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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 10-24-11, 05:15 PM   #1
tanya
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Before the ride : Peanut butter jelly time ?

Hello,
I am a new member.
I am sorry if my question has been answered somewhere on the forum already, but I need some advice.
What to eat before and after a longer ride (30-40-50 miles is all I have time for on most days)?
I surfed the internet for tips, and I am now even more confused.Fruit shakes,bagels with peanut butter and jelly, pasta?
Or maybe there are no rules? Maybe it's best to try and see how I feel?
Please share what has worked for you in order to have enough energy but not to feel stuffy.
I have no weight-loss issues, but would like to choose my fuel more wisely.
Thanks !
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Old 10-24-11, 05:55 PM   #2
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Carbs Carbs Carbs (not all carbs are equal). some protein. Good examples...pasta, potatoes, granola, bagels, tons of fruit, veggies... you get the idea. some fat is ok...peanut butter for example is higher in fat, but....it's the good kind of fat (not saturated).
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Old 10-24-11, 07:02 PM   #3
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I normally have steel cut oats with milk and brown sugar for breakfast. Occasionally toast with PB & honey and if I'm going on an epic ride I like french toast with maple syrup. I eat dates on the ride if I need calories and will often stop for coffee and a goodie or choc milk after the ride.
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Old 10-24-11, 07:16 PM   #4
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Thanks you two.
I boil quarter cup steel-cut oatmeal with half cup milk and half cup water, and let it sit overnight. I'll add vanilla extract sometimes.
In the morning the oatmeal is ready. I dump it in the blender and add vanilla soy milk and some raspberries. Deeeelish.
What do you eat after the ride?
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Old 10-24-11, 07:51 PM   #5
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If I can add one thing... try to avoid the honey/maple syrup and brown sugar before a ride. This is because they are fast burning (simple) carbohydrates. Your body will burn those first and your energy levels may dip. Before a ride, you generally want slower burning (complex) carbs (oatmeal is great).

After a ride, your options open a little to both simple and complex carbs to replenish all that you have lost. Look for foods with protein too. Basically you can be a little more liberal with you food choices after a ride.
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Old 10-24-11, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanya View Post
What to eat before and after a longer ride (30-40-50 miles is all I have time for on most days)?
I surfed the internet for tips, and I am now even more confused.Fruit shakes,bagels with peanut butter and jelly, pasta?
Or maybe there are no rules? Maybe it's best to try and see how I feel?
You got it!

Eat whatever you want to eat.

But some tips ... high fat and very spicy foods might not be advisable if you're planning to ride at high intensities. I learned about high fat foods by eating a liverwurst sandwich (which I love), and then riding a Time Trial. Not a good combination. And I learned about the spicy foods by eating very spicy spaghetti and going for a 200K randonnee. Oops!! But that's all a part of the journey. You try something, and then discover whether it works for you or not.

Further on the topic of honey ... that's another one I discovered did not work for me through trial and error. Lots of cyclists do suggest honey. It must work for some. But anytime I had honey on toast and then went for a ride, I'd go into the early stages of a bonk 20 km down the road. Now normally, I can make it a lot further than that before getting all shakey and dizzy and irritable. I tried it a few times (always bringing a granola bar with me so that I could refuel and carry on), and the results were always the same. So no pre-ride honey for me.
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Old 10-24-11, 09:37 PM   #7
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Two slices of good whole grain bread with PB (Adams works for me) and J or PB and Apple Sauce or PB and Bananas. Also an occasional PB and Dark Chocolate isn't bad either. I do oatmeal and yogurt chased by a banana on some days also.

I am getting hungry just thinking about it. :-)
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Old 10-24-11, 11:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbro1986 View Post
If I can add one thing... try to avoid the honey/maple syrup and brown sugar before a ride. This is because they are fast burning (simple) carbohydrates. Your body will burn those first and your energy levels may dip. Before a ride, you generally want slower burning (complex) carbs (oatmeal is great).
Sorry, not giving up maple syrup . Besides, I think your body burns the glycogen in your muscles first. I've never noticed and drop in energy levels once I start riding.
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Old 10-25-11, 07:29 AM   #9
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It has been shown that a spike in blood sugar causes your body to use that source first.
Source: http://www.amazon.com/Performance-Nu.../dp/0736079459
However, I wouldn't give up Maple syrup. No way no how.
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Old 10-25-11, 11:02 AM   #10
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It has been shown that a spike in blood sugar causes your body to use that source first.
Source: http://www.amazon.com/Performance-Nu.../dp/0736079459
However, I wouldn't give up Maple syrup. No way no how.
It turns out maple syrup has a similar (or lower) glycemic index to steel cut oats so it's all good.
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Old 10-25-11, 07:23 PM   #11
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Whether racing or training I always follow the same procedure that way my body and I always know what to expect. By the way I train everyday. I have a carb (Hammer Sustained Energy) w/protein shake about one hour before I take off. I have a gel after every hour that I ride. Within 30 minutes after my workout or race I have a recovery drink of Hammer Recoverite and a scoop of protein powder. This is a fairly standard protocol. Here's a link to a Hammer Nutrition article that may be helpful to you http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowl...wledge-section.
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Old 10-25-11, 08:30 PM   #12
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tanya,

If I am starting a long ride in the morning, I try not to gorge myself on breakfast all at once; I spread it out over my wake-up time (I'm usually awake at least 3 hours before I ride - getting shopping, chores, coffee drinking done). A banana, a granola bar, and some Greek yogurt are standard fare, and sometimes multi-grain cereal with 2% milk.

If you are going for more than 30 miles, it's a good idea to eat during the ride - start earlier, just like you should start drinking before you're thirsty - I usually eat one or two Power Bars, and others have mentioned gels (which I have not tried). Try to make sure it is not too dry, or you'll drink your water/sports drink just to wash it down. I had a Clif Bar on a long ride last week that made me feel like I was trying to swallow sawdust.

I usually try to have an apple and chocolate milk (sometimes with whey protein mixed in) within a half hour after returning home, and am normally ravenous for dinner. Like you, weight gain is not an issue with me, as I am one of those who seem to be gifted with (thus far) being able to process most of the extra calories and fat I consume.

I'll second the "no spicy food" suggestion; some jambalaya for lunch about an hour before a ride a few weeks ago caused some discomfort that made an otherwise pleasant day not-so-much.

Also, and perhaps some of the more sports-nutrition-savvy members can help out here, I seem to remember reading or being told back when I first started cycling that you can start carb-loading the day/night before you ride; I've never been sure about the time frame, but I will usually try to make sure I'm eating appropriately if I know I'm going to be on the bike very long the next day...
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Old 10-25-11, 08:34 PM   #13
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Thanks all !
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Old 10-25-11, 08:35 PM   #14
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All posts helped a lot!
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Old 11-13-11, 09:18 PM   #15
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If you pay close attention to people when the subject of peanut butter comes up, you will find that their faces light up. You might as well be talking about their first loves.
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Old 11-14-11, 07:29 AM   #16
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PBJ's rule!

I eat them before rides, on rides, after rides. Im addicted.
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Old 11-14-11, 08:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanya View Post
Hello,
I am a new member.
I am sorry if my question has been answered somewhere on the forum already, but I need some advice.
What to eat before and after a longer ride (30-40-50 miles is all I have time for on most days)?
I surfed the internet for tips, and I am now even more confused.Fruit shakes,bagels with peanut butter and jelly, pasta?
Or maybe there are no rules? Maybe it's best to try and see how I feel?
Please share what has worked for you in order to have enough energy but not to feel stuffy.
I have no weight-loss issues, but would like to choose my fuel more wisely.
Thanks !
More important is what and how you are taking in during the ride.
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Old 11-14-11, 11:26 AM   #18
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If it's breakfast we're talking about, then before a Serious Ride, I'll eat about 400 cal. of a carb/protein mix, mostly carbs, no fat. The most important thing is to eat 2-3 hours before the ride. If you can't do that, the fall back is to eat either 15 minutes before the ride or eat nothing. All three of those strategies work well. Eating 1 hour before is about the worst thing. If you can eat early, it doesn't really matter what it is as long as it's mostly carbs. IME, the higher the glycemic index, the better. You want all that blood sugar stuff to be over with before you start the ride. Breakfast is just a glycogen top-off because your brain will suck up about 400 calories during the night, so you should replace them. If it's an afternoon ride, the 2-3 hour rule still holds. For instance if I go out at 5pm, I'll eat a normal lunch, then have a 300 cal., mostly carb snack, which could be a pbj, light on the pb, at 3pm, then nothing until I start riding.

Remember, what you did before the ride, or the night before, only matters for the first 50 miles. After that, what matters is what you've been doing for the last month.
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Old 11-14-11, 01:27 PM   #19
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Eating 1 hour before is about the worst thing. .
Why?
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Old 11-14-11, 01:32 PM   #20
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I've never had a problem eating 1 hr before a ride. Sat morning group rides start at 9am and I eat between 7:30 and 8:30.

For Ice Hockey, on the other hand, I had to wait 4 hrs after eating or I'd feel awful during the game. Cycling is not that intense so having some food in your stomach doesn't seem to be a problem.
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Old 11-14-11, 08:56 PM   #21
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I've never had a problem eating 1 hr before a ride. Sat morning group rides start at 9am and I eat between 7:30 and 8:30.

For Ice Hockey, on the other hand, I had to wait 4 hrs after eating or I'd feel awful during the game. Cycling is not that intense so having some food in your stomach doesn't seem to be a problem.
Which depends on how hard you have to go, I guess. I'd either barf or have a blood sugar meltdown, maybe both.

The reason to not eat 1 hr before is that's about how long it takes for your blood sugar to peak and then drop out. If you wait 2-3 hrs., it drops and then comes back up to normal. Plus if you are going up an anaerobic hill right out of the gate, you're likely to toss your cookies. But this all depends on how sensitive your blood sugar levels are and how sensitive your stomach wall is to reduced circulation. Some folks can eat anything, anytime, while other folks are sometime victims of ditch-side hallucinations and the technicolor yawn. I've tried most everything and have settled on a "breakfast" of a mix of maltodextrin and whey protein. Works well.

Ref: http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowl...wledge-section

This article suggests 3-4 hours before, but for what I eat, 2 hours seems enough. More complex meals would take longer. The article also suggests, for early starts, to sleep rather than get up and eat. I've found it best to put my breakfast drink in a cooler beside the bed, set the alarm for 3-4 hours before the start, drink it quickly and go back to sleep. This might not work for those who have trouble getting back to sleep. For our usual 9:30 group ride start, I eat between 7 and 7:30, but I put my mix in the refrigerator the night before, so all I have to do is open the door and drink it.
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Old 11-14-11, 10:20 PM   #22
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Seems like I need some kind of animal protein for breakfast or I'll get hungry and weak on a long ride. I usually eat something left over from the previous night's supper. I've eaten a small piece of pork, or maybe some hamburger casserole. I've even had a hotdog or a baloney sandwich or a couple of eggs. Nothing big and heavy but I need something substantial or I won't have a lot of energy. During the ride I'll snack on granola, fruit, PB, etc.
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Old 11-19-11, 12:43 PM   #23
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hello... here's my secret... Try Papaya! If you've got decent mileage in your legs, stick with fruits. For rides up to 2 hrs, this should do the trick.
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Old 11-19-11, 02:24 PM   #24
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Prefer almond butter instead of peanut.
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Old 11-19-11, 07:12 PM   #25
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I find that almond butter tastes odd to me. One of my buddies likes cashew butter. I need to give that one a try.
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