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What to eat

Old 05-26-17, 07:08 PM
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What to eat

So I made a thread a while back asking for some guidance on this issue and got several different responses. I'm homing to get a more specific answer this time.

I'm doing my first 100 mile ride tomorrow. Will be a steady pace of 13-15 mph. We will stop a few times along the way but we all want to push ourselves and stop as little as possible. I plan on taking 4 energy gels, 2 protein bars and 4 bottles of water. I bought some salt tablets that I'm told are fantastic when doing longer rides.

My question is this, is what I'm taking enough/too much or should I plan on more? If it's not enough, what else should I plan on taking? What type of breakfast should I eat?
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Old 05-26-17, 07:28 PM
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Oatmeal for breakfast is good.

Bring, or get along the way, some food- bananas, sandwich, junk food.

Unlikely that you would eat only the things listed during a non-riding 8 hr day, & the stomach

needs something to do and choices when it gets finicky.

Also helpful mentally to have something tasty as a reward for the effort.

Pickle, nut mix, hard boiled egg, fruit, chips or other salty snacks.
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Old 05-26-17, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Oatmeal for breakfast is good.

Bring, or get along the way, some food- bananas, sandwich, junk food.

Unlikely that you would eat only the things listed during a non-riding 8 hr day, & the stomach

needs something to do and choices when it gets finicky.

Also helpful mentally to have something tasty as a reward for the effort.

Pickle, nut mix, hard boiled egg, fruit, chips or other salty snacks.
I have a big bag of trail mix that I will take as well. As far as the reward, I will be enjoying a tasty lunch at a place nearby when we are done. This is BY FAR the farthest ride I've done ( I usually do 40-50) so I'm a little nervous. I'm probably over thinking this but the advice is good from this who do it often. Thank you.
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Old 05-26-17, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardR1015 View Post
I have a big bag of trail mix that I will take as well. As far as the reward, I will be enjoying a tasty lunch at a place nearby when we are done. This is BY FAR the farthest ride I've done ( I usually do 40-50) so I'm a little nervous. I'm probably over thinking this but the advice is good from this who do it often. Thank you.
15 mph with stops puts you close to 8 hrs.- past lunchtime in my book.

Have fun, & let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-26-17, 08:07 PM
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For a 100 mile ride, I'd be shooting to eat around 1500-1800 cal and I'm not that big (130 pounds). If you're bigger, you'd scale up. I'm also pretty adapted to burning my own fat on a ride because I do a lot of fasted training. So you might want to scale up on that basis too.

Carbs will be the easiest to digest and your stomach will work best early on.

Most people can't absorb more than 250 cal/hr.

My fueling strategy for long rides is to eat around 50 cal every 15 min. Stay on top of eating early.

I'd probably do it something like this (I can carry all this except the Coke):
Homemade rice cakes: 600 cal
Clif Bloks with caffeine: 400 cal
Pretzels: 100 cal
Coke: 200 cal
Skratch electrolyte solution in my bottles: 200 cal
Plus a little something else, whatever appealed to me when I stopped to get the Coke.

Your calorie plan is likely:
Gels: 400 cal (100 cal each)
Protein bars (? I would not personally eat protein): maybe 400 cal

That's probably half the calories I would need.

Breakfast I'd eat something carby- cereal and fruit, oatmeal, toast with peanut butter. A little protein and fat are ok if you can eat 2ish hrs before you start.
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Old 05-26-17, 08:11 PM
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Sausage, lots of 'em.
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Old 05-26-17, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
For a 100 mile ride, I'd be shooting to eat around 1500-1800 cal and I'm not that big (130 pounds). If you're bigger, you'd scale up. I'm also pretty adapted to burning my own fat on a ride because I do a lot of fasted training. So you might want to scale up on that basis too.

Carbs will be the easiest to digest and your stomach will work best early on.

Most people can't absorb more than 250 cal/hr.

My fueling strategy for long rides is to eat around 50 cal every 15 min. Stay on top of eating early.

I'd probably do it something like this (I can carry all this except the Coke):
Homemade rice cakes: 600 cal
Clif Bloks with caffeine: 400 cal
Pretzels: 100 cal
Coke: 200 cal
Skratch electrolyte solution in my bottles: 200 cal
Plus a little something else, whatever appealed to me when I stopped to get the Coke.

Your calorie plan is likely:
Gels: 400 cal (100 cal each)
Protein bars (? I would not personally eat protein): maybe 400 cal

That's probably half the calories I would need.

Breakfast I'd eat something carby- cereal and fruit, oatmeal, toast with peanut butter. A little protein and fat are ok if you can eat 2ish hrs before you start.

Yeah I'm about 220. On 50 mile ride I typically don't require much but I'm doubling it so this is uncharted territory for me. Thank you for the advice. I'll give it a shot.
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Old 05-26-17, 08:24 PM
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Wait, people bring hard boiled eggs on rides?
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Old 05-26-17, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardR1015 View Post
Yeah I'm about 220. On 50 mile ride I typically don't require much but I'm doubling it so this is uncharted territory for me. Thank you for the advice. I'll give it a shot.
A 50 mile ride is a completely different thing, it's not linear.

You have around 2000 cal of stored glycogen that you can use on a ride. When you ride 50 mile over 3 hours, you're burning less than your total amount of stored glycogen. Probably at your weight, you burn maybe 550-650 cal/hr, or 1700-1900 cal. You're burning not just carbs but also fat, so you have enough stored energy to ride 50 miles/3 hrs without eating much.

For a 100 mile ride, your total cal burn is going to be more like 4500-5000 cal. If you eat 800 cal and burn through all your 2000-cal of stored carbs, you're going to wind up with a 2200 cal deficit. It won't be quite that bad, because you'll simultaneously be burning fat and you have a huge excess of cal stored in the form of fat. The problem is, it's harder to access and mobilize fat as fuel, training to do this really helps. So good chance with your fueling plan, you'll bonk. It's possible you'd get away with it, if you're a really good fat burner, but I wouldn't count on it. Eight hours is a long time on the bike.
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Old 05-26-17, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
Wait, people bring hard boiled eggs on rides?


You heard it here first!
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Old 05-26-17, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
You heard it here first!


How do you carry them?
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Old 05-26-17, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pepem View Post


how do you carry them?
Probably very carefully but I am guessing in a zip lock bag.

Zman
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Old 05-26-17, 08:46 PM
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And here I thought I've been thinking that my system is inefficient, because I average right around 700kJ per hour-- but two weeks ago, I did 105 miles in 6:10 on nothing more than water, a venti Mocha Frappucino, and about 24oz of Gatorade.

People really overthink these things. Take some food. Watch your pace. If it's hot, don't forget electrolyte replacement.
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Old 05-26-17, 08:55 PM
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It''s a little bit late for you to ask for advice when the ride is tomorrow. You should have worked out your plan already. What I would say since this is your 1st Century ride enjoy it take lots of pic and just make it through it. There is plenty of time later to get PR'S for this distant. I can eat almost anything that the ride provides for food. I don't mess with what they supply as drinks though as you don't know if they are mixing it too weak which doesn't help you at all. If they mix it too strong you are going to get stomach cramps which will mess up your ride. I like using Accelerade and mix 2 scoops in a Polar bottle. So I will drink a bottle of water and then the Accelerade. I carry zip lock bags of the stuff then to mix in my bottles if it's a hot day. We can give you call kind of advice but really you need to find out what works for you.

Finally there is no problem at stopping at the rest stops. You just need to be efficient get some food in, go to the bathroom and get back out on the road. Good luck but most of all have fun on your first one and take lots of pics and post them here. In the future you might want to buy a bento box that gets fastened to your top tube and front steerer so that you can eat food a lot easier while you are riding.

Do whatever you have been doing in your 50 mile training rides and drink and eat early and lots. Get fueled up at the rest stops.

Zman

Last edited by Zurichman2; 05-26-17 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 05-26-17, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
And here I thought I've been thinking that my system is inefficient, because I average right around 700kJ per hour-- but two weeks ago, I did 105 miles in 6:10 on nothing more than water, a venti Mocha Frappucino, and about 24oz of Gatorade.

People really overthink these things. Take some food. Watch your pace. If it's hot, don't forget electrolyte replacement.
I always find comments like your "overthinking" comment absurd.

Every time we make any decision about anything to do with our bikes, we have to base it on something. Why not base it on an actual thought process rather than on a whim.

Your allegedly burned 4200 cal on your ride and consumed 800. I say "allegedly" not because I doubt what you are saying as much as I wonder about the accuracy of your power meter (if you have one). Not that I'm inviting you to defend that, it's honestly neither here nor there.

However, if you're able to perform well on a ride in which you create a 3400 cal deficit, great for you. You are very well fat adapted and that's the result of training.

But suggesting that a newby who doesn't ride more than 40-50 miles at a pop can do the same thing? It's as disingenuous as telling him to ride it at 18 mph because after-all, some well-trained people can do that too. You develop the ability to do some of these things as a result of training to be able to do them, not because anyone can do the same if they so choose.

Why not give someone who asks a question the means to understand how they can think through this on their own in the future? Perhaps it's not 'overthinking' but instead answering a valid question.
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Old 05-26-17, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardR1015 View Post
So I made a thread a while back asking for some guidance on this issue and got several different responses. I'm homing to get a more specific answer this time.

I'm doing my first 100 mile ride tomorrow. Will be a steady pace of 13-15 mph. We will stop a few times along the way but we all want to push ourselves and stop as little as possible. I plan on taking 4 energy gels, 2 protein bars and 4 bottles of water. I bought some salt tablets that I'm told are fantastic when doing longer rides.

My question is this, is what I'm taking enough/too much or should I plan on more? If it's not enough, what else should I plan on taking? What type of breakfast should I eat?
Eat whatever you usually eat for breakfast before your long training rides building up to the 100 mile ride.
Eat whatever you usually eat during your long training rides building up to the 100 mile ride.

Those training rides are to build your strength, to ensure that your bicycle fits you properly and is comfortable, and to experiment with eating so that you've got an eating plan nailed down by the time your 100 mile ride comes along.

At this point, we shouldn't have to tell you anything or give you any advice because you should know what you like to eat and what works for you.
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Old 05-26-17, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
I always find comments like your "overthinking" comment absurd.

Every time we make any decision about anything to do with our bikes, we have to base it on something. Why not base it on an actual thought process rather than on a whim.

Your allegedly burned 4200 cal on your ride and consumed 800. I say "allegedly" not because I doubt what you are saying as much as I wonder about the accuracy of your power meter (if you have one). Not that I'm inviting you to defend that, it's honestly neither here nor there.

However, if you're able to perform well on a ride in which you create a 3400 cal deficit, great for you. You are very well fat adapted and that's the result of training.

But suggesting that a newby who doesn't ride more than 40-50 miles at a pop can do the same thing? It's as disingenuous as telling him to ride it at 18 mph because after-all, some well-trained people can do that too. You develop the ability to do some of these things as a result of training to be able to do them, not because anyone can do the same if they so choose.

Why not give someone who asks a question the means to understand how they can think through this on their own in the future? Perhaps it's not 'overthinking' but instead answering a valid question.
Closer to 4,600kcal actually. Yes there is a power meter, and you may feel free to doubt it's accuracy to your heart's content. Won't wobble the earth on it's axis one bit. A super popular thing on this site (and many others) is to cast doubt because someone else's experiences don't match their own. I have never, and will never require 1,800kcal of intake to finish a century. I did my very first one with little to no preparation (was averaging barely 100 miles per week at the time) of 109 miles in +90º heat, and took in maybe 800 calories.

So yes, the OP is absolutely overthinking it. Just like 90% of the people on this site do. Bottom line is: a century is not that hard. The time in the saddle is the toughest part, not running out of energy. Pace yourself. Eat when you're hungry. That's what I did. I paced myself. I had a caffeinated milkshake when I got hungry. There's no special formula. No food is going to magically whisk anyone through a long ride. I genuinely believe people have the capacity to surprise themselves. Most are capable of more than they think.

I'm not young, nor skinny, nor particularly athletic, and I somehow manage.
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Old 05-26-17, 09:24 PM
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Nobody can give you specific advice on what you'll need to eat on a long ride.

We're all different, and for instance, I'm a camel that can ride 100 miles without any food at all, while my friend is hypoglycemic and can't go 2 hours between meals even if he's not riding.

Also, ride conditions vary, especially terrain and temperature and humidity.

Obviously you've done some longish rides, so must have some sense of what you'll need, or at least what you've needed in the past. So take what worked for you in the past, scale it for 100 miles, and add a reserve on general principles and go for it.

Worst case, you underestimate, and run out, but that should be near enough to the end that you can fake it running on fumes.
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Old 05-26-17, 09:24 PM
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As for some advice because you haven't done much in the way of training rides (50 miles is your longest ride?) ...

Aim to consume anywhere from 100-200 calories per hour. For a less experienced rider like yourself, aim for 200 calories per hour ... more is better. When you get more experienced, you can get away with less because you know your body.

Include foods that are high in electrolytes whenever possible ... salt is one electrolyte but there are others which are important too. Salted almonds probably has the biggest collection of electrolytes, but you can do things like beef jerky and orange juice, dried apricots, and potato chips too.

Aim to drink one 750 ml bottle of water every 1 to 1.5 hours depending on exertion, wind, terrain, and weather.

Take electrolyte tablets if it is a little hotter than usual, or if you are exerting yourself more than usual, or if you feel nauseated or crampy.
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Old 05-26-17, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Closer to 4,600kcal actually. Yes there is a power meter, and you may feel free to doubt it's accuracy to your heart's content. Won't wobble the earth on it's axis one bit. A super popular thing on this site (and many others) is to cast doubt because someone else's experiences don't match their own. I have never, and will never require 1,800kcal of intake to finish a century. I did my very first one with little to no preparation (was averaging barely 100 miles per week at the time) of 109 miles in +90º heat, and took in maybe 800 calories.

So yes, the OP is absolutely overthinking it. Just like 90% of the people on this site do. Bottom line is: a century is not that hard. The time in the saddle is the toughest part, not running out of energy. Pace yourself. Eat when you're hungry. That's what I did. I paced myself. I had a caffeinated milkshake when I got hungry. There's no special formula. No food is going to magically whisk anyone through a long ride. I genuinely believe people have the capacity to surprise themselves. Most are capable of more than they think.

I'm not young, nor skinny, nor particularly athletic, and I somehow manage.
So are you proposing that everybody attempt to ride a century on 800 cal? Because you can do it? Say OP is riding an unsupported ride along a route with no Starbucks on it, should he head out with a total of 800 cal in his pocket? I guess I must ride in some more remote places than you do, because no way would I do that and I've ridden 100+ mile rides fairly routinely.

Anyway the answers to these questions don't really matter that much. OP asked a question because he has no experience with fueling for a century. If he felt comfortable winging it like you do, he probably wouldn't be asking the question.

It's funny how you think "BF" is silly- I question your power data because my fueling experience is far different than yours (my guess is you have a Stages power meter). Yet you label my approach as "overthinking" because your fueling experience is different than mine. Hmm. That does sound kind of silly now that you point it out.
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Old 05-26-17, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
So are you proposing that everybody attempt to ride a century on 800 cal? Because you can do it?
Sure. Why not. What am I, some kind of sub-human anomaly? A person can typically only metabolize about 200kcal/hr, so any intake beyond that 800 isn't doing ANYTHING until past the 6 hour mark.

Say OP is riding an unsupported ride along a route with no Starbucks on it, should he head out with a total of 800 cal in his pocket?
Where? Middle of a vast inland desert? I live in the sticks, and there's no single direction I could ride and not pass a place that sells food in a 50 mile stretch.

I guess I must ride in some more remote places than you do, because no way would I do that and I've ridden 100+ mile rides fairly routinely.
As you live in LA County, I find that to be EXTREMELY unlikely.

It's funny how you think "BF" is silly- I question your power data because my fueling experience is far different than yours (my guess is you have a Stages power meter). Yet you label my approach as "overthinking" because your fueling experience is different than mine. Hmm. That does sound kind of silly now that you point it out.
Nice dig at Stages. Constantly referring to eating as "fueling" is telling enough-- I'd ask my coach about it, but I don't want/need/have one of those. (see, I can be catty, too.) And yes, your approach is pretty much indicative of the most conservative, overthink-y pablum BF has to offer. Keep making the new riders think cycling is this grand undertaking. It just isn't.

Ride. Eat. Enjoy.
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Old 05-26-17, 10:01 PM
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the body stores ~2000 kcal in glycogen. A well trained cyclist that that is riding at an endurance pace doesn't need much extra calories. I wouldn't recommend it for a newer cyclist on their first century though. Overeating by a bit doesn't have much of a penalty. Undereating and bonking does.
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Old 05-26-17, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Sure. Why not. What am I, some kind of sub-human anomaly? A person can typically only metabolize about 200kcal/hr, so any intake beyond that 800 isn't doing ANYTHING until past the 6 hour mark.


Where? Middle of a vast inland desert? I live in the sticks, and there's no single direction I could ride and not pass a place that sells food in a 50 mile stretch.


As you live in LA County, I find that to be EXTREMELY unlikely.



Nice dig at Stages. Constantly referring to eating as "fueling" is telling enough-- I'd ask my coach about it, but I don't want/need/have one of those. (see, I can be catty, too.) And yes, your approach is pretty much indicative of the most conservative, overthink-y pablum BF has to offer. Keep making the new riders think cycling is this grand undertaking. It just isn't.

Ride. Eat. Enjoy.
Your data says it all. You were at an endurance/moderate pace on average. You are obviously a well trained cyclist. Go ride that same ride at above tempo and see if you survive on that little bit of food
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Old 05-26-17, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Your data says it all. You were at an endurance/moderate pace on average. You are obviously a well trained cyclist. Go ride that same ride at above tempo and see if you survive on that little bit of food
This was ~600kcal intake. Mostly just water.

But you are correct about intensity. Which is what I've been saying-- it's not about the distance. And even if you're relatively new, averaging a moving speed of 13-15mph isn't going to be a wide open effort for anyone even considering a century.
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Old 05-26-17, 10:17 PM
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redlude97
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
This was ~600kcal intake. Mostly just water.

But you are correct about intensity. Which is what I've been saying-- it's not about the distance. And even if you're relatively new, averaging a moving speed of 13-15mph isn't going to be a wide open effort for anyone even considering a century.
it is about distance. Calories burned is a function of intensity and distance. Going above Z2 is going to always use some glycogen in a newer cyclist. Average speed and average intensity don't tell the whole story. While your advice is correct in general, it isn't good advice for a first time century rider. Being conservative has essentially no penalty. Once you know your body and know how it responds at different distances then it is easy to guage your input levels required.
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