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Old 10-01-05, 09:39 PM
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Food and drink advice:

Drink one 750 ml (3 cup) bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours. That will keep you hydrated without over-doing it. Note: the 750 ml bottle is a pretty common size.

Eat 500-1000 calories in the morning before you head out on a ride ... about an hour or so before you go, so you've got time to digest it. Then eat 250 calories per hour while you are cycling for the first 6 or 7 hours. Somewhere around the 6 or 7 hour mark, eat more - like 500-1000 calories (a meal). Then return to 250 calories per hour again for another 6 hours or so. Note: the average energy bar is about 250 calories, and the average gel is 100 calories.

Now if it is hot, and/or as you move up into longer distances, you'll especially want to pay attention to your electrolytes (sodium and potassium). You may opt to take suppliments if the area you live is really hot, or you may find that something like a little bag of salted almonds or potato chips mid-way through the ride will do the trick.

And if your ride is less than 2 hours, you probably don't need any food while you ride at all. Simply eat a small snack before you go out, and bring an energy bar with you on your ride, just in case.
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