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Fasted Cycling... didn't know I was doing it

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Fasted Cycling... didn't know I was doing it

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Old 04-16-18, 05:26 PM
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RobotGuy 
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Birth defects? Reproductive harm? That takes some dedication to your cycling!
Only if you live in California.
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Old 04-16-18, 05:39 PM
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Lets make sure we define what "fasted cycling" state we are talking about. There is a difference between being in a glycogen depleted state and simply a low blood sugar state following an overnight fast. If you hard a normal carb dinner, then in the morning you will have completely full glycogen stores and 70-100 mg/dl glucose in the blood which is about half the normal amount following a meal. While you are "fasted" you still have ~2000 cals of reserves between the muscles/liver/blood. While I believe some fat adaption can occur in this state compared to a non fasted state with a supply of dietary sugars during or immediated prior to exercise, to really get large adaptions, you need to do glycogen depleting exercise, not replenish, and keep yourself in this state while exercising to fat adapt. To get the benefits of both high and low glycogen state training, a sleep low strategy would seem to be the best nutrient periodization strategy. Listen to this podcast for details Fast Talk podcast, ep. 23: How periodization works... for your nutrition | VeloNews.com
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Old 04-16-18, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Specific eating timing and recovery aside.. I eat a lot of mackerel and sardines in general. Great snacks and quick bites unless you are watching your salt.
Ha, ha... do you really eat mackerel? I thought that was something you scraped off the bottom of a boot to make kimchi.
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Old 04-16-18, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RobotGuy View Post
Only if you live in California.

Even a pair of channellocks has a California cancer warning-- Proposition 65 is California's consumer attorney relief act (apparently, Cali judges drink too much Kool-Aid to put a warning on that).
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Old 04-16-18, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Lets make sure we define what "fasted cycling" state we are talking about. There is a difference between being in a glycogen depleted state and simply a low blood sugar state following an overnight fast. If you hard a normal carb dinner, then in the morning you will have completely full glycogen stores and 70-100 mg/dl glucose in the blood which is about half the normal amount following a meal. While you are "fasted" you still have ~2000 cals of reserves between the muscles/liver/blood. While I believe some fat adaption can occur in this state compared to a non fasted state with a supply of dietary sugars during or immediated prior to exercise, to really get large adaptions, you need to do glycogen depleting exercise, not replenish, and keep yourself in this state while exercising to fat adapt. To get the benefits of both high and low glycogen state training, a sleep low strategy would seem to be the best nutrient periodization strategy. Listen to this podcast for details Fast Talk podcast, ep. 23: How periodization works... for your nutrition | VeloNews.com
Yep. That’s the thing right there. I used to be so blood sugar sensative - I’d have to take a nap if I crashed. Would ruin my mood for a week. Took me several years, 10 if I’m honest. Progressed from pushing a meal back 1 hour (believe me, that was harder than it sounds) to skipping a meal, to now I can run 18 miles having not eaten for 18 hours, and I’m just fine. Switch right over to bodyfat burning with little drama at all.

I’m guessing the OP means with carb restriction... I’ve never tried that (well not knowingly) but I just might.
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Old 04-16-18, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Even a pair of channellocks has a California cancer warning-- Proposition 65 is California's consumer attorney relief act (apparently, Cali judges drink too much Kool-Aid to put a warning on that).
I just limit my intake to 1 pair of pliers a month when I’m in Cali. No restrictions when I’m back here in NJ.
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Old 04-16-18, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RobotGuy View Post
Only if you live in California.
That's one scary hard-core place, give up your first-born to even eat kippered herrings while riding.
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Old 04-17-18, 05:25 AM
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Old 04-17-18, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If operating around threshold, an average person can deplete their glycogen stores in about 20 minutes. At moderate intensity, if takes around 90 minutes. I haven't really noticed any benefits to riding without eating. It's been almost exclusively out of necessity, as I need to get on the road by 5am so that the rising sun doesn't turn me into a crisp.
20 minutes? That sounds way too short to me.
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Old 04-17-18, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
My habit has been a long ride, or a long run, on Saturday usually after 12 without having had either breakfast or lunch. I have never felt like my body was going into "starvation mode" and trying to store up fat. However, I do feel like I need to exercise some discipline after the ride, limiting myself to a few hundred calories immediately and then holding off for an hour or more before eating in earnest. No beer right away (tho I sometimes fail in that).

Deliberately eating something, like some fruit or pastry, before going out (not immediately before but earlier) I do have more energy starting at around the 1-1:30 hour point. More pronounced after 2 hours (riding, I don't run that long). I think that probably IS due to the glycogen being replenished. So I don't think that they are depleted all that quickly unless you're hitting intervals or something.

Also, I don't think it makes much difference as far as "fasted ride" goes, unless the ride lasts at least an hour, and more like an hour and a half.
There was a study done where a group of athletes (I think it was cyclists, but some sort of endurance athlete anyway) swirled around a sweet drink in their mouths and then spit it out so essentially no sugar was actually consumed. They found that this group was able to go at a higher intensity for longer than a control group with nothing, and, more surprisingly, than a group that had an iv drip going into their veins (and so were actually getting sugar directly).

The speculation is that your brain senses the sweet taste and allows you to go deeper into your reserves because it "knows" that more energy is coming. So, I'd guess that the effect on performance you're getting is actually larger than just the effect of the glycogen being replenished (although that is obviously a factor too).
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Old 04-17-18, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
20 minutes? That sounds way too short to me.
Go out and do a structured 20-minute FTP/LTHR test. You will come to believe.
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Old 04-17-18, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Pretty much applies to me as well but, looking at it based on what those who've written about the process are saying, glycogen stored in the muscles would be used up in about 90 minutes of a normal bike ride and glycogen stored in the liver is used for the energy that the brain, blood cells and other bodily activities require. So, riding a couple of hours or more has you dipping into to your own fat for energy, which carries on for hours afterward so that you end up burning 300% more fat calories than you otherwise would. If losing weight is an objective, that's where watching what's eaten later becomes the key issue.
A couple of things wrong with this IMO.
1. You're burning fat right from the start. There isn't really a switch over. The % of calories burned from fat depends on your intensity. Fasted training can improve this percentage somewhat, which is why some pros are now doing carb depleted training. Its obviously a big advantage to burn mostly fat saving the precious glucose for when the intensity ramps up.

2. Weight loss is dependant on net calorie balance. Burning fat directly doesn't make it better. If you deplete your glycogen/glucose stores then when you eat next, those will be replenished first rather than having the food you eat be stored as fat. Either way, the net fat loss will be the same. Burning glycogen just has an intermediate step.
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Old 04-17-18, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Go out and do a structured 20-minute FTP/LTHR test. You will come to believe.
I have. Not even close to running out. A simple look at the math shows it's pretty much impossible (assuming you aren't talking about doing this from a fasted state).

A typical person has about 100 to 120 grams of glycogen in their liver and another 400 in their muscles. Since the muscles can't "share" lets assume maybe 150 in the muscles used for cycling (that's pretty conservative since they are by far the largest muscles in the body). That gives a total of 1000 calories to burn. Furthermore, a percentage of calories burned is fat. Again, lets assume conservatively that is about 30%. That gives you 1000/0.7 = 1428 calories before you deplete your energy stores. Or, about an hour at 400 watts. Probably a bit less since your body isn't going to let you fully deplete yourself.
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Old 04-17-18, 08:18 AM
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I might be able to do it, but I just love eating so much. Actually, I'm more concerned about the effect on my morning movements.
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Old 04-17-18, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
There was a study done where a group of athletes (I think it was cyclists, but some sort of endurance athlete anyway) swirled around a sweet drink in their mouths and then spit it out so essentially no sugar was actually consumed. They found that this group was able to go at a higher intensity for longer than a control group with nothing, and, more surprisingly, than a group that had an iv drip going into their veins (and so were actually getting sugar directly).

The speculation is that your brain senses the sweet taste and allows you to go deeper into your reserves because it "knows" that more energy is coming. So, I'd guess that the effect on performance you're getting is actually larger than just the effect of the glycogen being replenished (although that is obviously a factor too).
I believe that it's possible. I like to make hot chili, and sometimes I'll munch on a habanero or ghost pepper with some cheese. It's weird, but I can just think about eating one of those, literally get one out and look at it, and my scalp will start sweating. So I have little doubt that the suggestion can influence us physically. I'll have to try the sweet drink swirl trick - I suspect that you have to get used to actually drinking it first, before the suggestion works.
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Old 04-17-18, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I believe that it's possible. I like to make hot chili, and sometimes I'll munch on a habanero or ghost pepper with some cheese. It's weird, but I can just think about eating one of those, literally get one out and look at it, and my scalp will start sweating. So I have little doubt that the suggestion can influence us physically. I'll have to try the sweet drink swirl trick - I suspect that you have to get used to actually drinking it first, before the suggestion works.
More and more it seems your brain can have a big impact on your performance. There are a lot of "safety" checks being done subconsciously while you exercise. A good example (which I'm sure many people here know already) is riding (or better yet, running) on a very hot day. It's harder to go fast on these days. But, the interesting thing is that it's harder right from the start before you're even close to overheating. The theory is that your brain senses the heat and slows you down (by increasing the perceived effort at a given pace/power level) in order to keep you safe. If/when you really start to overheat, the effect becomes much more drastic and it takes an extreme amount of effort to do anything.

Methamphetamines, along with some other drugs, have the effect of blocking this (and other) safety mechanisms. Hence they were used in the past as performance enhancers and, sadly, what happened to Tom Simpson
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Old 04-17-18, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I have. Not even close to running out. A simple look at the math shows it's pretty much impossible (assuming you aren't talking about doing this from a fasted state).

A typical person has about 100 to 120 grams of glycogen in their liver and another 400 in their muscles. ...

There is a lot of contradictory information about carbohydrate storage but these do seem to be about the right amounts ...

Carbohydrate is predominantly stored as glycogen in both the liver (approximately 100 g) and muscle (approximately 400 g) with 5 g also circulating in the blood stream as glucose....
www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/3/298/pdf
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Old 04-17-18, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Specific eating timing and recovery aside.. I eat a lot of mackerel and sardines in general. Great snacks and quick bites unless you are watching your salt.
A man after my own heart. When I am touring and camping at a location that has no food source near by I will often pick up same canned fish like sardines during the day and have them for breakfast the next morning with a bagel. Fat, protein, salt and some carbs.
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Old 04-17-18, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Ha, ha... do you really eat mackerel? I thought that was something you scraped off the bottom of a boot to make kimchi.
Whole Spanish mackerel from the grill is quite tasty and simple to prepare. All you really need is some lemon.
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Old 04-17-18, 09:22 AM
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It is certain that something is happening but a lot less certain as to how what's happening may improve performance ...

As previously discussed, the principle of promoting high CHO [carbohydrate] before, during and after exercise is the foundation on which traditional sports nutrition guidelines are based. Although this is essential for promoting competition performance and ensuring adequate recovery, accumulating data now suggest that restricting CHO before, during, and in recovery from endurance-based exercise augments the cell signaling and gene expression responses associated with oxidative adaptations in human skeletal muscle. (Ibid., emphasis added)
If augments means signaling the muscle to grow, I can use.
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Old 04-17-18, 09:50 AM
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Another good dining choice for fasted training...
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Old 04-17-18, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Go out and do a structured 20-minute FTP/LTHR test. You will come to believe.
Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I have. Not even close to running out. A simple look at the math shows it's pretty much impossible (assuming you aren't talking about doing this from a fasted state).

A typical person has about 100 to 120 grams of glycogen in their liver and another 400 in their muscles. Since the muscles can't "share" lets assume maybe 150 in the muscles used for cycling (that's pretty conservative since they are by far the largest muscles in the body). That gives a total of 1000 calories to burn. Furthermore, a percentage of calories burned is fat. Again, lets assume conservatively that is about 30%. That gives you 1000/0.7 = 1428 calories before you deplete your energy stores. Or, about an hour at 400 watts. Probably a bit less since your body isn't going to let you fully deplete yourself.
yep, this. If you are doing an ftp test with powermeter you can pretty accurately determine the number of calories you consumed by multiplying the average power by ~4. So you would have enough stored glycogen to finish a full hour FTP test. You bring up another important aspect. Fat burning. The thing with fatty acid oxidation is that the rate it contributes energy remains roughly the same in terms of calories/hour with the rest made up by CHO. So at lower intensities fat contributes a larger percentage of the energy but you are also burning at a much lower rate, say 400cal/hr @100w. At Z1/2 intensities fat contribution is probably around 50-60% or 200 cal/hr. At FTP of 300w you still get ~200cal/hr from fat but the remaining 1000cal/hr is from CHO or ~85%. Fasted glycogen depleted riding and/or low carb ketogenic training can increase the gross amount of fatty acid oxidation that can occur as a baseline. This saves energy at all power levels, but doesn't necessarily increase your FTP or maximal power output
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Old 04-17-18, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Ha, ha... do you really eat mackerel? I thought that was something you scraped off the bottom of a boot to make kimchi.
Make mackeral salad with it, just use that instead of tuna, it is not as dry and you use less mayo. Also mackerel cakes, like crab cakes
The good thing is no one else in the house will ever eat it so... bonus
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Old 04-17-18, 11:42 AM
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Certainly seems the old idea of carbohydrate loading the night before the big event may be just that... and old idea but nonetheless, total baloney.
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Old 04-17-18, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
Ha, ha... do you really eat mackerel? I thought that was something you scraped off the bottom of a boot to make kimchi.
Mackerel is really, really good.

You have to like fatty fish though. It's excellent smoked.

Though, my favorite is the "holy mackerel."
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