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Foods you carry whilst cycling?

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sampras38 said:
Twix's and Kit-Kats can't be that good surely? High sugar/fat content and hardly slow release energy.

If it is winter then I am just putting in miles so it does not matter. The sugar is as good as any other sugar in an energy drink. And the fat, so what? It will get burned up as I ride. As I said, they taste way better than any energy bar, so they are easy to eat.

sampras38 said:
And gels should really only be used as a last resort or at the end of a long ride such as a sportive for example.

Nope. Gels can be used as a primary source of energy during endurance events if your stomach can handle it. I have done hundred mile running races that last more than twenty-four hours purely on gels and diluted energy drink.
 
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Usually choc chip muesli bars about 4-6-very tasty. also nutri-grain bars are good too-high in sugar I believe. Plus a protein shake, and a 2.4 litre bottle with carb powder and a couple of scoops of gatorade. Will usually get 140 kays max on this, then it is a stop at the pizza shop after ride. Having a big breakfast
before ride helps too. Being the first one out on the road in the morning is not that important, fueling up is !
 
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BroDeal said:
If it is winter then I am just putting in miles so it does not matter. The sugar is as good as any other sugar in an energy drink. And the fat, so what? It will get burned up as I ride. As I said, they taste way better than any energy bar, so they are easy to eat.



Nope. Gels can be used as a primary source of energy during endurance events if your stomach can handle it. I have done hundred mile running races that last more than twenty-four hours purely on gels and diluted energy drink.

I find my body (and mind) works better when there is less bulk to digest. Sometimes I get the shivers during a long day in the cold, a nice pure chocolate bar (aero) has an amazing ability to warm me up in a matter of minutes.

I have got to say full respect on running 100mi. I wish I could do that but I have short legs and a heavy gait that is hard on my joints.
 

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Laszlo said:
I find my body (and mind) works better when there is less bulk to digest. Sometimes I get the shivers during a long day in the cold, a nice pure chocolate bar (aero) has an amazing ability to warm me up in a matter of minutes.

I have got to say full respect on running 100mi. I wish I could do that but I have short legs and a heavy gait that is hard on my joints.

If I take in too many calories all at once it is really bad for me. That's one of the several reasons why I stopped randoneurring. Typically, in a group, they will stop at a restaurant, like a Subway but also McDonald's. I am toast for like 2 hours after that.

I buy maltodextrin in bulk. http://www.Nutritiongeeks.com is a great site for 'homebrew' sports drinks. I'll add mdx in water with some koolaid flavorings like cherry or lemonaid that I get at like 10c a packet at wally world. Basically I make watery gel. I have hydration issues, so while gel is good as a concentrated hit of calories, I make my own and dilute it.

I'll also pack some bars like kashi or balance on longer rides when I want something real. At any rest stop that I get food at, I will always buy the saltiest thing I can find. Again, related to my hydration problems. I'll also supplement with homebrew versions of endurolytes, cal/mag and potassium.

Fruit is great too if you have the room, fresh fruit, not dried.

All of the above is dependent on ride length, most of my post is for long long rides. On shorter rides, I'll just take a water bottle or two one with my mdx mixture and the other with water. A bar in my jersey just in case.

I probably spend in 2 years on sports supplements what a lot of guys spend in a couple months by making my own stuff.
 
ravens said:
I probably spend in 2 years on sports supplements what a lot of guys spend in a couple months by making my own stuff.

Eneergy food is one of the biggest scams in cycling. There is a reason why everyone and his grandmother wants to make and sell energy drinks and bars: The cost of goods is a very small fraction of the retail cost of the product, so the gross profit is very high. In most cases simple substitutes can be found that perform just as well as specialized, designer products that are hyped with bad research studies. The classic example is chocolate milk used as a recovery drink. Not only is it cheaper and just as effective, it tastes better. As had been pointed out above several times, "breading" covered fruit bars like Fig Newtons, breakfast bars, and such are cheap (about one quarter the cost of energy bars) and effective.

It is interesting that Hammer Nutrition got its reputation by selling fairly cheap, and the prices have slowly risen until they are the same as everyone else's.
 

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BroDeal said:
Eneergy food is one of the biggest scams in cycling. There is reasons why everyone and his grandmother wants to make and sell energy drinks and bars: The cost of goods is a very small fraction of the retail cost of the product, so the gross profit is very high. In most cases simple substitutes can be found that perform just as well as specialized, designer products that are hyped with bad research studies. The classic example is chocolate milk used as a recovery drink. Not only is it cheaper and just as effective, it tastes better. As had been pointed out above several times, "breading" covered fruit bars like Fig Newtons, breakfast bars, and such are cheap (about one quarter the cost of energy bars) and effective.

It is interesting that Hammer Nutrition got its reputation by selling fairly cheap, and the prices have slowly risen until they are the same as everyone else's.

The primary ingredient in gels - and usually the only ingredient that isn't just to make it taste OK is maltodextrin. There is one brand that a riding friend swears is better and the only difference is it has a little bit of BCAA's (amino acids). The recipe is simple and I can fill 4-6oz gel flasks for weeks on a single batch.

The ingredients in anything hammer sells is right on their site (I think all these supplement dealers have to post their ingredients). For randonneuring, hammer's perpetuem is the hot ticket. I have the recipe for my homebrew perpetuem floating around somewhere on another message board if anyone wants it.

Endurolytes are so simple it's ridiculous. I tell cyclists what's in them and how cheap it is and they just look at me. "I like Endurolytes." My translation: I'd rather stick with Hammer because guys I know who are really fast swear by it and you're a fat slob in an xxl performance bib. :p

Take it from a fat guy, we burn through water and electrolytes so freakin' fast we'd have to choke down half a bottle of endurolytes on long rides on hot humid days. :D

Bottom line: the ingredients in your designer supplement/gel/powerbar is marked up to the point that it more than offsets the convenience of having it all in one little pill or packet many many times over. They're selling hype and business is good.
 
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craig1985 said:
For me it is a case of gels, museli bars, and bananas and for very long rides (120km+) then I take a bread roll filled with jam. I tend to take more then what I need, but then I would rather have it on me and not have it and bonk. If I don't eat all my food then I just put it in the fridge and eat it on the next ride (like gels etc.).

Gel packs for me. Whatever's on sale. Sometimes bananas, or fig newtons. Other times I'll stop and down a coke too.
 
ravens said:
Endurolytes are so simple it's ridiculous. I tell cyclists what's in them and how cheap it is and they just look at me. "I like Endurolytes." My translation: I'd rather stick with Hammer because guys I know who are really fast swear by it and you're a fat slob in an xxl performance bib. :p

Take it from a fat guy, we burn through water and electrolytes so freakin' fast we'd have to choke down half a bottle of endurolytes on long rides on hot humid days. :D

Endurolytes are total crap. They ruined a race for me once. Well, it was sort of my fault because I assumed that an electrolyte capsule would contain adequate sodium. I know that is a crazy idea, but it seemed logical to me at the time. I am sure no one else would ever make that mistake.

They contain so little sodium that you need to take a lot of capsules per hour. By a lot I mean up to six. Imagine trying to hork down six capsules an hour for twenty hours. You have to swallow a pill every ten minutes. Other capsules are usually consumed at the rate of about one per hour except in extreme conditions.

These days I use Saltstick. Succeed! S-caps are good, cheap product also. Truth be told, a little salt and Lite Salt would take care of most people's needs. There are ultrarunners who have been known to suck on rock salt as the run.
 

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BroDeal said:
Endurolytes are total crap. They ruined a race for me once. Well, it was sort of my fault because I assumed that an electrolyte capsule would contain adequate sodium. I know that is a crazy idea, but it seemed logical to me at the time. I am sure no one else would ever make that mistake.

They contain so little sodium that you need to take a lot of capsules per hour. By a lot I mean up to six. Imagine trying to hork down six capsules an hour for twenty hours. You have to swallow a pill every ten minutes. Other capsules are usually consumed at the rate of about one per hour except in extreme conditions.

These days I use Saltstick. Succeed! S-caps are good, cheap product also. Truth be told, a little salt and Lite Salt would take care of most people's needs. There are ultrarunners who have been known to suck on rock salt as the run.

My thinking with respect to sodium is that most people, even very 'healthy eaters' get such a surplus of sodium in their daily diet that adding sodium is sort of superfluous. I don't get why endurolytes has so little electrolytes, I, too, see fellow cyclists gobbling them like jelly beans. These aren't racers, just group ride weekend warriors. They must go through a bottle in like a week. :confused:

What gets me cramping is either lack of mag or typically potassium. I bought potassium at the grocery store 5 years ago (it is salt substitute) and still haven't finished my first container. I bought empty capsules at nutrition geeks but as for 'k', you have to be careful, too much in one cap (like anything more than 1/8 teaspoon) and when that capsule opens in your belly it can cause serious stomach cramping and a need to stop and relieve. I'll usually space a couple 1/8 teaspoon doses about a half hour apart BEFORE a long ride or if it's hot and humid and carry a few emergency caps in my seat bag just in case.

Calcium/Magnesium supplements are dirt cheap at major vitamin e-tailers. (http://www.puritan.com)
 
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I had previously swallowed the commercial recommendations hook, line and sinker: energy drinks, bars, gels and recovery drinks at the required intervals and carbohydrate-to-protein ratios. I doubt they did anything for me. I still had my bad days and good days, and definitely know that stomach cramps in my first century ride were because of not using gels properly.

Anyway, this winter I changed everything. I started eating a high protein, low GI diet along the lines of the Paleo Diet for Athletes (but not as strict), and not using sports drinks, recovery drinks, bars, and gels. Just water instead of the drinks. Before this, I had struggled to lose weight despite substantially increasing interval sessions, long endurance rides, and annual kms. Since implementing this plan at the start of November, I have lost over 10kg, maintained my power output and ability to sustain that power (actually, subjectively improved it), and have had no problems recovering.

When the snow clears and I can ride outside again, I intend to continue with water instead of sports drinks (at least for rides < 2 hours) and eat P&J sangers, bananas and/or baked potatoes instead of bars and gels. I may have a chocolate milk for recovery afterwards instead of commercial recovery formulas, but more because I like chocolate milk!
 
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ravens said:
If I take in too many calories all at once it is really bad for me. That's one of the several reasons why I stopped randoneurring. Typically, in a group, they will stop at a restaurant, like a Subway but also McDonald's. I am toast for like 2 hours after that.
[.....edit]
I'll also pack some bars like kashi or balance on longer rides when I want something real. At any rest stop that I get food at, I will always buy the saltiest thing I can find. Again, related to my hydration problems. I'll also supplement with homebrew versions of endurolytes, cal/mag and potassium.

Fruit is great too if you have the room, fresh fruit, not dried.

All of the above is dependent on ride length, most of my post is for long long rides. On shorter rides, I'll just take a water bottle or two one with my mdx mixture and the other with water. A bar in my jersey just in case.

I can't stop on a long ride;after fixing a flat (getting to be a rare thing these days with better tires) it's hard enough to get going.
 

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Laszlo said:
I can't stop on a long ride;after fixing a flat (getting to be a rare thing these days with better tires) it's hard enough to get going.

Ideally, stops should be less than 5 minutes. I break the ideal ohhh about 100% of the time. Best rides are under 90 mins where I just pedal the entire time.
 
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www.oxygencycles.com
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Coopers Pale Ale, high in carbs, B vitamins and a whole lot of beery goodness.





(not recommended for people who actually want to do what's wise or sensible while doing endurance traing in a forest at night)
 
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For me, it's a regular $.79 Snicker's Bar. It has everything I need to keep going and makes me feel full without being sluggish. On centuries, I'll also grab a few quick PB&J Sammiches at the Sag stops, though I try not to stop too often, about forty miles, or whenever I run out of liquids. Speaking of liquids, I love the Hammer Gel Heed and use that for races; it's light and has a little flavor. For training, I'll use a heavily diluted gatorade or powerade. I find that most sports drink don't sit well in my stomach, so I'll dilute them. About a 1/3 sport drink, 2/3 Smart Water. When racing mountain bikes, I'll have a gel or two with me, just in case I feel a bonk coming, but many times, I never get around to it; 2 bottles of Heed will do the trick.

Pre-ride, I eat Muesli and a whole wheat bagel or english muffin with a non acidic juice or diluted sport drink.

For recovery, I reach for a beer: dark with a lot of Hops. A Sam Adams goes down so well after a race. If I have a bag of Beef Jerky, it's all the better. :D
 
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I used to take a few of the Powerbar Chocolate Crisp bars with me on longer rides and top up the bottles with gatorade along the way. I switched this past winter to Clif Bar products after talking with the sponsor rep about the diet of the Garmin riders (long story). Anyway since making the switch I've found that I'll use a gel on the end of a ride just to give me that extra boost. As it is winter I have only gotten on the road 2x since the new year. On the trainer depending on the length of time I plan on I'll have a bar to start and a gel as needed. I like that Clif Bar products are now 90% or more organic and unlike Powerbar don't use HFCS. I only wish they still made the electrolyte drink mix packets.

I have tried out Allen Lim's rice cake recipe and noticed that it filled me up and it may have provided an energy boost, but if it did it was a subtle gradual boost as opposed to the gel effect.

The Paleo Diet for Athletes has what looks to be an interesting recipe for a recovery drink, which I've yet to make but may give a shot in a month or so when the rides start getting closer to 100 mi.
 
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today the 120 kay ride was stopped at 30 kay for a nice meal of 1/2 a chicken with 3 white rolls, a medium tub of pasta and 750ml of Farmers union iced coffee. Was then able to average 36 kph for the rest of the ride, even in a headwind with a backpack and flat handle bars. No point starving yourself on a ride, besides the racers have the team car, feed stations and slipstreaming to make life easier, and of course someone to fetch the drinks.
The main thing is to get protein as well as carbs, need it for recovery etc. Those that go for an 80% carb diet-mostly bananas are kidding, you would need to eat 20 of them to get the calorie intake, and they cost $1 each.
Go maltodextrin and protein, and good luck to the vegetarians out there.
bet you would love to eat steak 500g at a time, but have been brainwashed by the bull****.
 
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cawright1375 said:
I used to take a few of the Powerbar Chocolate Crisp bars with me on longer rides and top up the bottles with gatorade along the way. I switched this past winter to Clif Bar products after talking with the sponsor rep about the diet of the Garmin riders (long story). Anyway since making the switch I've found that I'll use a gel on the end of a ride just to give me that extra boost. As it is winter I have only gotten on the road 2x since the new year. On the trainer depending on the length of time I plan on I'll have a bar to start and a gel as needed. I like that Clif Bar products are now 90% or more organic and unlike Powerbar don't use HFCS. I only wish they still made the electrolyte drink mix packets.

I have tried out Allen Lim's rice cake recipe and noticed that it filled me up and it may have provided an energy boost, but if it did it was a subtle gradual boost as opposed to the gel effect.

The Paleo Diet for Athletes has what looks to be an interesting recipe for a recovery drink, which I've yet to make but may give a shot in a month or so when the rides start getting closer to 100 mi.

How long are you riding on the trainer? Typically we have sufficient body stores of nutrients to sustain athletic performance for 90-120 minutes before needing further nutrition. You're consuming approximately 350 calories (230 calories for a Clif Bar and approximately 100 calories for a gel) for a ride on the trainer. If your rides on the trainer are 90 minutes or less, then this is just wasted nutrition and money.
 
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elapid said:
How long are you riding on the trainer? Typically we have sufficient body stores of nutrients to sustain athletic performance for 90-120 minutes before needing further nutrition. You're consuming approximately 350 calories (230 calories for a Clif Bar and approximately 100 calories for a gel) for a ride on the trainer. If your rides on the trainer are 90 minutes or less, then this is just wasted nutrition and money.

Let me elaborate. On the days where I'll munch on a bar first involve a 2 hour trainer session at 60% of max heart rate to burn fat. Then at least a 3 mile run and finishing up with 20 -30 minutes of Yoga. Eventually when the weather warms and the ice melts I'll probably do a swim too as I am contemplating participating in some Tri's this year. This isn't my first time at the rodeo and having experimented with food intake on the bike I've finally found what works best and I am losing weight, 7 lbs over 7 weeks which is just about right. And my % body fat is dropping as well. So while it may seem like a lot of calories I'm burning way more than I am taking in and consulting a friend who is a nutitionist/ certified trainer.

And it is because I am losing weight so I can climb better now that I live in the foothills of the White Mountains in NH that I am fastidious about what I take in and when, not only for fueling/ prep but also recovery.

Proper nutrition has been an interest of mine ever since I acquired a kidney stone in graduate school the size of a pea and passed it. It was then I consulted a nutritionist and got serious about diet and exercise. And as an aside, Kramer was not kidding around with how bad those things hurt.
 
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cawright1375 said:
Let me elaborate. On the days where I'll munch on a bar first involve a 2 hour trainer session at 60% of max heart rate to burn fat. Then at least a 3 mile run and finishing up with 20 -30 minutes of Yoga. Eventually when the weather warms and the ice melts I'll probably do a swim too as I am contemplating participating in some Tri's this year. This isn't my first time at the rodeo and having experimented with food intake on the bike I've finally found what works best and I am losing weight, 7 lbs over 7 weeks which is just about right. And my % body fat is dropping as well. So while it may seem like a lot of calories I'm burning way more than I am taking in and consulting a friend who is a nutitionist/ certified trainer.

And it is because I am losing weight so I can climb better now that I live in the foothills of the White Mountains in NH that I am fastidious about what I take in and when, not only for fueling/ prep but also recovery.

Proper nutrition has been an interest of mine ever since I acquired a kidney stone in graduate school the size of a pea and passed it. It was then I consulted a nutritionist and got serious about diet and exercise. And as an aside, Kramer was not kidding around with how bad those things hurt.

Thanks for the elaboration. Ask a 100 nutritionalist the same question and I think you'd get 50 different answers. My comments were recommendations given to me by a nutritionalist as well. Go figure!
 
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elapid said:
Thanks for the elaboration. Ask a 100 nutritionalist the same question and I think you'd get 50 different answers. My comments were recommendations given to me by a nutritionalist as well. Go figure!

Since I got back into cycling in 2005 I've tried a variety of fueling regimens. Everything from 1 bar on a 100 mile ride with Gatorade to overloading on bars & gels. That your nutritionist and my friend who is one (and who competes in Tri's too fyi) have differing opinions is no surprise. If you haven't read it, check out Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, it is a very informative if sometimes dense read that covers a multitude of specific endurance sports as well as providing a well informed background on nutrition specifics. The only downside is that like most books of this nature the 160 lb athlete is the basis, so some math is required. The book is published by VeloPress.

My friend was actually surprised at my level of performance given that I wasn't a regular user/ eater of food on the bike. Now that I seem to have the fueling down I am eager to see how it translates onto longer rides.
 
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no_slipstream said:
today the 120 kay ride was stopped at 30 kay for a nice meal of 1/2 a chicken with 3 white rolls, a medium tub of pasta and 750ml of Farmers union iced coffee. Was then able to average 36 kph for the rest of the ride, even in a headwind with a backpack and flat handle bars. QUOTE]

Sorry, but I have to really question this statement. 36kph works out to 22 mph and that is after you ate a 1/2 chicken and a tub of pasta and had another 90k to ride, which is what 55 miles? So what did you blow your cookies at the 31k mark then?
 
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I'll be packing Science in Sport products - they work really well for me, been using them since I got some freebies at a Sportive last year and reading various training books recently, especially Dr Garry Palmer/Richard Allens excellent sportive training guide . I don't like to stop, I never have cafe breaks etc unless on a club ride.

First/second hour will be a Go bar per hour (apple is my current fave) - I've tried cereal/breakfast bars etc in an effort to save money but this is a well thought out product for eating on the go regards nutrition and packaging. They are very palatable for my taste, consistency is excellent, very firm so doesn't break up in the jersey, doesn't overwhelm my mouth with floury pastry-ness (e.g. breakfast bars) requiring half a bidon of liquid to get it down. The foil packaging works really well, I open the bars across the top before the ride then take from jersey pocket push the bar up over the top, bite 10-15cm off the let it drop back in the foil.

Post two hours I hit the gels, normally Go gels, bite off the top, gulp it down, isotonic so doesn't need any additional liquid to ingest, SiS products are very subtly flavoured, not the sugary jamlike consistency of other products. One/two per hour depending on conditions. On a really hard ride, for me, a hilly sportive then I'll use one or two Smart 1 gels coming to the last hour including caffeine to get the carbs burning that little bit quicker (alledgedly!).

Before I adopted this ride nutrition strategy I was guaranteed to be wasted after any significant ride (mainly sportives for me these days), now, I'm still wasted but noticeably less so and I also seem to recover quite a bit quicker.

Expensive? I guess you could argue so but then if it works well and I'm a happier cyclist it's money well spent, I can't see the time where I could source, make and package homebrew stuff and yield a significant cost saving. Plus how much is a latte and two toasted teacakes gonna cost? Not too much less than what I spend :)
 
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cawright1375 said:
Since I got back into cycling in 2005 I've tried a variety of fueling regimens. Everything from 1 bar on a 100 mile ride with Gatorade to overloading on bars & gels. That your nutritionist and my friend who is one (and who competes in Tri's too fyi) have differing opinions is no surprise. If you haven't read it, check out Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, it is a very informative if sometimes dense read that covers a multitude of specific endurance sports as well as providing a well informed background on nutrition specifics. The only downside is that like most books of this nature the 160 lb athlete is the basis, so some math is required. The book is published by VeloPress.

My friend was actually surprised at my level of performance given that I wasn't a regular user/ eater of food on the bike. Now that I seem to have the fueling down I am eager to see how it translates onto longer rides.

I have a coach and have sought nutritional advice from two nutritionalists over the last few years. Despite being on a similar nutritional program as you and significantly increasing base, overall and intensity miles, I lost no weight. However, after implementing my plan as described above, I have lost 23lbs and 8% body fat in 15 weeks. Not only that, I have maintained my power output during tempo and steady state intervals. So I am happy that my nutritional plan has been effective for both weight loss and maintaining performance on the bike.
 
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i like to carry a bananna, mix nuts / saltana's in an open zip lock bag and for 100km+ rides licorice. i used to suffer badly from cramping until i started sucking on licorice during my long rides.