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Nutrition on a Ride

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Nutrition on a Ride

Old 08-10-19, 07:32 PM
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DaveLeeNC
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Nutrition on a Ride

I don't have a ton of experience with nutrition on a bike. While 200 mile weeks are not unusual for me, I don't often ride much past 40 or so miles (it has been a knee limitation). And I am good to go through 40 miles without taking in calories.

But my knee is mysteriously better (when is the last time you heard that WRT osteo-arthritis in the knees) so I am taking on longer rides. Today was a 55 mile ride and my plan was to stop a bit past mid ride at a convenience store for something along the lines of a candy bar. I had not properly secured the lid on one of my water bottles so my hydration plan was also at risk here. I ended up getting a sugared drink to solve both problems.

I bought a 20 oz bottle of "Nature's Own Lemonade". I drank a little over half of the bottle before heading out. I had no stomach issues at all, but I had this thick, gunky, sugary/syrupy taste in my mouth the whole rest of the ride. It was not pleasant (although was certainly not a ride stopper). And I don't normally drink non-diet soft drinks of any kind if that matters.

I picked the Lemonade mostly to be sure that I didn't have to deal with the carbonation thing. I am sure that others out there use sugared soft drinks of various types. What do you use along those lines and have you ever had a reaction like I had today?

Thanks.

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Old 08-10-19, 07:41 PM
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Next time, just cut it. So long as you don't need to dump water over your head beyond that point, split the lemonade between two bottles so it's half strength. I take my Gatorade 50/50 for the same reason you mention-- full strength is just too strong, especially 40+ miles into a ride.

I wouldn't do lemonade myself, but that's just personal preference. I have had great luck with Horizon Organics Vanilla Milk, available at a Starbucks near you. Goes down easy, portion size is right, doesn't leave the "mouth residue" behind. Fruit Punch Gatorade might be the king of mouth residue. I can taste it 2 hours after the ride is over.

If you don't flavored water or calories at all, most any convenience store will have Smart Water or Propel Water. Either work just fine for keeping the salts in ya, but the Smart Water is certainly more palatable. Propel Water tastes like someone lightly filtered seawater. It does what it advertises, though.
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Old 08-11-19, 12:25 AM
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On my usual 20-30 mile solo training rides I usually don't eat anything. I take water with electrolytes. Usually one bottle in winter, two in summer.

On longer rides, or group rides, I don't like to rely on scrounging whatever I might find along a ride so I take my own drinks and snacks. I stick with whatever I can digest easily and tastes good or inoffensive. Usually Clif mocha gels with caffeine, Clif or Larabar energy bars with a little protein, DripDrop or Propel electrolyte powders. I usually dilute the electrolytes more than recommended.

If I need to eat before a ride I usually stick with the same thing, any time of day or night: oatmeal with one or two eggs (makes a custard consistency, very tasty), a bit of unsweetened Greek yogurt and sliced banana. And coffee.

If I eat or drink anything from a convenience store during a ride it's usually simple sugary stuff like donuts and a canned coffee/energy drink. Monster and others make decent coffee flavored drinks with some protein and supplements that I already take at home anyway. Those don't cause any indigestion.

A few times on long casual group rides we've stopped at restaurants and I tend to eat whatever I like. Then I'm foamy for the rest of the ride. Last time I rode a century I finished the final 25 miles after dinner with friends at a German restaurant. Lots of noodles, pork, sausage, pickled stuff, and 3 or 4 stout German beers. I was burpy and foamy for the last 25 miles. Pizza and beer are even worse, but I still eat and drink the stuff during long casual group rides.

But I avoid that stuff when I'm riding solo or doing the fast club rides. I try to stick with my own snacks and drinks, or simple sugary stuff if we stop after 30-50 miles.

One fellow I occasionally ride with usually takes only a single water bottle on those 50+ mile rides in summer. I don't know how he does it. But he's faster and stronger than I am, and only a few years younger. I think he's 56. Wish I had his energy. I go through both of my 24 oz bottles and need to refill along those same rides, and I go through some snacks. He sometimes doesn't eat anything.
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Old 08-13-19, 03:45 PM
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Just rinse your mouth out with plain water right after. I carry 1 bottle of 2-3x concentrated sugar/electrolyte mix and 1 bottle of water. I always followup the mix bottle with water. Then continue to dilute the mix bottle whenever you need to stop for water on longer rides. Usually by the end of a 4+ hour ride both bottles are just water and I supplement with real food I'm carrying along with sugary snacks and/or gels
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Old 08-13-19, 08:44 PM
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I take electrolyte tablets, nuun in my case, for when I stop for water, and real food such as dehydrated bananas, dates, quartered pb&j sandwich, etc. when the rides get longer. I get odd looks and a laugh or two whipping out a bit of sandwich sometimes from the weekend warriors set.
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Old 08-13-19, 08:57 PM
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Too much sugar, too early, can do bad things. If I'm heading out for a longish ride, I'll take two bottles. One has plain water, and the other has just a bit of fruit juice, mostly water, plus a bit of salt. The salt tastes bad but prevents bonking. Instead of fruit juice, I might put in a teaspoon of maple syrup. Yum. And when I mean a bit of juice, I mean a tiny bit.

When I'm tired and depleted, then I can have a soda. That's almost the only time I'll have one.
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Old 08-14-19, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Too much sugar, too early, can do bad things. If I'm heading out for a longish ride, I'll take two bottles. One has plain water, and the other has just a bit of fruit juice, mostly water, plus a bit of salt. The salt tastes bad but prevents bonking. Instead of fruit juice, I might put in a teaspoon of maple syrup. Yum. And when I mean a bit of juice, I mean a tiny bit.

When I'm tired and depleted, then I can have a soda. That's almost the only time I'll have one.
Too little sugar or carbs early on a ride can also put you in a hole you can't recover from if you're riding hard and long because you cannot absorb the amount of carbs that you can potentially burn up from your glycogen stores.
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Old 08-14-19, 11:40 AM
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Coconut Water : Great for depleted Electra lights : Plus if you fatigue easy have a Thyroid Test : Very common issue today > They don't check though unless you ask : Makes a World of energy difference. Especially if older
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Old 08-14-19, 01:39 PM
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The first 3 hours of a long ride are the most important. That's when you establish your rhythm of hydration and fueling. You want to start fueling 15' after the start and, for a ride like yours, try for 250 calories/hour, almost all carbs. The way to treat carbs on a ride is to take them a little at a time and never stop. For example you were going to do only Clif bars (have done). You'd open a couple of them before mounting. Then break one into quarters and eat 1/4 every 15', pretty regularly. Obviously you'll get behind on the climbs, hard to eat, but be ready to make up for it as you go over the top, then of course no eating on the descent. You could use anything that way, lots of options.

As remarked by others, anything with much of a sweet taste will severely tire your mouth and reduce the amount of it you can drink.

I use a homemade mix of maltodextrin and chocolate flavored whey protein, mixed 7:1 by weight. 2 cups of this powder = 750 calories. This stuff has almost no taste and is not sweet, more like chocolate rice water. Add water, shake it like crazy for a while, ready for the next 3 hours, a swallow or 2 every 15', stand every 10'. Gives me something to think about other than my legs. Other bottle is plain water or no bottle and a Camelbak instead. A coin purse of Endurolytes is shoved up my shorts leg.

The important thing is to settle on something that works for you on training rides and use that on the event. I seldom eat anything displayed at the rest stops unless I've eaten that thing on training rides. Never eat much at any one time. The biggest problems that riders run into during events are digestion and hydration. Getting tired just slows you down. Fueling issues bring you to a standstill and there's no slower speed than stopped.

Oh - and take a Hammer flask full of pickle juice, maybe 2. I do. Good chance you might cramp doing something you're not used to. Pickle juice helps resolve cramping. While you're at Hammer, pick up a couple of their coin purses, too. Good for ibuprofen, Tums, Endurolytes, etc.
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Old 08-14-19, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Too much sugar, too early, can do bad things.
From what I've read, that's untrue, at least as stated, for endurance activity.

See the section concerning endurance athletes on this page.
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Old 08-14-19, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
.................. As remarked by others, anything with much of a sweet taste will severely tire your mouth and reduce the amount of it you can drink.........................The important thing is to settle on something that works for you on training rides and use that on the event...................................
What works for me for the first non-stop 100 miles of riding during the 1 day 170 mile Cross Florida Ride .............

(https://spacecoastfreewheelers.com/xfl/ )

.......... is 1 bottle of water with cut up Organic Lemon pieces and 1 bottle of Mtn. Dew Throwback, (sugar and caffeine), M&M's, pickle juice, banana, Crank Sports e-Gels and Clif 100mg caffeine gels. Wife waits at 100 miles, I refuel supplies and eat some spaghetti resume then avail myself of the food at the remaining SAG stops.

Yesterday's 40 mile morning ride was with water.
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Old 08-14-19, 07:46 PM
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OK I stand corrected on sugar. I had a problem with it only once, and who knows what the cause was.
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Old 08-21-19, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Too little sugar or carbs early on a ride can also put you in a hole you can't recover from if you're riding hard and long because you cannot absorb the amount of carbs that you can potentially burn up from your glycogen stores.
My reading on nutrition agrees with this idea, - don't get into a calorie deficit on long rides where you are unable to take and digest calories fast enough to overcome the deficit. I don't seem to get hungry for sold food an long rides but I use Hammer Heed and or Hammer Perpeteum, sometimes several scoops, (say 400 to 600 calories) mixed in the same water bottle. This has been good for 50 to 60 mile rides.
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