pre-commute breakfast?

krushgroove
krushgroove Posts: 27
edited April 2008 in Commuting chat
Hi all, this is my first post, this looks like a great forum!

I haven't ridden my bike in ages, it's an older MTB to which I've added slicks, but with my carpool partner out of town I thought I'd give cycling commuting a go and see if I can do it a couple of times a week while the weather is passable.

The first time I tried the ride I hadn't ridden more than a couple of miles in years, and I only had some water and a protein shake before I left and suffered mild cramping to and from work, along with saddle soreness and the usual 'oh my god why am I exercising so hard after not doing it for so long' thoughts :) This morning, my second go, I had a small omelette, big bowl of porridge, a protein shake and a glass of apple juice. Not surprisingly, I didn't cramp, didn't have to walk up any hills and generally had a great ride (partly because of a shorter route and a much earlier leaving time).

So obviously getting up earlier and making the effort to have breakfast at home is worth it :) but I'm wondering what other cycle commuters do to maintain their energy level on the morning and afternoon rides? My concern is that I might be slow getting out of bed and not be able to fix up a proper breakfast, so I am just curious what quick-fix breakfasts other commuters do.

I suppose it would help to say my commute is 15.5-17.5 miles round trip (depends if I want to risk the nasty roundabout at the A38/A50 for the shorter trip).

Thanks for any suggestions!
'99 Giant ATX 890
'?? Raliegh something-or-other, commuter
Trying to keep the rubber side down!
«1

Comments

  • SPOODZILLA
    SPOODZILLA Posts: 128
    As long as I have something in the morning I can do my 13 mile commute comfortably - normal just a big bowl of special k or weetabix. Tend to be starving again though an hour after getting to work !!

    30 mins before leaving I normal have a banana or a cereal bar of some description, just so I feel like I'm running on something. cycle on an empty stomach and i start feeling light headed and weak 10 mins in.

    I've no idea if this is best practice, but it works for me.
    Road: 2006 Trek 1500
    Off: 2009 Carrera Fury

    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • andrewc3142
    andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    Not too large bowl of muesli with kefir or yoghurt about 30 mins before setting off works fine to keep me going 30 miles. Plus a bidon of water on the way and sometimes a smoothie when I get there.
  • Depends how I feel when I get up.
    I like to vary the breakfast
    Malt loaf is real good.
    Omlette with toast
    simply Toast
    cereal of some description

    those were not in any particular order.
    If you see the candle as flame, the meal is already cooked.
    Photography, Google Earth, Route 30
  • BernieG
    BernieG Posts: 27
    Mini shredded wheat plus a banana, 2 slices of toast and a cup of coffee sees me right...still starving mid-morning mind :?
  • graeme_s-2
    graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    30 mins before setting off I'm usually fast asleep :D

    I tend to just have a glass of water and hit the road. I then have a bowl of muesli for breakfast as soon as possible after getting to work.
  • Eat My Dust
    Eat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    Graeme_S wrote:
    30 mins before setting off I'm usually fast asleep :D

    I tend to just have a glass of water and hit the road. I then have a bowl of muesli for breakfast as soon as possible after getting to work.

    What he said but tea instead of water!!
  • I do a tough hilly hour on no breakfast, just water, and a bowl of porridge when I gat to work (if I have time). I am beginning to think this isn't wise.
    Dan
  • woodgob
    woodgob Posts: 96
    Big bowl of porridge with whey protein and blueberries mixed in and a big dollop of natural yoghurt and honey on top. OH YEH! :D
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,117
    Graeme_S wrote:
    30 mins before setting off I'm usually fast asleep :D

    I tend to just have a glass of water and hit the road. I then have a bowl of muesli for breakfast as soon as possible after getting to work.

    What he said but tea instead of water!!

    Substitute tea for water and some regular cereal (mini Weetabix for example) for muesli and that's me.

    Except it's an hour before I set off I'm asleep - I get the kids up, conscienscious Dad that I am.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • WRogers
    WRogers Posts: 9
    I have porridge and an orange with a pint of water...

    You mentioned you get cramp... cramp can be releived by eating magnesium (search for magnesium rich foods)

    I think it is magnesium... I wil check my mum, she is a nutritionist so that is why i am (generally) healthy

    I think i will try protein shakes and things if i have to cycle further (I only cycle a max of 5 miles at the moment as i have no road bike)
  • andrewc3142
    andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    I think i will try protein shakes and things if i have to cycle further

    I wouldn't bother unless by further you mean 75 miles plus or you're racing, etc. Otherwise, normal food is tastier, cheaper and works just as well.
  • Bowl of porridge with a handful of dried fruit thrown in. Glass of fruit juice - there's a pattern emergine here. Sees me right for my 6 miles, then I have a bowl of cornflakes or something in the canteen after showering. Usually hungry again about 11 - Marmite sandwich does the trick...
    "Consider the grebe..."
  • attica
    attica Posts: 2,362
    Protein shakes are good for muscle recovery but won't actually do you any good when taken immediately before exercise.

    I generally do my 15 mile commute on an empty stomach, that said, if I'm heading out on a long ride on the weekend, I'll have porridge and a cup of cold instant coffee with one sugar (no milk). Then when I'm on the ride I'll drink SIS Go, it's an energy drink with electrolytes in it which replace salts lost through sweat - these salts (the ones you loose when you sweat) are needed to absorb water.

    I only really start to take this seriously if I'm going to be in the saddle for an hour or more, although i wouldn't necessarily recommend this as gospel.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • fossyant
    fossyant Posts: 2,549
    Eh... who ever said cycle commuting was cheap.... must cost us a fortune in food fuel !!! :lol:
  • fossyant wrote:
    Eh... who ever said cycle commuting was cheap.... must cost us a fortune in food fuel !!! :lol:

    For a laugh I figured out the fuel costs of going back and forth to work, it's about £4.70 so as long as I can keep the food bill below that for a day of commuting I'm coming out ahead :D


    Thanks everyone for the replies, it seems like porridge and fruit with fruit juice is the way to go! I might do a bit of experimentation but I'll just make sure I have a supply of geo bars on hand at work, and bananas, etc. if I can. I usually do anyway but they are normally for when I don't have time to make a bowl of porridge at work. Today I had water/tea all day, a lush lunch of spam with beans, then a banana and geo bar about 30-45 minutes before I cycled off and I was able to make the whole ride home without cramps or stopping, walking, etc., so I'm right chuffed! :) (on a side note, some spam and a tin of beans is well below £4.70! ;))

    I'll check out magnesium for the cramping, but I was able to make it 16 miles at a time without any problems so maybe whatever I had today solved it?
    '99 Giant ATX 890
    '?? Raliegh something-or-other, commuter
    Trying to keep the rubber side down!
  • abbots_mike
    abbots_mike Posts: 280
    lack of salt can also cause cramp
  • Alibran
    Alibran Posts: 370
    When i first started cycling to work, I tried setting out on a empty stomach and having breakfast when i got there, but I really struggled, so now I have a generous sized bowl of cereal (cornflakes and all bran) with a banana and sometimes some blueberries. I'm still hungry when i get to work, though, and usually have a cereal bar the moment I walk in the door.
  • arranandy
    arranandy Posts: 688
    I have 2 weetabix with semi-skimmed milk and a glass of fresh orange before I leave the house then a bowl of microwave porage when I get to work. My commute is 13.5 miles and I'm leaving the house at 5.30ish
    I usually find I'm hungry again about 10 so I'll have a couple of bits of fruit and a biscuit or 2.
    Flying Scot? You must be joking!
  • A - W
    A - W Posts: 253
    Nothing before my five miler, once at work a glass of orange juice and a yoghurt (usually the breakfast/cereal type). Fruit throughout the morning and nuts if I am still hungry, which is most days.
    FCN 10
  • Shadowduck
    Shadowduck Posts: 845
    My breakfast is two cups of coffee for a seven mile hilly commute. For longer rides with an early start I do make an effort to eat something (I'm not good at eating when I'm just out of bed) but it's just whatever I fancy of the normal breakfast options*, nothing specific.

    *Toast, cereal, that sort of thing.
    Even if the voices aren't real, they have some very good ideas.
  • Surf-Matt
    Surf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Cup of tea and a small bowl of cereal - usually muesli.

    Does the trick for me.
  • Clever Pun
    Clever Pun Posts: 6,778
    Graeme_S wrote:
    30 mins before setting off I'm usually fast asleep :D

    I tend to just have a glass of water and hit the road. I then have a bowl of muesli for breakfast as soon as possible after getting to work.

    What he said but tea instead of water!!

    what they said but with fruit juice and I don't eat when I get to work unless I had a really heavy one the night before
    Purveyor of sonic doom

    Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
    Fixed Pista- FCN 5
    Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
  • Pete789uk
    Pete789uk Posts: 46
    cup of tea and juice then cycle 11 miles or so to work then bowl of porridge with little sugar does the trick oh then the coffee
  • cee
    cee Posts: 4,553
    coffee just to get me out of bed........then porridge with honey when i get to work(sometimes with some dried fruit thrown in for good measure)
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • Jamey
    Jamey Posts: 2,152
    I do my 14-mile (each way) commute on an empty stomach and a few sips of water. usually wake up about 20 mins before I set off for work. When I get to work I have a bit more water but no food, just take an early lunch at midday.
  • No advice to give but I manage a 20 mile into work commute on an empty stomach and got used to it over the years, so much so that if I do eat before perhaps on a weekend ride my sugar levels go all screwy. I once managed early morning 80 miler with just a powerbar and 3 litres of water.

    I do struggle at 5pm on my way home and have to stop for a snickers 1 in 8 times not sure what is going on there.
  • Jamey
    Jamey Posts: 2,152
    carbonfool wrote:
    ...not sure what is going on there.

    Well it's no great mystery - Snickers bars are flippin' delicious :)
  • Roastie
    Roastie Posts: 1,968
    A big bowl of muesli first thing in the morning keeps me going for my ride and most of the morning.
  • Cup of coffee first thing - 11 miles - get into the City ( remind self that that bacon butty smell from the sandwich bars is deceptive ) Work - mix up eggs/beans/tomatoes/mushrooms/Quorn sausage all on either fried bread or 3 Hash browns - thats over the week never in one go :roll:

    snack/graze all day 8)

    sw
  • dombo6
    dombo6 Posts: 582
    For 20 miles, boiled egg, buttered toast, slice of ham, banana and OJ. Or bowl of porridge before setting off, and then fried egg muffin when i get to work