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Old 11-03-21, 09:40 PM
just another gosling
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
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Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
So I noticed that when I don't start riding shortly after my breakfast at home, but instead eat and then drive to a mountain pass, I invariably have an upset stomach upon reaching the top. Fuel is good, I don't feel bad, don't lose power beyond maybe a few watts (but well at that intensity and altitude for longer passes it isn't the sugar intake causing that) and yet when I get to the top I noticed my tummy is upset. Feels like burping helps, which is a sign of air, i.e. empty, I believe. I take my energy from drink mix and dates (and yes, I stuff a 200g, which is 132g of sugar, bag into my pocket and eat a couple every 15 minutes) so carb content is high enough, but obviously there isn't a lot of volume in the tummy. Dates when chewed properly are nothing, the liquid is liquid, that's it. When I cycle from home relatively shortly after breakfast, even riding two hours and then doing a 1 hour climb, I do not get an upset stomach.

Is this a thing? I mean it is just 1.5-2 hours that pass in the car, not using much energy there, so it must also be a filling issue, can't be that in that time all the breakfast energy is used up. I am already thinking taking breakfast with me and just eating a normal amount right in the morning. But also, maybe looking for other options to take with me during the ride, stuff a crustless sandwich (I love bread) into my back pocket or something. Can this be a thing? Anyone ever came across it?
My rule is to pre-fuel in one of 2 ways: Either something like a Clif bar 15' before I start riding or a high carb, fast digesting breakfast 2-3 hours ahead, toward the 3 end being preferred. I've tried a zillion things, but what always works perfectly for me is the same stuff I put in my food bottle: a 7:1 mix by weight of maltodextrin and flavored whey protein. I mix the powder up in a large container (an empty 5 lbs. whey container) ahead of time, like once a month or something. The mix is about 240 kcal/half cup. I buy the malto in 50# bags from a homebrew supply house.

For breakfast, I dissolve ~400 kcal in a pint of water and refrigerate overnight, then drink it 2-3 hours before the start. Stomach is then empty, my insulin spike is over, and I'm all carbed up. I put the same stuff in my food bottle at a max rate of 2c powder per bottle. For long rides, I take more with me in baggies. I drink a swallow or 2 from my food bottle every 15' right from the start, never a spike, never a bonk. My other bottle is plain water or for really dry rides, a Camelbak. I carry Endurolyte caps for electrolytes.

In any case, what I've observed in the field is that riders who have too much difficult-to-digest stuff in their stomachs get stomach upsets on a long hard climb. I've seen people bonk because they couldn't get their stomach to empty - it's called sloshy stomach.
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