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L'arri

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Nutrition
« on: February 05, 2013, 13:29 »
During a shoutbox session earlier today, I realised how clueless I am about nutrition during rides.

Pre-ride

1. What do you eat and drink before a ride and in what sort of quantity?
2. Does it depend on what sort of ride you expect to do?


-- I load up with porridge, but it burns off quickly!

During your ride

1. What do you eat and drink during the ride?
2. If it's not a purchased product or bananas, how do you package the food?
3. How often do you eat (e.g. once an hour, every 50km)?


-- Barrus' ride favourite: ontbijtkoek

Post-ride

1. What do you eat and drink after the ride?
2. How soon after the ride do you refuel?
3. Is there anything you try to avoid eating or drinking?


-- Somebody once told me egg nog was good for those recovery proteins
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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 13:42 »
    1st important thing is that everyone is different and what works for one may not work for others.

    from our shoutbox convo Larri it should like when the initial fuel is burnt off your body finds it hard to find new fuel, normally the body will turn to Fat 1st, then muscle.

    This will improve the more you ride again after your break.

    What I would recommend is more fuel more often and break this into 2 types. 1 the slow burn fuel carbs type stuff like in the picture and 2 basic sugar.

    The sugars will be burnt 1st and the slower stuff later plus the heavy stuff stops you from feeling hungry. You will also need to get better at listening to your body, ie I am hungry and about to bonk, once you start peddling squares with a bear on your back too late.

    say we take your 50 km ride
     a bar or banana at with half a chocolate bar at about 20 km then another something ie  ontbijtkoek at 35 km with another little bit of chocolate plus heaps of water

    see how that goes see if you get home feeling better or even ride from longer.

    As for after - water some say cows milk and maybe even some of lim´s rice cakes.

    No sugar

    notsure if that helps but what works for you may not work for me
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    L'arri

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 15:06 »
    That's an interesting point, actually: eating the two types.

    On some rides I have eaten things that take too long to start burning and have found myself dipping pretty low before the stuff finally kicks in. The ontbijtkoek - or pain d'épices - does have a fair bit of sugar in it, so I figure that kicks in pretty quickly before the rye bulk starts to burn?

    So do you think that if I eat more, I will be able to ride further? I never cease to be amazed at how achy and tired I start to feel beyond 60km on my regular route (which only really has one decent hill on it). Sometimes I thought maybe my position is bad or my saddle not right but when I found the same phenomenon happened on the 'cross bike (with a rather different position, alu shock absorption and much more forgiving saddle), I figured the problem was more that I was just too crap.



    Riding the same route a number of times has helped me to listen to my body a bit more, rather than worry about where the hell the next turn will be on the Garmin Edge. I still occasionally miss a junction (it all looks pretty similar out there ;)) but I have been able to ride the route a little differently each time to see how I go.

    If I don't ride my arse off on a long tailwind section after Erps-Kwerps which comes about 5km before the halfway point, I go a lot better in the last part of the ride.

    I always feel really crap on the Kerserlaarstraat just before crossing the railway at Schoonarde. This bit is a straight headwind which doesn't help but I tend to feel a bit cranky at this point. The only real hill of the day comes after Everberg, on which my performance varies widely. Sometimes I need to eat again just before Kooige and that is prime bonk territory if I haven't eaten before. :D
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  • « Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 15:21 by L'arriviste »

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 15:24 »
    Sound like you need to eat more regularly if you are getting cranky it means Blood sugar etc is hitting a low point.

    Try the more regular and 2 types plus maybe look at some basic sugar before you ride and caffeine - why do you think riders eat nutella and drink crap loads of coffee   
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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 15:28 »
    Sound like you need to eat more regularly if you are getting cranky it means Blood sugar etc is hitting a low point.

    Try the more regular and 2 types plus maybe look at some basic sugar before you ride and caffeine - why do you think riders eat nutella and drink crap loads of coffee

    Thanks, jsg!
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  • Anthony Moan

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 17:25 »
    Was riding with club mate who prefers brevetto and he was last year Paris-Brest-Paris and 1001 MigliaItalia and we talk about food he eat. He eat mostly regular fat salami sandwiches and solid food with carbs :D no gels or anything else, just home food, he also told me that he heard Jure Robič was eating only gels... :D
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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 17:47 »
    Interesting topic.
    I agree, it sounds like you eat too little on the bike, l'arri. I've found out (not that I ride any significant amount) that when on a long ride, I basically have to stuff my face from 20 minutes after leaving home, until I'm 30 minutes at most from home. Not forgetting to drink of course, and if it's 2+ hours, I always take some sort of carbohydrate drink (whether that's simply a couple of teaspoons of sugar in the bottle, or one of the powders you can buy).
    On those rides, I'll eat bananas (no more than one a day though, I can't stand the things), stroopwafels (absolutely love those - wrapped in aluminium foil so the jersey pockets don't get sirupy), standard muesli bars (the kind you find in every supermarket), fruit bars (the kind you find in organic food shops), cycling-specific overpriced energy bars, and I've made small sandwiches with honey as well some times. Never tried ontbijtkoek (or, as I know it in Germany, Honigkuchen) - I think I would find it too dry if not buttered. That's my personal problem with some of the cycling-specific energy bars as well: I find that I don't like the taste of some of them, and I don't seem to digest them well either. I can recommend SIS bars though; they're mostly based on grape juice, taste OK, and are not too large - with other bars, I've sometimes eaten half a bar and put the rest back in the pocket to eat it 15 minutes later.

    Now I've answered your questions about during-ride nutrition in a long post. I'll answer the pre- and post-ride questions more clearly:
    Pre-ride:
    1. Oatmeal, or some kind of müesli, with milk. One, occasionally two bowls.
    2. Not really. I don't ride enough to see any patterns... Have to work on that.
    Post-ride:
    1. Shortly after coming home, I drink a large glass (or two) of "Apfelschorle" - apple juice mixed with mineral water (with gas). Tasty, and having the right mixture of salts and whatnot. I don't remember exactly what it replenishes, but it's helpful...
    As a real meal, more often than not I have pasta. It isn't overly complicated, it restocks the carbs, and it's delicious.
    2. Well, as long as it takes to shower, get presentable again, and cook pasta... ;)
    3. Plenty, but not because of post-ride considerations. I've tried a protein bar once, but that wasn't a hit. And I can spend my money on more useful things. So I'd listen to any recovery protein suggestions (apart from eggnog).
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    L'arri

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 19:45 »
    Oh, this is gold. Thank Yous are not working on my iPoop for some reason, but consider yourselves duly thanked!

    I don't think my jersey pockets are big enough for all the good stuff but it's great to know. I was kind of thinking I wasn't supposed to eat very much but there you go!

    I've only ever tried two kinds of gels: some absolutely awful "3 Action" ones they were selling at Van Eyck Sport recently (wouldn't even put that in my hair) and the first brand I ever tried, Torq from the UK. I think I was spoiled with Torq because the black cherry yogurt one was excellent if very pricey. I once climbed the Grand Veymont (on foot) on a couple of those and a pasta salad. Not sure I could justify the expense now but I still buy them as gifts for my brother who's also a cycling nut and a lot fitter than me.

    Mrs L'arri loves Allen Lim's rice cakes and despite the dodgy status old Limmeke has, his cake recipe is very good.

    I'm starting to experiment with Indian sweets at the moment, inspired as I am by the various sweets we tried in the city of Jaipur. I think that barfi - a cherished childhood favourite of mine - and carrot halwa could be perfect for the quick buzz Fus and JSG have both identified. I'll post my recipes on krebley's Kitchen thread at some point and wait for Ram to come along and laugh at their inauthenticity! :D
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 20:25 »
    Ah, gels.
    I've tried that once (got it handed out for free) during a two-lap, 60 km cyclo-sportive, halfway through the second lap. I figured I'd cruise to the finish on the energy boost. Instead, I got very uncomfortable cramps 500 m from the finish on the final uphill... :(
    Turned out I had the non-isotonic kind of gel, which needs a lot of liquid (and I mean A LOT) in order to not drain the body of liquids instead. And as I hadn't drunk much that day (it was overcast, raining sometimes, and cold), disaster struck.
    I tried an isotonic gel later, but I'm not a fan of squeezing some strange goo from a plastic wrapper into my mouth. And as they're not the best-tasting of things, I generally stay away from gels.

    Lim's rice cakes sound delicious. Never made them myself (don't you need an oven?), but I sure would like to try someday. Rijsttaart and its derivatives is what drove generations of Flemish riders, it can't be all bad. ;)
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #9 on: June 09, 2015, 09:12 »
    Thread resurrection ...

    Unlike our dear JSG, I don't go out with the express intention of bonking. So I bonked horrendously last Friday despite having taken onboard a gel (for those of you who re-read the thread, I use the Torq ones nowadays).

    I was a bit surprised but I put it down to the distraction of having my gf around before setting out. Normally, I have this process I do where I make sure I eat enough before going out but I think her presence in my apartment that morning threw me off my usual routine.

    So I was deep into the usual tunnel vision crisis but still lucid enough to realise there was no way I could make it home like this: I was à bloc with 20km or so still to go.

    As part of my ride kit, I always carry a Mastercard (which is, of course, all but useless in the Flemish countryside) and a rolled up twenty euro note (which is better, if you can actually find somewhere to spend it), so I stopped at a bar full of afternoon boozehounds and had a little bottle of coca cola. There was literally nothing to eat there, so the cola was all I had to get me through. I struggled but I made it home with my heartrate stuck on "bonkers".

    It seems odd that, looking back, the gel didn't save me. Perhaps I used it too late or else it just wasn't enough. It had always been a given for me that, if I packed a gel and was never so far from home as the crow flies, I wouldn't suffer this sort of thing.
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  • Kiwirider

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #10 on: June 09, 2015, 15:57 »
    Thread resurrection ...

    So I was deep into the usual tunnel vision crisis but still lucid enough to realise there was no way I could make it home like this: I was à bloc with 20km or so still to go.


    How long was your ride L'Arri - in km and hrs?

    Not surprised that the Coke hit you hard - combination of pure sugar in a highly absorbable form and the caffeine.

    As for why the gel didn't do anything - I'll reserve my opinion (which is all that it is - since I'm not a trained nutritionist) until after you answer my question.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 16:19 »
    How long was your ride L'Arri - in km and hrs?

    Not surprised that the Coke hit you hard - combination of pure sugar in a highly absorbable form and the caffeine.

    As for why the gel didn't do anything - I'll reserve my opinion (which is all that it is - since I'm not a trained nutritionist) until after you answer my question.

    Laughably short. Two and a half hours and about 65km.

    Over the last couple of years of using the same brand of gels, they have always been good for a little lift with 20km to go, but I think in this case I had already hit the wall when I wolfed it.

    I just didn't feel like I needed to eat while I was out there and then the bonk came on faster than I've ever known it. Normally you get a good old warning in your stomach and head. So it seems like a schoolboy error now, but I really didn't see it coming this time.

    I agree with the Coke but peanuts didn't seem like they were going to be better at getting me through the last fifteen kilometres!  :lol
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  • « Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 16:33 by L'arri »

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #12 on: June 09, 2015, 16:19 »
    I assume this is where Kiwi is going

    But Laz if you take stuff too late the energy it takes to digest the gels will be more than the benefit, which is an odd thing

    also with Coke or Cold Coffee or both  ;)  you need to  drink a lot of water as well or it will beat you around the head

    Another thing to think about is using these products regularly so your body knows what is happening and how to use it
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  • lancasterke

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #13 on: June 09, 2015, 16:55 »
    I try to eat granola and yoghurt or toast and marmite (both if a long ride)
    don't eat anything for an hour or so into the ride, start drinking from very early in the ride and try to keep drinking regularly (usually just water, sometimes with potassium in it, or some carbo mix)
    always take some sweets (store brand midget gems or jelly beans) very cheap and infinitely dividable, easy to digest with quick boost

    longer rides i take a solid bar/musili bar/ flapjack for slower burn food.


    and on the advice of dan healey (tinkoff saxo nutritionist)

    for swift recovery eat sweets (as pure and refined glucose as possible) as you're warming down or immediately on finishing (to replace the glycogen stores while the channels are still open after excercise)

    then (i very rarely actually do his but) take protein, as refined as possible (ideally Isolate protein mix) to ensure the muscles have sufficient amino acids to repair.

    I often eat nothing at all on rides under about 2:30 but always take more calories than i could reasonably expect to consume.
    a couple of years ago i did a 220km ride or so and bonked incredibly. tunnel vision, sweating buckets, no power, head spinning, it took ages to improve even after i started eating and drinking again in large quantities.
    much easier t stay on top of it all along than recover once you've gone too deep.
    i usually take 2-3 unused gells out of my pockets when i get home as they were only ever in case of emergency
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #14 on: June 09, 2015, 17:06 »
    bananas always find them easy to digest on longer riders
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  • Kiwirider

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #15 on: June 09, 2015, 21:50 »
    I assume this is where Kiwi is going

    But Laz if you take stuff too late the energy it takes to digest the gels will be more than the benefit, which is an odd thing


    Not quite ... although that was a bit of the flip side to my comment above that I hadn't thought of.   :cool

    L'Arri - My point - now that I know how long the ride was - is actually that you're looking in the wrong place if you're trying to solve this by looking at your calorie consumption during exercise.

    What you're describing is bonking during a short ride.

    As I assume that you're riding more LSD than flat knacker, this should be a ride that is easily able to be done without the need for any form of food or isotonic drink during the ride itself. At the worst, it should only require a relatively small amount of food to keep you going.
    When I was climbing, we used to go all day on practically no food - simply because taking a pack off halfway up a mountain was always a pain in the arse. The only way that we could do that was to make sure that we had a solid, stable system to work from.
    Similarly, I spent my last swing with a routine that went "wake up, coffee in bed, laze around for two hours, drive 15min to park, run 35min, drive home again, shower, eat breakfast" - and didn't have any problems with blood sugar/bonking.

    So, if you're getting a bonk like you describe, then to me it points to a general instability in blood sugars or lack of energy resources or whatever (as I say, not a nutritionist here ...). That comes from your general, day to day diet, not what you're eating on the bike.

    I would suggest that you look at the rest of your diet to see what's going on there and work out what could be changed to get you back in line on the bike.
    Look for all of the usual suspects (candy, alcohol, sugary food or drinks, caffeine, refined starches, etc., etc.).
    Then look for some of the unusual ones. For example, from personal experience - I couldn't work out why a significant ramp up in exercise wasn't moving the effects of the bad diet at camp ... only to discover that I was injesting at least 2000 calories a day in the form of three - four glasses of pure fruit juice! Removed them and the belt got tightened a couple of notches during the next swing ...

    And of course, there's always the simple fact that you could've just had a bad - or very hungry - day ... All part of the natural variability of being human ...  :)

    As I say, not a nutritionist, but that's my take on things ...

     :D
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #16 on: June 10, 2015, 09:45 »
    good stuff

    Thanks for this, Kiwi. And you're absolutely right.

    When I said in my post above that I had disrupted my usual routine, I was a bit vague. What I should have written was that the gap between eating and going out on the bike was much longer than usual. I wince when I think about this now: three, perhaps four hours. Ridiculous.

    As soon as I set off alone on the bike, I was back in my routine, in which I never eat at all on these short rides. I take a gel in case of some sort of 'energy emergency' (fat lot of good that turned out to be ;)) or if I get the impulse to improvise a longer route while out there (which never happens in practice :lol). I have even had gels go out of date for carrying them around so long without ever needing them.

    So it was because I had gone back to 'normal service' that I forgot about not having eaten recently enough and thus it was a terrible surprise to bonk like that.

    Indeed, the thing that prompted me to write about it here more was that I didn't see it coming. The lack of signs is completely new to me: in the past, I have always felt the pangs a good few minutes before the lights go out. So it just shows the functionality of the mind when, running in what is a typical routine, it is switched off to such warnings.

    Needless to say, I feel like a proper doofus now, especially since I am experienced enough to know better. I should be more mindful. :D
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  • lancasterke

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #17 on: June 10, 2015, 10:11 »
    I have even had gels go out of date for carrying them around so long without ever needing them.


    Consider the date on gels as being a way of tracking how long you've owned the thing rather than an expiry date. they're pretty much pure sugar, so won't go off (dangerously) for many years.

     found an old batch in the bottom of a bag that were abut 18 months past the expiry and tasted like new

    the only thing that might happen is the gel might begin to separate a little bit, which might give a little texture to it as bits crystalise
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #18 on: June 10, 2015, 10:31 »
    Consider the date on gels as being a way of tracking how long you've owned the thing rather than an expiry date. they're pretty much pure sugar, so won't go off (dangerously) for many years.

     found an old batch in the bottom of a bag that were abut 18 months past the expiry and tasted like new

    the only thing that might happen is the gel might begin to separate a little bit, which might give a little texture to it as bits crystalise

    I only like them because I don't like stuffing my jersey pockets with real food that I probably won't eat. :P

    Bonking aside, it was interesting having a Torq rhubarb and custard flavour gel that had spent two hours in thirty two degrees of heat and direct sunshine. In my semi-delirious mind, and all heated up like that, it was not so far from the childhood Sunday dinner favourite.
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  • 42x16ss

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    Re: Nutrition
    « Reply #19 on: June 11, 2015, 12:15 »
    There's been some good points raised here re: nutrition. The best foods are what works for you! For example I can't eat most gels as they are too full of fructose and give me stomach cramps and peanut butter makes me bloat.

    There are a few things to remember when you're training for longer events or doing big miles. A general rule of thumb is to eat around 1gram of carbohydrate for every 2kg of body weight per hour. For me, at 70kgs that means I usually need 35g+ of carbs an hour if I'm training for long periods or sometimes more if it's a long race. I usually get it through a combination of muesli bars, jelly beans and sports drink.

    Also, remember, your gut is trainable. If you're planning on doing a big event you obviously need to eat to sustain effort. The best way to prepare for this is to train eating the food you will plan on using on the day. The more often you eat while training the better you get at taking up carbs while you're training.

    Another thing to consider is sodium uptake, especially when racing and hard efforts in the heat. Most sports drinks like Gatorade, Endura etc do have some but not as much as is ideal (they only have enough sodium to remain palatable) so if you sweat profusely or cramp often then this is something that you should be mindful of.

    If you've got any questions or you're having frequent bad days I recommend seeing a good sports nutritionist, especially if you're planning on doing any big events. With a couple of consultations and some info they can take a lot of the guess work out of nutrition.
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