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Is food over rated?

Old 07-03-20, 07:38 AM
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thehammerdog
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Is food over rated?

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?
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Old 07-03-20, 08:19 AM
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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?
Much reduced insulin levels.. body does more thorough cleaning of whole cell system. Thinner is better. DO.. get enough protein to keep muscle atrophy at bay though.
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Old 07-03-20, 08:53 AM
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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?
The science is that this experiment is not designed correctly to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Science asks a question. In this case it seems: Is food overrated (for cycling)?
You then design an experiment to prove or disprove the hypothesis, or answer the question. The variables of the experiment should act to answer the question directly.
In this case, for a reasonably fit cyclist, 25 miles is not a long enough distance for food, eaten en route, to make a demonstrable difference.

At this point you need to reconsider the variables and rerun the experiment. Try riding 100 miles and see what happens. Will you bonk? Is food overrated?
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Old 07-03-20, 09:08 AM
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dusty01
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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?


so I do a bunch of different physical exercises, and I perform better fasted. I like to lift or run at 0430 in morning and then head to work outdoors doing physical work. I値l eat at around lunch for the first time. I have better results and feel better this way than eating a breakfast.
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Old 07-03-20, 09:29 AM
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I think you should look at the science behind fasted cardio as it has been shown as a good way to burn fat. My experience has been under 20 miles I just go and am fine.

20-50 you will feel better if you eat carbs the night before. For me this is a pint of low alcohol beer (4.75% lager) and some pasta. During the ride, just eat some carbs... it is not complicated but bananas and fig bars are good choices. Eat small and often.

For me drinking (water) is really key. A lot of water before I go. A water bottle per hour along the road. Learn to drink on the bike and you will be happy!
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Old 07-03-20, 09:46 AM
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Honestly, I would have gone without food too if I didn't get annoying migraines whenever I'm very hungry.

Hunger is one of my triggers for migraine headaches.

Water is one thing you can't go without though. I always ride in ~110 degree heat and in only 30 minutes of hard pedaling, my mouth is bone dry and dying to get some water!
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Old 07-03-20, 09:51 AM
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Very overrated, I quit years ago and haven't had to take a **** since.
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Old 07-03-20, 09:56 AM
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I could do 25 miles fasted seven days a week. I don't eat anything on rides under 50 miles. I did this month's Strava Metric Challenge on a single bottle of water.

And I eat a whole lot. I'm not thin and I love food. I'm eating chorizo tacos while I type this. Some rides make me hungry, some rides don't. But food is definitely not overrated.

If not for food, what is the point of any of this?
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Old 07-03-20, 09:58 AM
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Is food overrated?

In general, no... but I guess you mean while cycling.

I typically ride 15 - 25 miles, and all I ever take with me is a little 35mm film container of sunflower seeds and a 20oz. bottle of water. Longer rides would be a different story, but for these distances, I usually eat nothing and drink maybe 8 ounces of water. If I think of it, I'll down my snack 15 miles into my longer rides. I do eat before riding, hopefully with a half hour to digest in between.

Science is good, but so is listening to your body and what makes you feel well and good.
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Old 07-03-20, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dusty01 View Post
so I do a bunch of different physical exercises, and I perform better fasted. I like to lift or run at 0430 in morning and then head to work outdoors doing physical work. I値l eat at around lunch for the first time. I have better results and feel better this way than eating a breakfast.
agree 100%.
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Old 07-03-20, 11:42 AM
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Unless I want to feel a lack of energy and hunger,I cannot ride 25 miles without eating before and/or during the ride. I have always been skinny with a naturally fast metabolism. I am 5' 8" and weigh about 150 to 155 with nothing on. In the winter I usually hover within 2 lbs. of 160. Food definitely not overrated. I drink close to 1 quart of liquids, usually water, per hour while riding.
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Old 07-03-20, 12:32 PM
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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?
Seems to me like you've inadvertently discovered what the intermittent fasting crowd has been trying to tell people for a while. I.e., you might actually feel better if you eat less. I speak from experience on this and starting next week I'll be doing my quarterly 3 day food fast were I just drink green tea and/or black coffee for 3 days (no sugar or carbs as that defeats the purpose of fasting). During those days I don't do any hard rides as to risk over-stressing my body, but that time away from food gives my body a "break from food" in which it apparently goes into a "reparative mode". (Longer fasts from food usually result in the body being able to do more repair.)

Anywho, OP, I encourage you to continue to research and experiment with calorie restriction and it's effect on your body. You'll certainly be bucking the trend of over-eating that most of society is addicted to, but your body will thank you. (This is assuming you're not diabetic.)

Note that I'm not suggesting that starving yourself is a good or healthy training plan... If you're a competitive cyclist, fasting probably isn't for you. However, if you're a normal recreational cyclist looking to improve your overall health and lose weight, calorie restriction is certainly something you should consider.

Last edited by PoorInRichfield; 07-03-20 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 07-03-20, 12:37 PM
  #13  
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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?
It shouldn't be a surprise that 25 mile rides don't require food. Just water is fine (before and during) for short ones, even at a quick pace.

I wouldn't try that with a fast century, or a really tough climb, though.
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Old 07-03-20, 12:37 PM
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unterhausen
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Depends on how long a ride takes me. There are some short rides around here that are just a climb up a mountain, and I probably would eat on a 25 mile ride. Generally I wouldn't though, I usually have to force myself to start eating at 25 miles if I'm going on a longer ride, or I start feeling horrible at about 50 miles.
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Old 07-03-20, 12:40 PM
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yes. drink, on the other hand...
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Old 07-03-20, 12:44 PM
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I致e bonked enough times that I rarely/never go out on a ride without at least SOME food on board. Even a flat 20 miles I have a mini clif bar in my pocket just in case.

I致e done fasted rides/runs, but I usually have to top up the glycogen levels straight after, be it a sandwich, bowl of cereal or a protein shake. I try not to do that if I知 planning on doing any climbing.

And I always have a bottle of water. And these days, a second bottle with electrolytes for any ride more than 2 hours.
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Old 07-03-20, 01:18 PM
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I rode 35 miles last evening with two Cliff bars in my pocket. Came home and set them aside for the next ride. On a 50 mile ride I might eat them. 70 miles, them and a PB sandwich. But I often come home with uneaten food.

In my racing days I rode my 45 mile loop early before I ate anything. Did it in 2 hours flat once, honoring traffic signals. For important races, I ate nothing but fruit and liquids the 24 hours before.

Now conditioning counts for a lot! I've ridden 70 miles on nothing but Vitalyte in my water bottles. I've also ridden 40 miles when I wasn't in great form and had to eat my way through it.
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Old 07-03-20, 01:20 PM
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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 no such thing as nutrition science...Nutrition science is not real science, it is just a bunch of theories, opinions, anecdotes and wild guesses, all of it to be taken with a grain of salt...If you're eating a certain way and it works for you, then that's all that matters, just keep doing what you're doing and ignore science..
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Old 07-03-20, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dusty01 View Post
so I do a bunch of different physical exercises, and I perform better fasted. I like to lift or run at 0430 in morning and then head to work outdoors doing physical work. I値l eat at around lunch for the first time. I have better results and feel better this way than eating a breakfast.
I've had the same experience as what you describe. I have more energy in the morning, more mental clarity and overall better feeing when I skip breakfast and start eating later in the day. I can easily do a 3 hour fasted bike ride very early in the morning or do some other workout in a fasted state and feel great.
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Old 07-03-20, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
There is no such thing as nutrition science...Nutrition science is not real science, it is just a bunch of theories, opinions, anecdotes and wild guesses, all of it to be taken with a grain of salt...If you're eating a certain way and it works for you, then that's all that matters, just keep doing what you're doing and ignore science..

I think there's some science, but it's all pointing in the direction of "everybody is different" , which basically means it's going to be useless in determining what you should do. Trial and error, only thing that makes sense.
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Old 07-03-20, 01:47 PM
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A 25 mile ride on my roadie is usually an after work ride, and I'll eat a banana and drink a Kroger sugar free energy drink before hand, but I won't worry much about anything during the ride.
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Old 07-03-20, 01:51 PM
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I do a fasted 25 mile ride several times a week. I generally eat my usual breakfast before my routine weekly century and the 70 mile or so ride the next day. Lately, I have been eating only protein bars on the long rides. Pre-COVID I would do a 150 mile ride per week with a full meal at about 75 miles. I don't want to eat at restaurants right now, so that's out. The meal thing worked for me, but I don't think I'm typical, so don't try this at home.
​​​​​​
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Old 07-03-20, 02:44 PM
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I'm curious, for those of you who say you feel and perform better fasted than when you have breakfast; how long in advance of your exercise do you eat your breakfast in those cases. I often do fasted rides in the morning, especially in the summer with the early daylight. However, if I am able to have a good breakfast such as oatmeal made with whole milk, with a banana and raisins, then wait a couple hours, I find that I do indeed have more energy for rides extending to 3 hours and beyond.
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Old 07-03-20, 02:51 PM
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Hence the 田lub cut cycling jersey.
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Old 07-03-20, 03:27 PM
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I think food during rides is a bit overrated. I do indoor workouts and my recent 2hr workouts with 20-30min intervals at 90% ftp (ftp is 285) use about 1500 calories. I do those workouts with a cup of coffee and maybe 100 calories of something else solid and I知 good to go because I知 never that depleted since I eat the rest of the day. I can assure many recreational cyclists on this forum don稚 expend as much. Given that our bodies carry a lot of stored glycogen, a lot of folks don稚 need anything at all
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