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Eating before riding

suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
edited December 2009 in Commuting chat
I know most people here don't have anything to eat before they ride in the morning, neither do I. But I'm wondering now whether I'm going too long without food.

I don't go out cycling until after 9am which means I don't have anything to eat for at least 13 hours beforehand. And I feel like it's always a real struggle.

Am I going too long without food so using all stored energy before getting on the bike.

Posts

  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    You could try some glucose powder. Its pure carbohydrate in its simplest form so it will digest very quickly and give you a little extra energy.

    At the moment I'm adding two heaped tablespoons into water - unlike everything else I've tried it doesn't make me feel sluggish when I get on the bike 20 minutes later.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Anything longer than a commute and I definitely eat before I go out, ideally about an hour before. If it's the morning, I invariably eat muesli and have a cup of coffee, which does the job admirably.
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    If it's a struggle, then yes you are going too long without food. I always go for a biggish breakfast before I ride, if I have time, and make sure it has a low GI, to ensure a slow release of the energy. I definately feel better on my evening commute when I've eaten than I do in the morning. Try making suer you're properly hydrated as well, that will have a huge affect on your performance.

    Learn to listen to your body.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    I alway eat before I go out (I have a reasonably long commute) this morning I had 3 scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast and felt fine. I used to feel sluggish at the start of a ride if I ate, but I feel dead halfway through if I don't so I eat start of slow and wind it up.

    I only get chance to eat 30-40 mins before I set out and no ill effects.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • number9number9 Posts: 440
    I can't be bothered making a full breakfast, so I make a smoothie. It's like an injection of vitamins!

    I nicked the recipe off suralan:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... tone-.html

    Sir Alan's energy booster

    INGREDIENTS

    2 bananas

    Punnet of blueberries

    Half cup of orange juice

    Half cup of cranberry juice

    1/8 teaspoon of salt

    Liquidise ingredients. Make sure you drink a quarter of it every 15 miles - particularly important in hot climates, such as Florida, southern France or Spain. Acknowledged product disadvantage: you will need to stop cycling as the energising gloop can't be drunk through flask spouts. You have to remove the lid.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... z0Z6OMPZ5R


    I experiment with different fruits, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries , kiwi etc etc.

    Lovely. Quick, and easy.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    Daily mail number9? :wink:
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Bowl of porridge + hot coffee 2 mins before leaving; never a problem. Porridge is perfect slow release food. If you make it properly you can just about drink it rather than eat it, if you're that opposed to eating, or in a flying rush. Porridge. The answer to everything.
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    -null- depends on how far you go, and what you want to achieve.
    I do (or rather did till the old leg problem) 8 miles, and would not eat before cycling.
    I felt that it kicks of the metabolism, and uses up stored fat, therefore assisting in losing weight.

    After cycle I would have a normal breakfast - toast and coffee.

    This sets you up nice for the day.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    I only do around 8 miles as well and was hoping not eating anything would use stored fat, but it doesn't seem to be doing so :(

    And since I'm really not enjoying the ride when I feel it's such a struggle I might as well start having something to eat beforehand.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    8 miles isn't far enough to make a difference. You may as well enjoy it.
  • NGaleNGale Posts: 1,866
    I follow a rule I have had since I started refereeing football. I blood sugar test before a match/ride.

    If I test between 5 and 7 I don't eat because otherwise I'll be throwing up within about 30 mintues.

    If I test below 5 I will have a bite to eat because I feel faint otherwise.

    I'm not a diabetic BTW, but I have found it's always worth keeping an eye on.
    Officers don't run, it's undignified and panics the men
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    edited December 2009
    -null- wrote:
    I know most people here don't have anything to eat before they ride in the morning, neither do I. But I'm wondering now whether I'm going too long without food.

    I don't go out cycling until after 9am which means I don't have anything to eat for at least 13 hours beforehand. And I feel like it's always a real struggle.

    Am I going too long without food so using all stored energy before getting on the bike.

    Who says most people on here don't eat before a morning ride?

    I don't commute by bike and only ride for fitness and pleasure, but I'll have a breakfast no matter how far my planned ride is, whether it be 40 miles or 80. I may not eat much on the bike unless I'm riding particularly hard or doing a sportive etc, but I'll never ride without eating something.

    i've been into fitness from a very young age and as far as i'm concerned that's basic common sense. I think there are perhaps a few people on here trying to get the weight off though, which might explain it. Even if I was trying to lose weight I'd still have a breakfast before a ride.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    edited December 2009
    My commute is 17miles starting at half 7, push for 20mph+ all the way, a banana and sometimes a quick cereal bar get me through. Definitely feel low on energy if I eat nothing.

    Mind you, I then proceed to eat like a horse for the rest of the day!
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    My commute is only 11 miles and I do it fasted. I eat as soon as I get to work. To eat before (and get the benefit from it rather than just feel sick on the bike) would mean getting up an hour earlier: not gonna happen.

    For longer and weekend rides I definitely eat first. Ideally 90mins before the get go.
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    sampras38 wrote:
    -null- wrote:
    I know most people here don't have anything to eat before they ride in the morning, neither do I. But I'm wondering now whether I'm going too long without food.

    I don't go out cycling until after 9am which means I don't have anything to eat for at least 13 hours beforehand. And I feel like it's always a real struggle.

    Am I going too long without food so using all stored energy before getting on the bike.

    Who says most people on here don't eat before a morning ride?
    There was another thread in which someone asked and IIRC most of the responses were that people didn't have anything to eat before cycling to work.

    Didn't go back and check the thread though so my recollection could be wrong.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    -null- wrote:
    sampras38 wrote:
    -null- wrote:
    I know most people here don't have anything to eat before they ride in the morning, neither do I. But I'm wondering now whether I'm going too long without food.

    I don't go out cycling until after 9am which means I don't have anything to eat for at least 13 hours beforehand. And I feel like it's always a real struggle.

    Am I going too long without food so using all stored energy before getting on the bike.

    Who says most people on here don't eat before a morning ride?
    There was another thread in which someone asked and IIRC most of the responses were that people didn't have anything to eat before cycling to work.

    Didn't go back and check the thread though so my recollection could be wrong.

    Ahh, if it's just cycling to work that's completely different. I thought you meant before a morning ride in general.
  • I read recently that riding fasted is not a bad thing for relatively short rides and is much more important to get fuel onboard asap after the ride.

    My morning commute is 20 miles starting between 0630-0700, couldn't face food before that but I have a gel & a couple of bars with me in case I blow.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    I read recently that riding fasted is not a bad thing for relatively short rides and is much more important to get fuel onboard asap after the ride.

    My morning commute is 20 miles starting between 0630-0700, couldn't face food before that but I have a gel & a couple of bars with me in case I blow.

    You see I don't really get that. You'll have gels and a couple of bars for a 20 mile commute but you won't eat beforehand when you really need it? You couldn't even stomach a small bowl of cereal/porridge or a banana before you leave the house?
  • But why do I 'really' need it?

    Would my muscles & blood be as chocker full of fuel as they ever can be? Don't we also store a shedload somewhere else? Isn't it the Liver? I am obviously a 'little' shakey on the whole physiology, just paraphrasing something I saw recently.

    I have been used to earl morning exercise since leaving school & have rarely eat prior to taking part. The exception to that is Nordic skiing as that was always a struggle to get enough carbs on board.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    But why do I 'really' need it?

    Would my muscles & blood be as chocker full of fuel as they ever can be? Don't we also store a shedload somewhere else? Isn't it the Liver? I am obviously a 'little' shakey on the whole physiology, just paraphrasing something I saw recently.

    I have been used to earl morning exercise since leaving school & have rarely eat prior to taking part. The exception to that is Nordic skiing as that was always a struggle to get enough carbs on board.

    What's the last time of the day you'll eat before going to bed? It just seems an awful long time to go without any food imo. And the fact you feel the need to bring gels and bars on the ride tells me you're not getting enough food. You should be able to breeze a ride of that distance at a commute pace without topping up.

    Personally I've never been a fan of missing breakfast, as it really is an important meal of the day, especially if you are active. Not to mention helping you avoid overeating in the rest of the day, and providing the brain with an essential boost of blood sugar.
  • I don't know about 'breezing' any ride! I have only been commuting for a few months & my daily mileage is anything between 20 & 45 miles depending on motivation/work requirements etc. I am doing 30 per day at the moment and not really 'breezing' any of them!
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    I don't know about 'breezing' any ride! I have only been commuting for a few months & my daily mileage is anything between 20 & 45 miles depending on motivation/work requirements etc. I am doing 30 per day at the moment and not really 'breezing' any of them!

    lol...fair play...but that's my point. If you're struggling, then all the more reason to get your nutrition right. There are loads of people that ride on an empty stomach and that's fine if it suits them. I just wouldn't ever do it.

    All my riding is for fitness and pleasure so the aim for me is always to get better and faster, and I can't do that without lots of hard work and the right energy sources.

    I've got to the point now where I can do a fairly quick 50 or 60 miler with hills on just 2 drinks and a 1 bar or banana, but it's only because I've topped myself up with breakfast beforehand. Usually something like porridge/fruit etc. Even then I rarely need the solids until the end of the ride.
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