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Your nutrition strategy in long events or rides

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Your nutrition strategy in long events or rides

Old 04-10-15, 12:09 AM
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Your nutrition strategy in long events or rides

As I have done several 100 mile mt bike races. of 7 to 8 hour rides . As i have done on the bike nutrition. I am curious to know what other of you riders do for either 100 mile mt bike or anything else that involves riding 6 hours +

more less tell us what you prefer to consume for calories and how often did you consume and when in the ride/event did you start consuming. Just curious as i know everyone is different. Look forward to the fun answers.
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Old 04-10-15, 04:51 AM
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I've done 165 centuries (100 miles) or longer rides. Some lots longer.

This is what works for me.


Food: aim to consume 200-300 calories per hour. Yeah, sure, there are people who can ride long distances on next to nothing. But start with 200-300 calories per hour. Then experiment. Find out what works for you. Find out how many calories you feel comfortable with. Find out what foods you feel comfortable eating.

These days, we like these ... I especially like the Choc Apricot Coconut & Cashew.
Tasti - Nut Bars

Hydration: aim to consume one 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink (your choice ... personally, I like water these days) every 1 to 1.5 hours. The amount will depend on wind, exertion, heat, and several other things. But that's a good starting point.

Electrolytes: sports drinks will have some electrolytes, but probably not enough. I prefer to get my electrolytes from a combination of food and electrolyte pills. Salted almonds are high in most of the electrolytes. Plus they have calories. And they are available in packets in many convenience stores. Get a small packet mid-ride and wash it down with orange juice (more electrolytes + calories). Potato chips are also quite high in electrolytes. They go down well with sweet iced tea which has a bit of potassium in it (one of the electrolytes).
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Old 04-12-15, 06:45 PM
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For short events of around 6 hours....I start eating no sooner than 1 hour before the start. No food and no drink for the first bit of the ride. I eat at least 2 hours before the start. I will have two bottles of modified corn starch with 350 kCals each bottle. I will drink some whole chocoloate milk at a stop.....I might chug a pint or a quart and get right back on the bike riding slow. Thats it. Temperature, humidity, sweating, heat management and hydration is complex. Give me cold anyday. Strange sas it sounds, I like potato chips in hot, nasty weather. Salted cashews or almonds are good too. Milk has good sodium and potassium which is why I like chocolate milk.

Google "water logged"
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Old 04-14-15, 11:36 PM
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On bike I use liquid nutrition, mostly carbs, some protein. I start in the first hour, take a sip or two every 15'. I use 150-250 cal./hr. depending on effort. I eat 2-3 hrs. before, then nothing until the start. I like some solid food that I can cram down quickly every 100 miles or so. Those disgusting packaged berry pies are a fave. After something like that, I won't need to eat again for about 45'.
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Old 04-16-15, 06:34 AM
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I failed to mention one thing from my perspective and that is a nutrition strategy should be paired with a pacing strategy.

5-7 hours is kinda a relatively short event, so, I can ride at much higher intensity than on a longer ride. At this distance/time, the ride is more about power and controlling fatigue, which boils down to training. I would say a double century and distances beyond (say a ride beyond 12 hours) is where the ride becomes one of energy management and controlling your gut. The ride becomes one of controlling and avoiding the bonk or what is really low glucose levels in the brain and to a lesser extent a depletion of muscle glycogen. You need to have an understanding of your capability to burn fat and ability to process carbs and protein. Both can be trained. Similar sized riders could be cruising at the relatively slow pace of 15 mph putting out 140 watts. One could be burning 90% and thus sparing glyogen while the other could be burning 70% or more glycogen as a fuel source. Sometimes just stopping and cooling down a bit and eating a real meal is helpful.

I start long events in mild Ketosis and ideally consume some low glycemic starch carbs with a high amylopectin percentage but it is a challenge to keep in these in solution and I will sometimes make a gel. I might just go back to my 50 pound bag of cheapo malto-dextrin.....100-150 kCal per hour. I avoid fructose. Avoiding an insulin spike and keeping the intensity dialed down seems to keep me burning a high percentage of fat. When I am depleted and if at a control/rest stop, I can pound a lot of liquid carbs whereas when I am hot or working hard on a climb, I have problems and avoid putting anything in my priro to a long hot climb. You just have to learn by experience. Certain carbs will ferment in your colon.

Taking good care of your gut is well beyond a forum post but much of your immune system is centered there and long distance riding can wreck your health.
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