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3 hr ride without drinking nor eating safe?

Old 11-30-20, 02:58 AM
  #1  
cubewheels
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3 hr ride without drinking nor eating safe?

Today, I did a 3 hr ride. Mostly flat. Only few hills with one that is very steep that goes up 600 ft.

Traffic was only moving ~20 mph so I simply paced the traffic.

I did bring food and water with me with intent of consuming them at the of the hill during a brief stop. But I didn't. I wasn't hungry nor thirsty.

I continued the trip back home without touching the water nor food. Still wasn't hungry nor thirsty when I got home.

How safe is it? I wouldn't be bringing water and food if I knew I won't be touching them. They'll just slow me a down a tiny bit with the added weight.

The other cyclists I came across also traveled about the same distance (we were all going to the same destination, otherwise, I'm not part of their group, and riding solo) and got to the same hill but they took a big meal at the top at the restaurant. They were really hungry.
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Old 11-30-20, 04:30 AM
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I can go without food for 3 hours but I prefer to bring some snacks, what's the point of starving yourself ??...I always bring something to drink and I drink even when I don't feel thirsty....
Bringing food and water isn't going to add any significant weight and slow you down. It's better to bring something to eat and drink than to risk bonking and dehydration...You're not even racing so why be so obsessed with few extra grams of weight and speed ??
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Old 11-30-20, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I can go without food for 3 hours but I prefer to bring some snacks, what's the point of starving yourself ??...I always bring something to drink and I drink even when I don't feel thirsty....
Bringing food and water isn't going to add any significant weight and slow you down. It's better to bring something to eat and drink than to risk bonking and dehydration...You're not even racing so why be so obsessed with few extra grams of weight and speed ??
Not trying to starve myself, otherwise, I would not have brought food and water. I just didn't feel hungry, nor thirsty.

The previous 2 hr ride I did, I ate and drink all the food and water I brought because I did got hungry. It seems something has changed. That ride, I took heavy heavy meal of rice before the ride. Today, I only took cereals.

However, an hour after the ride today, I felt hungry and ate. My daily food intake didn't change however.

I ride as fast as possible that traffic allows as I still have a job. 2 jobs in fact.
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Old 11-30-20, 05:25 AM
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Oh, look, another thread from cubewheels about weight.
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Old 11-30-20, 10:45 AM
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you proved the point. yes it's ok, because you did it and felt fine
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Old 11-30-20, 12:36 PM
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I would always carry water or another drink. If you don't feel thirsty, you don't have to drink it. Eating is not necessary on a 3 hour ride, or even a longer ride.

If you become dehydrated, you can become quite weak.
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Old 11-30-20, 03:17 PM
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I personally wouldn't go 3 hours without drinking in tropical heat and humidity, but I perspire a lot - I sweated off 3 lbs in one hour just riding on Zwift last night in an unheated garage! But that's me.

For food, I've sometimes gone months carrying the same Clif Bar in my jersey pocket without eating it, as long as my longest ride was only about 3 hours. Much longer than that, and I have to eat.

BUT, I always carry water and food, having run out of both when I really needed them.
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Old 11-30-20, 03:25 PM
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Cramping is a sign of dehydration. I was on a two hour ride the other day and about 1:15 in started to get the hint of a leg cramp. After about 10 minutes it was getting worse, so I stopped and drank a half bottle of water. Fifteen minutes later and the start of a pain was gone. I'd have hated to not have had the water and gotten a cramp out there alone. I can do without food, however.
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Old 11-30-20, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I personally wouldn't go 3 hours without drinking in tropical heat and humidity, but I perspire a lot - I sweated off 3 lbs in one hour just riding on Zwift last night in an unheated garage! But that's me.

For food, I've sometimes gone months carrying the same Clif Bar in my jersey pocket without eating it, as long as my longest ride was only about 3 hours. Much longer than that, and I have to eat.

BUT, I always carry water and food, having run out of both when I really needed them.
Months? Might want to check the sell by date. Might be time to eat.
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Old 11-30-20, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
Months? Might want to check the sell by date. Might be time to eat.
As long as nothing's growing on it, I'm probably okay.

I am riding longer this year, so I have been rotating stocks. In fact for longer rides I've started taking two bars.
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Old 11-30-20, 06:06 PM
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A lot of folks go on long steady rides without eating for fat adaption. I've never done more than 2 hours, but I don't see 3 hours being out of the question if you ate well the day before and didn't go too hard.

On the other hand, I've never heard of anyone purposely not taking food or water because they thought it weighed too much.
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Old 11-30-20, 06:18 PM
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Where i used to live in west Texas, I'd say not safe. Here in the PNW, probably safe unless it's one of those rare hot days, or if you have blood sugar issues.

Comfortable is a different topic.
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Old 11-30-20, 06:26 PM
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Cool, thanks! I'll bring food and water with me all the time for >2 hr rides in case I do get hungry and thirsty.

I's good to know it's not bad not to eat nor drink if you don't feel the need.

I'm used to hot and humid 100F high noon sun rides (1 hr rides without food and water). But for longer rides, I always do it very early in the morning (where temperatures are far more bearable) to avoid "rush hour traffic" which slows me down quite a bit. My long routes have heavy traffic from 7:30am in the morning to 8pm at night so have to be home before 7:30 am if I can.
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Old 12-01-20, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Cool, thanks! I'll bring food and water with me all the time for >2 hr rides in case I do get hungry and thirsty.

I's good to know it's not bad not to eat nor drink if you don't feel the need.

I'm used to hot and humid 100F high noon sun rides (1 hr rides without food and water). But for longer rides, I always do it very early in the morning (where temperatures are far more bearable) to avoid "rush hour traffic" which slows me down quite a bit. My long routes have heavy traffic from 7:30am in the morning to 8pm at night so have to be home before 7:30 am if I can.
You can obviously get away without eating or drinking for a 3 hour ride... once in a while. However, I don't agree that it's "not bad" as a general statement. It's probably really bad if you do it on a regular basis and make it a training habit.
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Old 12-01-20, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
You can obviously get away without eating or drinking for a 3 hour ride... once in a while. However, I don't agree that it's "not bad" as a general statement. It's probably really bad if you do it on a regular basis and make it a training habit.
I defintely ate and hydrated when I got home. Nothing has changed in my daily diet. I'd eat if I feel it during rides. Just that particular ride felt easier. It was wet and wasn't pushing due to traffic and avoiding that spray getting in my face.
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Old 12-02-20, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I defintely ate and hydrated when I got home. Nothing has changed in my daily diet. I'd eat if I feel it during rides. Just that particular ride felt easier. It was wet and wasn't pushing due to traffic and avoiding that spray getting in my face.
Foregoing hydration during a 3 hr. ride is simply a bad idea, but it's really up to you. As for lack of nutrition during a 3 hr. ride, not the worst thing. You need to be taking in fluids before you feel thirsty. Once you feel thirsty you're already behind. Depending on the intensity of the ride and how far behind you have let yourself go, you may or may not be able to catch up. We all (sometimes) do things that are ill-advised, myself included. However, I wouldn't skimp on hydration.
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Old 12-02-20, 06:53 AM
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Once you have had a kidney stone you will never risk dehydration again.
Always cary something to drink.
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Old 12-02-20, 08:36 AM
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If it's hot out and I work hard (uphill, wind etc.), my appetite seems to disappear. I have to force myself to eat something to not collapse.
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Old 12-02-20, 12:49 PM
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There's so much misinformation in this thread. I vote you shouldn't believe nutrition advice from random internet geeks (including me!)

Nutrition and how your body works: Lots and lots written about this. If you are serious there is a lot to learn. I think the best beginner book I've seen is the "The Mountain Biker's Training Bible" by Joe Friel. The stuff by Maffetone is pretty interesting but I've not got onto that bandwagon because I only ride for fun.

Hydration: Check out: "waterlogged" by noakes.

My 2 cents:

Food: riding 3 hours without food can be totally fine. Lots depends on your rest and fueling before you start. If you are trained to ride 3 hours straight and you keep your intensity low enough you'll be fine. If you try to do hard hill intervals off and on for 3 hours in the freezing rain you'll need sugar or you will bonk. For road rides I'll do 3 hours without eating but effort is low. When I mtb it is pretty sprinty and desperate and I need the sugar.

Water: Again lots depends on your starting state but also the weather. When it is cool enough I can sometimes go for hours without wanting water. Other times I'm thirsty so I drink. Listen to your body.
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Old 12-02-20, 01:12 PM
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IMO water is something that should be along for ANY ride outside of the driveway of your home. Even if you aren't going to drink it having it to wash something out of your eye, a cut, etc. is invaluable.

I rarely carry food unless the ride is specifically to a picnic destination. I typically keep a few bucks with so if I get to a point of needing food a store or restaurant are rarely far away where I ride.
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Old 12-02-20, 01:54 PM
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I wouldn't want to be without water for anything more than a 30 minute ride. And that will be a ride without any effort on my part.

As you loose water your blood plasma must be getting harder for the heart to push it through the circulatory system. I've seen pumps burn out trying to pump thick goo, I'd rather my heart not burn out. Personal choice I realize <grin>.

How well hydrated you started the ride has a bearing as do a lot of other factors. Performance wise it's best to stay hydrated IMO. I stay well hydrated when riding, but when working around the yard in hot weather I'll sometimes forget drink enough. When I do I pay for it with cramps that evening.

https://tunedintocycling.com/2012/07...r-the-cyclist/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3867084/
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Old 12-02-20, 02:48 PM
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When I ride in the quasi-tropical heat of a summer day, I can easily sweat 2 quarts (liters) per hour. Without replenishing salt and water, I'd be down a gallon and a half after three hours' ride.

Perhaps I'm slow, or just surprised at how much difference the heat makes; it seems I have to learn every year that a net loss of that much hydration makes for cramps, overheating, perhaps heat exhaustion, etc. But I usually learn to drink early and often, and to replenish salt, in just one lesson every year.

YMMV.
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Old 12-02-20, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
When I ride in the quasi-tropical heat of a summer day, I can easily sweat 2 quarts (liters) per hour. Without replenishing salt and water, I'd be down a gallon and a half after three hours' ride.

Perhaps I'm slow, or just surprised at how much difference the heat makes; it seems I have to learn every year that a net loss of that much hydration makes for cramps, overheating, perhaps heat exhaustion, etc. But I usually learn to drink early and often, and to replenish salt, in just one lesson every year.

YMMV.
There is a ton of misinformation about hydration. Drinking before you feel thirsty is how you get hyponatremia and it is how beginning marathon racers die. I grew up with these Gatorade-Marketing-Myths and it definitely did me more harm than good.

I'm not saying there aren't extremes where you need or want tons of water. I once had to race daylight carrying a loaded pack out of a desert canyon in the summer. Luckily there were pools of water from a thunderstorm. I drank at least a gallon an hour for at least the last 3 hours. Pouring sweat and drank water as fast as it would go down, like drinking a liter in 5 seconds. No doubt I was thirsty and the water sure felt great to drink.

If you can possibly read Waterlogged you might start to think differently about hydration. The book is a collection of sports science papers. A ton of interesting data and some really great stories about how difficult it is to actually die of dehydration. Death requires a few days where you look just like a smelly piece of old bacon. Look at current marathon hydration guides:

Marathon Race-Day Nutrition and Hydration | Runner's World

As far as I know the current consensus is that cramps are caused by muscle fatigue. There was a theory in the 1850s among cornish coal miners that dehydration or lack of salt caused cramps but no experiment has borne that out. I'd love if you could point to any science about it. Some people report that pickle juice works to reduce cramps but consensus today is that is just placebo effect. The thing that scientists want is a reason that something works.

I do mtb races that last from 6 to 10 hours. I'm gorging on food the entire time and there's no way I can keep up with my output so I'm famished when I finish. Water intake is simply based on thirst and it is quite easy to drink too much even on an mtb, but I carry water and when I'm thirsty I drink and I really don't like running out of water. But that is a race and I'm going hard.

The other thing... you can actually habituate yourself to operating with less water. Within reason there are literally no consequences, the human body is an amazing heat adapted performance machine. For example if you're doing a full day climb in the desert you can't possibly bring as much water as you want so you learn to operate without. It is something that actually works and as a bonus you aren't dragging 40 pounds of water up the cliff with you.

If anything I've said is wrong I'd love for anyone to point it out. I'd love to hear if the papers in 'waterlogged' have been discredited.
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Old 12-02-20, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by impolexg View Post
There is a ton of misinformation about hydration. Drinking before you feel thirsty is how you get hyponatremia and it is how beginning marathon racers die. I grew up with these Gatorade-Marketing-Myths and it definitely did me more harm than good.

I'm not saying there aren't extremes where you need or want tons of water. I once had to race daylight carrying a loaded pack out of a desert canyon in the summer. Luckily there were pools of water from a thunderstorm. I drank at least a gallon an hour for at least the last 3 hours. Pouring sweat and drank water as fast as it would go down, like drinking a liter in 5 seconds. No doubt I was thirsty and the water sure felt great to drink.

If you can possibly read Waterlogged you might start to think differently about hydration. The book is a collection of sports science papers. A ton of interesting data and some really great stories about how difficult it is to actually die of dehydration. Death requires a few days where you look just like a smelly piece of old bacon. Look at current marathon hydration guides:

Marathon Race-Day Nutrition and Hydration | Runner's World

As far as I know the current consensus is that cramps are caused by muscle fatigue. There was a theory in the 1850s among cornish coal miners that dehydration or lack of salt caused cramps but no experiment has borne that out. I'd love if you could point to any science about it. Some people report that pickle juice works to reduce cramps but consensus today is that is just placebo effect. The thing that scientists want is a reason that something works.

I do mtb races that last from 6 to 10 hours. I'm gorging on food the entire time and there's no way I can keep up with my output so I'm famished when I finish. Water intake is simply based on thirst and it is quite easy to drink too much even on an mtb, but I carry water and when I'm thirsty I drink and I really don't like running out of water. But that is a race and I'm going hard.

The other thing... you can actually habituate yourself to operating with less water. Within reason there are literally no consequences, the human body is an amazing heat adapted performance machine. For example if you're doing a full day climb in the desert you can't possibly bring as much water as you want so you learn to operate without. It is something that actually works and as a bonus you aren't dragging 40 pounds of water up the cliff with you.

If anything I've said is wrong I'd love for anyone to point it out. I'd love to hear if the papers in 'waterlogged' have been discredited.
I've also read a similar article but that was a very long time ago. The study concerned TdF riders many many decades ago that they drank a lot less water than modern athletes without any ill effects.
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Old 12-03-20, 04:21 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by impolexg View Post
There is a ton of misinformation about hydration.
Hydration and nutrition are two of the most confusing and misunderstood things out there...That's why I have my own personal approach to nutrition and hydration and I just ignore all the studies and internet advice on how to eat and drink...Nutrition is very simple and shouldn't involve complex charts, graphs, calculators, numbers and complex mathematical formulas.
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