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what, and how, do you eat on a ride?

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what, and how, do you eat on a ride?

Old 09-24-16, 08:46 PM
  #1  
Lenkearney
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what, and how, do you eat on a ride?

I am ok up to 20, but if I go on a 30 and don't eat - I am toast. I am trying figs, prunes, bananas, zone bars, trail mx etc. I am finding I have to stop and eat while I see others eating on the fly.

So what do you eat?
how much?
when?
How?

thanks.... Len
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Old 09-24-16, 09:14 PM
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Jumbo sized Rice Krispie Treats are my go-to cycling food to eat while riding. Rugged, easy to eat, and seem to digest quickly. Bananas just don't hold up to much abuse. For a change from the sugar I'll have peanut butter crackers, but they are not nearly as easy to eat while riding.
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Old 09-24-16, 09:47 PM
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For sure it's trial and error. Personally I don't need anything unless I'm going 50 miles or more. Then I start early. Every 15 minutes I'm drinking. Alternating between water and an electrolyte replacement drink. I may take a banana as well. I always take some money in case I feel like I need to have a satiated feeling. Peanut butter crackers and a soft drink do it for me. No harm in stopping to take a break while out on a long ride as some of my cycling /triathlon heroes did it all the time. Back in the day I would only eat fruit on a long ride and never stop to take a break. Although I try to eat healthy, when out there, anything that helps get me home will do nowadays.

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Old 09-25-16, 09:35 AM
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I generally raid the pantry for easy to carry stuff. I like energy bars, but they seem to cost more than they should so I rarely have them. Last ride I took a ziplock bag of almonds and raisons. I like the taste of almonds but they caused a lot of belly rumbling on the return trip.

I take a water bottle with me, but don't drink a lot. I tried some electrolyte replacement fluids, but prefer plain water.

Anyone have a good recipe for DIY energy bars?
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Old 09-25-16, 10:38 AM
  #5  
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My weekday and Saturday rides are 32-33mi on two different routes. I take a banana and eat it either halfway or 2/3 stops.

The most important part is staying hydrated.
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Old 09-25-16, 10:56 AM
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Moon Pies and Hostess cherry pies at rest stops but they make a mess in a jersey pocket. Fig newtons on the fly but these can get messy too. I've eaten millions of those Cliff bars on the fly and refuse to give them another penny. Bananas are great and the wrapper is biodegradable. Would like to try Honey Stinger Waffles.

Nuts are too difficult for the body to turn into quick energy IMO.
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Old 09-25-16, 01:29 PM
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I ride 60 miles four time a week . I carry 2 bottle of water mixed with orange juice , no food/snack .
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Old 09-25-16, 01:35 PM
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I just enjoy the scenery when I stop and eat a Hammer bar or Gu gel.
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Old 09-25-16, 02:12 PM
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Do not need to eat unless a century ride. I like peanut butter a jelly sandwich best I have found. I never eat before a ride I tend to eat supper at 6pm and two cups of coffee and out the door anytime from 5-6:30am. I love going out early not nearly as much traffic and wind. Good light till sunrise.
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Old 09-25-16, 02:26 PM
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I don't need to eat while riding under 50 miles, but if I did, it'd probably be a banana because they're easy and filling...and I like them.
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Old 09-25-16, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mapeiboy View Post
I ride 60 miles four time a week . I carry 2 bottle of water mixed with orange juice , no food/snack .
That's crazy or I'm crazy. 60 miles is about 3 gallons of fluids for me. I carry two 24 ounce bottles, a 32 ounce bottle (reused Gatorade bottle) and two 20 ounce bottles of Gatorade. We usually ride 30 miles out to eat lunch at a restaurant and I'll drink 3-4 glasses of ice tea and as much water as they'll refill the glass, have them refill the two 24 ounce bottles for me, and will be looking for somewhere to stop and get a drink when I get back to the car after 60 miles.

After all that fluid drinking and eating an actual lunch at a restaurant, I'll still weigh 4-5 pounds down from when I started. I sweat. I sweat a lot even if it's 55 out.
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Old 09-25-16, 03:17 PM
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i like cliff bars and dates. i drink water and water with skratch. i usually eat while riding but stop to eat when i ride with my brother as he doesn't like to eat while riding. so far none of my rides go over 3 hours so i'm just snacking to not run out of energy. i do drink a lot as it's really hot here even though it's now fall we're still in the 90's
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Old 09-25-16, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
That's crazy or I'm crazy. 60 miles is about 3 gallons of fluids for me. I carry two 24 ounce bottles, a 32 ounce bottle (reused Gatorade bottle) and two 20 ounce bottles of Gatorade. We usually ride 30 miles out to eat lunch at a restaurant and I'll drink 3-4 glasses of ice tea and as much water as they'll refill the glass, have them refill the two 24 ounce bottles for me, and will be looking for somewhere to stop and get a drink when I get back to the car after 60 miles.

After all that fluid drinking and eating an actual lunch at a restaurant, I'll still weigh 4-5 pounds down from when I started. I sweat. I sweat a lot even if it's 55 out.
I carry two 750ml bottle water which last me till the end of 6o miles ride . I usually leave the house by 6AM which is cool even in the middle of August . This helps me to drink less at the beginning of the ride .
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Old 09-25-16, 04:29 PM
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Rides of 35-40 plus I need a snack mid-ride. Part protein part carbs - beef jerky and peanut butter cheese crackers work for me, I can just stop at a convenience store and pick it up.
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Old 09-25-16, 05:01 PM
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Most rides less than 50 miles normally don't require intake until the ride is completed. It's only about 3 hour, and I can eat both before and after.

More than 3 hours, I'll eat fruit, cookies and trail mix while riding. Dates are the fruit that easiest to carry, handle and consume. Better than a jel, IMO.

If I'm riding for more than 4 hours, I'll stop at a restaurant for soup and sandwich, if possible. I don't like to skip meals while cycling. It's a bike ride, not a professional bike race.
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Old 09-25-16, 05:38 PM
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I tend to only do water on most rides, but if I'm going out for a longer ride of 50+ then I'll have one bottle of water and one of Skratch Labs exercise hydration mix. I will also have a peanut butter and banana sandwich before my ride, and take along a Cliff Bloks energy chews, or Cliff Shot.
Everyone has their own combo that works for them, it's a matter of experimenting and finding what works best for you. I did a lot of ultra marathon events in my younger years and found what worked best for me thru trial and error.
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Old 09-25-16, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
That's crazy or I'm crazy.
I think one of the things that comes with bike fitness is acclimation and endurance. Like other posters, I'll come back from a couple hours ride with bottles mostly full and nothing in my belly but coffee. Longer rides I'll remember to grab a bar and put some cytomax in one bottle, or stop for a nice meal somewhere (ribeye & eggs bunch this morning, and more coffee, yum).

Unless you are hammering, most need very little for a 20-30 mile ride. My wife bottles an ice tea and a protein snack.
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Old 09-25-16, 06:13 PM
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Over 3 hrs: an apple and some kind of "power bar", mostly nuts and no chocolate.
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Old 09-25-16, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
I think one of the things that comes with bike fitness is acclimation and endurance. Like other posters, I'll come back from a couple hours ride with bottles mostly full and nothing in my belly but coffee. Longer rides I'll remember to grab a bar and put some cytomax in one bottle, or stop for a nice meal somewhere (ribeye & eggs bunch this morning, and more coffee, yum).

Unless you are hammering, most need very little for a 20-30 mile ride. My wife bottles an ice tea and a protein snack.
It really is about acclimation and training. Everyone is certainly different but years of riding with an endurance base you simply get used to doing this. Endurance type sports riding and running require being able to go on and save glycogen stores over 2-4 yours. The more you burn fat stores and not deplete glycogen the farther you can go. It is as if in a sense you get better act conserving energy expenditure while still putting out at a good rate. At some point you do need to eat and that can depend on speed, conditions, and terrain.

I can and have road centuries where I only took water or liquid almost no calories. I was topped off on glycogen stores and did not try to set any speed records. If I wanted to try a timed fast century then I am going to need some calories. My best marathon was 3:06 and I did it on nothing but water. I was 24 years younger but that is a bit different on a bike we can be out for 4-6 hours and that requires most to take some food. Ultra runners have to do this but at maybe 3 3.5 hours training and prep before get you to the finish.

I have road for years but only the last 8 serious where I will much longer distances. I remember the first time I road 50 miles and while I did not eat I was spent. Now I regularly ride 50 miles days in a row with no issues. I used to return from a 50-75 mile ride and eat everything in sight but now not so much. I find I do not need to replenish like I used too. Could be why at first we start dropping weight fast when beginning or starting after a break from training. Here is a thought. I find cycling makes me hungrier than running. I can run a hard 8 miles and to me that is harder on my body systems than 50 easy miles. I am way hungrier after a ride like that than running, even though I think the running burned more calories or about same.
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Old 09-25-16, 08:12 PM
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I don't worry about non-stop riding anymore, and just go with how my body feels that day. There are restaurants and stores within 10 miles of any direction I travel, even in the most rural area, so I stop to eat and rest if I feel a bonk coming on.

By now I can manage 20 miles, sometimes 30, without stopping to eat or even snacking along the way. I just have to be sure to eat appropriately before the ride.

I tried carrying bananas but they kept melting in the Texas heat. Even if they're nearly green the bananas lasted only 2-3 hours in daylight. My jersey pocket was a gooey mess from the oils in the skins, even with an unopened banana. If I put 'em in a bag on the rear rack the slightest pressure from the cargo net would bruise the skin and cause a leak. Only way to carry 'em safely was in a paper bag inside a soft cloth hobo bag across my shoulder with no pressure points. So I eat a banana before the ride, with yogurt and cereal, and another banana after the ride.

I do sip something for energy along the way. Most energy drinks taste nasty to me and make my throat feel raw. I make my own from tea (a mix of caffeinated and herb teas), honey, minced ginger and other stuff -- sometimes a dollop of cider vinegar. It's a variation of the traditional Haymaker's Punch, switchel and similar drinks. There are probably technically better energy drinks out there, I just like my homebrewed drinks. And I tote another bottle of plain water.

I'm planning to try for a century by the end of the year. I'll try some of those fancypants gel packs for the training rides, see how that goes.
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Old 09-25-16, 08:30 PM
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Everybody has a different answer to this, but here are a few pointers to eating whilst riding.

1. Gel packs. Yucky. Messy. But they work. Before I swore them off as being too messy, I was a real fan of Clif shot double espresso pack.

2. energy chews, such as clif shot bloks or Pro Bar Bolt (Hint, open the package before your ride - ripping open the package whilst riding is a pain). Or Clif bars


3. get your energy from an energy drink (poweraid, gatorade, various things you add in powdered form, etc.)

But really, once you get acclimated, you shouldn't need to eat at all on a 30 mile ride. Assuming I have had a good breakfast, I don't need to eat anything unless I'm approaching 50 miles or so.
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Old 09-25-16, 09:34 PM
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My day rides have been anywhere between 20 and 250 miles. At about 50 miles I reach a steady-state for nutrition. Up to 50 I'm running on the past week's food and breakfast. After 50, it kinda doesn't matter how far it is, I try to eat about the same.

We did 40 today on the tandem. I used ~140 calories of HEED, a carb mix from Hammer Nutrition, over the 2.5 hours. So you see, I use liquid food on the bike: one bottle of liquid food, one of plain water. For long distance work, that is distances over 50 miles, I shoot for 250 calories/hour. I frequently use fewer calories than that, though. Depends on intensity. My food is simply a mix of maltodextrin and flavored whey protein, mixed up as powder 7:1 by weight. I can mix 750 calories of this powder with water in a 24 oz. bottle and have it last for at least 3 hours during a long ride.

I'll need water at least every 50 miles, so I'll top up the food bottle while I'm stopped. Otherwise I don't need to stop to eat, except that my stomach likes some solid food at least every 100 miles or so.

If you want to eat solid food on the bike, the simplest thing is to use Clif Bars or similar, one bar every hour on long rides of over 50 miles. Open the package(s) at a rest stop, then eat 1/4 bar every 15 minutes or a half every 30. It's easy to hold a piece of bar between your fingers in a normal riding grip and nibble it away.
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Old 09-26-16, 04:13 AM
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My ride yesterday was, CycleNorthGeorgia.com Home of the Six Gap Century, my fueling was 5 e-gels https://www.cranksports.com/products/egel/ , 2 Clif shots Clif Bar - ATHLETE SERIES - SHOT ENERGY GEL , 8 Medjool dates and at sag #4, #8 and #9 I had some orange wedges-grapes-pickle juice. Sag stop #8 I also ate 8 M&M chocolate candies. My hydration was bottle #1 filled with water and 1 lemon slice then refills at sag stops, bottle #2 had O'Doul's NA beer with 1 lemon slice and at sag #4 and #8 I added some pickle juice, and one plastic bottle with a 12oz can of Throwback Mountain Dew in it that I didn't start to drink until sag #4 and finished at sag #9 and one small plastic cup of very warm Coke. After the ride was spaghetti/meat sauce and some cake along with iced tea.

That was MY FUELING and HYDRATION requirements for 6 hours 50 minutes of pedaling. The sag stops added 18 minutes, with 5 minutes waiting for another rider at sag #4 to catch up and replenish before we headed out and then right before sag #9 my chain came off for another short stop.

Since we are all different in our requirements, some of the previous posters might have added additional food and drink and some might not have eaten at all???? YMMV seems to be the norm. I am not one to add the pb&j sandwiches, Clif Bars, Trail-mix, etc.... because that stuff can sit in my stomach for up to 3 hours like a lead brick waiting to be digested while diverting blood away from my legs.

If I had been riding a leisurely 100 miler I would have eaten a little differently because my body's demands would have been lessened.

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Old 09-26-16, 06:56 AM
  #24  
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As others have said, it depends on your training level and how far you're riding. For a 30 mile ride, I'd probably not need to eat anything.

On my typical weekend ride (80 miles or so), I start the day having eaten something ... oatmeal, eggMcM, banana ... something. I carry a Clif Bar or two and will eat one or two of those on the road before lunch. Lunch itself is usually a burger or similar (or half a burger if I'm sharing) in a mountain cafe.

I carry GUs, and I use those too. Mostly if I need a little bump for a climb. They're good for about 45 minutes of energy for me.

For longer rides (centuries or DCs) my motto is to eat while you can. It's common on difficult or long rides for me to lose my appetite, and late in the day/evening, I run on what I ate earlier in the day. So you can find me stuffing my piehole quite a bit at the early stops with PBJ, fruit, cookies ... pretty much anything. That means I seldom bonk, but I'm also one of the few who can come back from a DC having gained weight.
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Old 09-26-16, 07:01 AM
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Also like to stop at roadside vendors - nothing tastes as good as a fresh peach after 35 mi in the saddle - leave the bar in the bag for next time.
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