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How sugar and processed foods effect your health.

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How sugar and processed foods effect your health.

Old 12-25-23, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
"I'd be curious to know how many grams of carbs you can tolerate per hour on 4+ hour rides this way."---ZHVelo.

From this site:

Are simple or complex carbs better for cycling?
The intensity of your workout affects digestion and absorption. On high-intensity rides stick to carbs that are simple and easy to absorb. Low-intensity rides offer more opportunities for solids and complex carbs. You can prevent palate fatigue on a long ride with a variety of solid foods.
Yes, I eat oat & rice cakes on my pure zone 2 rides. But what's your point? As soon as you have intensity, you don't want to be digesting healthy carbs.

And anyway, you were bringing up pros and their carb intake. They are not going at low intensities. They are not doing 120g/hour of complex carbs. So I really don't see what your point is bringing up the fact that on easy rides one can and maybe should eat healthy carbs.
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Old 12-26-23, 10:00 AM
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I physically can't eat complex carbs when riding hard. Toward the end of a tough 5 hour event ride I'm reduced to consuming liquid and gels only. I might start such a ride with a couple of solid energy bars, but I find even those hard work by mid-ride.

Riding at lower intensity I can eat anything, but generally don't need to. If it's a long, easy ride I might eat 1 or 2 energy bars or a few rice cakes at most. Never anything too complicated or full of fibre. On and off bike fuelling are totally different worlds for me. The pros take that a step further by ramping up their simple carb intake on the bike to 100g+ per hour in a race.
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Old 12-26-23, 11:26 AM
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Riding 4-5 hours aggressively requires me to consume only a limited amount of carbohydrates, usually a fruit or two at the midpoint, but keeping well-hydrated goes on throughout the ride. On many occasions, I have bicycled 4 hours without consuming food.

Normally, on days when I go for 4-5 hr bicycling, I have a good meal about 2 hrs before I start. When bicycling in summer, water is replaced with electrolytes containing about 4-5% sugar (home-made).

Nutrition isn’t junk science, if you know what you are doing. There are too many con-artists who are selling junk in the name scientifically proven good nutrition to ill-informed masses.
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Old 12-30-23, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Who would you consider to be a credible source of information in regard to sugar and its effects on the body?
Based on his CV, I'd expect this guy (Lustig) to be credible. That said, I got through about 30 minutes of this video before deciding it was a probably waste of time in that I'd have to do a lot of double checking on what he was saying. I watched that 30 minutes a day or so ago before I ran across this thread and what he was saying kept setting off red flags for me. Two that I recall.

1) He's telling a story and much of the language he uses is oriented around persuasion/emotion rather than direct and clear factual information. Not enough science. Too much persuasion.
2) Avoided a direct question from the host about the degree of a the problem where fructose inhibits a particular process. He went way 'round the barn to build a reframe and eventually never actually answered the question.

So my take is that this guy is pushing an agenda and I'm not motivated to wade through his narrative for the good stuff and separate the B.S. I do think there's truth at the core of his agenda. Namely that excess fructose consumption is worse than many people realize because it must be processed in the liver and tends to trigger other metabolic responses. But I want the straight scoop. I want both sides. I want a clear description of realistic hazards, etc. And I wondered how long would it be before he mentions that your body will actually produce fructose - given that he repeatedly referenced fructose as a poison?

As a bit of an aside, studies show that carb replacement drinks are most effective when glucose and fructose are supplied in about a 2:1 proportion. The hypothesis is that this happens because we process glucose and fructose using two separate pathways. We can saturate the glucose or fructose pathways if we consume just one of the sugars. But consume both, using two pathways, and your overall capacity to process sugar is increased. That's why you'll see dextrose (glucose) as an ingredient in addition to sugar (sucrose = 50% glucose 50% fructose). The added dextrose shifts the ratio closer to something optimal. This has performance implications, not necessarily health ones.

Richard Johnson seems more science and less agenda driven to me. I'd recommend these two podcasts where he discusses these issues. In particular he summarizes his understanding of the role of fructose in the first portion of the first video. The second video is more comprehensive on sugar metabolism.


Last edited by Jay Turberville; 12-30-23 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 12-30-23, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
Riding 4-5 hours aggressively requires me to consume only a limited amount of carbohydrates, usually a fruit or two at the midpoint, but keeping well-hydrated goes on throughout the ride. On many occasions, I have bicycled 4 hours without consuming food.

Normally, on days when I go for 4-5 hr bicycling, I have a good meal about 2 hrs before I start. When bicycling in summer, water is replaced with electrolytes containing about 4-5% sugar (home-made).

Nutrition isn’t junk science, if you know what you are doing. There are too many con-artists who are selling junk in the name scientifically proven good nutrition to ill-informed masses.
Understanding how to fuel yourself while riding isn't complicated at all really. At least not for the kind of single day rides most of us take. Maybe it gets complicated if you are doing RAAM or something similar.

And personally, I don't think nutrition for health is all that complicated either - if you maintain a very active lifestyle and maintain your energy balance. If you do that, most people will have a lot of flexibility regarding the particulars of what they eat.
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Old 12-31-23, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay Turberville
Understanding how to fuel yourself while riding isn't complicated at all really. At least not for the kind of single day rides most of us take. Maybe it gets complicated if you are doing RAAM or something similar.

And personally, I don't think nutrition for health is all that complicated either - if you maintain a very active lifestyle and maintain your energy balance. If you do that, most people will have a lot of flexibility regarding the particulars of what they eat.
I would have to disagree. Many processed foods contain harmful substances that may not affect health for years. Unfortunately, we live in an age where a deep dive into every ingredient is necessary.
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Old 01-01-24, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
I would have to disagree. Many processed foods contain harmful substances that may not affect health for years. Unfortunately, we live in an age where a deep dive into every ingredient is necessary.
What exactly are you disagreeing with? I don't see how your comment about processed foods is relevant to what I said.
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Old 01-01-24, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
Many processed foods contain harmful substances that may not affect health for years.
Many foods when left in their natural state contain very harmful substances and those foods need to be processed in order to make them safe to eat and increase their nutritional value.
Not all processed foods are bad and unhealthy, it's the fake foods that are unhealthy.
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Old 01-01-24, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RH Clark
I would have to disagree. Many processed foods contain harmful substances that may not affect health for years. Unfortunately, we live in an age where a deep dive into every ingredient is necessary.

Yes, a primary issue with processed foods like….canned soup, flavored box rice, processed meat, is the enormous amount of sodium added.

The excess sodium is bad enough, and while it may not cause issues in and of itself for some, it’s the affect it has on the “preferred taste” of many

Food without a great deal of salt becomes less palatable and it creates a diet of unhealthy eating on the whole

Same with excess refined sugar

With just a little effort, one can modify their taste so that they find whole food without much salt added very satisfying
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Old 01-01-24, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclingBK
Yes, a primary issue with processed foods like….canned soup, flavored box rice, processed meat, is the enormous amount of sodium added.
Yes, and did you know that we have the tobacco companies to thank for much of the unhealthy, addictive, ultra-processed foods on the shelves today?

Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds owned several large food companies, including giants like Nabisco and Kraft-General Foods. A study compared these tobacco-owned company "foods" to foods from non-tobacco-owned companies, and discovered:

"[T]obacco-owned foods were 80 percent more likely to contain potent combinations of refined carbs and sodium (salt) that made them hyper-palatable. Tobacco-owned brands were also 29 percent more likely to contain similarly potent combinations of fat and sodium."

Addiction is profitable -- and unhealthy.
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Old 01-02-24, 09:51 AM
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Moderation note. I would suggest that everyone read the caption under training and nutrition. The main theme of this website is cycling. What does one intake while on the bike? What does one eat in preparation for riding. What food works while riding and what does not. What diets and nutrition couple with cycling result in sustainable weight loss.

If one wants to talk about food absent of cycling content, the governments oversight role, the food chain and etc and then grind a political ax...take it to P&R. As soon as we see words like unhealthy, poison and etc puts posts on our radar.

Let's keep this forum P&R free and helpful for those looking for training and nutrition ideas that support cycling goals.
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