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-   -   50+ Nutrition: What do you bring on longer rides? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1206318)

sshakari 07-01-20 07:05 PM

50+ Nutrition: What do you bring on longer rides?
 
Hello everyone!

Went on a 60 mile ride this weekend and thought I had brought enough calories with me, but nearly bonked. I had about 500 calories with me 2 gels, 1 bar & sports drink - that was not enough. So, Im wondering what do us mature rides bring for food on longer rides?

kingston 07-01-20 07:38 PM

Normal guideline is 250-300 calories an hour for rides over 2-3 hours. Everyone's different so you'll have to figure out what works for you.

Bmach 07-01-20 08:01 PM

I might have a GU for that ride but nothing other than that.

DeadGrandpa 07-01-20 08:11 PM

I generally carry a Larabar or Kind bar, and also some trail mix from walmart. Shorting yourself on food or water isn't a good idea. Bring more than you think you will need. If you're gaining weight, you need to add more miles.

big john 07-01-20 08:42 PM

Time and intensity are better metrics than miles. 60 easy miles a bar or maybe 2 would be plenty. 60 miles with 6000 feet of climbing and stiff headwinds would take a little more, maybe bring a sandwich.
25 brutal miles on the mountain bike last week and I had a banana and 2 bars and it wasn't enough.

AdkMtnMonster 07-01-20 08:45 PM


Originally Posted by Bmach (Post 21564533)
I might have a GU for that ride but nothing other than that.

That length ride would probably see me stuffing a gel in one pocket and a pack of SportBeans in the other. I usually only eat the Beans, and not even the whole pack on my 60+ milers. I save the gels because they're just hard to eat without stopping, and I usually don't stop pedaling til I'm back home. :)

Carbonfiberboy 07-01-20 08:53 PM

Should have been enough, but number of calories required depends on long term training load. As you can see, miles isn't how one measures it, it's hours. AFAIK, age doesn't matter, only training and body weight.

Edit: I should note that on these threads, there's always someone who eats less than you do, no matter who you are. I mean all these folks eat too much, way too much. Heck Lance used to go out for 6 hour rides with only water in his bottles.

I usually take 250 calories/hour with me, just in case, but often only go through half of that. I know almost exactly how long a particular ride will take me, and pack accordingly.

SurferCyclist 07-02-20 02:07 AM

Make sure you're fuelled up BEFORE you leave, eat a good breakfast etc then ride. Every ride I take a bar of some kind but rarely need it. For rides of 50 miles or so, maybe eat a flapjack mid way but rarely much more.

As for Lance, well maybe he rode for 6 hours with only water in his bottles but then again he had extra, ahem, "nutrition" in his bloodstream...

joesch 07-02-20 06:00 AM


Originally Posted by Bmach (Post 21564533)
I might have a GU for that ride but nothing other than that.

https://guenergy.com/ will provide another hour of energy and calories when Im getting depleted

pdlamb 07-02-20 08:42 AM

Are you sure your blood sugar was running low, and not that you were behind on fluids? Three or four hours (I'm guessing, obviously) is longer than I can ride in the summer with just the fluids I carry on the bike. You might need to drink more, or add some salt. If there's a convenient store with V-8, that fills the bill, though you'll also want more water to wash it down.

Iride01 07-02-20 10:00 AM

Generally...... if you bonk, you just rode too hard a pace for the distance you were going. Were you trying to keep up with others? 60 mile ride for me will be four 24 oz bottles maybe five, with about 150 Calories of carb mix in each. Six if really hot.

When I'm just riding for myself or with a couple others, that is usually all I take. Maybe a small box of raisins or a granola bar. If this was an organized ride, I'd have some oranges or bananas at some of the stops. Maybe try some of the unique things that the rest stops like to offer. Seems like they get in competition with the other rest stops on the routes and really come up with some interesting things. Though this year looks like that may not happen. Even the ride for May postponed till October is iffy.

jppe 07-02-20 10:05 AM

For 60 miles (3000’ of climbing ) and starting with a full stomach I only need a couple bottles of a sports drink. For 100 milers I usually take fig newtons, lance peanut butter crackers and maybe a banana and stop at a store for a Coke. Lately I’ve been stopping at 60-70 miles at a Subway or a local bbq joint for a meal. I’ve learned that I can eat a decent meal out riding, but afterwards I keep the effort pretty moderate. It’d get really ugly if I attempted to do a race pace after eating a meal.

You can “train” your body to not feel like you need too much to eat. But it also depends.......such as on multi day rides I eat a whole lot more and a lot more often. If I feel like I’m running out of energy it’s critical that I drink a Coke sooner than later.

fietsbob 07-02-20 11:03 AM

I would stop and have lunch in a cafe..

Carbonfiberboy 07-02-20 11:53 AM


Originally Posted by pdlamb (Post 21565192)
Are you sure your blood sugar was running low, and not that you were behind on fluids? Three or four hours (I'm guessing, obviously) is longer than I can ride in the summer with just the fluids I carry on the bike. You might need to drink more, or add some salt. If there's a convenient store with V-8, that fills the bill, though you'll also want more water to wash it down.

HR helps with that "which" question. HR goes down, it's fuel. HR goes up, it's hydration.

Wileyrat 07-02-20 12:14 PM

For 60 miles, I would've brought one Clif bar, 2 E-Gel packs, and a couple of powdered Kroger energy drinks.

I always have a bag of Skittles with me for a safety net.

billridesbikes 07-02-20 04:41 PM

Your body can only process about 1 gram of carbs per minute at most, so I generally target around 45-60 g of carbs per hour. This is about 270-360 calories per hour. I also fuel up with a waffle or pancakes and a couple eggs two hours before I start a long ride and start eating on the bike starting around hour #2 .

For example, on a six hour ride I would start off carrying around 300g of bars, cookies, and dried fruit. It’s best to kind of continually eat during the ride so that you’re constantly adding fuel to the fire. Once you fall behind and feel hungry it’s hard to catch up.

deacon mark 07-03-20 03:27 PM

Years of running and cycling I have trained myself that I basically need no nutrition for 60 miles as long as I eat well the night before and replenished the glycogen stores in muscles. I can get by with one bottle of water 27 oz. not an issue unless in the midday heat I normally ride very early mornings. For a century or even if I was trying to race a metric century I need fuel for performance. For a century I go with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and fig newtons. Another good once simply keebler butter crackers I love them and they have salt so that I keep drinking. Maybe about 500-700 calories pushing a century.

However when I am done look out................beer, ice cream and anything that is not nailed down.

big john 07-03-20 04:04 PM

One cold day we went climbing on some remote mountain roads and some brought Camelbaks to carry extra food and water. Up around 7000 feet one guy whips out some big slices of leftover pizza. Man, it looked good. Sometimes I would bring one of those big banana-nut muffins. They're about 500 calories and my stomach likes them.
In 1990 I did loaded touring and I ate about 6000 calories per day and still lost weight. This was while doing 80-100 miles per day.

canklecat 07-03-20 10:26 PM

An hour or so before a ride, usually oatmeal with banana and yogurt, sometimes a cheese omelet. Coffee.

During a ride I try to consume 200-500 calories per hour, depending on my effort. Usually the equivalent to one ordinary gel or energy bar per hour on harder workout rides, less for easier effort rides. I've done a lot of intermittent fasting, fasting rides, etc., the past couple of years, and seem to be able to use body fat more efficiently now. I've dropped 15 lbs since 2018 too.

Clif bars and gels. I usually stick with what works for me, doesn't cause digestive problems. Usually Clif chocolate mint bars with caffeine, and mocha gels with caffeine. I just got some Clif espresso gels with double the caffeine, so we'll see how that goes.

Water with electrolytes and a bit of creatine mix. DripDrop is the best I've found, but I'll use the cheaper Propel powders too.

After a ride, and sometimes before, I'll sip from a quart container of a homebrewed energy drink -- usually whey protein powder, amino acids, extra niacin powder, coffee, a little kratom (I have chronic pain and it helps without significant side effects -- pretty much like coffee and an aspirin).

I've tried other snacks and drinks but these agree with me best so I don't vary much.

Occasionally on a longer ride -- 50-100 miles -- I'll stop at a convenience store to top up. I'll get whatever sports drinks they have that's cheapest. And often a Monster mocha java. Pricey but tasty, very comparable to my homebrewed energy drinks. Occasionally I'll get a chocolate donut but sometimes those give me a bit of indigestion. Same with most other protein/energy bars including Larabar, or anything with sugar alcohol -- those make me gassy. Clif uses sugar, which is neutral to my digestive system.

I suppose it gets a little boring but I'll reward myself later with a pizza, tacos, burger or something interesting after I finish the ride.

OldTryGuy 07-05-20 06:48 AM


Originally Posted by canklecat (Post 21568200)
An hour or so before a ride, usually oatmeal with banana and yogurt, sometimes a cheese omelet. Coffee......................................

.................Clif bars and gels. I usually stick with what works for me, doesn't cause digestive problems. Usually Clif chocolate mint bars with caffeine, and mocha gels with caffeine. I just got some Clif espresso gels with double the caffeine, so we'll see how that goes..........................

.................Occasionally on a longer ride -- 50-100 miles -- I'll stop at a convenience store to top up.......................

To quote the unique Athlete Dr. George Sheehan ---

​“We are each an experiment of one.
A unique, never-to-be repeated event.”

CC's approach suits him well but if I were to follow his routine I would not be riding my rides because my body can't function with those metrics in place. Last night I began a ride on my 2018 Roubaix Expert shortly before the Moonrise having eaten 4 hours earlier. To eat one hour before heading out would leave my legs dead to the crank. Gels are a mainstay, CrankSports e-Gel and the 100mg caffeine CLIF Shot Double Espresso or Chocolate Cherry. Yesterday I also had a peeled Manderin and a Madjool Date with M&M's inside. One bottle half frozen with water then ice and water added and the second half frozen with water and Heineken 0.0 added before leaving. Total ride was 101 miles ans completed with only one touch, a brief stop to check Google map at mile 70 (my age on Friday) then I did the 12 mile TT for the Cruzbike 2020 12 mile TT Challenge.

WarrenR 07-05-20 07:37 AM

It's not just about distance, how long were you out there?

PB&J FTW!

sshakari 07-05-20 02:28 PM

My moving time was around 4 1/2 hours with 56 miles and 3250 ft elevations. I was suffering in the last 5 miles and had to stop and rest a few times.
On a next long ride, I will bring more carb-based calories and more water.

here is the starva https://www.strava.com/activities/3685920599

Iride01 07-05-20 03:50 PM

Maybe just don't go so hard. At least not till you get to doing them often enough that you don't feel so drained near the end. Unless you are trying to keep up with others, just go a little easier on the climbs.

Do a 50 miler once or twice every week and it gets much easier.

sshakari 07-06-20 07:53 PM

Appreciate all the replies with great tips for the future. I did figure out what my issue was! I skipped breakfast and was running on empty.

big john 07-06-20 08:35 PM


Originally Posted by sshakari (Post 21570785)
My moving time was around 4 1/2 hours with 56 miles and 3250 ft elevations. I was suffering in the last 5 miles and had to stop and rest a few times.
On a next long ride, I will bring more carb-based calories and more water.

here is the starva https://www.strava.com/activities/3685920599

Good ride!


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