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Post Race Hunger...

Old 09-28-10, 02:27 AM
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Post Race Hunger...

Hey All,

Wondering if anyone else experiences this?

I've raced for a few years now, and always had this problem - not the day of the race, but the following 2-3 days after. I raced a 65mile road event on sat (came in 1st btw!) and ended up pushing myself to near total depletion, I broke away 5 miles to go and on the last climb I pretty much hit the wall, but made it over the top and luckily it was downhill to the finish. Now after a hard race effort, I have a job eating anything for the whole day after, but get plenty of fluids down (recovery drinks etc) to compensate, followed by a decent meal when the appetite comes back. However, as usual the last couple of days the hunger has come back with a vengeance! I'm starving hungry all the time. Luckily it isn't making any difference to the waistline (yet!) but I can't help but feel I don't actually need all those calories! I've indulged in a bit of junk so far but generally kept things fairly healthy which isn't so bad!

Anyone got any tips for curing the hunger?! Or will I just put up with it until the body is recovered? Today (3 days after) I don't feel quite so ravenous so i'm guessing it's subsiding.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:25 AM
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YES, I hate that! Long distance cycling, all day hiking, and all day back country, will trigger exactly the same on me! I still have about 12-pounds to go before I reach my ideal weight so this **** is not helping...

For me Kanten (japanese) AKA Agar seems to be working. It is a seaweed-based gelatin substitute, it has no calories, and it is 80% fiber. I found about it because I'm in Japan and it is used on some outstanding Japanese deserts. What you do is to mix half a teaspoon (powder form) with a hot liquid (water, tea, or coffee) 10 minutes before a meal. It fill you up and thus help you control your runnaway appetite. By itself it has no taste whatsoever (on coffee it adds to the mouthfeel or thickness but adds no disernible taste.

Last edited by abdon; 09-28-10 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 09-28-10, 07:06 AM
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I experienced exactly the same hunger in the days following a pair of 144 and 154 mile efforts this summer. Near as I can tell, the body has recovered from its post-event exhaustion and now wants to reconstruct damaged muscle. I believe the best thing to do is feed the body what it's looking for - reconstruction nutrition. A balance of lean meats, carbs, etc.
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Old 09-28-10, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Sapling
I believe the best thing to do is feed the body what it's looking for - reconstruction nutrition. A balance of lean meats, carbs, etc.
I agree. I just want to have a say on the matter. If I leave it to my body I would gorge myself into excess.

Heck, if I listened to my body all the time I would be stopping half way through most of my endurance events
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Old 09-28-10, 10:40 AM
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It's a problem. I don't have it, but my wife does. Probably if you could eat properly right after the race, you'd recover much better. You could try hammering an Ensure Plus every hour for a while. You're supposed to do a recovery drink in the first 10 minutes, and then about 1/4 bagel or bar every 15 minutes until you can sit down to a big pasta dinner. Keep your insulin levels up until the glycogen is replaced. You know that, but I guess your tummy just won't let you do it. Diabetics and other sensitives have a low blood sugar reaction that makes them feel like they can't put anything in their stomachs. The solution is to sit on their chests and rub jam around inside their mouths. So maybe you should experiment with foodstuffs that induce a hunger reaction. Try a porter after your recovery drink.

The only real downside to slow recovery feeding is that you can't go again as soon. That's why all stage racers are good eaters. If you're not gaining weight, then you're just replacing lost calories. Not another way to do it except into your pie hole.

And congrats on your win! Perfect job of titrating.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:43 PM
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I've always had that problem as well, with races and long training rides. And I typically crave lots of carbs. It's certainly not an uncommon problem, and I've heard of studies that show a link between endurance exercise and huge food cravings like this.

The only thing that has helped me was to eat more while riding. It's harder to do during races, but it works great on training rides. As long as I don't get into situations like "on the last climb I pretty much hit the wall," I don't have as terrible of cravings afterward.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:49 PM
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I thought it was just me. I was looking at my Training Peaks and noticing that I typically have a pretty big caloric surplus on Sundays. Because Saturdays are big training/racing days. I just can't do big meals the day of, but the next day -- look out! I'm eating anything that's not nailed down.
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Old 09-29-10, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for the comments and suggestions! Thankfully on day 3 I was feeling back to normal once again. Normally I can re-fuel fine after long rides/training but in races where I push myself to the max (and I have a tendancy to do this!) it's hard to get food down after. Next time I will try a beer, that usually picks up the appetite! I do have some tendancies towards hypoglycemia, so I guess that doesn't help matters. Abdon - I will check out "Kanten" for future episodes..
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Old 10-03-10, 08:05 AM
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I make fruit based smoothies, add in some recoverite and whey protein, its filling, low cal non-fat.
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Old 10-03-10, 10:06 AM
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I had this problem until I realized that the food I was eating just wasn't satiating enough. In my opinion, hunger despite calorie intake = diet isn't working. Low fat diets do this to me. Low protein diets do this to me.
Filling carbs (sweet potato, winter squash, potato), Filling protein (chicken, eggs, fish), Filling fats (coconut oil, butter), Tons of veggies (the good dark green stuff), Fruit. I can't go wrong with this. You?
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Old 10-04-10, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lamp-Shade
I had this problem until I realized that the food I was eating just wasn't satiating enough. In my opinion, hunger despite calorie intake = diet isn't working. Low fat diets do this to me. Low protein diets do this to me.
Filling carbs (sweet potato, winter squash, potato), Filling protein (chicken, eggs, fish), Filling fats (coconut oil, butter), Tons of veggies (the good dark green stuff), Fruit. I can't go wrong with this. You?
What you've quoted is pretty much what I eat, although i've recently switched my protein source to mainly eggs and fish because I noticed animal protein is tough for me to digest and can make me feel a bit lethargic. This past sat/sun I did two rides totalling 125miles and a 5K running event (18:50 btw), and expected to get the hunger again today, yet to my suprise i've been fine. I think the key is to get something down very soon after the workout - I did this after each session and it seems to have helped, my recovery was great too although I am a bit sore today.
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