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  1. #1
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    Question on drink mixes - calories, energy

    I started using electrolyte mixes (gatorade, MioFIT, some powder packets from the local health foods place, etc) in my water bottles on rides as I was having problems with cramps. That seems to have made a night and day difference in my rides.

    Is there anything that can help out with calories/energy that I can mix in there too? I asked a fitness trainer that I work with today about the protein mixes and he said not to do that but wasn't sure of anything that was a "food replacement" type mix.

    I guess what I am after is instead of eating snack bars on my rides is there anything I can combine with my water to make any sort of shake that will do everything - food, electrolytes, and hydration? If I am drinking all the time already I suppose I don't see why it wouldn't make sense to try and combine the intake.

    I do eat a lot of oats for breakfast with protein - heaping 1/2 cup of oats, 2 scoops of protein mix, 1-1/4 cup of milk, and some raisens and craisens sprinkled in. If I could run that in a blender maybe that would be an option? Or, have one bottle electrolytes (and more backup on the rack) and one oat shake? Though I am not sure how to keep it "fresh" over the course of a day.

    Just trying to come up with ideas.

  2. #2
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    No need to overthink this. You don't need a food or meal replacement you just need carbs. A good source is maltodextrin which is readily available from homebrew shops or on-line in 50 lb bags. Add some gatorade powder for flavor or sweetness and you should be fine.

    How long are your rides? You can always just drink the water on your rides and eat something when you're finished.

  3. #3
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    Rides of late are between 1 and 2 hours. My longest ride was 7 and in between I've had some in the 3-5 hour range. The longer rides have stops. The two longest ones I took over an hour break half way between for lunch and rest.

    I'd rather not just drink plain water. Like I said before, I've had cramps just about kill a ride early on (just started biking this season, from about 8-10 years off from BMX biking). Once I started using the electrolyte/gatorate/MioFIT it was a world of difference in my ability to keep going. I know that isn't everything, though, and food is the rest of the equation.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    In addition to plain water, I carry a tablet of High5 Zero Electrolyte tablet, which I buy from UK bicycle vendors (ChainReactionCycles, Probikekit etc). I particularly like that it has no sugar, and it tastes much better than anything similar available in the USA ( Nunn etc). My typical ride is about 70miles, and I carry a Cliff bar and eight pieces of dates. I do consume at least three full 750ml bottles of water and another 750ml water with the High5 Zero tablet thrown in. I usually consume all the dates at my midway stop point, then eat the Cliffbar while on the bike around mile 50-55 or so.

    And as soon as I get home, I take a shower, then a full meal with some significant protein (usually a roasted chicken hind leg and a little pasta/rice).
    Regards,

    Jed

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
    Rides of late are between 1 and 2 hours. My longest ride was 7 and in between I've had some in the 3-5 hour range. The longer rides have stops. The two longest ones I took over an hour break half way between for lunch and rest.

    I'd rather not just drink plain water. Like I said before, I've had cramps just about kill a ride early on (just started biking this season, from about 8-10 years off from BMX biking). Once I started using the electrolyte/gatorate/MioFIT it was a world of difference in my ability to keep going. I know that isn't everything, though, and food is the rest of the equation.
    For rides of 1-2 hours, you don't need anything more than water. Put a granola bar in your bag just in case, but most of the time you won't touch it.

    Once you go over 2 hours, start thinking about food.

    I experimented with several different things like Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, and HEED. Of them all, I liked HEED the best. But then, a few years ago, I started doing my long rides with just water. I used electrolyte tablets to keep my electrolytes up (they're much better than what you'll get in any of the sports drinks), and I eat real food periodically throughout the ride.

    Foods like salted almonds and potato chips are high in the electrolytes, as is a combination of beef jerky and orange juice. So include those on a 7 hour ride. And otherwise, just eat whatever you'd like to eat.

    But to prevent the cramps, make sure you're drinking one 750 ml bottle every 1 to 1.5 hours ... and consuming electrolytes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
    I started using electrolyte mixes (gatorade, MioFIT, some powder packets from the local health foods place, etc) in my water bottles on rides as I was having problems with cramps. That seems to have made a night and day difference in my rides.

    Is there anything that can help out with calories/energy that I can mix in there too? I asked a fitness trainer that I work with today about the protein mixes and he said not to do that but wasn't sure of anything that was a "food replacement" type mix.

    I guess what I am after is instead of eating snack bars on my rides is there anything I can combine with my water to make any sort of shake that will do everything - food, electrolytes, and hydration? If I am drinking all the time already I suppose I don't see why it wouldn't make sense to try and combine the intake.

    I do eat a lot of oats for breakfast with protein - heaping 1/2 cup of oats, 2 scoops of protein mix, 1-1/4 cup of milk, and some raisens and craisens sprinkled in. If I could run that in a blender maybe that would be an option? Or, have one bottle electrolytes (and more backup on the rack) and one oat shake? Though I am not sure how to keep it "fresh" over the course of a day.

    Just trying to come up with ideas.
    Most of the "what do I consume before / after & during a ride" questions have to deal with what specific nutrients will increase various measures of performance. It sounds like your question may be different. It sounds to me like you are asking:

    "How can I condense my daily nutrional needs into a bottle I can drink from while I ride?"

    Assuming that I have interpreted your question correctly:
    Off the top, I would say that your best choice would be Ensure -- or one of its look-alikes...

    Those drinks were designed to to provide most or even all of a person's nutritional needs right out of the bottle -- and they do not need to be refrigerated before they are opened...
    ... You might get some snickers from the 20 something hotshots -- but you can pass them by while they stop to eat their "real" food.

    Nutrition Products for Your Health - Support Your Immune System ? Ensure Drinks

    Admittedly, I would not recommend them as the healthiest way to eat (if for no other reason than they do not contain any fiber) -- but they are meant to meet a person's basic nutritional needs (usually for those who have impaired intake). People with feeding tubes can live for many years on similar formulas -- so you could do a lot worse at your local McD's or 7-Eleven.
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  7. #7
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    For rides of 1-2 hours, you don't need anything more than water. Put a granola bar in your bag just in case, but most of the time you won't touch it.

    Once you go over 2 hours, start thinking about food.

    I experimented with several different things like Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, and HEED. Of them all, I liked HEED the best. But then, a few years ago, I started doing my long rides with just water. I used electrolyte tablets to keep my electrolytes up (they're much better than what you'll get in any of the sports drinks), and I eat real food periodically throughout the ride.

    Foods like salted almonds and potato chips are high in the electrolytes, as is a combination of beef jerky and orange juice. So include those on a 7 hour ride. And otherwise, just eat whatever you'd like to eat.

    But to prevent the cramps, make sure you're drinking one 750 ml bottle every 1 to 1.5 hours ... and consuming electrolytes.
    I agree with everything, I just want to add, for a 70 mile ride don't wait the two hours to start eating. Start eating a little even at the 1/2 hour point.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the info. And yes, I am not looking for specific neutrients to help out with any specific are of performance, I'm just wanting a drink form of food in general that I can combine with the water I am already consuming. I understand the "eating in increments" theory, even early on in a long ride, and that is part of my point. It would be less fumbling opening a wrapper, less/shorter stops, etc. What I don't want are any sort of super energy drinks that will give me an unneccessary "charge". I just want to have enough energy that I can ride how I do when I am at my normal peak and maybe not fade off through the day as easy.

    I've been eating PB&J sandwiches before my local rides and that works, but I'd still like something even on those 1-2 hour runs that I can consume on-the-go. By the time I get home from work its 7:00. Throw in loading up water bottles and gearing up + a 2 hour bike ride and that is 9:30 or so. Then settling down for the night, dinner most of the time, shower, etc and I'm at 11pm-12am bed time, then back up between 5 and 6 for work the next day. Anything I can do to shave off some time and still get miles in (I know, petal faster, ride faster... I'm getting there too) would help. My average speed right now is ~10mph if it is windy and 13+mph if it is calm. On long rides over 25 or so miles I end up around 11 average through the day - out fast, back slow.

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
    Thanks for all the info. And yes, I am not looking for specific neutrients to help out with any specific are of performance, I'm just wanting a drink form of food in general that I can combine with the water I am already consuming. I understand the "eating in increments" theory, even early on in a long ride, and that is part of my point. It would be less fumbling opening a wrapper, less/shorter stops, etc. What I don't want are any sort of super energy drinks that will give me an unneccessary "charge". I just want to have enough energy that I can ride how I do when I am at my normal peak and maybe not fade off through the day as easy.

    I've been eating PB&J sandwiches before my local rides and that works, but I'd still like something even on those 1-2 hour runs that I can consume on-the-go. By the time I get home from work its 7:00. Throw in loading up water bottles and gearing up + a 2 hour bike ride and that is 9:30 or so. Then settling down for the night, dinner most of the time, shower, etc and I'm at 11pm-12am bed time, then back up between 5 and 6 for work the next day. Anything I can do to shave off some time and still get miles in (I know, petal faster, ride faster... I'm getting there too) would help. My average speed right now is ~10mph if it is windy and 13+mph if it is calm. On long rides over 25 or so miles I end up around 11 average through the day - out fast, back slow.
    Yep. #1 , don't think miles, think hours. As you get faster, you'll just cover more distance.

    Here's what I do: put up your water bottles in the morning. For a 2 hour ride, load one bottle with 2 scoops of HEED (Hammer) and the other plain water. In another bottle or jar, mix ~15g flavored whey protein (I use Optimum Nutrition) and 2 T sugar. Put all in fridge. Eat a PB&J that you made in the morning and took with you about 2 hours before you'll start riding. When you get home, change, pump your tires, put the bottles on the bike and go. Drink the HEED if you're hungry on the bike, plain water if you're not. When you get home, drink the recovery drink right away while you wait for dinner to be ready. Then eat just enough that you're not hungry anymore.

  10. #10
    Farmer tan f4rrest's Avatar
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    Maltodextrin was mentioned, and I'll also say that it's super convenient, inexpensive, and almost tasteless. Plus it gets absorbed quickly. You can't go wrong with it.

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