View Full Version : Nutrition Advice Wanted

11-06-2004, 05:34 PM
2 weeks to Tucson! Getting psyched! Been doing longer training rides....but don't have the nutrition thing conquered. Today (on a windy 80 mile ride) I was eating a Cliff Bar along the way and drinking Endurox, I also stopped at 30 miles for a small lunch but started bonking somewhere between 40 and 60 miles. Then I made a stop at 60 miles, ate a little more & downed a gatorade and got a 2nd wind for the last 20 miles. I've had similar problems in the past on long rides but today the slump was bad... Do I need to eat more all along the way? Do you guys use Gu?

11-07-2004, 08:43 AM
On long rides, I fill my water bottles with Gatorade, and I put water in a Camelbak. I also carry and eat energy bars.

On your question about Gu - it's a matter of personal preference. I find that Gatorade (or the equivalent) plus snacking on energy bars - or fruit - works for me. The key for me is to make sure I'm eating a little bit of something all of the time. That is, I don't ride for two or three hours and then eat something big - instead I eat small bites all day.

11-07-2004, 08:52 AM
I prefer Carboom to Gu if I'm going to use anything like that at all. On long rides I try to take a bite of something every 15 minutes - usually a power bar. I also have Gatorade in bottles. Every 30 miles or so I'll drink a Red Bull - usually when stopped at a rest stop - although I've been known to pop them open when on the back of the tandem as well. :p


11-07-2004, 02:30 PM
I've whined about the food available at El Tour before, but if you have a problem with bonking you really, really, need to make sure you carry what you need on the ride. There's no lunch stop, and those rest stops every 10 miles will usually have only water and bananas, and maybe cookies and grapes. And of course there are Krispy Kreme donuts at the first ravine crossing.

Since I'm allergic to bananas, I didn't find this enough to power through 109 miles. If I do the ride again, I will probably bring a sandwich or two, fig newtons, energy bars and gels, powders, and maybe a candy bar.

Have a great ride, and remember to keep eating (and drinking)!

11-07-2004, 03:50 PM
Are there stores along the Tucson route too? Or should I bring enough gatorade etc for the whole ride?

11-07-2004, 04:04 PM
There were some stores along parts of the route... but I don't remember the mileage where these were at (it was only my second time in Tucson). Maybe a Tucson local, or a check with the local bike club, could help with that. Real gatorade does beat the powdered stuff, doesn't it. :)

I do remember some real food on the ride -- about 10 miles from the finish my friend got the last PB&J sandwich they had out. So maybe I was so slow I missed all the good stuff?

Pink Kona
11-07-2004, 07:25 PM
I know this response might be too late - but better than never!

"Studies have shown..." (meaning my coach has harped on me enough for this to sink in) that you should be drinking a minimum of 1 water bottle per hour. When you do take a sip, swig a quarter of the bottle at a time. This will keep you energized throughout the ride. Of course, the more time you ride the more calories you burn. You could geek out like me, and get really scientific by calculating exactly how much you're burning based on your heart rate and power, etc, etc . This will help you figure out exactly how many calories per hour you need to put back into your body during the ride. Needless to say, GU, Gatorade and all those other wonderful energy products should be stuffed in your pockets and consumed before bonking.

I have gotten in the bad habit of waiting till I feel slightly sluggish before downing a Gu. Energy bars typically take 15 minutes to feel their effects and had I eatten one 15 minutes ago - no bonk. Not ever. If you have a heart rate monitor with alerts - then perhaps you could set a reminder during the ride? I just might try that myself!

Another aspect to consider is your prep time. Did you sleep a minimum of 8 hours a night the week before your ride? Have you been pounding water the entire week? What is your stress factor? Did you eat what you normally eat before training rides?

I hope this helps - I could go on for a while on this subject..... :)

11-08-2004, 02:41 PM
No it;s not too late! My century is on 11/20. Thanks for the advice. I will be doing some light riding & will try the Gu.

11-09-2004, 01:42 PM
all the research I've done says to eat/drink about every 10-15 mins switching between water and electrolyte mix about every hour. (ie: water first hour, electrolyte next hr etc). I haven't tried long distance yet so have Not a clue if it works but makes sense to me. I also liked someones idea about cutting up the energy bars into bite sizes pieces hanging in a baggie on the bike. Nice reminder to eat and the perfect size to eat often. I do like the idea of the Red Bull - especially now that they make a sugar-free one. Anyway - thats my 2 cents worth and good luck.

11-09-2004, 02:17 PM
But if you do sugar free Red Bull, you won't get any calories and you need to take some in on a long ride.


11-09-2004, 02:20 PM
I can't have any sugar - which is another reason I haven't done any long rides yet. I'm still researching my non-sugar options. I won't do asparatame either - pretty much poison in the blood (soapbox)

11-09-2004, 04:40 PM
Ahhh... that makes sense. Goodness that would be hard. I can do about 90 minutes on my gatorade alone, but after that I need to eat and everything I eat has some sugar in it I think.


11-09-2004, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by CorsairMac
I can't have any sugar - which is another reason I haven't done any long rides yet. I'm still researching my non-sugar options. I won't do asparatame either - pretty much poison in the blood (soapbox)

Refined sugars? Or no sugar period?

You might try Hammer Gel and Clif products as they tend to use rice syrup/maltodextrin instead of the usual high fructose corn junk.

I'm hypoglycemic and these are the brands that have worked out for me.

If you are diabetic PM me and I'll ask my diabetic riding buddy how she manages distance (she's on the pump and she's a nurse, so she should be a wealth of information...)

11-09-2004, 06:58 PM
There's also a honey based energy gel - Honey Stinger.


From the website:
Honey Stinger Eneregy Gel benefits:
* All natural
* Contains Vitamin B complex, which supports the absorption of proteins and fats and the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose. This helps provide energy and may contribute to improved recovery time.
* Contains Sodium and Potassium, which are essential electrolytes that need replacement during activity
* Naturally low on glycemic index, thus preventing an energy spike and crash
* Provides quick energy
* Natural source of carbohydrates
* Tastes great and goes down smooth
* Provides long, steady source of energy
* Quickly absorbed into your system
* 120 calorie energy boost
* Fat free
* Natural source of antioxidants
* Helps speed muscle recovery
* May be used before, during and after activity
* Honey Stinger is water-soluble so it can be mixed in any liquid. Mix it in your water bottle for a quick energy drink or add it to your hot tea for a winter energy drink.
* Great to use on cereal, toast and fruit

11-10-2004, 12:21 PM
you guys Rock - the support here just continues to amaze me! Actually I'm Syndrome X which is insulin intolerence (a precurser to diabetes I"m told). No refined sugars but also no starches or high-glycemic foods (re: whole wheat, rice etc) in large quantities. Makes life quite interesting. I'm also very allergic to dairy so nothing even whey based which makes the protien options quite interesting. Honey gives me migraines - prolly either an insulin intolerence or allergy at this point does it matter? :) Anyway - I found LunaBars and have been trying those and they seem to be working and I found a sugar-free electrolyte mix by Alacer (read EmergenC) which is wonderful. The next step is to experiment how Much I can tolerate over a period of time - as in a distance ride. Oh - and a road bike would be Very helpful too (riding a comfort/commuter bike right now!)

11-13-2004, 03:41 PM
I need lots of energy but cannot eat normal food (unlike the guys who stop for pizza). I use gu or a knockoff and Accel gel (which has some protein in it) - alternating. I find I actually feel better with the Accel, so I'm not just eating sugar. At breaks, a nab a banana every now and then and peanutbutter on century rides (stored in little plastic bags). To drink, I swear by Cytomax. The key is timing for me - start drinking in first 5-10 minutes - if you wait until you are thirsty, you are dehydrating. I then start a gel in 40 minutes and do every 40 minutes or so (or a banana). Particularly on long rides, you need to keep the fuel up!

11-25-2004, 06:46 AM
I listened to all your advice & tried a few things the last weeks before the ride. It was well worth the effort. I wound up eating gels - GU Espresso! and Hammergel (no simple sugar), bananna & orange slices at the rest stops, water, and Sustained energy drink. I needed something additionally salty around mile 95.

I didn't break any speed records but finished the ride feeling good! My avg was almost 14mph (great for me!) up to mile 95, then took the last 15 miles slower. I stopped as often as needed to pee - so it took me all day! But I felt GOOD & no aches or hunger pangs the next day (aside from the headcold that blossomed into sinusitis!!!).

THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11-27-2004, 01:19 PM
*and the fans go wild!* congrats on a job well done and wonderful news about the nutrition info. I did a 22 mile ride yesterday - in the wind, rain N cold. I carried a Clif bar and some electrolyte water and I did just great. No hunger pangs, and I did a very slow easy recovery ride today to keep the muscles moving. My ride yesterday was more for time - I wanted to ride as close to 2 hours as I could (1:35). Next trip out I want to ride for distance (30 miles). I figure if I do this in stages - I'll learn what my body needs and can tolerate as I work my way up the mileage/time scale.

12-03-2004, 12:22 PM
My husband is hypoglycemic and has difficulty with the simple sugars. He also has extreemly high tryglycerides, which has compounded the problem. We have reached a compromised riding solution for him. I mix up powdered gatorade at about 1/3 strength and then add 2 heaping teaspoon-fulls of Soy protien powder to the mix. The protien powder extends endurance, and the gatorade keeps the energy going. He also takes peanut butter and crackers with him, and Detour bars. These have just a small amount of artifical sweetener in them, and they are not nasty. As far as pre-ride, peanut butter and nutrigrain waffles lasts me all day. No bonk from bad breakfast feeling. Hope this helps :)