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Feed & Hydration Advice Please!

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Feed & Hydration Advice Please!

Old 06-21-21, 05:57 AM
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Feed & Hydration Advice Please!

Hello All, I've just started doing 100km rides, and it's got to the point where I am struggling to wing it with a couple of bananas and some water to get me through the ride.

I don't cycle too much, max a long 100km ride per week, so i don't really want to go all out on gels and so on, so ideally what i take will be stuff from around the house anyway

My plan after some research was to take two bottles, one with electrolytes and one with water to counter it and wash it down. As for food, i see that stuff like jelly babies, soreen loaves and bananas are good options, but would really appreciate a steer on what works?

Many thanks all in advance!
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Old 06-21-21, 06:18 AM
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Assuming you ate a decent meal before your ride, you really won't need to eat/drink a lot of calories for a 60-mile ride. Figure 20-24 oz. per hour; less if it's not too hot. For 60 miles, I bring one gel and one stinger waffle. The key (for me) is that meal before the ride - a bowl of oatmeal and banana.

I realize you don't want to be bothered with "performance" foods, but they do work and they're a lot easier to bring/eat on the bike.

https://www.amazon.com/Honey-Stinger...s%2C185&sr=8-5

https://www.amazon.com/GU-Energy-Ori...s%2C171&sr=8-9
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Old 06-21-21, 07:34 AM
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I use to carry a one or two bananas cut up in sections to eat along the way when I started riding for fitness instead of just a leisure past time. Tried various power bars and stuff next. Then I started putting all my Calories in my bottles and maybe carried some solid stuff just as a treat. More often than not the solid stuff comes back home unopened.

Generally I put about 120 to 180 Calories in a 24 fl. oz. bottle. Takes me about 50 minutes to empty it in the current 85° to 90° F I'm riding in.

I've never understood carrying water and mix. I don't pour water on me. So why not fill all bottles with mix and keep a steady supply of carbs getting absorbed by the body? Otherwise you'd have to mix one bottle with excessive Calories which might be too sweet and nauseating for very hard efforts.

I'm happy with just being bottle fed for an entire Century ride.

Last edited by Iride01; 06-21-21 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 06-21-21, 07:49 AM
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The gels and performance foods really do work, and for me, are required for any rides that go past 90 minutes or so. Generally, I try to take a gel or chew every 30-45 minutes. Water bottles are filled with either a low-sugar energy drink or water.
Without them, I tend to cramp more often, so easy insurance against that.
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Old 06-21-21, 10:17 AM
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If you are riding for performance then you want to be consuming 80g+ of carbs per hour or 250+ calories. Easiest way is via energy drinks, gels, chews and bars. I find it quite hard consuming much solid food if I'm riding at tempo. I find electrolytes important too, especially in hot weather. But they come with my energy drinks. I don't bother with just water. Energy drinks and gels can be natural too, not all are full of chemicals. Just have to research brands that are available where you live. I like Veloforte, but they only sell in the UK. Bananas are good too! Just a bit bulky to carry around.
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Old 06-21-21, 10:46 AM
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I know this sounds a little strange but in a pinch it really works if chased with a half litter of water.


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Old 06-21-21, 10:48 AM
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Fig bars, trail mix, Oreos.
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Old 06-21-21, 10:49 AM
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I bring peanut butter honey sandwiches with me, first one gets eaten around mile 50 or so. Works for me, but everyone is different.
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Old 06-21-21, 11:20 AM
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On longer rides, I aim to drink one 750ml bottle per hour. Usually with some half-strength electrolytes in water, but a minimal amount of sugar.

On hotter days, I'll do full-strength electrolytes.

Every 2 hours, I'll take a Clif Shot.

As soon as the ride is over, I'll take in some recovery food with carbs and protein. A Starbucks grande mocha is a personal favorite.

That's about it.
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Old 06-21-21, 11:28 AM
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100 Mile Breakfast

Lunch Two Peanut Butter w Jam Sandwiches and Can Coke or Pepsi.
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Old 06-21-21, 11:46 AM
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10 Wheels I'm just going to assume that's cup 1 of 3 ;-)
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Old 06-21-21, 11:46 AM
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It depends on the temperature and the ride. Most of my Sunday rides are about 55-60 miles, and about 3300 feet of climbing. If the temps are below 75F, I can get by on a breakfast of one 8 oz Noosa whole-milk yogurt (about 250 calories), two 24 oz bottles of electrolyte drink with no sugar (Nuun), and refilling one of them at a convenient tap. So, about 72 oz of water with electrolytes. I'll usually lose maybe 3 lbs. over the ride. Sometimes I feel a little hungry after about 45 miles, and I'll eat a Clif Bar. I always carry one ever since the time I didn't have one, felt hungry at about that same distance from home, and then bonked with 3 miles left to get home. That's if it's not hot and I only do the 3300 feet of climbing that the route I ride entails. If I do any serious climbing, I need to eat more, and drink more. If it's hot, I need to drink a lot more.

That's about the minimum I can get away with, but I've realized it's probably better NOT to go for the absolute minimum. So now I eat a Clif Bar or equivalent at the halfway point. I have a place I like to stop with a nice vista.

If you're going for non-manufactured foods, peanut butter and honey sandwiches are nice, but can be messy if you make them right, especially on warm days, stuffed in a jersey pocket. The bag gets all sticky. Fig bars are nice if you like them. Try looking up the calories in various foods. You want simple carbs with some protein, and not much fat. And it should be something you WANT to eat.

As far as drinks, I don't know about you, but I perspire profusely. On a hot day I can drink 4 x 24 oz bottles over the course of a 3-4 hour ride and still lose up to 5 lbs, which translates to something like another 3 bottles worth. And I get salty streaks on my helmet straps, so I prefer to drink something that replaces the electrolytes I'm losing, rather than plain water.
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Old 06-21-21, 11:48 AM
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Way too many variables to give fixed advice. Be flexible. Drink plenty. Eat what tastes good and sits well in your stomach.
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Old 06-21-21, 11:57 AM
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A little experimentation will tell you what works for you. I can't stand gels and some of the drink mixes upset my stomach. For me, regular food like bananas, sandwiches, even chips and sodas. I don't mind stopping to eat on a long, or even medium ride.
On a 60 mile ride, I don't need to eat a lot if there isn't a lot of climbing or hammering. A banana and a granola bar with plenty of water would work.
The day after a hard ride I get pretty hungry on the bike.
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Old 06-21-21, 12:02 PM
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It can be specific to the individual and there training. Many who have been long time endurance athletes do not need to eat or drink that much unless things get really long. A 60 mile ride on a cool day I can finish with no liquid at all and I never need to eat for something 60 or less. Now if I was racing that would be different and if it is really warm and humid. Then I need a large bottle of crystal light about 1/2 liter per hour but it would be more if I was eating and riding a century. To be sure though the night before I generally eat a pretty large dinner so the energy stores are in the body specifically the glycogen in muscle.

Consider this interesting stat. The world record for a marathon on a track was done by an African runner who ran in just under 2 hours 26.2miles. He never took a drink yet was running sub 5 minute miles. In fact there are numerous examples of this, and while it may not be smart or the best way to do things, but it has been done routinely.
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Old 06-21-21, 12:06 PM
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What you take with you is a matter of what your body can digest easily because you don't want food sitting in your stomach while you're riding.

I would definitely start with some type of electrolyte powder to put inside your water. I use Pedialyte sport, but I know people that use SIS and a couple of people that use half Gatorade and half water. My body prefers a low calorie electrolyte blend and picking up calories from solids, but some people go the other way.
For food, I think that bananas are a good option and I like things that are easily digestible for me. In my case it's bananas, those little packages of nature's bakery fig bars, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or two if I'm going out on a century day.

The other aspect of feeding is timing. You need to drink before you feel thirsty and eat before you feel hungry because by the time you feel hungry or thirsty you're too late.
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Old 06-21-21, 12:35 PM
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You must drink way before you are thirsty. It is a known fact that if you get thirsty then it is already too late you will begin to decline in performance fast. I have run 12 marathons and can say I never really was thirsty in any of them at all except one. That was the 1989 Chicago Marathon and it was hot temps in the middle 60s climbing to 80 in the sun on Lake Shore Drive. Needless to say my last 10K in that marathon was a real struggle (3:23 finish). By the same token one of my best I took what seemed to be not much liquid but I did drink, nothing but water at the stations. I managed a 3:06 finishing time and never thought a bit about fluids other than to drink before I was thirsty. I doubt I drank more than 30-40 ounces during the race but was well topped off....going to pee every 10 minutes before the race started.
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Old 06-21-21, 12:43 PM
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If you like to cook, the Feedzone Portables book has some interesting ideas. Recipes by folks who helped to feed pro teams.
The only problem for me is that most of the recipes make multiple snacks and I don't ride enough to eat them all.

Also, it's amusing that scattered through the book are warnings: "Don't eat all these unless you are exercising, or you will gain weight!!
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Old 06-21-21, 01:16 PM
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I usually don't eat much before rides, so for longer rides it will be something like a banana and maybe some toast with peanut butter, and a coffee.

On the ride I typically bring one bottle with gatorade and another with water, and for 60 miles I'd bring two gels (or one gel and one pack of chews) and something more substantial like a Cliff Bar, granola bar or Fig Newtons, etc . If it's hot, I'll probably need to stop and refill my bottles at some point, and if I'm stopping to buy fluids I might also grab a salty snack like a bag of Doritos. On cooler days I'd probably just ride 60 without stopping and be good with the two bottles I start with.
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Old 06-21-21, 01:32 PM
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I use this book and make stuff for rides.

https://www.amazon.com/Feed-Zone-Por.../dp/1937715000
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Old 06-21-21, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaskar
10 Wheels I'm just going to assume that's cup 1 of 3 ;-)
Just Two for me.
I do get up around 4 AM and get on the road after eating.
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Old 06-21-21, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark
It can be specific to the individual and there training. Many who have been long time endurance athletes do not need to eat or drink that much unless things get really long. A 60 mile ride on a cool day I can finish with no liquid at all and I never need to eat for something 60 or less. Now if I was racing that would be different and if it is really warm and humid. Then I need a large bottle of crystal light about 1/2 liter per hour but it would be more if I was eating and riding a century. To be sure though the night before I generally eat a pretty large dinner so the energy stores are in the body specifically the glycogen in muscle.

Consider this interesting stat. The world record for a marathon on a track was done by an African runner who ran in just under 2 hours 26.2miles. He never took a drink yet was running sub 5 minute miles. In fact there are numerous examples of this, and while it may not be smart or the best way to do things, but it has been done routinely.
That’s very interesting. But completely at odds with the advice I listen to on the Trainer Road podcast, where their pro athletes eat like horses pretty much from the start of any ride longer than an hour and actually train their guts to deal with more and more fuel on the bike. Some of them are taking in 120g or more of carbs per hour (but I can only manage about 80g) and it doesn’t appear to be proportional to body weight. I’ve had good results following this basic strategy. You can get those carbs in a variety of different ways, but I usually start with solids and then move more toward liquids and gels during a long fast ride. I usually start struggling with bars after eating 2 or 3 over a couple of hours, but I can keep on consuming liquid and gels throughout a long ride.
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Old 06-21-21, 06:04 PM
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I personally have a hard time eating actual food on the road, so my fuel of choice is Hammer Perpetuem , 2 scoops in 20-24 oz bottle per hour. I also throw in some electrolytes especially in the summer heat and humidty in the Southeast. I also have some gel and a fig newton each 30 ish mins once I go over 90 mins. I also take along some homemade rice cakes if I will be out more than 3 hours. This has never failed me, but your needs and results will be different, but it took me while to find the proper mix that will work for me.
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Old 06-22-21, 03:42 AM
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Thanks all for all your comments - really helps. Probably half the reason i struggle is simply that I'm not fit enough!

But that's all really good food for thought (pun intended) - i think i need to start experimenting and seeing what works. I am open to gels etc so will look at that a bit more too i think.

MT!
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Old 06-22-21, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
That’s very interesting. But completely at odds with the advice I listen to on the Trainer Road podcast, where their pro athletes eat like horses pretty much from the start of any ride longer than an hour and actually train their guts to deal with more and more fuel on the bike. Some of them are taking in 120g or more of carbs per hour (but I can only manage about 80g) and it doesn’t appear to be proportional to body weight. I’ve had good results following this basic strategy. You can get those carbs in a variety of different ways, but I usually start with solids and then move more toward liquids and gels during a long fast ride. I usually start struggling with bars after eating 2 or 3 over a couple of hours, but I can keep on consuming liquid and gels throughout a long ride.
When I did a loaded tour for 6 weeks I ate about 6000 calories per day and still lost weight.
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