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High mileage riders - What do you do for calories?

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High mileage riders - What do you do for calories?

Old 01-25-24, 05:15 PM
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Mysterious “chemicals” and CGMs for healthy people? Wooooooo!
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Old 01-25-24, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Sierra_rider
... Probably my biggest single health fear is some sort of joint damage. I take measures to mitigate some of those risks, but even a bum knee is the difference between health and suddenly not being able to do any form of exercise.
Joint injuries, namely the knees, are a pretty serious deal. As a dedicated distance runner, I've had my fair share of knee issues (plus hip and ankle) and have had to re-learn how to take it easier on my runs and save the all out push for race day. Many of my injuries have stemmed from either overdoing it or not preparing properly, such as stretching. Thankfully, cycling is easier on the joints and I can often ride, albeit more gently, through a knee injury which prevents me from running.
I recently tore the meniscus pretty badly in my right knee. It was probably a few factors acting together, but pushing too hard during regular exercise was certainly one of them.

Another more related anecdote. I worked for about a year with a guy who rode for a few years as a professional cyclist maybe a decade or so ago. He was paying the bills with his riding, so he was a solid rider. That was until he ruined a joint in one or both of his legs, I unfortunately forget the specifics but it was enough to permanently end his career and his ability to comfortably cycle. However, he kept eating like a pro rider and gained a considerable amount of weight. Wouldn't surprise me if he was close to weighing double what he had during his short career. I recall he had some other health issues that were associated with his injury and weight gain.

Take away from that what you will. It's just important to remember to take care of your body, however that looks for you given your body and life specifics.
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Old 01-25-24, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Pantah
Joint injuries, namely the knees, are a pretty serious deal. As a dedicated distance runner, I've had my fair share of knee issues (plus hip and ankle) and have had to re-learn how to take it easier on my runs and save the all out push for race day. Many of my injuries have stemmed from either overdoing it or not preparing properly, such as stretching. Thankfully, cycling is easier on the joints and I can often ride, albeit more gently, through a knee injury which prevents me from running.
I recently tore the meniscus pretty badly in my right knee. It was probably a few factors acting together, but pushing too hard during regular exercise was certainly one of them.

Another more related anecdote. I worked for about a year with a guy who rode for a few years as a professional cyclist maybe a decade or so ago. He was paying the bills with his riding, so he was a solid rider. That was until he ruined a joint in one or both of his legs, I unfortunately forget the specifics but it was enough to permanently end his career and his ability to comfortably cycle. However, he kept eating like a pro rider and gained a considerable amount of weight. Wouldn't surprise me if he was close to weighing double what he had during his short career. I recall he had some other health issues that were associated with his injury and weight gain.

Take away from that what you will. It's just important to remember to take care of your body, however that looks for you given your body and life specifics.
I've gotten my bikes pretty squared away when it comes to fit, so I usually feel pretty good on the bike. There is a hypochondriac side of me that gets a bit of anxiety every time I feel some random pain. I had to take a couple months off the bike at the end of 2019, because of some IT band issues that I "pushed" through, so I'm pretty careful about not hurting myself again.
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Old 01-26-24, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sierra_rider
I've gotten my bikes pretty squared away when it comes to fit, so I usually feel pretty good on the bike. There is a hypochondriac side of me that gets a bit of anxiety every time I feel some random pain. I had to take a couple months off the bike at the end of 2019, because of some IT band issues that I "pushed" through, so I'm pretty careful about not hurting myself again.
I ignored a strained IT band (didn't realize that's what it was until years later) in my right knee back in 2016 on a run and it ultimately sidelined me for several months and caused permanent damage, though I have been able to regain 95% of my range of motion and flexibility with regular stretching. Since then, I've re-strained that same IT band an additional 4 times and the left side once. A motorcycle accident 3 years ago that gouged my right knee pretty seriously finally got me in a good habit of stretching in an effort to recover quickly, a habit I stuck with even after I was healed from the accident. So I, for one, totally understand being hyper aware of even the slightest knee discomfort.
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Old 02-03-24, 07:40 AM
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Just my tuppence worth as a regular cycle commuter (round trip of about 30 miles a day 3-4 days a week) and an Audax rider. Porridge and tea for breakfast is the key for me - if I'm riding I'll never leave the house without a drink and breakfast. For an ordinary commute it's just the porridge and tea, for an Audax it'll be a large bowl of porridge, a couple of rounds of toast with marmalade, and a large of mug of tea. Get the start right and provided you keep topping up you'll be fine. And no coffee for me until elevenses.
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Old 02-11-24, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Drawing a straight line between, e.g., "processed" food and morbidity and mortality rates - in the absence of compelling real evidence - sometimes looks like a manifestation of that stubborn Puritanical streak.
You think there is no compelling evidence for the unhealthiness of processed food?
You think theres something wrong with a Puritanical streak? Even a little bitty one? I dont think open slather is the way to go.
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Old 02-11-24, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by fredlord
You think there is no compelling evidence for the unhealthiness of processed food?
You think theres something wrong with a Puritanical streak? Even a little bitty one? I dont think open slather is the way to go.
I think its more a question of degree. Living entirely on ultra-processed junk food is almost certainly unhealthy. But its far less clear how unhealthy it is to live on a lower percentage of processed foods and it might matter more what those foods actually consist of and when you eat them etc.
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Old 02-12-24, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I think its more a question of degree. Living entirely on ultra-processed junk food is almost certainly unhealthy. But its far less clear how unhealthy it is to live on a lower percentage of processed foods and it might matter more what those foods actually consist of and when you eat them etc.
There's some truth in that but why add to the toxins you are consuming unless you have to? Breathing the exhaust from automobiles is also toxic, but I don't do it unless I have to stay behind one in traffic. One needs to be mentally aware that ultra processed junk food is scientifically engineered to be addictive and addicts start making excuses as to why their addiction isn't all that bad. I doubt a candy bar every couple months would have any long-term health effects unless it becomes the one more straw that broke your immune system's back.

The sage says that abstinence is easier than perfect moderation. Ultra processed foods are incredible addictive. The food industry has scientists whose job is to make it addictive. It is very easy to underestimate how much of the stuff you actually consume, its health impact, and to justify the consumption of it.
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Old 02-12-24, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
There's some truth in that but why add to the toxins you are consuming unless you have to? Breathing the exhaust from automobiles is also toxic, but I don't do it unless I have to stay behind one in traffic. One needs to be mentally aware that ultra processed junk food is scientifically engineered to be addictive and addicts start making excuses as to why their addiction isn't all that bad. I doubt a candy bar every couple months would have any long-term health effects unless it becomes the one more straw that broke your immune system's back.

The sage says that abstinence is easier than perfect moderation. Ultra processed foods are incredible addictive. The food industry has scientists whose job is to make it addictive. It is very easy to underestimate how much of the stuff you actually consume, its health impact, and to justify the consumption of it.
The thing is that not all processed food is "junk" food. If you can live entirely off non-processed food then that's great. But that doesn't mean that some processed foods are less healthy. Tofu for example is processed, but considered to be very healthy. It's not black and white and we all react differently to certain food types.
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Old 02-12-24, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
The thing is that not all processed food is "junk" food. If you can live entirely off non-processed food then that's great. But that doesn't mean that some processed foods are less healthy. Tofu for example is processed, but considered to be very healthy. It's not black and white and we all react differently to certain food types.
So, do you have a Tofu addiction, or a sugar addiction? You know exactly what is being talked about when we say, "processed foods." And yes, all experts agree that, shall we say, ultra processed foods, are not good for anyone. Except maybe a few "experts" who are just paid shills for the industry.

IMHO processed foods are about like alcohol. One drink isn't going to kill you, but none of it is actually good for you, and more often than not what starts with an occasional drink ends up being much more over time.
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Old 02-12-24, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
So, do you have a Tofu addiction, or a sugar addiction? You know exactly what is being talked about when we say, "processed foods." And yes, all experts agree that, shall we say, ultra processed foods, are not good for anyone. Except maybe a few "experts" who are just paid shills for the industry.

IMHO processed foods are about like alcohol. One drink isn't going to kill you, but none of it is actually good for you, and more often than not what starts with an occasional drink ends up being much more over time.
Speak for yourself. Ive never been addicted to sugar or any other junk food - which I mostly avoid. But I dont totally avoid processed and ultra-processed food. Especially not when fuelling on the bike. I have yet to see the evidence that it is all unhealthy.
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Old 02-12-24, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
So, do you have a Tofu addiction, or a sugar addiction? You know exactly what is being talked about when we say, "processed foods." And yes, all experts agree that, shall we say, ultra processed foods, are not good for anyone. Except maybe a few "experts" who are just paid shills for the industry.

IMHO processed foods are about like alcohol. One drink isn't going to kill you, but none of it is actually good for you, and more often than not what starts with an occasional drink ends up being much more over time.
Some people are addicted to hyberbole.
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Old 02-12-24, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
The thing is that not all processed food is "junk" food. If you can live entirely off non-processed food then that's great. But that doesn't mean that some processed foods are less healthy. Tofu for example is processed, but considered to be very healthy.
Tofu's not that healthy. It's certainly a high source of protein, but relative to its unprocessed state, it's less healthy.

By processing chickpeas into tofu, one loses all the fiber and much of the B vitamins (and most of the carbohydrates--which some may think is a good idea).

I stopped bothering with tofu and now just add some chickpeas to my meal.
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Old 02-12-24, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Tofu's not that healthy. It's certainly a high source of protein, but relative to its unprocessed state, it's less healthy.

By processing chickpeas into tofu, one loses all the fiber and much of the B vitamins (and most of the carbohydrates--which some may think is a good idea).

I stopped bothering with tofu and now just add some chickpeas to my meal.
Just because tofu is low in fibre and processed doesnt make it unhealthy unless you dont eat anything else. Its a good healthy source of protein as part of a balanced diet. I sometimes use tofu in stir fries as an alternative to chicken etc. I often eat chickpeas too, but I wouldnt use them in the same way.
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Old 02-12-24, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Just because tofu is low in fibre and processed doesnt make it unhealthy unless you dont eat anything else. Its a good healthy source of protein as part of a balanced diet. I sometimes use tofu in stir fries as an alternative to chicken etc. I often eat chickpeas too, but I wouldnt use them in the same way.
The same statement can be made about just about every processed food. Removing beneficial stuff from your food, like fiber and vitamins, makes your food less beneficial.
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Old 02-12-24, 01:58 PM
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if I steam some broccoli, being pedantic, it is processed? No?
Prepackaged Kale salads are processed?
It is the preservatives and added enhancers like gums I try to avoid.
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Old 02-12-24, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
The same statement can be made about just about every processed food. Removing beneficial stuff from your food, like fiber and vitamins, makes your food less beneficial.
I dont agree. Some processed foods are full of added bad stuff. My point was that not all processed food has bad stuff in it. For example, I dont see a problem with eating tofu as long as you get enough fibre from other food sources. Nobody just eats tofu. But processed meats are generally unhealthy due to poor quality fats and added salt etc.
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Old 02-12-24, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I dont agree. Some processed foods are full of added bad stuff. My point was that not all processed food has bad stuff in it. For example, I dont see a problem with eating tofu as long as you get enough fibre from other food sources. Nobody just eats tofu. But processed meats are generally unhealthy due to poor quality fats and added salt etc.
Sure, some processed foods contain added unhealthy stuff. But it's also true that many processed foods have had their "good stuff" removed.

Neither of those practices is particularly beneficial.
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Old 02-12-24, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Sure, some processed foods contain added unhealthy stuff. But it's also true that many processed foods have had their "good stuff" removed.

Neither of those practices is particularly beneficial.
No need to argue semantics. Possibly we have to say ultra processed foods to make it clear, but nobody that is advising against processed foods is speaking about chopped up or bagged or even minimally processed foods. If, however, you are having a muffin or baked good at the coffee shop or any of the numerous concoctions brewed for athletes, or any kind of candy or chips, you are consuming processed foods full of potentially harmful substances. How much that actually detracts from your health is debatable but any of it is potentially harmful, especially as it adds up over time.
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Old 02-12-24, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Sure, some processed foods contain added unhealthy stuff. But it's also true that many processed foods have had their "good stuff" removed.

Neither of those practices is particularly beneficial.
As long as whatever remains is healthy and you get the missing good stuff from other foods, then I dont think it really matters. Using tofu again as an example, it is a healthy source of protein according to trustworthy science. I usually eat it along with fresh broccoli, which happens to have more than twice the fibre of chickpeas. Tofu is not the sort of food people tend to eat on its own. I use it as a chicken substitute and last time I checked, chicken also has no fibre.
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Old 02-12-24, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
These anecdotes about cyclists and runners that competed successfully while eating at McDonalds are like stories of chain smokers that had a cancer-free life. It may have worked out okay for them, but its not a very good idea.
Back in the 90s, a buddy and I rode from Oakland to LAX. I think it was halfway down, around Lompoc, when I said, "Tom, I think I need McDonald's tonight." I think that I had two big Macs, large fries, and a milk shake. The next day, I was Miguel Indurain. That was the start of a long journey away from a carb-heavy diet and discovering that my body really benefits from a regular serving of heme iron. There are mid-weeks when I'm feeling low energy, but after a Shake Shack or steak, I'm rarin' to go. I've tried other sources of iron (read, vegetarian and pescatarian) but none of them have quite the same impact on my energy levels.

I haven't eaten McDonald's regularly in nearly 20 years - I'd get the two cheeseburger + fries + coke before driving out on a Friday evening to a weekend at the motorcycle racetrack - but I try to eat red meat at least once a week. And once in a while, I'll indulge in my guilty pleasure - White Castle - but hide the evidence before I get home. I'm within 10 lbs of what I was 25 years ago and feel good, so I'm pretty happy with that.
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Old 02-13-24, 04:48 AM
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It's been about 5 years since I've eaten fast food, prior to that I ate a steady supply of FF from multiple places a few times a week - and I paid the price.

Mc'd double quarter pounder with cheese plain (no other junk on the burger), supersized fries and a giant sweet tea - OHHHH Yeah!.


Do they sprinkle Crack on their food? Meth maybe? I dunno. But typically, during long rides around mile 60+ or so, I get a huge craving for a Mc'd meal - I even rationalize in my mind how it would be OK to just take a taste, just wet my beek a little bit, just a "bump" - like a junky.
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Old 02-15-24, 09:35 AM
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I am a moderate mileage rider. About 50km a day commuting which isn't a ton but I also mountain bike all spring/summer/fall. Outside of that I coach football and soccer spring-summer-fall so it's not just cycling calorie burns. I find I lose a good amount of weight in the summer to fall so I started packing beef jerky, peanut butter-banana-nutella wraps and gummy worms in my bag. I generally use fruit teas in my water bottles for a little flavour but I stay away from the water flavour concentrates. I will scoop Gatorade powder in my bottle on the warmer days.
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Old 02-16-24, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Tofu's not that healthy. It's certainly a high source of protein, but relative to its unprocessed state, it's less healthy.

By processing chickpeas into tofu, one loses all the fiber and much of the B vitamins (and most of the carbohydrates--which some may think is a good idea).

I stopped bothering with tofu and now just add some chickpeas to my meal.
per internet search:
"Hummus is a smooth and creamy puree of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini and an acid, typically lemon juice. While hummus usually has garlic now, centuries ago it did not. Olive oil isn't a requirement either, but most modern recipes list it as an ingredient."

"Tofu is made from dried soybeans that are soaked in water, crushed, and boiled. The mixture is separated into solid pulp (okara) and soy milk. Salt coagulants, such as calcium and magnesium chlorides and sulfates, are added to the soy milk to separate the curds from the whey."

Sorry, I married into a Japanese American family and something just did not sound right. I have no clue whether chickpeas or soy beans in any state are healthier than one another. It does seem that the making of hummus does not remove the fiber? My wife likes both but that is totally irrelevant.
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Old 02-16-24, 11:57 AM
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Don't over estimate how many calories you actually need for normal bike riding. Bicycling a mile uses 20% as many calories as walking or running that same distance. The exception is when bicycling at high speeds where the amount of air drag to overcome increases exponentially.

With week long tours of the California coast my caloric intake did not increase at all and my weight at the end of bicycling 800 plus miles was exactly the same as when I started the trip. The energy bar and sports drink companies have successfully conned people into worrying about having enough calories and enough protein intake which is great for their profits but does nothing for the individuals. If someone is participating in the Tour de France or similar multi-day races, then adding calories is important but that does not carry over to everyone else.

Carbs are protein sparing in that if the body has sufficient calories from carbs it does not need to scavenge from muscle cells. There is also quite a difference between carbs from ultra processed food like products and natural foods.
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