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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 06-11-14, 10:51 AM   #1
Weevil Knievel
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Pre and Post Workout Meals

Hi All,

I am relatively new to biking and currently do most of my biking on roads on a mountain bike. I am looking at road bikes, but that's another topic.

I am currently riding about 20 miles a day and about 100 miles a week, average speed of 11 mph, average heart rate of 130 bpm. I use a polar heart rate monitor to keep my HR in the zone and sometimes hit anaerobic climbing hills.

Most of the time I don't get out of breath and generally don't feel tired or sore when I am done with my rides. I usually split my rides into 2 ten mile rides but sometimes I ride 20 miles in one activity. My question is, if I am not feeling tired or sore or any signs of energy loss, do I need to be eating Pre and Post workout meals. My goal is to lose the last bit of stomach fat that I have and to feel better, without losing muscle. I have read about the 4:1 post workout meals. I only eat whole foods when I can.

Any advice would be great.
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Old 06-11-14, 11:14 AM   #2
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Generally, for rides of that length, you don't really need to take them into consideration when eating. On 20-mile rides, I usually always just take water with me and don't usually have anything special to eat when I get back, unless it's fruit for a natural sugar boost or something similar. Unless you're doing a lot of climbing on the rides, just making sure you drink enough will cover you.
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Old 06-11-14, 01:32 PM   #3
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Don't worry about it until you start doing rides over 2-3 hours. Maybe even longer.
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Old 06-11-14, 02:47 PM   #4
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Try scanning through the ride/nutrition posts on this forum for 4-5 pages. That should give you a good feel for it, as well as for the range of opinions on these matters.
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Old 06-11-14, 05:44 PM   #5
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20 miles at 11MPH , I wouldn't even worry about any pre-ride meal...Ride in a fasted state and then have some protein/carbs after your ride...
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Old 06-11-14, 06:12 PM   #6
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Just have a little protein after the rides to make sure you don't burn muscle. If you are not sore and tired it's probably not an issue.
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Old 06-11-14, 07:43 PM   #7
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What is an average speed for a mountain bike on roads with moderate hills? I thought 11 mph was decent, but then again I am new to the game.
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Old 06-11-14, 08:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weevil Knievel View Post
.... I usually split my rides into 2 ten mile rides but sometimes I ride 20 miles in one activity. My question is, if I am not feeling tired or sore or any signs of energy loss, do I need to be eating Pre and Post workout meals. My goal is to lose the last bit of stomach fat that I have and to feel better, without losing muscle.
And you think a light little 20 mile bike ride might cause your body to think you're in survival mode.... and [somehow] devour your muscle instead of the belly fat? I'd say there isn't much of a chance of that. But do remember to drink plenty of water.

A little exercise is a great way to burn a few extra calories.... while also avoiding the refrigerator. There are also MANY other healthful benefits to an exercise program. Reduce your calories below what your weight requires, exercise, drink water, get good nights sleep.... and the fat WILL melt off.
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Old 06-11-14, 08:13 PM   #9
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Mr Cutter,

I don't know what happens to muscles and fat when I bike, which is why I asked . I hope you're right. I do plan to keep increasing speed and distance based on my my heart rate.
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Old 06-12-14, 03:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weevil Knievel View Post
Most of the time I don't get out of breath and generally don't feel tired or sore when I am done with my rides. I usually split my rides into 2 ten mile rides but sometimes I ride 20 miles in one activity. My question is, if I am not feeling tired or sore or any signs of energy loss, do I need to be eating Pre and Post workout meals.
No.

You might start thinking about pre and post workout meals when you start cycling more than 2 hours in one go.
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Old 06-12-14, 03:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Weevil Knievel View Post
What is an average speed for a mountain bike on roads with moderate hills? I thought 11 mph was decent, but then again I am new to the game.
It depends.
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Old 06-15-14, 10:05 PM   #12
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I've only been riding for about a year. I am up to 20-40 mile rides around 15-17 mph on a road bike. I never eat before, just black coffee. After ride I usually get some sort of protein and quick carbs (beef, chicken, eggs and white rice/potatoes) and some veggies
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Old 06-16-14, 06:25 AM   #13
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For a 20 mile ride, I just try to eat reasonably a few hours beforehand. And with most rides I'll have some caffeine beforehand, because I like coffee.

If you're sore and under recovered I'd say you need to focus on eating a bit more, getting some protein in, and using some recovery methods.
Foam rolling and contrast showers both seem to help with my soreness.
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Old 06-16-14, 06:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weevil Knievel View Post
What is an average speed for a mountain bike on roads with moderate hills? I thought 11 mph was decent, but then again I am new to the game.
Sounds good to me, nobbies slow a bike down a lot. You Have more gumption than me, I would never post a speed on a bike forum.
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Old 06-16-14, 07:30 AM   #15
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Sounds good to me, nobbies slow a bike down a lot. You Have more gumption than me, I would never post a speed on a bike forum.
Haha. Not sure what you meant be this, but I don't care much about image most of the time. I just want to be realistic about where I am and progress forward. After riding the Roubaix SL4 Expert, there's a huge difference in road bike speed VS mountain bike speed. There's also a difference between an average speed and I max speed. . Just looking for a baseline and if consistent, the average speed of today will soon be the average speed of yesterday, so soak it in quick because it won't last for long.
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Old 06-16-14, 08:59 AM   #16
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Rides of 60-90 minutes or less: Just eat a normal meal with a balance of carbs and protein 1-2 hours beforehand, depending on how well your stomach can deal with food prior to exercise. Rides of this length, you probably don't have to worry about eating on the bike. After the ride, eat 10-20g protein and 25-40 grams of carbs (less carbs if you're focused on weight loss).

Rides greater than 90 minutes, I'd eat the same normal meal 1-2 hours beforehand, and then 10-20 grams of carbs immediately before starting to ride. Long rides (especially on hot days), I try to consume one hydration drink like Skratch labs per hour, along with 10-20 grams of solid carbohydrate food. I stay away from gels, typically, as I always have stomach problems with them. Food I like on the bike: bananas, lara bars, boiled potatos, PB&J sandwiches, turkey sandwiches. Post ride, eat 20 grams of protein and 30-40 grams of carbs immediately, followed by a normal meal 1-2 hours later.

This article is also a decent guide: Nutrition: How to recover from hard rides - BikeRadar

As you're trying to lose a bit of weight, I'd say the 4:1 carb/protein ratio is a bit high. You don't want to totally avoid carbs, but you probably don't need that many.
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