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Long days in the saddle, what should I eat?

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Long days in the saddle, what should I eat?

Old 03-14-15, 09:37 PM
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Long days in the saddle, what should I eat?

The warmer days are upon us here in UK and I can't wait for my first full summer with a road bike. I intend to join the local cycling club very soon to meet other people into cycling and to learn group cycling. I hear it is much more enjoyable than going out solo.

What is a good choice of food to eat for breakfast breakfast,an, whilst on the bike? Usually I will have a big bowl of cereal then head out for around 50-60 miles mostly flat and find 2 bananas keeps me going sufficiently but I want to make my diet more effective, and find a food that's easier to eat on the bike (this is something I am not very good at)

So, breakfast?
Someone has advised me a big bowl of porridge oats with some bananas and sugar plus other fruits of choice. Would this be a good meal before a long day on the bike?

And what is best for eating while on the bike? Like I say
I want something that is easy to open and consume but it must also give fast energy release, yes?
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Old 03-14-15, 09:41 PM
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Your breakfast sounds good. I also like french toast with maple syrup. On the bike there are million options depending on your tastes. You mostly just need carbs. You could put some in your bottles or bring something solid. Personally, I like Alan Lim's rice cakes or just plain dates. Dates are dense and an ideal energy source.
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Old 03-15-15, 05:27 AM
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1. Eat what you're used to ... but use your gradually increasing rides to experiment to see what works and what doesn't.

2. If you're only riding 2 hours or less, don't worry about additional calories or anything special. Just eat as normal. Eat whatever you like for breakfast or dinner or whatever you have before your ride.

3. If you're riding longer than 2 hours, then you might want to aim for 200-300 calories per hour, starting with the first hour. The fitter you get, the less you can get away with (maybe 100-200 calories per hour). But also, the longer you ride (e.g. a 400K randonnee) the more you'll want to pack in early while you can still eat (maybe 250-350 calories per hour). Start with 200-300 calories per hour and experiment with what works for you.

4. As for food ... whatever works for you.

For breakfast ... personally, I have found that toast with nutella and honey works. Toast and boiled eggs works. Toast with cheese works. And before long rides, especially on hot days, oriental noodles works.

On the bicycle ... there is a good selection of granola bars available these days. We carry some that run just under 200 calories and eat one per hour, approximately. Bananas are good too, but I prefer to eat those early in the ride. They kind of go off after several hours.
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Old 03-17-15, 10:11 AM
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For group rides of 50-70 miles it has been an evolution from nothing, to an energy bar, to 4 eggs and two pieces of whole wheat toast slathered with smashed avocado and a banana on the side at least an hour prior to the ride. Couple that with two cups of strong black coffee. If I don't eat at least a few eggs and some toast before a ride, then I don't ride all that well with the fast guys.

This puts a combination of complete proteins, healthy fats, slow metabolism carbs, quick metabolism carbs, vitamins and a large amount of electrolytes into my system. It's a good hour to 90 mins at high intensity before I need a gel or energy bar. I usually don't get that power drain feeling after 3 hours of riding anymore thanks to having a diversity of real food in my system. Helps me attain that fleeting 'I could ride all day' feeling.

I know a lot of guys that can't eat like before a ride because it would make them sick; eat what makes you feel great and gives you energy in the morning. Preferrably foods that are low in inflammatory properties.
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Old 03-17-15, 10:55 AM
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wouldn't it be better to forgo the caffeine since it is a diuretic and will remove water from your system?
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Old 03-17-15, 11:28 AM
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It's a myth that coffee/caffeine is a diuretic. Same with beer. Neither are.
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Old 03-17-15, 12:19 PM
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I can easily do 50 miles on a bowl of oatmeal ("porridge" to you lot). I add ground flaxseed, dried fruit, and maple syrup. Big mug of coffee.
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