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feeding for weight loss rides

gbr236gbr236 Posts: 393
I can understand the need to exert more calories than consume to loose weight.
But will all these high calorie carbo drinks/gels that folk recommend just stop me loosing the lbs?
I am looking to get into the higher mile rides by the summer.



  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    gbr236 wrote:
    But will all these high calorie carbo drinks/gels that folk recommend just stop me loosing the lbs?

    Yep. They're not really needed. They tend to give you more kcals than you really need.

    The best way of losing weight is to cycle as hard as you can for the time you have available (apart from warm up/down). At the intensities you will be riding at to do that, refuelling on the bike is essential, if you want to be riding for more than 60-90 minutes. Otherwise, you'll be cooked and will have to limp home, when you could be using the time to be riding harder instead. It's a bit of a balancing act as you should try to only eat what you need to keep going and not more.

    Then again, I find that any difficult ride of 5 hours or more burns more than I can realistically eat anyway.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Just as a side note to bhima's advice, I would prioritise that you enjoy your longer rides first. As long as you eat sensibly doing high mileage will soon strip off the fat.
  • milesemilese Posts: 1,233
    Just try and eat bananas and cereal bars instead of calorie drinks / gels.

    The main thing for me is not getting home from a long ride starving hungry and quickly eating everything I can get my hands on, or justifying 8 pints and an indian with 'well I did ride 50 miles this morning'.

    If your out for a long ride there is a chance your riding through meal time anyway, so dont restrict your eating too much.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    Bhima wrote:
    gbr236 wrote:
    But will all these high calorie carbo drinks/gels that folk recommend just stop me loosing the lbs?

    Yep. They're not really needed. They tend to give you more kcals than you really need.

    This is the sort of comment that makes me not read this part of the forum ...

    point 1
    "carbo drinks" are in a sense high calorie. They contain a lot of carbohydrates. But it's easily and quickly absorbed. They don't contain fat. Compared to a chocolate eclair they are low calorie. I don't know about you but I can eat any amount after a heavy session

    point 2
    After training hard, there is a 15 minute window of opportunity where carbohydrates seem to go directly to refuelling muscles. This is why long chain polymer glucose drinks are so useful, In one dose 50g of carbs can be absorbed and go quickly to the muscles, aiding recovery.
    If you are aiming at any kind of training regime then recovering quickly is good. If you want to loose weight then another intense ride the next day would be good. But if you haven't recovered it will be a slow, aching and less useful session

    I am not getting into some kind of protracted discussion about "how hard is hard" and exactly when using high carbohydrate stuff like this is a good idea or not. There are masses of research, books and other reliable sources to find out all that from. I suppose that's the magic of the Internet. People can't be bothered reading a book so they ask places like this
  • ajb72ajb72 Posts: 1,178

    Ignorance masquerading as informed advice.
  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    +2, that is terrible advice Bhima.
    A powermeter is the one of the best estimates of calorie expenditure. Over the course of a 3-4 hour ride I might burn ~2000 cals. Even with a few bottles of energy drink, I would still be in calorie deficit. More importantly, I would be ready to do it again the following day.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Err... Hang on. What I meant was while riding, if you are drinking enough to replace your fluids, I've found the concentration of carbs in those energy drinks to be too much so, yeah, great for recovery, but if you're having all that as well as gels, you're going overboard with fuelling, unless you're putting out mega mega watts.
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,130
    Top Tip for anyone reading the forum, whatever bhima says, do the opposite.
  • Glycogen window is a myth.

    It is more like a ramp going down over time. Trailing off slowly. It lasts a different length of time because everyone is different..
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    500ml of an energy drink will contain about 150 Kcal, so not alot at all.

    With regards to the OP, have food on you, you don't need gels, in fact the only time I have gels are when racing, or I will carry one as a back up on a 5 hour + ride.

    If your riding currently is less than 90 mins to 2 hours, then I would have thought water or squash would be ideal. If you have a banana or a cereal bar whilst out as well, you should be fine. If you are going on longer rides, then you may want an energy drink, and carry a few cereal bars and eat every hour or so.

    If you really find it a struggle to eat on the move, then energy drinks can help take up some of the energy needs, but as I mentioned above there is not a huge amount of calories in an energy drink, compared to what a long ride will burn.
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