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Hot day nutrition?

Old 07-17-19, 06:39 PM
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UniChris
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Hot day nutrition?

Did my third ever century on Tuesday, and spent most of the day feeling like I was going to hurl.

Less than a month ago I'd ridden one where the "real food" plan of making turkey and cheese sandwiches the night before and freezing them to eat bit by bit through the morning worked out well. But this time, presumably because of the heat I just ended up sick to my stomach, starting with a "threw up in my mouth" incident while leaning over filling water bottles from a gallon jug around 10:45 am. It didn't help that I'd stayed with my sister's family the night before and my nephew had been sick that afternoon - pretty sure I was just suffering the heat and exertion but it did add to worries. Got down a bit of a cliff bar, but for quite a while took in no calories except in gatorade mix and the tiny bit in Nuun tablets. Around 60 miles I bought a pack of twizzlers (which has become something of a tradition) and at 80 a full box of pop tarts when I really only wanted one envelope. Pretty much ran on those and the gatorade - but kept getting into situations where I was just dangerously out of energy and would have to walk to a shady spot, take off my helmet and shade brim, sit down, eat and drink, and wait to cool down before I could go on. Even on a far easier route, with all those forced breaks I only beat my previous time by a few minutes.

What's the right thing to be eating in hot weather?

Gatorade type things alone get old before they can be the sole energy source.

Seems like something with protein and fat just takes too much to digest on a hot day.

Gels and candy type sugar?

Is it time to get into the specific liquid nutrition like Hammer, etc?

What about something more mass-market like Ensure - too much like protein and fat beyond the necessary carbs for a hot day?

I'm not really trying to eat while riding (I need those moments out of the saddle), so it's more about what provides energy without making me sick, than what I could actually eat while pedaling.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-17-19 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 07-17-19, 06:45 PM
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Fig Newtons work well for me.
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Old 07-17-19, 07:26 PM
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GU or Clif Shots (my preference) would probably work in the situation you described. You can choke them down and quickly get the nutrition you need, even if you don't feel like eating. Convenient, you could carry enough for a century in one pocket.
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Old 07-17-19, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
GU or Clif Shots (my preference) would probably work in the situation you described. You can choke them down and quickly get the nutrition you need, even if you don't feel like eating. Convenient, you could carry enough for a century in one pocket.
Yes, the irony is that I bought a power gel at a cycling expo a few years back thinking I'd see how I react. That somehow became carrying it around saving for a bonk, a panic that I'd lost it somewhere in my apartment and it was going to leak, and it's eventual long expired resting place in the fridge.

I should just get one and try it on an uncommitted ride already.

I was seriously eyeing the squeezable strawberry jam at the grocery store around mile 80 but the bottle felt so heavy.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:02 PM
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You can get Clif Shots gel packs in the Adult Nutrition aisle at Walmart. Less than $1. Not just for emergencies, IMO.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:18 PM
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Another vote for Fig Newtons. Individually packaged, easy to carry, inexpensive, and most importantly-- you never feel like you have to choke 'em down.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Did my third ever century on Tuesday, and spent most of the day feeling like I was going to hurl.

Less than a month ago I'd ridden one where the "real food" plan of making turkey and cheese sandwiches the night before and freezing them to eat bit by bit through the morning worked out well. But this time, presumably because of the heat I just ended up sick to my stomach, starting with a "threw up in my mouth" incident while leaning over filling water bottles from a gallon jug around 10:45 am. It didn't help that I'd stayed with my sister's family the night before and my nephew had been sick that afternoon - pretty sure I was just suffering the heat and exertion but it did add to worries. Got down a bit of a cliff bar, but for quite a while took in no calories except in gatorade mix and the tiny bit in Nuun tablets. Around 60 miles I bought a pack of twizzlers (which has become something of a tradition) and at 80 a full box of pop tarts when I really only wanted one envelope. Pretty much ran on those and the gatorade - but kept getting into situations where I was just dangerously out of energy and would have to walk to a shady spot, take off my helmet and shade brim, sit down, eat and drink, and wait to cool down before I could go on. Even on a far easier route, with all those forced breaks I only beat my previous time by a few minutes.

What's the right thing to be eating in hot weather?

Gatorade type things alone get old before they can be the sole energy source.

Seems like something with protein and fat just takes too much to digest on a hot day.

Gels and candy type sugar?

Is it time to get into the specific liquid nutrition like Hammer, etc?

What about something more mass-market like Ensure - too much like protein and fat beyond the necessary carbs for a hot day?

I'm not really trying to eat while riding (I need those moments out of the saddle), so it's more about what provides energy without making me sick, than what I could actually eat while pedaling.
Be careful here. You might have been flirting with heat stroke, which has little to do with food.
Sounds like you were in heat exhaustion, and your breaks in the shade were what saved you. You might have to make some rules about what weather you will and won't do centuries in. This really isn't something you want to screw with.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:33 PM
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Whole wheat Fig Newtons = anti-bonk insurance. Theyíre the original Gu/Clif/PowerBar.


-Kedosto

Edited to add: Go back and reread livedarklions post #7. Legit.

Last edited by Kedosto; 07-17-19 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:34 PM
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Funny with the Fig Newtons referenced above, I've added those to my rotation on long trips a few rides ago. Love them. Walmart brand for about $1. No more Cliff bars for me.

I require a lot of water. The one thing that works for me on long hot days is drink a little of plain water a lot. Like a couple of swigs every mile or even more. I eat something small at least every 20 minutes. Even in the beginning right out of the gate. That has worked for me in the last few 90+ mile rides I've done in typical 95F mid atlantic humid weather. For better or worse, those conditions may involve a short storm for some relief. If I wait until I am thirsty and drink 16+ ounces at once for example, it may be too late. For me.. 1 - the burps, 2- sour stomach, 3 - worse when I drink or eat, 4 - sweaty with goose bumps 5 - on all fours sick swearing I will never do this again 6 - never experienced but trained on it in first aid. Learned real quick to stop, slow or do whatever it takes to never get worse than 3.
If water is readily available, dumping a water bottle over my head helps a lot. I have waded in the Potomac before on a century that included a part of the C&O.

Last edited by u235; 07-18-19 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Be careful here. You might have been flirting with heat stroke, which has little to do with food.
Sounds like you were in heat exhaustion, and your breaks in the shade were what saved you. You might have to make some rules about what weather you will and won't do centuries in. This really isn't something you want to screw with.
This is definitely a valid concern. However, I know I wasn't eating enough to do the ride on an other than fat-burning basis, which given what I have available to burn might work for a survival trek but not for the ready energy demands of cycling even at my slow pace. And the reason I wasn't eating was that under the conditions the food I'd packed made me feel sick.

In terms of heat exhaustion, for the troublesome hours I was mostly threading through tree-screened corridors within a hundred yards of quite built-up areas so wasn't really concerned; would have been a while before I could get collected by family, but plenty of opportunities to seek or get help. And at refills I probably dumped out almost as much water to replace it with fresh as I had consumed, so was never really low on that despite drinking about as much as I felt I could. Nor was there any shortage of other people riding, and it being a weekday many were a decade or two older than I, though in most cases not going as far. I think I might have at times been in danger of abandoning the ride, but never really in danger danger - avoiding the parts when I might have been getting close to that was why there were a few cases where I walked into the shade rather than riding there.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-17-19 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Whole wheat Fig Newtons = anti-bonk insurance. They’re the original Gu/Clif/PowerBar.
Why whole wheat? I thought complexity was kind of the opposite of intent, ie, normally if I'd by bread at all (which I wouldn't) I'd get whole wheat but for ride sandwiches I try to pick a white one just heavy enough not to squish too badly.
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Old 07-17-19, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
This is definitely a valid concern. However, I know I wasn't eating enough to do the ride on an other than fat-burning basis, which given what I have available to burn might work for a survival trek but not for the ready energy demands of cycling even at my slow pace. And the reason I wasn't eating was that under the conditions the food I'd packed made me feel sick.

In terms of heat exhaustion, for the troublesome hours I was mostly threading through tree-screened corridors within a hundred yards of quite built-up areas so wasn't really concerned; would have been a while before I could get collected by family, but plenty of opportunities to seek or get help. And at refills I probably dumped out almost as much water to replace it with fresh as I had consumed, so was never really low on that despite drinking about as much as I felt I could. Nor was there any shortage of other people riding, and it being a weekday many were a decade or two older than I, though in most cases not going as far. I think I might have at times been in danger of abandoning the ride, but never really in danger danger - avoiding the parts when I might have been getting close to that was why there were a few cases where I walked into the shade rather than riding there.
Do food and energy requirements really change much comparing a hot to cold day? Your hydration and ability for your body to work in heat sure do. Sounds like the food was making you sick because you were entering hydration and heat related issues.
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Old 07-17-19, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Do food and energy requirements really change much comparing a hot to cold day? Your hydration and ability for your body to work in heat with hydration sure do. Sounds like the food was making you sick because you were entering hydration and heat related issues.
I don't think the energy required changes much, no. But the ability to absorb it from sources that work in more moderate weather seems to.

I don't really think I was having hydration issues since I always had that available and was drinking often, more Nuun or gatorade than straight water which seemed to make me sick if I took more than a few mouthfulls.

But I do think I was running out of ready energy, because I was eating a lot less than I ordinarily would - basically just one sandwich before setting out, about 3/4 of another in the early morning hours and then nothing but gatorade and half a cliff bar until around 2:30 when I got the twizzlers and 6 when I got the pop tarts.
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Old 07-17-19, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Why whole wheat? I thought complexity was kind of the opposite of intent, ie, normally if I'd by bread at all (which I wouldn't) I'd get whole wheat but for ride sandwiches I try to pick a white one just heavy enough not to squish too badly.
I go with whole wheat for the slower carb burn. For me, the quick sugar shot type products leave me feeling worse for the latter parts of a long ride. My unscientific theory is the figgy middle is the quick hit, the whole wheat part is the slow burn.

It sounds like you got behind the curve. The idea is to fuel and hydrate before you feel the need. You werenít feeling well before you even started - your nephew might have had something to do with that - so you pretty much started behind your needs and it only got worse as you went. My guess is that near the end you were under fueled and under hydrated even though you were doing as much as you could stomach. At that point you were too far behind. The heat only made matters worse.


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Old 07-17-19, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
I don't think the energy required changes much, no. But the ability to absorb it from sources that work in more moderate weather seems to.

I don't really think I was having hydration issues since I always had that available and was drinking often, more Nuun or gatorade than straight water which seemed to make me sick if I took more than a few mouthfulls.

But I do think I was running out of ready energy, because I was eating a lot less than I ordinarily would - basically just one sandwich before setting out, about 3/4 of another in the early morning hours and then nothing but gatorade and half a cliff bar until around 2:30 when I got the twizzlers and 6 when I got the pop tarts.
When I get to the stage of more than a few mouthfuls of fluid or food make me queasy (my stage 3 I listed above), it is because of hydration and heat and falling behind. Maybe you are different but everything else you describe is spot on.
I've never really heard of what food to eat when you are working out in the extreme hot and humid, all of the conversations revolve around staying hydrated. Maybe there is a food component that has been overlooked.

Last edited by u235; 07-17-19 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 07-17-19, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
It sounds like you got behind the curve. The idea is to fuel and hydrate before you feel the need. You weren’t feeling well before you even started
Exactly - once you get behind in my experience it takes a long time to catch up

your nephew might have had something to do with that
Actually I didn't have any thoughts in connection to his illness until after I started feeling off, and then tried to decide if it was that or something ride related before eventually concluding the latter. If anything, I'd say that the initial getting behind might have been that based on some last minute pre-planning another rider joined up from 8:30-9:30 and while I drank at many of the road crossings I didn't dig out any food in that time, as it still seemed so early and unnecessary when until then I'd been eating normally (1 sandwich around 4:30 while getting ready for the 5:15 start, another 3/4 in the 6:30-8am range). It was about an hour later at 10:30 that I first started feeling off - and initially worried it was a more general illness because it didn't even seem like it should be all that hot yet.

My guess is that near the end you were under fueled and under hydrated even though you were doing as much as you could stomach. At that point you were too far behind. The heat only made matters worse.
In this case that was more the middle. I came close to catching back up after the pop-tarts at mile 81 and a half hour of slow going, once feeling a little better the final ten miles either side of dusk were back to usual pacing. Family showed up with ice and some kind of fortified replenishment drink the label of which I didn't read, but it was the post-ride soup that really did it, at least once I added enough salt to make it palatable.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-17-19 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 07-17-19, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I've never really heard of what food to eat when you are working out in the extreme hot and humid, all of the conversations revolve around staying hydrated. Maybe there is a food component that has been overlooked.
In my thinking, appetite decreases because your body doesn't want the added work of digestion, but the activity itself has no lesser need for energy than it would in moderate temperature.
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Old 07-17-19, 11:57 PM
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If Iím going on a long and hot ride, I make sure to carry a salty snack. Pretzel Crisps in a ziplock bag are a good choice. And I make sure to drink a bottle of water per hour.

The worst rides Iíve had were due to not enough hydration or not enough salt intake.
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Old 07-18-19, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
This is definitely a valid concern. However, I know I wasn't eating enough to do the ride on an other than fat-burning basis, which given what I have available to burn might work for a survival trek but not for the ready energy demands of cycling even at my slow pace. And the reason I wasn't eating was that under the conditions the food I'd packed made me feel sick.

In terms of heat exhaustion, for the troublesome hours I was mostly threading through tree-screened corridors within a hundred yards of quite built-up areas so wasn't really concerned; would have been a while before I could get collected by family, but plenty of opportunities to seek or get help. And at refills I probably dumped out almost as much water to replace it with fresh as I had consumed, so was never really low on that despite drinking about as much as I felt I could. Nor was there any shortage of other people riding, and it being a weekday many were a decade or two older than I, though in most cases not going as far. I think I might have at times been in danger of abandoning the ride, but never really in danger danger - avoiding the parts when I might have been getting close to that was why there were a few cases where I walked into the shade rather than riding there.
I had heat exhaustion once in my teens, and the lead up to it sounds almost exactly like what you are describing. The problem is that you can feel like you're keeping just ahead of it, and then it's like a switch gets flipped, and even getting yourself to the shade becomes too difficult. Fortunately, the one time I had it, I wasn't alone, and the friend I was with was able to talk me through getting out of the heat. I don't know whether I would have been able to if I had been alone. The loss of ability to think clearly is really hard to describe, but it isn't anything I want to experience again.

I do a lot of hot weather riding, and I've never had a recurrence, but I gear down on long rides and take frequent air conditioning breaks with lots of fluids.
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Old 07-18-19, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
In my thinking, appetite decreases because your body doesn't want the added work of digestion, but the activity itself has no lesser need for energy than it would in moderate temperature.
In my thinking, body heat increasing beyond a certain point really messes with metabolic feedback loops.
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Old 07-18-19, 05:19 AM
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Lots of these ...



https://www.weis.com.au/products/mango-ice-cream-bar/


Or these ...



https://www.streetsicecream.com.au/b...pine-lime.html


And electrolyte pills.
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Old 07-18-19, 05:51 AM
  #22  
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It sounds trite but if someone isn't riding in the heat then they may need to just acclimate.

Suggesting specific foods is fine but the OP is in NYC where it is currently hotter than it normally is. It may just take time to get used to the heat.



-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 07-18-19 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:02 AM
  #23  
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Non spicy jerky & a sports drink is my suggestion.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Suggesting specific foods is fine but the OP is in NYC where it is hotter than normal.
Actually this was in Connecticut. Previous rides I've done in New York were a lot nicer once I got north of a ridge in Yonkers about five miles from where I start - did my first century last August on what felt like a hot but not unreasonable day in Westchester then got off a train back to the city and found it still unbearable there at midnight.

Riding a century in the city defies my imagination, this will be the last year they run the event that was about that.

Last edited by UniChris; 07-18-19 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 07-18-19, 07:24 AM
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Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate the day before and the morning of the event. Supplement with Potassium, Sodium and Magnesium if you have a history of heat exhaustion. Be diligent in timing your liquid and nutrition breaks. I wear a Camelbak to constantly sip water on hot rides.

I was hospitalized at 27 y/o for heat exhaustion. Took three bags of IV fluids before the nausea subsided and I could return to drinking water again without emesis. Once you cannot keep fluids down, you are in a medical emergency.
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