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Is food over rated?

Old 07-03-20, 03:43 PM
  #26  
indyfabz
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
I can assure many recreational cyclists on this forum donít expend as much. Given that our bodies carry a lot of stored glycogen, a lot of folks donít need anything at all
Iíve seen it during local club rides. 35-40 miles with not that much climbing and people are having calorie ladened food during the stop. Two decades ago I rode across the country and then some self contained. I actually put on fat in the Midwest because I was still eating like I was in the mountains of the west.

Over the last couple of years I have experimented with eating less and it has worked. Last year during a two-week tour in MT and ID I did a 50 mile day with nearly 4,100í of climbing. Most of the first 30 miles were up hill to one degree or another. Some fig bars and coffee for breakfast. On the road I ate two Cliff Bars, a bottle of Perpetuem and an apple. (There were no services anywhere en route.) I was hungry when I finished, but I was fine during the ride. And I was pedaling this:



Last edited by indyfabz; 07-03-20 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 07-03-20, 04:39 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
just returned from 25 mile ride feeling good. I ate handful of peanuts, coffee glass of iced tea.
been riding early since Covid often on empty stomach.
feeling good, losing weight. by cutting back on my food I'm feeling better. but dumb founded. so what is the science here?
calorie deficits = weight loss
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Old 07-03-20, 05:45 PM
  #28  
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Like everything else in life, it depends.

I'm not surprised that people don't need to eat on 30 mile rides or indoor rides. A cup of coffee and 100 calories of something an an hour before gets me through a 2 hour workout of any kind, indoor or out. Longer than 2 hours and outside means I'll have to put something in. Indoors I've done centuries on just water but outside that's not realistic.

Between 30 and 50 miles or on my group weekend rides, I'll take liquid carbs because the ride is longer and I push harder with the group but I don't need to eat until after, which is usually lots of protein and an electrolyte drink.

When I'm training for centuries, I train up to 80 miles or so and I'll eat on a distance training ride like that just to practice bonk prevention. I learned this the hard way when I bonked 50 miles into a 70 miler with 8,000 feet of climbing.

I use sour patch kids as ride fuel because they're easy to piecemeal and yummy. On a century when you're burning 3 days worth of food, you need to eat. I tend to go for 200 calories or so an hour between food and drink, but YMMV.
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Old 07-04-20, 08:29 AM
  #29  
RH Clark
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I have experimented with my diet for 2 years. I've gone from a 360 lb guy who couldn't ride a bike out of sight to a 170 lb cyclist who rides about 100 miles a week in 2 years. When I am on a carb eating cycle I find that I will need more carbs every few hours to maintain energy. If I have been on extremely low carbs long enough to solidly enter ketosis, then I can keep my energy high even in a longer than 24 hour fasted state. It's a balancing act however between the right amount to lose fat and retain muscle. I definitely try to get the best nutrition from all my food and I never eat what I consider junk even on a ride. If I need carbs,I'll be eating natural healthy carbs and not candy bars and junk foods.
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Old 07-04-20, 08:46 AM
  #30  
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I only eat ancient grains like farro, quinoa, oats plus nuts and seeds, plain yogurt, egg whites lots of citrus and apples. Alcohol is red wine and sparingly. I always have whey protein after a workout, always.

Before, I avoid eating but have a pre workout supplement with creatine, citrulline, BCAAs and huperzine A.

I donít think starchy foods before working out are a good idea.
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Old 07-04-20, 10:20 AM
  #31  
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When I used to ride in the morning before work, I found that I could easily go 90 minutes without issue on nothing but a couple cups of black coffee. Maybe as long as 2 hours. Longer than that, I needed to either take eat something or drink something with carbs. The coffee might have had something to do with it, but I never did the control experiment of going without, because why would I forego coffee? That's madness!

Now I ride after work, and usually on nothing but a sandwich and an apple 4 hours prior. Again, up to 90 minutes. Sometimes I wish I had eaten, but it's more feeling hungry than running out of blood sugar.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:03 AM
  #32  
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Is food overrated?
Reported.

Seriously though you stated that a handful of peanuts were consumed...

So, even an eighth of a cup (18g) would have 100 calories, which is what I try and consume an hour while riding. Eating fat is where it's at
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Old 07-04-20, 11:12 AM
  #33  
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Definitely over-promoted as a way to instantly increase your fitness. Take a kook at actual dietary science and you'll find it takes 1-5 hours (simple carbs to complex proteins, respectively) for your body to digest anything into a form usable by your body's cells, so 1-2 hours rides shouldn't be an issue as long as you east a balanced diet, maybe throw in a few extra carbs if your weight drops due to ongoing cycling activity.

Better is to get in shape and keep hydrated in hotter weather. Do an occasional session of sprint intervals (or hill repeats) to 'up' your anaerobic fitness level, push some sections on a long distance rides, and you should see improvement. Dehydration will wear you down faster than lack of calories if you're eating a balanced diet, so don't be afraid to drink water regularly, especially if you're riding in warm weather - a little too much is far better than too little.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:36 AM
  #34  
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Alright, so I rode 100 miles today, over 3400kj of work done. I consumed about 1100 calories during the ride, sis beta fuel in a bottle, one clif bar, and two gels. In part I paced myself to stay about 200w NP and didnít dig deep with efforts but I think it goes to show that food can be a bit overrated, especially if you end up over consuming relative to the effort
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Old 07-04-20, 11:59 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
just returned from 25 mile ride feeling good. I ate handful of peanuts, coffee glass of iced tea.
been riding early since Covid often on empty stomach.
feeling good, losing weight. by cutting back on my food I'm feeling better. but dumb founded. so what is the science here?
There is science behind fasting. Intermittent eating etc..... Routine is good too.
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Old 07-04-20, 02:00 PM
  #36  
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Short term, the things you had will get you what energy is needed. Over time that kind of diet can limit your abilities to keep up or go farther than what you achieved.
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Old 07-04-20, 02:25 PM
  #37  
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Still archived here before they moved platforms:
https://www.velonews.com/tag/fast-talk-podcast/

And:
https://www.trainerroad.com/blog/tag/podcast/

Folks should try a lot of those out. Good ideas and talks. Things to think about. To say there isn't science isn't genuine. The science just has to be applied judiciously to your own personal situation. Which is why coaches and nutritionists for elite people is "a thing". And doctors. Not everybody knows your BMI, ftp, insulin sensitivity, aerobic base, fat utilization, amount of glycogen stores, etc............

The short of it for me is that a morning fasted ride is an easier way to do a ride in a glycogen depleted state to cause a dependence on different energy systems for a workout. You don't have to do that. You can also do some VO2 before a long ride. Deplete, then extend. It's just that deplete and extend is much more mentally taxing on people having to do hard work just to have to suffer through another couple hours of well........work.

Not everybody is a bike racer, so for a non-racer I would recommend eating dinner earlier.......not snacking.......then wakeup and ride with H2O. A non bike racer doesn't need to do 30/30's or 3x3's to the point of puking to deplete their glycogen. That's simply unnecessary.

For the bike racer........I'd honestly say I feel deplete and extend is better simply because it mimics racing more.
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Old 07-04-20, 02:39 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Still archived here before they moved platforms:
https://www.velonews.com/tag/fast-talk-podcast/

And:
https://www.trainerroad.com/blog/tag/podcast/

Folks should try a lot of those out. Good ideas and talks. Things to think about. To say there isn't science isn't genuine. The science just has to be applied judiciously to your own personal situation. Which is why coaches and nutritionists for elite people is "a thing". And doctors. Not everybody knows your BMI, ftp, insulin sensitivity, aerobic base, fat utilization, amount of glycogen stores, etc............

The short of it for me is that a morning fasted ride is an easier way to do a ride in a glycogen depleted state to cause a dependence on different energy systems for a workout. You don't have to do that. You can also do some VO2 before a long ride. Deplete, then extend. It's just that deplete and extend is much more mentally taxing on people having to do hard work just to have to suffer through another couple hours of well........work.

Not everybody is a bike racer, so for a non-racer I would recommend eating dinner earlier.......not snacking.......then wakeup and ride with H2O. A non bike racer doesn't need to do 30/30's or 3x3's to the point of puking to deplete their glycogen. That's simply unnecessary.

For the bike racer........I'd honestly say I feel deplete and extend is better simply because it mimics racing more.
Difficult questions to answer indeed. I'm 52 years old and though a very trim and muscular 175lbs my routine will differ greatly from what it would have been for my 25 year old self. Just on the simple question of whether or not I want to work out in a fasted state or about an hour after a meal all depends on my goals and if I want to cut fat or build muscle. I'm not saying I have it all figured out, as far as the perfect diet and exercise program, for me but I can tell you that it isn't simple and I don't think any one approach will fit everyone. I cross train with free weights ,and calisthenics, and yoga. I have times when I eat a lot and times when I fast.
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Old 07-04-20, 04:03 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
just returned from 25 mile ride feeling good. I ate handful of peanuts, coffee glass of iced tea.
been riding early since Covid often on empty stomach.
feeling good, losing weight. by cutting back on my food I'm feeling better. but dumb founded. so what is the science here?
Overnight your body converts fat into carbs via gluconeogenesis, so you should generally have 25g of blood sugar (100 calories), 100g of glycogen in your liver (400), and 400g (1600) in your muscles noting you can't move glycogen between muscle fibers.

Exercise is powered by an intensity, training, and diet dependent mix of carbs and body fat. A little fat helps satiety and protein alertness although they can't be digested fast enough to provide energy.

At high intensity, recruiting fast twitch muscle fibers allows using the glycogen in them and endurance is too limited to run out.

At lower intensity, only 1/4 to 1/3 of your calories come from carbs.

Most people with some training don't need to eat on or before rides under four hours, and past that you only need to keep up with the 1/4 to 1/3 of your calories coming from carbs.

Rob Gray's metabolic test results from the wattage list. FTP was 292W. On flat ground 200W is about 20 MPH, 150W 18, and 100W 15. 1 kj out = 1 W * 1 sec = 1 kcal = 1 calorie in is a useful approximation; e,g, 100% of FTP. = 292 W, * 3600 w = 1051 calories.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 07-05-20 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 07-04-20, 07:58 PM
  #40  
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This is a good read:

https://www.hammernutrition.com/medi...nghandbook.pdf

Take-aways:
- You cannot replace all the energy or fluids used during the workout- don't try.
- Eat and drink the least amount that will keep performance for the duration.
- If you weigh the same after a workout as before, that means you are over-hydrated. 2% weight loss is fine. (For me @ 165lbs= over 1.5 quarts)
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Old 07-04-20, 08:19 PM
  #41  
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I generally only eat in the evening, so most all of my rides are done without eating. Although I ride for pleasure more than anything else, so I'm not pressing my physical limits.
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Old 07-04-20, 08:59 PM
  #42  
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I'm not here to contribute any response to your question, but my purpose is only to satisfy the 10 post requirement.
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Old 07-04-20, 09:23 PM
  #43  
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Indyfabz what brake levers do you have on your surly? The hoods seem quite a bit bigger then mine (Tektra) I have been trying to find a larger more comfortable pair. I'm referring to the picture in post 26. Thanks. Nice rig by the way.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:06 PM
  #44  
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I don't know about the science but I do know that snacking on dried fruits/nuts on logging/mining road tours in Northern Ontario, Canada makes a big difference in how you feel after a couple of hours.

A couple of friends and I were up there a number of years ago and after a couple of hours riding they wanted to stop for lunch. I told them that the area we were in was really bad for black flies and mosquitoes. We stopped, they started to pull stuff out for a lunch and then quickly packed it all away again. We rode for a fair bit more and got to an open area where we decided to camp. THey asked me why I wasn't starving and why I still had strength to continue. I told them I'd been snacking on dried fruits and nut as we rode along.

The next day I shared some of my snacks with them and they found it much easier to keep going.

It's pretty amazing how many calories you burn up riding a bike with 30 - 40 pounds of gear up and down hills especially up hills with loose surfaces that cause wheel slippage.

Cheers
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Old 07-05-20, 02:17 AM
  #45  
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i always fuel to meet the needs of the ride , short and intense will need more sugars fast energy , long and endurance will need protein and carbs , my body doesn't respond well to fasted rides !
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Old 07-05-20, 07:09 AM
  #46  
RH Clark
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I've been practicing intermittent fasting for close to 2 years. I only eat once a day now about 95% of the time though I will eat if I feel like I need food. When I first started even 4 hours without some kind of calorie and I would start feeling weak. After stretching that fasted time longer and longer over time, I stopped feeling hungry and weak between meals and actually have more energy than before with the exception of needing an hour or two after a meal when I will feel my weakest. I think a diet of foods high on the glycemic scale will force anyone to eat frequent meals or suffer fatigue. If you want to study it in depth, I suggest looking into what triggers insulin, how insulin controls blood sugar ,and how blood sugar levels effect performance and hunger.

I don't think the human race would have survived if we couldn't operate physically after 12 hours without food. There are also huge health benefits, especially for older people when the body enters into autophagy, which won't happen if we are consuming calories every couple hours.
Fasted rides of about 6 hours or less and I do fine with no loss of energy. I have no need to try to push my body to collapse just to prove how far or long I can cycle. I cycle for fun and my health. Someone pushing the limits will obviously have different needs and should know and understand those needs before even striving to those levels if they want to stay healthy.

Last edited by RH Clark; 07-05-20 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 07-05-20, 08:43 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Thruhiker View Post
Indyfabz what brake levers do you have on your surly? The hoods seem quite a bit bigger then mine (Tektra) I have been trying to find a larger more comfortable pair. I'm referring to the picture in post 26. Thanks. Nice rig by the way.
Tektro. Whatever came stock in 2011.
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Old 07-05-20, 06:35 PM
  #48  
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Science is dead, it has been taken over by politics. If you eat less, or ride more, you lose weight. If you eat less and ride more, you lose even more weight, there is nothing scientific about it, its simple nature.
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Old 07-05-20, 06:49 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by MeagreAger View Post
I'm not here to contribute any response to your question, but my purpose is only to satisfy the 10 post requirement.
We appreciate your candor.
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Old 07-06-20, 06:48 AM
  #50  
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I do rides up to 60 km/40mi (or ~2.5h) without eating. If I intend to do a longer ride, I try to take some food with me, or I buy some on the way. I have bonked a couple of times approcahing the 60km mark, but have also done 70 km just fine without food, but the 60 km seem to be my average limit for riding without eating. On a century ride I'd eat about one sandwich or Snickers bar once in an hour, and drink 0.5-1.-0l of Coke in addition to water.

Regarding hydration I've noticed that I usually drink less than seems to be the average or recommended - for a 60 km ride I usually drink roughly 0.5l of water and the same amount of water water or beer afterwards.
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