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Nutrition during century ride, does this look excessive?

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Nutrition during century ride, does this look excessive?

Old 04-27-19, 09:54 PM
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ymee
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Nutrition during century ride, does this look excessive?

I will be doing my first century ride next month. So far my longest ride has been 80 miles and a few 60-70 milers. During these rides I've consumed about 3 GU packs and stopped along the way for a latte and scone. I came across the GU website where they talk about nutrition during a century ride https://guenergy.com/nutrition-plan/100mi-2/ and looking at the amount of stuff they are recommending it seems a bit excessive. Do I really need to eat all of this or will I be OK with 5-6 GU energy packs, electrolyte (Skratch) in my water bottles and an occasional drink/food at a rest stop?
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Old 04-27-19, 10:23 PM
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That's about 1,500kcal, which is in no way excessive. I don't think I've ever done an imperial century where my measured output was less than 3,000kJ, so I'd still be plenty hungry after.

Their recommendations are probably smarter than any feed strategy I've used during my solo centuries, where I always either end up eating far too little or far too much.
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Old 04-27-19, 11:05 PM
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I agree with ~1500 calories, in whatever form one likes. But maybe less would be fine for you, considering your experiences. I think they're way out of line with the sodium. I've never taken over 1g, usually more like half that. In general, I think people have a better ride if they're fueled at about half their burn.
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Old 04-28-19, 12:06 AM
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The most you can take up is about 250-300 calories an hour depending on thr glucose:fructose ratio so aim for around that amt for each hour you plan on being out there
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Old 04-28-19, 07:50 AM
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Clicking around at the different times was good for a chuckle - at least 9 different GU products on recommendation. Does seem an excessive amount of "stuff" but too much food. With all the gels and pills you're putting something in your mouth every 15-20 minutes. That's too much for me by quite a bit, I know I can't stomach 6 gels at all during any length ride to say nothing of the rest of it. If you've successfully done a few 60-70 miles and an 80 miler you're in a better position to judge what works for you than a blanket recommendation from a nutrition manufacturing and marketing firm. Latte & scone > sports candy science diet.

Do I really need to eat all of this or will I be OK with 5-6 GU energy packs, electrolyte (Skratch) in my water bottles and an occasional drink/food at a rest stop?
100 miles will just be a continuation of your 80 mile ride, in my opinion and own experience. I think you'll be ok with your current nutrition, just a little more for a longer ride. Really that's all it is. For me personally the hardest jump was going from 40->60 miles, 80->100 was a lot easier.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:16 AM
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I bring 250 calories an hour on long rides, so 1,500 calories for a 6 hour century sounds right. It actual practice I am almost never able to eat that much.
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Old 04-29-19, 02:57 PM
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If you've done 80 miles successfully, then you just need to up whatever you used for that by 20-25%. Don't overthink it, and real food is fine.

I only break out the high tech slurps if it's really hot or I find myself in the bonk zone.
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Old 04-29-19, 08:54 PM
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I'm not a big believer in manufactured sports nutrition for anything other than serious training or competition. I do a lot of recreational/fitness/charity rides of 75-100 miles and don't use any sports specific nutrition, except for the occasional diluted Powerade. I usually have about a 500 kcal meal an hour or two before starting out, then figure about 10 kcal per mile during the ride for rides over 2 hours. Water needs depend on weather and terrain but I usually keep one liter of dilute Powerade or homemade lemon or limeade and one bottle of water with just a pinch of Morton Lite Salt which is half potassium chloride/half sodium chloride. Oatmeal raisin cookies or fruit and nut granola bars provide simple and complex carbs with appropriate amounts of fat to prevent bonking.

I don't buy the need for special recovery drinks within a recovery window, either. A light carb snack after the ride, followed by a normal meal after I've had some time to cool down, works just fine.

Be very wary of sports nutrition company hype and locker room bro-science. Also avoid the pitfall of thinking that you need to eat like a pro when you don't really train or compete like a pro.

Now, if you're actually a pro or truly train at an advanced amateur to pro level, then you nutrition needs might be different.

You seem to have a fair idea of what works for 70-80 miles for you already so listen to Zowie and just carry a little more for that last 20 miles. It's not rocket surgery, despite what the full page ads in Bicycling magazine tell you.
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Old 04-30-19, 11:51 AM
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The better one plans and the better one executes, the more fun the ride. The level at which one rides is immaterial and a put-down at best. Our 143 y.o. tandem team has Stoker's Garmin timer set to 15' to prompt us to eat and drink on long rides, where we drink plain water and "eat" only our homemade maltodextrim and whey protein mix. On short rides, up to maybe 40 miles, we each take a bottle of sports drink, maybe drink half of it. The longer one is on the bike, the more important proper nutrition becomes. Usually that realization comes too late.

Funny quote from a friend, "RAAM is not a bike race. It's an eating contest."
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Old 04-30-19, 12:46 PM
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By the way @Carbonfiberboy, your bike-food recipe has gotten me through 1,000's of km's of brevets. It's been a game-changer for me.
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Old 04-30-19, 07:19 PM
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have a link

Originally Posted by kingston View Post
By the way @Carbonfiberboy, your bike-food recipe has gotten me through 1,000's of km's of brevets. It's been a game-changer for me.
sounds interesting, have a link?
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Old 05-01-19, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
The most you can take up is about 250-300 calories an hour depending on thr glucose:fructose ratio so aim for around that amt for each hour you plan on being out there
That's not really correct, I consume 360 calories / hour on rides 6 hours and up without any problems, 25 oz bottle with 270 calories every 45 minutes of riding time. I know one cyclist that consumes over 400 calories/hour in long races. You can train your gut to absorb more than you can without training. Pace and ambient temperature have an impact on how much you can digest so it's a good idea to learn how to balance pace and consumption with temperature. Bottom line, very much a personal thing with several factors influencing what you can consume, same goes with water.

As was said, long events are an eating contest done on a bike!
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Old 05-01-19, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The better one plans and the better one executes, the more fun the ride. The level at which one rides is immaterial and a put-down at best. Our 143 y.o. tandem team has Stoker's Garmin timer set to 15' to prompt us to eat and drink on long rides, where we drink plain water and "eat" only our homemade maltodextrim and whey protein mix. On short rides, up to maybe 40 miles, we each take a bottle of sports drink, maybe drink half of it. The longer one is on the bike, the more important proper nutrition becomes. Usually that realization comes too late.

Funny quote from a friend, "RAAM is not a bike race. It's an eating contest."
I'm in love with Maltodextrim, having used the Hammer brand. What's your preferred brand? I'm curious because I'm about to buy for the upcoming season.

To the original poster,
Reiterating what others have said, you have to eat ahead of your hunger. I also enjoy Gu packets, but they get to be expensive on longer rides, plus like others say about four is my limit before I get sick of them. Also those little packages aren't environmentally friendly and unnecessary if you're not racing.

I have found success in mixing Maltodextrim and protein powder in a water bottle that I stuck a shaker spring into. The mixture at a "pancake batter" consistency, then also consuming some beef jerky and stopping for a light "real food" snack halfway through.
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Old 05-01-19, 06:24 AM
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Here's the recipie
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Old 05-01-19, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Here's the recipie
Do you chug the whole bottle at once ? Whey protein powder on a ride sounds like about the last thing i'd want.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:59 AM
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I just drink it like a normal water bottle. The taste and consistency is ok. It's much better than not eating on the bike which is what I did before.
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Old 05-01-19, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by srode1 View Post
That's not really correct, I consume 360 calories / hour on rides 6 hours and up without any problems, 25 oz bottle with 270 calories every 45 minutes of riding time. I know one cyclist that consumes over 400 calories/hour in long races. You can train your gut to absorb more than you can without training. Pace and ambient temperature have an impact on how much you can digest so it's a good idea to learn how to balance pace and consumption with temperature. Bottom line, very much a personal thing with several factors influencing what you can consume, same goes with water.

As was said, long events are an eating contest done on a bike!
Consume =/= take up ie absorb. You are limited by the kinetics of the glucose and fructose receptors in you intestine. This has been well studied and is the basis for products like sis beta fuel and maurten. You can train yourself to tolerate this level the same way we can eat 1000 calories in single meal like a whole pizza but it doesnt mean its going to all translate to energy useful on the bike.
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Old 05-01-19, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Consume =/= take up ie absorb. You are limited by the kinetics of the glucose and fructose receptors in you intestine. This has been well studied and is the basis for products like sis beta fuel and maurten. You can train yourself to tolerate this level the same way we can eat 1000 calories in single meal like a whole pizza but it doesnt mean its going to all translate to energy useful on the bike.
A model for 4-24 hour cycling events... a.k.a., don't run out of steam.... ? Tri2Max Coaching LLC

Here's an excerpt from the link above. I can say from personal experience with Ultra Distance races adding calories beyond 300/hr helps my performance.

Calories consumed are only valuable if they can actually be absorbed by your gut. Over-consuming calories generally leads to excess food, fluid and gas in the gut, which can lead to cramping, nausea, stomach shutdown and an early end to your race. This article is one of the best summaries on what most people can generally actually absorb per hour, written by Asker Jeukendrup, a leading exercise physiologist and sports nutritionist. In a nutshell, most people can absorb around 60 grams of a single type of carbohydrates per hour, which translates to around 240 cals/hr (4 cals/gram). If you mix multiple sources (e.g. maltodexterin and fructose), absorption rates can often reach 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour (or around 360 cals/hr). Besides the quantity of carbohydrates, other factors impact absorption as well, such as:
  • Exercise intensity. The higher your intensity level, the more your blood is diverted away from your stomach to working muscles. This slows the digestion process and can potentially reduce absorption rate of calories. Ironically, this means that as you are going harder at the beginning of races and are burning calories at a higher rate, you are processing your food at slower rates, increasing the deficit between what you are consuming versus burning.
  • Carbohydrate concentration. Your stomach processes carbohydrates more efficiently with water. If you have too many carbs and not enough fluid, your stomach will process the carbohydrates more slowly. The takeaway is if you have solid foods (or even gels/GU), it is important to consume them with water to assist absorption. Drinking a sports drink on top of a GU may end up with high concentrations of carbs, slowing absorption.
  • Individual variance. Absorption rates can be impacted by "training your gut" to a degree. This is simply practicing your race day fueling on your long workouts, so your body becomes more adapted to processing fuel while exercising. Also worth noting is that body size is not necessarily correlated to absorption rates... meaning larger people don't inherently absorb carbohydrates faster than smaller individuals.

Last edited by srode1; 05-01-19 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 05-01-19, 09:18 AM
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Eating while out on a typical century on open roads ≠ eating while in a competitive event of 100+ miles.

I spend most of a century split between Z1 and Z2. I can eat a lot and not worry about cramping or gas, because I'm simply not taxing the system. I've also conditioned myself to eat pretty much anything during a ride... short of bell peppers. Bell peppers and cycling for me, they do not get along. At all. I rode a 78-mile fairly easy loop last week, and lunch (at around mile 60) was a cheese and jalapeno croissant and an iced tea. I was initially worried about the jalapenos, but they cooperated.
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Old 05-01-19, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by srode1 View Post
A model for 4-24 hour cycling events... a.k.a., don't run out of steam.... ? Tri2Max Coaching LLC

Here's an excerpt from the link above. I can say from personal experience with Ultra Distance races adding calories beyond 300/hr helps my performance.

Calories consumed are only valuable if they can actually be absorbed by your gut. Over-consuming calories generally leads to excess food, fluid and gas in the gut, which can lead to cramping, nausea, stomach shutdown and an early end to your race. This article is one of the best summaries on what most people can generally actually absorb per hour, written by Asker Jeukendrup, a leading exercise physiologist and sports nutritionist. In a nutshell, most people can absorb around 60 grams of a single type of carbohydrates per hour, which translates to around 240 cals/hr (4 cals/gram). If you mix multiple sources (e.g. maltodexterin and fructose), absorption rates can often reach 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour (or around 360 cals/hr). Besides the quantity of carbohydrates, other factors impact absorption as well, such as:
  • Exercise intensity. The higher your intensity level, the more your blood is diverted away from your stomach to working muscles. This slows the digestion process and can potentially reduce absorption rate of calories. Ironically, this means that as you are going harder at the beginning of races and are burning calories at a higher rate, you are processing your food at slower rates, increasing the deficit between what you are consuming versus burning.
  • Carbohydrate concentration. Your stomach processes carbohydrates more efficiently with water. If you have too many carbs and not enough fluid, your stomach will process the carbohydrates more slowly. The takeaway is if you have solid foods (or even gels/GU), it is important to consume them with water to assist absorption. Drinking a sports drink on top of a GU may end up with high concentrations of carbs, slowing absorption.
  • Individual variance. Absorption rates can be impacted by "training your gut" to a degree. This is simply practicing your race day fueling on your long workouts, so your body becomes more adapted to processing fuel while exercising. Also worth noting is that body size is not necessarily correlated to absorption rates... meaning larger people don't inherently absorb carbohydrates faster than smaller individuals.
That pretty much sums up what I stated. Again this has been known for almost a decade and was the consensus statement from the nestle nutrition consortium ~5 years ago, and is the basis for beta fuel used by froome to win the giro last year which is 320 cals.
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Old 05-01-19, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
I'm in love with Maltodextrim, having used the Hammer brand. What's your preferred brand? I'm curious because I'm about to buy for the upcoming season.

To the original poster,
Reiterating what others have said, you have to eat ahead of your hunger. I also enjoy Gu packets, but they get to be expensive on longer rides, plus like others say about four is my limit before I get sick of them. Also those little packages aren't environmentally friendly and unnecessary if you're not racing.

I have found success in mixing Maltodextrim and protein powder in a water bottle that I stuck a shaker spring into. The mixture at a "pancake batter" consistency, then also consuming some beef jerky and stopping for a light "real food" snack halfway through.
I buy my maltodextrin in 50# bags from a homebrew supplier. It's usually a special order, pretty cheap, no brand, generic. I go through about 1 bag/year.
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Old 05-01-19, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BonkonFleet View Post
Do you chug the whole bottle at once ? Whey protein powder on a ride sounds like about the last thing i'd want.
Using kingston's calories/bottle, maybe 3 swallows every 15 minutes. You want slow, steady consumption, no peaks and valleys. Since it's only 7:1, not much protein per hour. Digests plenty easily and on short century rides, is mostly there for flavor. I like chocolate. Hammer Gel works well for flavor with plain maltodextrin, no protein. I like their strawberry. I've done that, too. The protein does slow muscle breakdown during exercise.
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Old 05-01-19, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
The most you can take up is about 250-300 calories an hour depending on thr glucose:fructose ratio so aim for around that amt for each hour you plan on being out there
Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Consume =/= take up ie absorb. You are limited by the kinetics of the glucose and fructose receptors in you intestine. This has been well studied and is the basis for products like sis beta fuel and maurten. You can train yourself to tolerate this level the same way we can eat 1000 calories in single meal like a whole pizza but it doesnt mean its going to all translate to energy useful on the bike.
Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
That pretty much sums up what I stated. Again this has been known for almost a decade and was the consensus statement from the nestle nutrition consortium ~5 years ago, and is the basis for beta fuel used by froome to win the giro last year which is 320 cals.
I was commenting on your saying that a person can't consume more than 300/hour - and then absorb. Perhaps I misinterpreted what you were saying. This is the point from the article that contradicts a 300 cal/hr limit for absorption. "If you mix multiple sources (e.g. maltodexterin and fructose), absorption rates can often reach 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour (or around 360 cals/hr)".
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Old 05-01-19, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by srode1 View Post
<snip>
Calories consumed are only valuable if they can actually be absorbed by your gut. Over-consuming calories generally leads to excess food, fluid and gas in the gut, which can lead to cramping, nausea, stomach shutdown and an early end to your race.<snip>
I call the resulting condition "sloshy belly." You can feel your belly has food and water in it, but it doesn't go anywhere, just sits there. Eventually, you bonk. Weird but it happens more than one would think. The cure for sloshy belly is to take two Endurolytes and drink plain water (not sports drink!), slow and steady, until you feel it empty. You have to reduce the osmolality of your stomach contents. That's why I always separate my nutrition, hydration, and electrolytes, especially on hot rides or those with lots of climbing. Climbing steals the blood from your stomach, making sloshy belly more common. I've dispensed quite a few Endurolytes to other riders with this condition. AFAIK that always works. When I catch someone on a climb, I know they're sucking, so I ask "what's the problem?"

Just some extra emphasis on that "drink water with your nutrition" comment. There was a BF poster who had a hamburger at a rest stop and 5 miles later was sitting on a curb with low blood sugar. What I'm saying: eat little, eat often.

I put the Endurolytes in a Hammer coin purse and tuck it up my shorts leg.
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Old 05-01-19, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by srode1 View Post
A model for 4-24 hour cycling events... a.k.a., don't run out of steam.... ? Tri2Max Coaching LLC

Here's an excerpt from the link above. I can say from personal experience with Ultra Distance races adding calories beyond 300/hr helps my performance.

Calories consumed are only valuable if they can actually be absorbed by your gut. Over-consuming calories generally leads to excess food, fluid and gas in the gut, which can lead to cramping, nausea, stomach shutdown and an early end to your race. This article is one of the best summaries on what most people can generally actually absorb per hour, written by Asker Jeukendrup, a leading exercise physiologist and sports nutritionist. In a nutshell, most people can absorb around 60 grams of a single type of carbohydrates per hour, which translates to around 240 cals/hr (4 cals/gram). If you mix multiple sources (e.g. maltodexterin and fructose), absorption rates can often reach 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour (or around 360 cals/hr). Besides the quantity of carbohydrates, other factors impact absorption as well, such as:
  • Exercise intensity. The higher your intensity level, the more your blood is diverted away from your stomach to working muscles. This slows the digestion process and can potentially reduce absorption rate of calories. Ironically, this means that as you are going harder at the beginning of races and are burning calories at a higher rate, you are processing your food at slower rates, increasing the deficit between what you are consuming versus burning.
  • Carbohydrate concentration. Your stomach processes carbohydrates more efficiently with water. If you have too many carbs and not enough fluid, your stomach will process the carbohydrates more slowly. The takeaway is if you have solid foods (or even gels/GU), it is important to consume them with water to assist absorption. Drinking a sports drink on top of a GU may end up with high concentrations of carbs, slowing absorption.
  • Individual variance. Absorption rates can be impacted by "training your gut" to a degree. This is simply practicing your race day fueling on your long workouts, so your body becomes more adapted to processing fuel while exercising. Also worth noting is that body size is not necessarily correlated to absorption rates... meaning larger people don't inherently absorb carbohydrates faster than smaller individuals.
Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
The most you can take up is about 250-300 calories an hour depending on thr glucose:fructose ratio so aim for around that amt for each hour you plan on being out there
Originally Posted by srode1 View Post
I was commenting on your saying that a person can't consume more than 300/hour - and then absorb. Perhaps I misinterpreted what you were saying. This is the point from the article that contradicts a 300 cal/hr limit for absorption. "If you mix multiple sources (e.g. maltodexterin and fructose), absorption rates can often reach 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour (or around 360 cals/hr)".
First I never stated that, I thought i was pretty clear when I said take up(not consume) considering the audience and that I stated a range with an about qualifier. Maltodextrin=glucose. At this point you are splitting hairs considering the nature of my suggestion. Your anecdote that another racer consumes 400 cals/hour doesn't really help your cause because you haven't shown that its actually beneficial to consume that much or that there is a difference in that range considering the range of CHO metabolism in Jeukendrop's actual study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18202575
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