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Nutrition advice

Old 04-21-16, 02:44 PM
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bosox89
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Nutrition advice

I'm just getting back into biking and I would like some advice on what to drink and eat before during and after my rides. Right now I'm biking for an hour and a half ride about 3 days a week. I'm going to try to work up to doing 1 or 2 rides that are each an hour and a half a day, 4 days a week. Some of the rides will be early in the morning so in limited to what I can have before hand.

In the past I liked having water, sports drink, and a Clif shot during a ride. There seem to be so many different types of sports drinks it's hard to figure out what would work best. I'm open to trying anything. If it matters in a male in my mid 30s.
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Old 04-21-16, 03:04 PM
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I take one bottle of water and one bottle of Gatorade and refill the first empty bottle with water at a trailside stop. I like Hammer bars and GU gels to renew my energy stores. Both are very tasty.
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Old 04-21-16, 03:23 PM
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Have a banana before you ride and a take a bottle of gatorade with you. You shouldn't need much nutrition during a 90 minute ride beyond that.
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Old 04-21-16, 07:18 PM
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For a ride of that duration you really just need water.
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Old 04-21-16, 07:24 PM
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eating and 'sport drinks' on a 90-min ride are totally unnecessary.
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Old 04-21-16, 07:33 PM
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no food on training rides under 4 hours, eat an hour before and when you get back. unless you are under 10% body fat, you already have usable fuel on board.
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Old 04-22-16, 06:42 AM
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I made a shake mix of 33.6 grams of Combat Protein Powder, 8 grams of Perfect Food (its 34 dried plants), and 30 grams of banana flour. I mix it with water and drink about 10-15 minutes before I bike. It keeps me running pretty good. If I ride a long long distance I'll eat a gu or two along the way.
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Old 04-22-16, 06:44 AM
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Same as they said, only I take more water. I drink a lot of water. I carry two 24 oz bottles no matter how long the ride and I drink them both. I just ration more if the ride extends longer and drink more than needed if it's shorter.

If I plan 3 hours, I have a 12 oz Powerade (I like Powerade and hate Gatorade) that I take. If it's not planned and happens to go 3 hours or more, I don't have the Powerade because I didn't plan it but I might drink it when I get home. I had a ride that was unexpected hot and humid 3.5 hours and I felt like crap all evening afterwards. I drank plenty of water, drank more when I got home, ate dinner, it wasn't until I remembered the Powerade in the fridge and drank a glass that I felt normal again 10 minutes later.

It is all relative to the individual on water consumption. I rode 65 miles and I can count 309 oz of fluids (dang near 2.5 gallons) I drank while a coworker riding partner drank a single 24 oz of water plus a glass of ice tea during our lunch stop and was fine. It was a 9 hour day including a ridiculously long stop at the restaurant (horrid slow service) and stops for folks to catch up and regroup now and then.

Last edited by mrodgers; 04-22-16 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 04-22-16, 07:54 AM
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For rides under 2 hours, eat normally during the day, and bring water on the ride. Tuck a granola bar into your handlebar bag just in case something happens.

For rides between about 2 hours and 4 hours, eat normally during the day, bring water on the ride ... and maybe think about consuming approx 100 cal/hour. Plus tuck that extra granola bar into your handlebar bag.

For rides over 4 hours, eat normally during the day, bring water on the ride ... and you might aim for about 200 cal/hour especially at first. When you get really comfortable with rides over 4 hours, you might find you don't need quite that much. Don't forget that extra granola bar!
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Old 04-22-16, 08:44 AM
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What is the temperature when you ride? Are you in full sun? Shade?
Can you give us an idea of the difficulty (topography) of the rides, and your present physical condition?
30 degree rides: Hydrate before-hand.
90 degree rides, I bring 27 oz of diluted white grape juice with a little sea salt and 27 oz of filtered water.

Last edited by 1989Pre; 04-22-16 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 04-22-16, 11:39 AM
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For rides of 1.5-2 hours, I pretty much ride fasted. I usually carry Clif Shot Blox for energy if I feel I need it. I always have two water bottles on the bike, one with BCAAs or diluted Powerade and one with water. I'm not a fast solo rider, so I average 16.5 mph on these rides. If I feel hungry, I might have a regular Clif bar before the ride. Some of that is mental on my part.
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Old 04-22-16, 12:22 PM
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I typically ride 2 to 3 hour rides a couple times a week (covering anywhere between 40 to 55 miles in that time). My typical pre-ride nutrition is a piece of toast with peanut butter, a banana and some water. I carry two 24-oz bottles on my bike for hydration because it tends to get humid and hot on some mornings out here in Hawaii and I can easily go through both bottles. In one bottle I have water with a Nuun tablet and in the other I carry gatorade. I also carry Clif Shot Blox on the ride if I feel I need it and will usually drink a small protein shake when I get home.
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Old 04-22-16, 01:46 PM
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my 2 cents - say no to sports drinks. research the electrolytes you want and add them to your weekly nutrition. typically they are
calcium
potassium
magnesium
sodium

if you want a boost, add some B6 & B12 with food before rides. personally I like shot of sugar via a small box of raisins before I walk out the door

if you want to bring something good, try a banana, it's got energy & tummys like them :-)

fresh squeezed lemon juice can improve the taste of bike bottle water
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Old 04-22-16, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bosox89 View Post
I'm just getting back into biking and I would like some advice on what to drink and eat before during and after my rides. Right now I'm biking for an hour and a half ride about 3 days a week. I'm going to try to work up to doing 1 or 2 rides that are each an hour and a half a day, 4 days a week. Some of the rides will be early in the morning so in limited to what I can have before hand.
Before: No more than a light breakfast. No more than 400-500 Calories, nothing greasy, preferably 2-3 hours before especially on hard days. Fasted training may be better for you.

During: Water. Aim to finish weighing the same before and after riding. Dehydration is bad. Over-hydration leading to hyponatremia can kill you.

With enough base miles many cyclists don't eat on rides under four hours.

After: Carbs to replenish your glycogen stores immediately after riding, when the rate of absorption is 2-3X what it will be later. Protein.

In the past I liked having water, sports drink, and a Clif shot during a ride. There seem to be so many different types of sports drinks it's hard to figure out what would work best. I'm open to trying anything. If it matters in a male in my mid 30s.
You don't need to do anything special for short rides. Your body has enough excess electrolytes to accommodate the loses.
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Old 04-22-16, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
my 2 cents - say no to sports drinks. research the electrolytes you want and add them to your weekly nutrition. typically they are
calcium
potassium
magnesium
sodium
That works great for distances past a century, but what about really long rides like 400-600km without a sleep break?
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