View Full Version : nutrition while riding

08-16-2001, 11:06 AM
I would like to know which of the "power bar" type of foods or "goo" work the best while riding long distances to keep the carbs up. I also sweat a lot and lose a lot of fluid while riding and would like to know about different sport drinks that work. Any thoughts on this topic would be appreciated.

Mary T.
08-16-2001, 03:04 PM
My favorite gel is PowerGel Strawberry-Banana. I can choke it down easier than the others. It seems like eating toothpaste but is very helpful on long rides for me without adding too many calories.

On shorter rides (40 miles or less) I usually like one rest stop to refuel quickly with a banana and some cold water. I can feel the point when my body is out of food and starts to use fat. I need to let that happen and ride past it because I have had trouble carrying too much weight in the past despite the fact that I ride over 4000 miles a year.

08-16-2001, 09:17 PM
When I was riding competitively a few years ago, my favorite was Gu - Vanilla Bean flavor. It kinda reminds me a little of vanilla frosting. :) Often when I'm riding hard, there are many foods/flavors that I can't stomach, but the Gu went down really easy. I did manage to splurt most of a package over my hands during one ride (can you say "sticky"!!) but then I got accustomed to opening them on the fly and managed to get it all in my mouth thereafter. :-)

Sports drinks - I confess I've never been big on these. Mostly, I just use water. But I find most of the drinks way too sweet/strong and if I do use them, I water them down quite a bit. My favorite was Shaklee's product, which you have to buy through a rep. The worst I've ever had is All Sport. Totally vile!

08-21-2001, 04:57 PM
Try Cytomax sports drink. You just mix it with water. It actually taste good!
I put it in an insulated water bottle and it stays cold.:)

08-21-2001, 05:01 PM
As far as power bars go, Luna bar (makers of Cliff bars) is great. I even keep one in my purse for days with no time for lunch!

08-23-2001, 07:50 AM
i have a problem with cytomax. i bought the tangy orange to try and i found it gave me energy SPIKES! i tried it mountain biking. I found i would practically kill myslf flying up a hill, and i would almost bonk at the top. By the end of the ride i had the shakes, BAD! anyone have similar experience or recommendations...
much appreciated...

roadie gal
08-23-2001, 03:59 PM
I used to use GU, but I have a problem with their nonrecyclable packaging. (OK, yes, I DO live in California ;) Now I use HammerGel. It works, but I must admit I like the flavor of GU better.

Balance Bars work the best for me during a ride. I've had problems chewing/digesting Clif Bars and Power Bars on the go. The Balance Bars aren't too chewy and don't seem to "repeat" on me.

I use plain, old Gatorade as my sports drink during a ride as well. Once again, it is the only thing that didn't give my stomach fits during a ride.

08-24-2001, 03:48 AM
i just read in a dirt rag issue from earlier this year that Gu is accepting people sending in their used GU. apparently for every 10 you send in, you get one free. some guy picked up Gu after a race, and sent in something like 1500 packages...he is enjoying lots of free gu. i think it is worth looking into...

08-24-2001, 07:34 AM
I also love the Luna bars. My only complaint is that they're hard to open, which means I usually can only eat them during a break. I also love the Gatorade bars - substantial and easy to open. Usually eat half then half later, cuz they're BIG - which is great on the long rides.
Another great snack I pack is toasted frozen waffles, slathered in peanut butter. Stick it in a baggie and you've got a great energy booster for the return trip!
As far as the sticky stuff goes...I also love the Vanilla Gu and Power Gels. Stay away from the Orange Gu...horrible aftertaste :eek: !

08-24-2001, 07:37 AM
a friend suggested during our 24 hour race, to stick an opened bar in our shorts or back pocket. that way we don't have to fidget with it during the ride. that bit of advice came in very handy (although be careful of those sticky bars on your legs :D

08-24-2001, 07:39 AM
Thanks for the tip, han-girl!

02-17-2002, 07:51 AM
I like hammergel much better than the gu's. Hammer gel is not as sweet and is easier on my stomach. I like Luna bars, or apple newtons or peanut butter and jelly on a bagel. Cytomax is my choice for a drink.

02-18-2002, 06:31 AM
I recently spoke to a nutritionist at the UPMC Sports Medicine Center in Pittsburgh. She advises all of the University athletic teams as well as some of the cities professional teams, and she suggested using honey instead. It does the same thing and is easier to get down. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to.

05-26-2002, 02:23 PM
Well, I am here to tell you that Fig Newtons are IT. They have a greater percentage of calories from carbos than other "energy bars" and less fat overall. This makes them quick and easy to digest. The only problem is that they tend to get beat up in your saddle bag and sometimes the fig seeds get stuck between my teeth, and there I am without a toothpick. :D

05-26-2002, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by Whyelse
sometimes the fig seeds get stuck between my teeth, and there I am without a toothpick.

Just say you're a mountain biker and they'll think the seeds are bugs--much cooler than fig seeds! :D


06-07-2002, 06:50 AM
Ann, I also sweat a lot (really a lot) and I've found my camelback to be a boon on those long rides. If you're going for time, or if you're in an area where there are no refueling sites, it's great to prevent the lightheadedness and cramping that come with the early stages of dehydration. I fill the camelback with water (it's a 70-oz) and then use the two bottles for UltraFuel, a powder from Vitamin Shoppe. I add a little salt to the UltraFuel, also.

As for bars, I recently discovered Harvest Bars, which I really like. I cut them into thirds and eat one piece at a time. (I usually can't stomach any more than that.)

Gel is something I carry in a flask and use frequently. When it's really hot outside, I find that even if I can't get a bar down, the gel will stay down. Make sure you chase it with water, though.

Other assorted foods that work well for me: peanut butter sandwiches, bananas, nuts, dried fruit. It really helps if you can fuel on-the-fly. I drop to the back of the pack so I don't slow anybody else down (or scare anybody if I swerve).

I'm sure you realize the importance of providing your muscles with the proper nutrition, before, during, and after the ride. You can't be successful unless your engine is fueled.

06-08-2002, 01:19 PM
Yes for the camelback! I keep mine filled with water & in the bottom of the fridge. It stays fairly cold (even in Arizona) and I'm much more likely to sip & stay hydrated.

I put ultrafuel or cytomax in my bottle with ice cubes. I, too, have to dilute it because it's way too sweet & strong.

My bike is so small that I can only get one water bottle cage on the downtube - so a camelback is essential.

Kim in Tucson

06-10-2002, 06:01 PM
yes on the camelback idea here too!

Had the camelback for almost a year, then went out one day without it and realized how hot it was on my back. I now have a 70 oz Platypus bladder & tube in a big fanny pack that I wear low on my hips. The fanny pack actually keeps the water quite cool, has more room in it for keys, phone, etc (all in ziploc baggies of course!), and keeps my back cooler than the camelback backpack. If you've already got a big fanny pack, the bladder and tube were less than $20, so it was a lot cheaper than buying one of the camelback fanny-pack styles... just be sure that the fanny pack has load-balancing straps like a backpack would...

I agree on the power-type bars - I usually cut mine in half ahead of time, then put 'em back in the wrapper.

06-23-2002, 07:07 PM
I have tried lots of different gels and bars, and have always come back to Power Bar peanut butter. It has no chocolate to melt all over your gloves or fingers, and seems to digest easy for me. The only thing is, if you ride in the fall in the Midwest, keep it in your pocket or close to your body, or it will turn into a rock!

07-18-2002, 05:55 PM
Hey Gals

i am a big luna bar fan (from Clif Bar). they are designed for women and the Chai flavor is the best!

i have been using my hydration system with a bladder for years (from MEC www.mec.ca). but i switch to water bottles and under seat pack for racing. it just lightens the load a little.


03-09-2003, 05:43 PM
Fig Newtons work better than anything else out there for me. When I can't seem to peddle another inch, they give me a second wind! Luna bars are good too, but I think the fig newton's are better and digest easier.

06-28-2003, 02:09 PM
Hey, you might want to take a look at the "Hormones" thread. Some of your fellow members were talking about new SportLegs, and we've just offered to send curious folks some FREE for the next couple of weeks.

SportLegs are a new supplement that uses special kinds of healthy calcium and magnesium to help your body naturally reduce lactic acid accumulation- so you get way less "burn" during your ride, a little more natural endurance, and way less soreness afterward. Yeah, we know it sounds too good to be true. That's why we want to let you try it yourselves, and compare it to whatever you're using now. (Honestly, haven't we always known that Fig Newtons RULE?)


NOTE FROM FORUM ADMINISTRATOR: SportLegs has been notified that commercial posts are inappropriate in this forum. We're leaving this post in-place for those of you who may be interested in this product -- however, Team Estrogen currently has no experience with this product and therefore the presence of this post on this forum should not be construed as an endorsement.

08-04-2003, 05:27 PM
I haven't been doing this for very long, but a friend told me to use honey - so I tried it. I was worried that it would be too sweet and would leave me shaky or pukie feeling. I LOVE IT! Just don't cut your mouth on the gu flask! yikes - that hurts.