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Preference of when you eat

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Preference of when you eat

Old 07-12-20, 07:14 PM
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Strosfan5
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Preference of when you eat

Hi all,
Having trouble coming to a conclusion on this. I ride many mornings before work on an empty stomach, and the rides are excellent - and usually between 20-22 miles with 1000-1200
feet of climb @ between 15-17mph. I could go a little farther maybe but not much more on said empty stomach without feeling a little crappy to start the day.

On some of my longer rides, between 40-50, maybe 60, I don’t so much struggle with what to eat on a ride. A banana, apple or other things like a Rice Krispie bar have settled well with me along with fluids to down it.

The struggle I have is what to eat before these longer rides and not feel sluggish to start. I get torn between trying to go light (to avoid sluggishness) and trying to load up some to avoid getting drained.

Anyone mind sharing their experiences that work well for you?
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Old 07-12-20, 08:26 PM
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The length of ride doesn't determine what I eat before the ride as much as what the start time is.

If it's an early morning ride then pretty much the same as you -- nothing. Maybe a banana, handful of raisins, or if a cool day a bowl of something starchy like grits, oats, cream-of-wheat...... what ever happened to Ralston Purina? Is that still around? Haven't seen that since the sixties.

If it's a mid morning or later, then I'll eat a more normal breakfast, eggs, wilted spinach and toast and jelly. I do avoid coffee and fatty bacon if I'm riding soon after breakfast. Never cared for caffeine while riding and fats just stay in my stomach and make me miserable for an hour or so of riding.

Same thing at lunch, skip if riding soon or eat pretty normal with the coffee/fatty food caveats if I have some time between lunch and ride start.

I put all my carbs in my bottles and that's good for at least 50 or 60 miles and then I might be glad to eat a box of raisins, granola bar, power bar or snickers bar. But usually of the two or three things I carry to actually eat along the way, only one gets eaten in as many as 100 miles. If it's an organized ride with rest stops, well you have to socialize some, so I'll have a banana, orange or some of the unique treats each stop lays out for the cyclist.
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Old 07-12-20, 08:51 PM
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Eggs, grits, biscuits are great before longer rides, or beef jerky and coffee for a quick bite going out the door with trail mix/water stop every hour. Of course, I may have had a bowl of ramen in the middle of the night, or maybe anything else I can find.
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Old 07-13-20, 07:53 AM
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If I'm doing a ride of more than 2 hours I eat about an hour before the start. Usually it's oatmeal with a banana, walnuts and some maple syrup. As I go out the door I throw down 4 oz of beet juice.
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Old 07-13-20, 08:04 AM
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I get nauseous exercising on an empty stomach. So I don't.

It doesn't have to be much, but a couple bites of almost anything before riding makes the ride much more pleasant.

YSMV.
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Old 07-13-20, 10:02 AM
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I'd still go on an empty stomach, since that's what you've been having success with. Just add more snacks during the ride. You might not do well adding too much more fruit (due to the fiber), but more Rice Krispie bars shouldn't be a problem. I use a similar approach.

If the ride is later in the day, I often eat oatmeal or scrambled eggs for breakfast/lunch.
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Old 07-13-20, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Strosfan5 View Post
Hi all,
Having trouble coming to a conclusion on this. I ride many mornings before work on an empty stomach, and the rides are excellent - and usually between 20-22 miles with 1000-1200
feet of climb @ between 15-17mph. I could go a little farther maybe but not much more on said empty stomach without feeling a little crappy to start the day.

On some of my longer rides, between 40-50, maybe 60, I don’t so much struggle with what to eat on a ride. A banana, apple or other things like a Rice Krispie bar have settled well with me along with fluids to down it.

The struggle I have is what to eat before these longer rides and not feel sluggish to start. I get torn between trying to go light (to avoid sluggishness) and trying to load up some to avoid getting drained.

Anyone mind sharing their experiences that work well for you?
Both what and when are important. Before a longer ride in the morning, one should eat quite a bit of carbohydrate to replace the liver glycogen used up during sleep. A little protein is good, too. I find that fat is hard to digest and really slows me down. How long your breakfast lasts you on the bike is not an issue, because you'll eat on the bike. It's by far the best to eat 2-3 hours before your ride. 1 hour before is the worst, because that's just long enough to drop your blood sugar out right at the start. So if you can't eat 2-3 hours before, immediately before is best, which will mean not so much. A sports bar or similar immediately before the ride will be fine, then start eating on the bike after about the first 15'.

Before a long hard ride or an event, my tried and true breakfast for the past 20 years has been 400 calories of maltodextrin and chocolate whey protein in water, put in the fridge the night before, 7/1 malto/whey. by weight, so 100g of powder. Of course I don't do that every day because that's really bad nutrition for anything other than riding hard once a week or so. But that's the model. Something like that. For instance 2 slices of whole wheat toast, lightly buttered with jam, and a tall glass of orange juice is about the same calories. 1/3 cup of rolled oats, cooked up and with sugar, butter, raisins, and milk plus a glass of OJ is about the same calories. If I'm going to eat like that before a ride, I get up early enough to finish eating at least 2 hours ahead.
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Old 07-14-20, 05:50 AM
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For short rides, I'll ride on an empty stomach - I carry plenty of stored fat and seem to be pretty good about using it for fuel for a 25 mile ride or so.

But, on longer rides I've evolved over the years to eat a bagel with peanut butter and a banana before heading out. Then for a 50-60 mile ride, at some point in the ride (usually 25 - 30 miles in) I eat a fig bar and I'm good for solids. One water bottle (of two) in longer rides will usually have something more than water that adds some calories and electrolytes. For longer rides, essentially repeat that at 20 mile intervals or whenever I'm stopping for more liquid.

I never do a big sit down lunch on rides - just makes me want to take a nap!
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Old 07-14-20, 10:32 AM
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I've been wondering the same too as i just started doing long weekend rides, 30-50 miles.
Oatmeal w/ banana and PB i try to scarf down right before i go out at 7-8am and then at around 25 miles or so, i'll stop and have a clif bar.
It may be obvious to everyone, but i find that water is the biggest difference maker for me. Taking a couple swigs every 10min or so and then taking down a full bottle during the middle break helps immensely for me.

But training for 45min-75min i usually will do on an empty stomach in the AM
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Old 07-14-20, 12:33 PM
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Lower intensity rides I'm fine to do on an empty stomach in the morning, but something longer like 100k (60mile) I'll have a bowl of oats and cold milk, usually soy for the protein. If it's gonna be particularly fast paced I'll throw some brown sugar on there too, and a few sunflower seeds for variety. I'll plan a stop for a pop about halfway through a ride like that but I don't usually eat much until 5+ hours on the bike these days.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:40 PM
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I like to do early morning rides about 3 hours long in a fasted state. I eat a huge big dinner in the evening and then have a beer before bedtime so when I wake up in the morning I have enough fuel and energy to keep me going for a couple of hours without eating.
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Old 07-14-20, 09:29 PM
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I honestly never considered starting “light” so to speak before these long rides. 50-60 is long for me with 2000-2500 feet for climb. I’m more concerned about running out of gas late in the ride. The further you go out the further you have to come back unless you stay local so to speak.

Maybe starting out like I do in the morning on a near empty stomach will help get me into a solid ride and just manage food and drink a little better along the way.

The first time I had a Rice Krispie bar and body armor, it really hit the spot. Of course I had a couple of other things along the way but that really got me to the finish.

thanks for everyone’s insight.
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Old 07-15-20, 03:57 AM
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I ride fasted for distances of less than 50 miles. If going further, I'll start fasted and eat along the way, usually Cliff bars. That said, I won't start eating until I've ridden the equivalent of 260 calories. Additionally, I only drink water, no energy or "replacement" drinks for me.

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Old 08-27-20, 03:04 AM
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Doing cardio on an empty stomach is good. However, you burn your energy and muscles
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Old 08-27-20, 07:04 AM
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Oatmeal is my go-to.
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Old 08-27-20, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by katrinoricci View Post
Doing cardio on an empty stomach is good. However, you burn your energy and muscles
Is there any point during your life where you're not "burning energy"?
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Old 08-27-20, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by katrinoricci View Post
Doing cardio on an empty stomach is good. However, you burn your energy and muscles
There is no way your body absorbs enough from your stomach while doing cardio at high aerobic and into anaerobic levels, to fuel it's energy requirements. It is already using stored fats. As you move into higher levels of expenditure, the available carbohydrates make up the difference to a greater extent.

So I'm not sure what to make of your statement. Fats and Carbs are the main sources for energy in your body and for certain most of us have enough stored fat to ride on an empty stomach. Even those of us that are told we need to eat more because we are looking too thin have plenty of fat reserves.

Don't confuse my leaning here more on fats to be that you need to eat fats while riding. They won't help. You need to consume carbohydrates while riding.

Last edited by Iride01; 08-27-20 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 08-28-20, 02:24 AM
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Ninety nine times out of a hundred I'm between meals. So if I'm on an omad (one meal a day) or if (intermittent fast), it could be up to 24 hours or more from my last time eating for my morning ride.
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Old 08-28-20, 02:34 AM
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A tend to do best when eating about 2hrs prior to extended vigorous physical activity. Blend of fats, proteins, carbs. Tend to maintain the "zip" in the stride (or pedal stroke) if consuming modest amounts of carbs every once in awhile during the activity.

Have generally done a moderate breakfast, light lunch. Adjusted for content depending on intended intensity/duration of the exercise near those meals.

Seems to work best for me.
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Old 08-28-20, 06:47 AM
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I'm new to cycling, but have always had an issue eating much before hard physical activity. I've found that Clif bars work great for me. They are just enough to keep my stomach from feeling hungry but don't sit heavy at all. For 20 mile rides in the mornings, I'll do a Clif bar and a honey stinger waffle. I usually do a gel pack around the 45 minute mark as well. Seems to work well for me.
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