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Breakfast, do you eat it?

Old 05-15-10, 02:24 AM
  #1  
paulclaude
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Breakfast, do you eat it?

Just noticed in a recent thread that a lot of you don't eat breakfast. I must admit, when I first started cycling a few years ago, I never gave breakfast a second thought. However, now i'm more in tune with nutrition and fueling, i do usually eat breakfast. Some days however I like to just have a black coffee, then head out on the bike and fuel as needed. If i'm on the bike, I feel more "lively" on an empty stomach (I have never performed well while my stomach is digesting food), but not eating something in the a.m does indeed seem to make me want to over-eat in the evening. I do seem to lean down better eating something in the a.m too, personally (probably because I eat too much at night if I don't!).

Any reasons why you breakfast skippers skip it? I know it can make you feel lethargic/slow sometimes - if I eat carbs only in the a.m i'm knackered by 10am (although my hypoglycemia tendancies are probably to blame for that).

Also, what do you do come race day, do you still skip breakfast?

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Old 05-15-10, 08:17 AM
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I always eat breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day. It doesn't make me feel slow, but if I don't eat enough I'll be slow for sure.
I'm usually hungry again by 10, so I eat something. There's no rule saying you have to wait till noon.

Before races you should do what you're used to doing, although with travel and warmup sometimes its hard to get in a decent breakfast at the right time before the race. Sometimes I'll eat breakfast early, then drive to the race and eat a snack while warming up.
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Old 05-15-10, 11:26 AM
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I eat breakfast everyday, about an hour after I wake up ( eat about 8a.m.)

I eat the same thing everyday:

2 cups Kashi Go-Lean cereal
1 1/2 cup skim milk
1 medium banana

It's about 500 calories.
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Old 05-15-10, 11:38 AM
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I always try to have breakfast in general. Though, especially when I'm gonna ride, I find it very beneficial. The few times I have tried riding without having breakfast, I felt as though I had no energy and was starving early into the ride. Maybe my body is just trained to expect food then, so the break was maybe more detrimental than if someone was used to not eating breakfast, but who knows.
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Old 05-15-10, 11:55 AM
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I remember years ago going on a club "breakfast ride". Figuring I would eat breakfast when I got there after 40 miles or so...I didn't eat anything.
About 30 miles into this ride, I "bonked" heavily..the last 10 miles were really difficult. At the end, eggs & pancakes never looked so good!
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Old 05-15-10, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Pedale View Post
I remember years ago going on a club "breakfast ride". Figuring I would eat breakfast when I got there after 40 miles or so...I didn't eat anything.
About 30 miles into this ride, I "bonked" heavily..the last 10 miles were really difficult. At the end, eggs & pancakes never looked so good!
Haha, funny story. Perhaps not so funny for you at the time! Interestingly enough, I seem to have developed an ability to ride long on an empty stomach. Had dinner last night, rice/veg/chicken at 7pm. As a test, I ate nothing from that point, woke at 8.30am, 1 cup black coffee and then did 40 hard miles finishing 20mph average (feeling a bit drained after but nothing major), ate 1 banana and drank 500ml water/electrolyte during the ride. I've done 60+miles in the past without breakfast. Perhaps I have superior fat burning capability?
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Old 05-15-10, 02:48 PM
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Paul, I used to do that. I could keep it up for about a year and a half.
What you are doing is running entirely off of your adrenal system. While it is okay to do this every once in a while, you are putting IMMENSE stress on your body when you dont have to!
PLEASE TRUST ME ON THIS. If you do it for long stretches of time you will wear yourself doooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwn. It is not superior fat burning capability, it is a survival system in all humans designed for when we need it. Abuse it, and you will suffer. Trust me.
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Old 05-15-10, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Lamp-Shade View Post
Paul, I used to do that. I could keep it up for about a year and a half.
What you are doing is running entirely off of your adrenal system. While it is okay to do this every once in a while, you are putting IMMENSE stress on your body when you dont have to!
PLEASE TRUST ME ON THIS. If you do it for long stretches of time you will wear yourself doooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwn. It is not superior fat burning capability, it is a survival system in all humans designed for when we need it. Abuse it, and you will suffer. Trust me.
:S Well, I don't do it often, perhaps once every few weeks, but is it really taxing the adrenal system that badly? Should you only ride if you have food on your stomach? I mean, say I ate lunch at 1pm, then didn't eat anything until I cycled at 5pm - assuming the meal was fully digested, wouldn't that be riding in the same state? Or do you mean not to go long periods without fueling, i.e 200-250kcal per hour approach. Given the fact that I went well and felt good, I assume I had full muscle glycogen from the meal the night before, so wouldn't that be enough? Thanks for the advice btw
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Old 05-15-10, 05:35 PM
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If you ate at 1 and went on a ride at 5, your food would still be digesting. It takes a while to go from fed to fasted.
Riding alone will pull glycogen out of your muscles. In fact, most of the energy we burn comes from glycogen stores during strenuous exercise. But when you are in a fasted state, your pulling sugar out of your muscles just to keep your body alive. This happens because your adrenal glands release adrenaline, the stuff you use when you ride. So already, you have high amounts of cortisol, epinephrine, norephinephrine, etc. in your system. Strenuous exercise on top of that asks the adrenals to release more. More cortisol. More adrenaline. MORE!
A muscle can only take so much. Your liver can take a beating before it gives out. Your adrenal glands are much the same. Every while its okay, sometimes it feels really nice (its almost like a high!) but it is easier on your body overall to train in a fed state, especially when were talking about endurance sports, as the adrenaline release required for such is huuuuuuge.
Respect your body and it will reward you a million times back.
I had been big on intermittent fasting, and all of my rides were in a fasted state. Too tired? Lots of coffee. Too tired? More coffee. Too tired? Too bad, ride. I was forced to stop due to an adverse reaction to quinolones, but when I did I was essentially hypothyroid because I had dug so deep. I couldn't get out of bed for a week and a half. After about a month I was able to sleep again, and when I did, they were 12-14 hour stretches of the most amazing sleep I have ever felt. day after day after day.
It's not a huge deal to constantly eat while you ride, especially if you're riding 40-60 miles in the morning and you had breakfast and a good dinner before. A snack or two will do. Do what makes you feel great.
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Old 05-15-10, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by paulclaude View Post
Haha, funny story. Perhaps not so funny for you at the time! Interestingly enough, I seem to have developed an ability to ride long on an empty stomach. Had dinner last night, rice/veg/chicken at 7pm. As a test, I ate nothing from that point, woke at 8.30am, 1 cup black coffee and then did 40 hard miles finishing 20mph average (feeling a bit drained after but nothing major), ate 1 banana and drank 500ml water/electrolyte during the ride. I've done 60+miles in the past without breakfast. Perhaps I have superior fat burning capability?
Hmmm...time for the urine sample and testing!
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Old 05-15-10, 09:03 PM
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If you sleep - then you always eat "break fast." The term means - first meal after a period of not eating.

In theory, it will always be healthier to spread food consumption out among as many episodes as possible.

This is along the same lines - that it is healthier to snack rather than gorge and fast.

For this reason alone, eating after sleeping makes good sense. Curiously, modern times have skewed even the most basic of instincts to the point of these kinds of silly discussions.

Performing specific routines for particular exercise related activities doesn't contradict my statements. But just because an individual puts a certain aspect of their physical conditioning above common sense - doesn't negate the common sense. It just confuses people's quest for performance in spite of how it ingores general health principles.
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Old 05-15-10, 09:40 PM
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Work day: I do not eat breakfast. Eating breakfast is like flipping an "ON" switch for my stomach making me hungry all day. I eat everything in sight. However, if I wait till 10 am or so, and have something like an orange then, and then eat lunch at noon, etc., I can keep my eating under control.

Rest day (i.e. weekend day with no morning cycling): I sleep in, and then might eat breakfast when I get up.

Cycling day (where I am starting my ride early and planning to ride all/most of the day): I will force myself to eat breakfast before my ride.
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Old 05-16-10, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Lamp-Shade View Post
If you ate at 1 and went on a ride at 5, your food would still be digesting. It takes a while to go from fed to fasted.
Riding alone will pull glycogen out of your muscles. In fact, most of the energy we burn comes from glycogen stores during strenuous exercise. But when you are in a fasted state, your pulling sugar out of your muscles just to keep your body alive. This happens because your adrenal glands release adrenaline, the stuff you use when you ride. So already, you have high amounts of cortisol, epinephrine, norephinephrine, etc. in your system. Strenuous exercise on top of that asks the adrenals to release more. More cortisol. More adrenaline. MORE!
A muscle can only take so much. Your liver can take a beating before it gives out. Your adrenal glands are much the same. Every while its okay, sometimes it feels really nice (its almost like a high!) but it is easier on your body overall to train in a fed state, especially when were talking about endurance sports, as the adrenaline release required for such is huuuuuuge.
Respect your body and it will reward you a million times back.
I had been big on intermittent fasting, and all of my rides were in a fasted state. Too tired? Lots of coffee. Too tired? More coffee. Too tired? Too bad, ride. I was forced to stop due to an adverse reaction to quinolones, but when I did I was essentially hypothyroid because I had dug so deep. I couldn't get out of bed for a week and a half. After about a month I was able to sleep again, and when I did, they were 12-14 hour stretches of the most amazing sleep I have ever felt. day after day after day.
It's not a huge deal to constantly eat while you ride, especially if you're riding 40-60 miles in the morning and you had breakfast and a good dinner before. A snack or two will do. Do what makes you feel great.
Ouch, that certainly sounds like putting your body through a lot of punishment! Normally i'll just have something light before an early morning ride (banana, toast) but every so often I head out on an empty stomach like I did yesterday and just have some food on the bike. I'm not into fasting or anything like that, although have read up on intermittent fasting. I only usually have 1 cup of coffee a day (quite often not at all) as I know that too much wears you out. Given what you have said, that your body is forced to pull glycogen from the muscles, if you start fueling correctly (200-250 kcal per hour) as soon as you get on the bike (essentially breakfast) then it shouldn't be over-stressing the system, right? Or is Cortisol high in the a.m until you eat something? If I do it in future i'll ensure i'm taking in adequate calories. Like you say, it's a bit of a "high" right enough - kind of nice feeling.
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Old 05-16-10, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Pedale View Post
Hmmm...time for the urine sample and testing!
Happy to oblige any time
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Old 05-17-10, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
If you sleep - then you always eat "break fast." The term means - first meal after a period of not eating.

In theory, it will always be healthier to spread food consumption out among as many episodes as possible.

This is along the same lines - that it is healthier to snack rather than gorge and fast.

For this reason alone, eating after sleeping makes good sense. Curiously, modern times have skewed even the most basic of instincts to the point of these kinds of silly discussions.

Performing specific routines for particular exercise related activities doesn't contradict my statements. But just because an individual puts a certain aspect of their physical conditioning above common sense - doesn't negate the common sense. It just confuses people's quest for performance in spite of how it ignores general health principles.
Well put. If you're too busy to do basic things for yourself, like eat and digest(and breathe) ....... you're living at a mere fraction of your capability. The quest for meaningless numbers and goals has left us on the outside looking in at ourselves..... like a living virtual-reality. Void of life. Mechanical.
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Old 05-17-10, 02:49 PM
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When I was in high school I ate breakfast everyday at 6:30am. I made sure to eat it since I wouldn't be able to eat anything till 12, and I didn't want to get hungry and not be able to eat.

But starting during college, my breakfast times varied. These days, I might eat breakfast at 9 or 10, or sometimes at 1 (in rare cases.) It just depends what I'm doing. But typically I'm free to eat whenever I want, so I just wait until I actually want to eat. It works much better for me than forcing myself to eat as soon as I roll out of bed.
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Old 05-17-10, 03:31 PM
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Nope, No breakfast, always carbo loading the night before.

I found it affects bodyweight-power ratio. It can also make one sluggish.
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Old 05-18-10, 05:06 AM
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I always eat breakfast. I often skip lunch when I am at work though, as I feel it's less of a hassle to eat only twice a day.
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Old 05-20-10, 01:23 PM
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haven't eaten breakfast since i was 13. for some reason i no longer have an appetite until several hours after waking up. nothing to do with cycling really.
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Old 05-20-10, 08:08 PM
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I always eat breakfast. I didn't eat it once because I was in a hurry to get a ride in before class, and almost didn't make it back in time, even after wolfing down a granola bar I found in my seat pack. I'll never skip again. Forgive me breakfast.
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Old 05-20-10, 08:54 PM
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I've tried to eat a healthy breakfast before I go riding, but I always end up out of energy, sluggish, and have terrible power on climbs. So, I have given up on healthy breakfasts. Now, it's the breakfast of champions, McDonald's, all the way. I always feel better if I have that for breakfast as opposed to something I might make at home. Obviously, your mileage certainly does vary
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Old 05-21-10, 08:43 AM
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One other "thing" - no matter what you are trying to achieve - the professional perspective toward exercise and performance suggests ingesting 200-500 cal - (depending on your size) across 30-45 minutes before any kind of race or exercise session.

The trick is to "top off" blood sugar levels without triggering insulin production - which clears sugar from the blood stream.
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Old 05-27-10, 03:49 PM
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I always eat breakfast, unless I have a longer ride early in the day, then I eat afterwards (or later during the ride).
My regular breakfast is a huge mug of gruel (which has far better connotations here than I suspect it has in most of the English-speaking world).

Great breakfast! Warm, lots of fluids (about 0.7 L or 24 fl oz), plenty of protein (added milk protein) and carbs (from the grains and some milk sugar), and a bit of fat (sunflower seed oil, milk fat) and a soft, slightly sweet taste. Takes about four minutes to prepare (three of which in the microwave) and a couple of minutes to drink. About 350 kcal per mug.

If I'm away from home (rarely), I'm probably in a hotel somewhere, so a breakfast there would be cornflakes in milk or buttermilk, a glass of milk or orange juice and a cup of hot chocolate, a couple of bread rolls with butter and maybe a hard-boiled egg.
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Old 05-27-10, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CdCf View Post
If I'm away from home (rarely), I'm probably in a hotel somewhere, so a breakfast would be cornflakes in milk or buttermilk, a glass of milk or orange juice and a cup of hot chocolate, a couple of bread rolls with butter and maybe a hard-boiled egg.
Then straight to sumo practice for the afternoon.
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Old 05-27-10, 04:05 PM
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My standard breakfast is Raisin Bran with a scoop of whey protein and a cup of coffee.
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