would have never thought about that product. I'll check them out!
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Old 03-05-14, 12:27 PM   #5
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Can I eat nuts, I believe they are on the do not eat list? I'll double check with my orthodontist.
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Old 03-05-14, 01:47 PM   #6
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I take it you're going to get standard braces and not the Invisalign variety? They make it much easier to deal with these situations, but aren't right for everyone.
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Old 03-05-14, 06:03 PM   #7
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When I had braces on I was able to eat bars by cutting them up to 1/8th bite size pieces. That way you are able to use your back teeth to chew. I also tried to slush water around in my mouth several times after eating to reduce build up around the wires.

In general I never felt like my braces had any significant impact on my rides including centuries.
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Old 03-05-14, 06:55 PM   #8
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If your braces are making you forego power bars, they are doing you a big favor. Power bars are nasty, an offense to the palate, and damning of the soul.

Theres plenty of better stuff out there to eat.
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Old 03-05-14, 06:57 PM   #9
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Thanks, I'll give that a go. I would have not thought it would still have been ok to eat them even cut up. I spoke with my orthodontist today and he was absolutely no help, I'm guessing I was the first person to pose this question to them.
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Old 03-05-14, 10:10 PM   #10
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Your teeth are likely to be sore and a little loose as the tension on the wires starts to move them after you get the braces. I had to eat softer foods for a day or two after I had the wires tightened on mine.

You can always go the homemade cookie route - bake up some soft oatmeal or peanut butter cookies.
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Old 03-07-14, 11:42 AM   #11
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Can I eat nuts, I believe they are on the do not eat list? I'll double check with my orthodontist.
walnuts should be okay... they're pretty soft... i'd definitely skip almonds and peanuts. PB&J sandwiches would be good... on bread not bagels... had a bagel break one of my brackets once dates and other dried fruits would be easy to take, lara bars are soft and chewy although depending on the flavor might have chopped up nuts.
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Old 03-07-14, 11:48 AM   #12
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Thank you, great idea with the homemade cookies. I'll look into high protein options!

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Your teeth are likely to be sore and a little loose as the tension on the wires starts to move them after you get the braces. I had to eat softer foods for a day or two after I had the wires tightened on mine.

You can always go the homemade cookie route - bake up some soft oatmeal or peanut butter cookies.
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Old 03-07-14, 11:50 AM   #13
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Thank you, I've never tried the lara bars, at least I don't think I have. I think you all have given me some great ideas and thank you, I appreciate you taking time to respond to me!

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walnuts should be okay... they're pretty soft... i'd definitely skip almonds and peanuts. PB&J sandwiches would be good... on bread not bagels... had a bagel break one of my brackets once dates and other dried fruits would be easy to take, lara bars are soft and chewy although depending on the flavor might have chopped up nuts.
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Old 03-10-14, 08:23 PM   #14
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Thank you, great idea with the homemade cookies. I'll look into high protein options!
You don't need a lot of protein to fuel a ride. Save the protein for recovery. You need a mix of simple and complex carbs, maybe a bit of fat, but not high protein. Contrary to some of the ProteinBar bullbiscuits out there, protein is primarily a building material, not a fuel. It can be burned if needed for survival, but should not be a primary fuel source. There are some low carbers who utilize fats as primary fuel sources, but there are already a couple of threads dedicated to that.

Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies are great for sustained energy during a century and won't overly gum up dental work.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:24 PM   #15
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Thanks for your information! I have a few cookie options I'm going to try before I get my braces on to see how they work for my training...anyway, thanks again!

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You don't need a lot of protein to fuel a ride. Save the protein for recovery. You need a mix of simple and complex carbs, maybe a bit of fat, but not high protein. Contrary to some of the ProteinBar bullbiscuits out there, protein is primarily a building material, not a fuel. It can be burned if needed for survival, but should not be a primary fuel source. There are some low carbers who utilize fats as primary fuel sources, but there are already a couple of threads dedicated to that.

Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies are great for sustained energy during a century and won't overly gum up dental work.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:28 PM   #16
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You will be able to eat anything you eat currently ------ it will just be more work keeping them clean. You will learn to get past the temporary soreness.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:28 PM   #17
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Thank you, Jeff. It's going to be interesting for my first big ride 2 days after I get my braces, but I won't back down from a challenge...I'll take in all this great advise!

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walnuts should be okay... they're pretty soft... i'd definitely skip almonds and peanuts. PB&J sandwiches would be good... on bread not bagels... had a bagel break one of my brackets once dates and other dried fruits would be easy to take, lara bars are soft and chewy although depending on the flavor might have chopped up nuts.
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Old 03-12-14, 05:19 AM   #18
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For the first big ride, you're gonna want to stick with gels or applesauce. 2 days after I got my braces, I was in pain. My mouth hurt even when I wasn't chewing, so I was mainly eating mushy foods. Chewing a granola bar is out of the question.

After that, just experiment with what works.
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Old 03-12-14, 10:50 AM   #19
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Grab some Fig Newtons of those fig bars they sell at Costco.
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Old 03-13-14, 11:22 AM   #20
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Thank you for that info, I'm actually trying to see if I can reschedule my date to get my braces on so I'm not doing my first big ride 2 days later - that way I'll have some time to prepare for the STP. Thanks again!

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For the first big ride, you're gonna want to stick with gels or applesauce. 2 days after I got my braces, I was in pain. My mouth hurt even when I wasn't chewing, so I was mainly eating mushy foods. Chewing a granola bar is out of the question.

After that, just experiment with what works.
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Old 03-13-14, 11:22 AM   #21
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Great idea, thank you!

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Grab some Fig Newtons of those fig bars they sell at Costco.
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Old 03-13-14, 01:19 PM   #22
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I have braces so I can speak with experience. There will definitely be a difference in what you can eat depending on if you get the stronger metal braces vs the clear ones which tend to brake easier. I have the metal ones and have been able to eat pretty much anything I want without damaging them. Cliff bars will be fine plus they will be pretty soft if they been sitting in your jersey for awhile. Your better off just getting some nice soft multi grain bread, peanut butter, honey and grind up some trail mix. Soft and damn nutritious (besides the bread). Let me know if you any other questions. Mine come off next month!
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