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Thread: food question

  1. #1
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    food question

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    I hope this isn't a stupid question. But does anyone have advice on how long before I ride I should eat in order to ensure optimal energy? I don't want to get halfway through my ride and be depleted of all energy, but I don't want to eat too close to my ride and get cramps like I do if I eat too close to a run.
    (I've only been on three rides yet, but they were all between 14.5 and 16.5 miles if distance makes any difference)

  2. #2
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    May 2008
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    I've eaten a power bar or a bagel with peanut butter right before I hop on my bike, and I've never had a problem with getting cramps or getting sick. The only time I've had a problem is if I have milk or something greasy before I ride. Also, if I'm doing a long ride or a hard ride, I usually do a gel or a serving of shot blocks every 10 miles or so. I have low blood sugar, and I've figured out that this is the best formula to keep me from bonking. You'll probably have to adjust to figure out what works best for you.

    Good luck!
    Aimee

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  3. #3
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    I eat 1 1/2 hrs before the ride. If it's under 30 miles, I usually get by without a gel. If it's over that, I eat every 45 minutes on the bike.

  4. #4
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    Everyone's physiology is different.
    You can only find this out through trial and error.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3for3 View Post
    I hope this isn't a stupid question. But does anyone have advice on how long before I ride I should eat in order to ensure optimal energy? I don't want to get halfway through my ride and be depleted of all energy, but I don't want to eat too close to my ride and get cramps like I do if I eat too close to a run.
    (I've only been on three rides yet, but they were all between 14.5 and 16.5 miles if distance makes any difference)
    It depends what you eat, and how long you go.... usually an hour, or a little over, can be done purely from your glycogen stores.

    You want something that won't make your blood glucose spike and then plunge. Careful on white bread.
    A good pre-ride breakfast includes a soft-boiled egg for me.

    Check out the other nutrition forum threads for clues, lotsa good stuff out there and you don't have to buy the special items yet.

    I usually have a gel or powerbar as an emergency measure if I or partner bonk.

    You prolly won't ever feel as bad as running on a fulll stomach.
    Last edited by alpinerabbit; 09-11-2008 at 08:51 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Not like running

    I had to be careful about eating before a run--but never a problem on my bike. I prefer some protein before my 16 miles--scrambled eggs with hashbrowns, and orange juice--a smoothie when I get home. We usually start getting hungry after an hour on the bikes--so we pack energy bars, jelly belly's and gatorade. If it will be a longer ride, I will also bring hard-boiled eggs, cheese/sausage/crackers, and yogurt in my handlebar bag with an ice pack. I've had some tell me this is too much--but we love it. My sis takes off like a rocket after some cheese and sausage!
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  7. #7
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    Mar 2008
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    I also get cramps if I eat right before running (or swimming) but it is different with cycling. If I eat too much though, I do get a heavy feeling in my stomach.

    I usually eat a mini bagel with peanut butter before my rides. Or oatmeal. Any ride less than 30 miles, and I usually don't eat. Unless I feel I need something, then I will have a Cliff shot block, or a Gu gel. For 50 miles or more, I like to have something more substantial, like a Cliff chocolate chip bar.

    But yes, it really is all about trial and error. I remember taking a Gu halfway through my shorter rides, and now I feel I don't even need it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    My daily ride is between 15 and 25 miles at about 5 pm. A good breakfast and lunch seem to set me up so that a Clif bar or Clif Builder bar is perfect for pre-ride. I have yet to get hungry or need to eat during a ride.

  9. #9
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    It more depends on how hard you intend to ride more than how far. If you are going to be riding hard then eating several hours before you ride is best. Personally I prefer eating about 3 hours before a race, if I don't I will cramp. I don't find it necessary to worry as much about it if I'm just going for a casual ride.

    Now what you eat - carbs or protein is a bit more determined by how long you are going to ride. A fast short ride think more carbs, longer rides throw in some protein for sustained energy.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  10. #10
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    Sep 2008
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    I'm new, so for now, I'm just going to have my typical pre-run breakfast of a breakfast bar (I prefer Kashi chewy bars or Larabars) and then bring along some Shot Blocks and Sport Beans to pop every 30 minutes or so.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    The sorriest ride I ever rode was on the way home from a gigantic feed of enchiladas, beans, rice, etc.

    It was only about 5 miles, but it was pure regret all the way.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Like Zen says, every one is different.
    Take a fruit bar or something with you and eat it if you need it.

    On steady training rides up to two hours, I don't eat anything. If I have had good meals in the previous 12 hours, thats usually enough. But I always take a bar with me "just in case" on longer rides.

    If my ride is only going to be about 60-90 minutes, I usually don't take anything to eat wit me at all.

    I race most Saturdays, and the only time I take food with me is on on the longer (30-40km) hilly courses. I don't take food for the flat ones cause I finish those much more quickly, and I find I am more likely to need food in summer than I do in winter.

    Have fun finding out what works for you... cause that'll mean lots of riding and that can only be a good thing


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    "I will try again tomorrow".


 

 

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