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What is your “Go-to” nutrition/hydration strategy during long distance rides?

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What is your “Go-to” nutrition/hydration strategy during long distance rides?

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Old 03-02-18, 06:47 AM
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Rudebob
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What is your “Go-to” nutrition/hydration strategy during long distance rides?

I always find it interesting the variety of nutritional approaches people have come up with during rides and I was wondering what the over 50 crowd does?

For me when riding less than 40 miles I may consume a couple of fig bars mid-ride or nothing at all. However, when riding distances of 60 plus I have to be intentional about my intake. I have tried many of the factory products over the years (Hammer, Gu, etc.) when both running and cycling, but more recently have gotten away from “factory” products in favor of simpler (and cheaper) items. Currently, I have found what works best for me on long rides is to every 25 - 30 miles consume: ½ or small whole banana, one ~1 ounce piece of elk or venison jerky (homemade) and a Tums. If more carbs are needed I may consume a fig bar or alternate between fig bars and bananas since the later does not carry well. Normally, I will hydrate with water only, however, during the warmer months I may have one of two water bottles that is half Gatorade and water. For me personally, my biggest issues when riding long distances in the past is cramping out. Since using this approach, I seem to get plenty of potassium, calcium, sodium I have yet to cramp. Oh, and in case I feel like I am going to bonk I do carry a couple of the kids candy “Airheads”. It is just another flavored sugar but the flat shape/texture/size takes up almost no space so it packs very well without bulk.

So what do you do?

'bob
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Old 03-02-18, 07:01 AM
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Long Distance Rides

Hydration

Water! One 750 ml bottle every 1 to 1.5 hours ... approx.

And then when I get to rest stops/controls every 50 km or so along the way, I'll have a coke, or an iced tea, or a fruit juice.


Nutrition

Under 2 hours ... not much.

2-4 hours ... maybe about 100 cal/hour.

4+ hours ... aiming for about 200 cal/hour.

And about every 6 hours it's not a bad idea to plan to eat something a bit more substantial.

What do I eat? It depends. I've usually got a bag of gummy lollies on board to nibble on along the way.

Granola/Nut bars
Oatmeal Raisin cookies
Any other large cookies we can get our hands on
Salted almonds
Potato chips
Ice cream bars
Hot chips
Dim Sims ... or if I'm in Canada, Perogies
Carrot Cakes
Lemon Tarts
Or whatever happens to appeal to me.


And electrolyte tablets.

From Sunday 18 February ...

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Rowan and I rode a 200 km on Sunday (actually 215 km) and this is what worked for me ...

A large slice of banana bread and a banana for breakfast.
A 180 cal granola bar and a banana at the 54 km point.
Two small lemon tarts at the 107 km point.
Two citrus-cream ice bars (Splice and a mango bar) with 54 km to go.

Plus coke at each stop.
Plus 4 Anzac biscuits.
Plus several raspberry gummy lollies ... quite a few of these, actually.

It's possible we could have added a bag of potato chips to that because it was really hot, but we had quite a few electrolyte tablets, so we were probably OK. Only a hint of cramping toward the end.


And a bowl of chicken oriental noodles plus some cashews really hit the spot at the end of the ride.
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Old 03-02-18, 08:36 AM
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Hydration: Water


Energy: Depends. If it's going to be a long, hard day I will mix up a single package of Hammer Perpetuem. Very handy to have when you are riding in places with few or no services. Saved me on the Mickelson Trail during a tour in the Black Hills. I was really out of energy when I remember I had brought along a couple of Perpetuem. Mixed a bottle right there on the trail.
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Old 03-02-18, 10:39 AM
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Night before: pasta or other high-carb dinner.


Morning of: eggs, sausage, heavy-duty toast and espresso.


During: liquid-fueled while riding. My drink of choice is Spiz, a dairy-based meal replacement/endurance sports drink. I don't tolerate soy-based products (Perpetuem, etc) very well.


Breaks during: Whatever sounds good: fruit, chips, pastries, v8, Mtn Dew, cheeseburgers, ice cream, flavored milk, Frappucino. Dairy works well for me when riding.


In case it's not obvious, I'm not much of a hammerhead any more - more of a mid-pack randonneur. Go far, not fast.


SP
OC, OR
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Old 03-02-18, 11:36 AM
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Eat early and often.

You often lose your appetite on long rides (especially in the heat), so it's best to eat early before that happens. For really long distance rides, my go-to food is pizza. It has everything you need, tastes good hot or cold, and it's always appetizing.

Drink early and often.

Take Endurolytes (or similar) if it is hot. I sweeten my drinks with Nuun, because the better it tastes, the more apt I am to drink it.
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Old 03-02-18, 11:47 AM
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In my experience, if you ride in the morning the most important thing is to eat well the night before. Then something that sits well in the morning, plus coffee. If rushed, coffee takes priority.

For a longer ride during warm weather: two bottles, 1 of plain water, 1 of sports drink. And whatever fits well in a jersey pocket, can be eaten with one hand, tastes good, won't back up on me, and doesn't melt in a pocket: banana, cookies, clif bars, trail mix, jelly beans. I don't have a lot of excess time to ride, so if I'm riding, I'm riding.
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Old 03-02-18, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
coffee takes priority.
This statement holds true in any context.

My 60+ mile rides likely aren't typical. For me, they are all day events, stopping often, gabbing with whomever I meet, enjoying nature. Performance is at the very bottom of my priorities. I bring food for the day ... fruit, trail mix, granola/nut bars, etc. and munch throughout the day.

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Old 03-02-18, 12:38 PM
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stop for lunch, in a nice cafe..
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Old 03-02-18, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
stop for lunch, in a nice cafe..
even better: a nice pub!
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Old 03-02-18, 03:01 PM
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Water, two 24 oz Polar bottles, one with Nuun tablet. Couple table spoons of local raw honey added to the Nuun bottle is rocket fuel! Often I take those little frozen BP&J sandwiches made for kids. (Crustables?) Lately I've been eating a lot of dates and started taking them on my rides. Eating a couple every 45 mins - 1 hour is working well for me. Eating the dates, I've been tired from the miles but full of energy even up to the end. If I know it's going to be over 50 miles, I may add some peanut butter cheese crackers. Sometimes I want something salty. And I'll add a 3rd water bottle. If it's hot, I plan on refilling those bottles.

Other times I'll take a gel. Maybe a Clif bar which I pinch off a bite every now and then.
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Old 03-02-18, 03:23 PM
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sodium (few sprinkles of table salt in all water bottles, not enough to taste but I also add a squeeze of lemon juice for flavor)
calcium (pill form in am then mid ride)
magnesium (very low dose pill form the night before, then in am before ride, then mid ride)
potassium (pill form in am then mid ride)
water (force fluids, meaning drink even tho I'm not thirsty, especially before the ride & early on in the ride, cuz once you get dehydrated, I don't think you can recover properly while still riding)

cpl hours before I ride: for food I like scrambled eggs & bagels for breakfast. try to avoid meat for my gout
within 30 minutes of riding, a banana
just before getting on the bike a small box of raisins
after an hour, almost any snack will do, granola bar for example
after 1.5 hrs - 2 hrs I need a meal. turkey sandwich or PB&J
I'm usually better at front loading my nutrition & wind up hungry after 4 hrs of riding (gotta work on that, sorry)

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Old 03-02-18, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
stop for lunch, in a nice cafe..



Originally Posted by groth View Post
even better: a nice pub!
Yes, Pub lunches are good, with a pint..
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Old 03-02-18, 04:04 PM
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Electrolytes:
DripDrop is the best I've found. Expensive at around $9-$10 per box of 8 packets. But it works. It includes a bit of sugar -- sucrose, dextrose and glucose -- which help rapidly absorb electrolytes. And it tastes better than the stuff with artificial sweetener.

One reason I switched to DripDrop is because the cost per unit of active ingredient electrolytes was comparable to NUUN and other highly recommended tablets, but DripDrop comes in Mylar envelopes, waterproof and easy to tuck into even the smallest saddle bag, jersey pocket or sock. No worries about it getting sticky or disintegrating from rain or sweat. My NUUN tablets fused together after a ride in extremely humid weather than turned rainy.

Occasionally I'll get the less expensive Propel and Emergen-C electrolyte powders, also in Mylar packets. Propel is cheap, has the basic electrolytes, but has that nasty bitter artificial sweetener flavor. But it costs only about $3 for a box of 10 packets and it works okay.

In cool weather I take one bottle with electrolytes. Especially if the ride includes the MUP where there are water stations, or a rural route that includes a few convenience stores.

In summer I'll take at least two and sometimes three bottles, at least one of which has plain water to douse myself. I have a Mylar collapsible water bag that I freeze and tuck into a jersey pocket. By the time I'm ready to drink, it's thawed. Meanwhile it's helping keep me cool.

Pre-hydrating? I dunno. Seems like I pee it all away before the ride. I end up waking up every hour all night to pee.

My usual pre-ride meal, day or night, is oatmeal, banana and yogurt, with coffee. I've tried other stuff but that specific combo seems to work best. Plenty of fuel for rides up to 50 miles before I feel bonky. I don't feel overfull or gassy, or like I might barf on hard climbs and sprints during interval training.

The rest of my diet is varied but that pre-ride meal works for me. In fact, I just ate the same thing this afternoon in case I decide to join some friends for a 40-50 mile ride tonight. It'll hold me until late tonight.

I usually tote one or two energy/protein bars. I like the Think Thin bars. They're easier on my teeth -- I actually broke a molar last year on a hard, chewy energy bar. Think Thin bars are easy to chew, cheaper than most and readily available at Kroger. The outside tastes good. The inside tastes like the usual whey powder protein stuff, trying to disguise itself as candy. No biggie, it's just functional fuel.

I tote plain old glucose tablets in a plastic tube for blood sugar bonks. I tried gels but they're expensive and the glucose tabs do the same thing cheaper. Candy would work but the glucose tabs are handier and the chalky texture discourages me from snacking on them unnecessarily. I usually empty half the plastic tube and fill the space with a few ibuprofen, a couple of asthma relief tabs (ephedrine/guaifenesin), etc. Stuff I routinely need during or after a hard ride.

Recently I've added creatine powder to my water bottle, at least on days on or around my other workout days -- core work, squats, lunges, arm strengthening, stuff I can do at home without apparatus. Can't say for sure yet whether it makes a difference. I'm still recovering from flu that persisted throughout January and February. I've only begun to feel stronger and healthy again the past week. Maybe the creatine helps, but it can't hurt.
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Old 03-02-18, 04:26 PM
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Water and a small protein bar about 1/2 way through a 2 hour ride.
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Old 03-02-18, 05:41 PM
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Monster Zero Ultra and water, protein bars, hard-boiled eggs, almonds, Greek yogurt, and a little chocolate.
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Old 03-02-18, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudebob View Post
I always find it interesting the variety of nutritional approaches people have come up with during rides and I was wondering what the over 50 crowd does?
If I'm just out for a ride I'll average about one 24oz Gatorade per hour (150 calories).
If I'm Ultra racing, I'll drink one Gatorade and one Ensure per hour (400 calories).
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Old 03-02-18, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Electrolytes:
DripDrop is the best I've found. Expensive at around $9-$10 per box of 8 packets. But it works. It includes a bit of sugar -- sucrose, dextrose and glucose -- which help rapidly absorb electrolytes. And it tastes better than the stuff with artificial sweetener.

One reason I switched to DripDrop is because the cost per unit of active ingredient electrolytes was comparable to NUUN and other highly recommended tablets, but DripDrop comes in Mylar envelopes, waterproof and easy to tuck into even the smallest saddle bag, jersey pocket or sock. No worries about it getting sticky or disintegrating from rain or sweat. My NUUN tablets fused together after a ride in extremely humid weather than turned rainy.

Occasionally I'll get the less expensive Propel and Emergen-C electrolyte powders, also in Mylar packets. Propel is cheap, has the basic electrolytes, but has that nasty bitter artificial sweetener flavor. But it costs only about $3 for a box of 10 packets and it works okay.

In cool weather I take one bottle with electrolytes. Especially if the ride includes the MUP where there are water stations, or a rural route that includes a few convenience stores.

In summer I'll take at least two and sometimes three bottles, at least one of which has plain water to douse myself. I have a Mylar collapsible water bag that I freeze and tuck into a jersey pocket. By the time I'm ready to drink, it's thawed. Meanwhile it's helping keep me cool.

Pre-hydrating? I dunno. Seems like I pee it all away before the ride. I end up waking up every hour all night to pee.

My usual pre-ride meal, day or night, is oatmeal, banana and yogurt, with coffee. I've tried other stuff but that specific combo seems to work best. Plenty of fuel for rides up to 50 miles before I feel bonky. I don't feel overfull or gassy, or like I might barf on hard climbs and sprints during interval training.

The rest of my diet is varied but that pre-ride meal works for me. In fact, I just ate the same thing this afternoon in case I decide to join some friends for a 40-50 mile ride tonight. It'll hold me until late tonight.

I usually tote one or two energy/protein bars. I like the Think Thin bars. They're easier on my teeth -- I actually broke a molar last year on a hard, chewy energy bar. Think Thin bars are easy to chew, cheaper than most and readily available at Kroger. The outside tastes good. The inside tastes like the usual whey powder protein stuff, trying to disguise itself as candy. No biggie, it's just functional fuel.

I tote plain old glucose tablets in a plastic tube for blood sugar bonks. I tried gels but they're expensive and the glucose tabs do the same thing cheaper. Candy would work but the glucose tabs are handier and the chalky texture discourages me from snacking on them unnecessarily. I usually empty half the plastic tube and fill the space with a few ibuprofen, a couple of asthma relief tabs (ephedrine/guaifenesin), etc. Stuff I routinely need during or after a hard ride.

Recently I've added creatine powder to my water bottle, at least on days on or around my other workout days -- core work, squats, lunges, arm strengthening, stuff I can do at home without apparatus. Can't say for sure yet whether it makes a difference. I'm still recovering from flu that persisted throughout January and February. I've only begun to feel stronger and healthy again the past week. Maybe the creatine helps, but it can't hurt.
If I put creatine in my water bottle, I wouldn't even have to pedal, I'd just have a jet powered bike.
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Old 03-02-18, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
If I put creatine in my water bottle, I wouldn't even have to pedal, I'd just have a jet powered bike.
Heh! I haven't had that problem with creatine. I did with those legume based vegan protein powders. Whey has been less gassy.
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Old 03-02-18, 07:24 PM
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Food is never really a concern till over 60 miles when training. Need liquid if warm out but cold nothing. Did 41 miles this am 30 degrees out so not sweating. Took 2:18. I had 2 cups of coffee before and nothing during.
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Old 03-03-18, 08:53 AM
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Regular food works for me. Can't stand gels or Clif bars, get nausea from them. Last Saturday I had a half of a turkey sandwich, some Doritos, and a 12oz root beer during a 75 mile ride and my stomach was fine.
On hot climbing rides it's hard to get enough water. I've had over 200 ounces on an 8 hour ride and still come home lighter. I came home 11 pounds lighter one time when I was trying to ration my water.
Had good results with Perpetuem and Heed, mixed results from Cytomax.

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Old 03-03-18, 03:54 PM
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Laid down on the couch at 8PM last night and woke up at 9:15PM, prepped the bike and myself then headed out at 11:15PM after having a ClifShot 100mg chocolate-cherry gel. During my 101 miles I had another ClifShot, a Crank Sports e-Gel strawberry jam gel, water with lemon, Coke, pb&j on a folded 8" tortillas, half of a Kellogg's cinnamon Pop Tart and a banana.

Got back home and drank a glass of my combo of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar + Kosher Dill pickle juice and Tart Cherry Juice. Ate some Ritz with almond butter, couple of Girl Scout cookies and a double shot of Nespresso Kazaar their 125mg/shot espresso.

Back on the road and for the next 50 miles I finished the PopTart, soda, another ClifShot and e-Gel, 2 Clementines - little juicy oranges, and some Coor's NA beer that I put in a bottle.

Was only planning on 125 miles but stretched it into a 151 mile solo ride on a windy SW FL morning. Pretty slow going with a moving average of 16mph.

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Old 03-03-18, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Laid down on the couch at 8PM last night and woke up at 9:15PM, prepped the bike and myself then headed out at 11:15PM after having a ClifShot 100mg chocolate-cherry gel. During my 101 miles I had another ClifShot, a Crank Sports e-Gel strawberry jam gel, water with lemon, Coke, pb&j on a folded 8" tortillas, half of a Kellogg's cinnamon Pop Tart and a banana.

Got back home and drank a glass of my combo of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar + Kosher Dill pickle juice and Tart Cherry Juice. Ate some Ritz with almond butter, couple of Girl Scout cookies and a double shot of Nespresso Kazaar their 125mg/shot espresso.

Back on the road and for the next 50 miles I finished the PopTart, soda, another ClifShot and e-Gel, 2 Clementines - little juicy oranges, and some Coor's NA beer that I put in a bottle.

Was only planning on 125 miles but stretched it into a 151 mile solo ride on a windy SW FL morning. Pretty slow going with a moving average of 16mph.
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Old 03-03-18, 08:34 PM
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If you don't have to be the first one across the line, it's not a big deal. Just take in carbs during the ride and make sure you stay hydrated.

I currently like to do about a 50/50 mix of water and cran-grape juice. But any juice works well. I dilute it because full strength, it's too sickly sweet for me while riding in hot weather. I also go for the banana's they usually have at rest stops, or I'll eat a fig bar, candy bar, cookie or whatever else has carbs.
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Old 03-05-18, 09:08 AM
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Hydration: I'll have two 24oz bottles of water with me for all but the shortest rides. If i'm going farther than ~60 or 70 miles I'll probably get a Gatorade mid-ride. If I'm going farther than 60-70 miles and I don't know for certain that I'll be able to get a Gatorade mid-ride I might fill one of my bottles with Gatorade instead of water, but that rarely has the desired effect and so it's only a total last resort.

Nutrition: I'm an idiot. But I'm also an idiot with a cast iron stomach, so my digestive system and energy needs are mostly impervious to my idiocy. Mostly...
When I'm not being stupid I'll eat a modest carb & protein-rich breakfast, and then pack something like Clif Bars, Power Bars, and/or Shot Blocks for on-the-bike grazing. if I'm going farther than 35-40 miles I'll stop somewhere mid-ride for a snack or lunch.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:42 AM
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Yesterday on long ride I had

banana, pitted prunes, brazil nuts, hard boiled egg, water, &

1/2 turkey sandwich & coffee at lunch stop.
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