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Food before rides

Jordan93Jordan93 Posts: 336
edited March 2011 in Road beginners
After some reading I have found that for any competitive event it is best to eat a high carb meal 2-4 hours beforehand because low GI foods such as pasta take between 3-4 hours to be absorbed. For example around 4 hours before my ride I had around 150g(uncooked weight) of pasta. After this meal, I only took on liquids. This was either water or a sports drink. I found that upon starting the ride I felt abit lethargic and my legs felt a wee bit like jelly. After awhile I didn't feel as bad but still didnt feel very lively.

Is this due to the fact I ate too soon before the ride?

Posts

  • DmakDmak Posts: 445
    I'm new to this too.

    I had a pot of ready made pasta this morning before setting out into the glorious sunshine for 90 miles and 4k of ascent. There were quite a few speed bumps! or hills as most people call them.

    It helps to load up on carbs the day before too. Also you need food along the way, bananas, flapjacks and a moderate dose of caffeine can help. PowerGels n all, does anyone know if there is a problem with using pro-plus during a ride instead of the pricey PowerGels? They're not that expensive per unit but it seems like an expense that could really add up.

    This link is source of fairly good info.

    http://www.road-bike.co.uk/articles/cycling-food.php

    Eating 4 hours before riding is not too soon. Eat too much too soon and cycling becomes hell.
  • Jordan93Jordan93 Posts: 336
    I think from what you've said and after reading that link that I was probably too obssesive and could of eaten something small such as a banana before the ride. By Pro Plus I assume you mean the caffeine tablets, if so then you shouldnt really use them. My body needs fuel to keep going in the form of carbs and Pro Plus do not contain them. You can get the fuel necessary from many foods so just eat instead of using a gel its just as effective, if you're worried about bonking just take something high in sugar just in case.
  • Gav888Gav888 Posts: 946
    I made a lot of mistakes when I first start riding, here is my old posts about foods - http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... highlight= these days anything up to 3 hours or so I just have my breakfast as normal and go out an hour - hour half after and have energy drinks on the ride, no issues with energy levels so far.

    Reading back over my old post is actually scary! :shock:
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • crumbschiefcrumbschief Posts: 3,399
    I just have oats before i go out and that seems to be ok,about 75g worth.Like most things on the bike It sure is trial and error Gav888 and that was good to read,i am having a few food problems at the moment that i am trying to sort,if you know,how many calories and grams of carbs do you have the day before?
  • Gav888Gav888 Posts: 946
    I just have oats before i go out and that seems to be ok,about 75g worth.Like most things on the bike It sure is trial and error Gav888 and that was good to read,i am having a few food problems at the moment that i am trying to sort,if you know,how many calories and grams of carbs do you have the day before?

    Not to sure to be honest but from memory carb loading the day before is not much use, I believe this needs to be done over a longer period such as the week leading up to a big ride to get any benefit from it, but I could be wrong as it was a while ago I researched it. Eating things like wholegrain pasta every night will help, as for how much it depends on your size, event etc.

    Sorry to be general but ive never found carb loading to work for me the few times I tried it, but then im not at a level were it's important to do it.
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • I think as you get more used to riding the amount of food you need to take on reduces - I used to have to eat loads otherwise I couldn't last an hour - now I'm not bothered until about 3-4 hours - the problem is taking on enough while I'm riding to carry me over the 4-5 hr time.

    The main difference now is I can recognise when I'm feeling the effects of lack of food and respond to it - I think it just comes with practice
  • crumbschiefcrumbschief Posts: 3,399
    Thanks for that anyway Gav,i never load up either,i just meant with normal intake.
  • alex1alex1 Posts: 25
    try the book "go faster foods" its really really good and has some nice ideas and its writtin by a long distance runner so it has 1st hand knowlage!
  • Gav888Gav888 Posts: 946
    Just found this which may help:

    Grams of Carbs Recommended Per Day

    If you are trying to lose body fat, 20-70 grams are recommended - depending on your level of activity. For information about low carb 'fat burning' foods, that speed up metabolism for weight loss, see the page links, further down this page, listed under Sources and Related Links.

    If you are not aiming to lose body fat, 180-230 grams are sometimes recommended. Please note, however, that unlike protein or fat there is no minimum daily requirement of carbohydrate for good health or to sustain life.

    It is a scientific fact that the human body does not require any carbs at all. Your body can get all the sugars it needs from other food groups such as proteins. however, if you require energy quickly, carbohydrates are a great source of energy as the body can break them down into simple sugars (glucose).

    I have 13 grams per day. The first stage of the Atkins diet is only 10 grams per day.
    I have only 20 grams per day because that keeps me healthy and fit. Some people can tolerate more carbs than others. I cannot.

    If you are not trying to lose body fat, the number of carbs you can consume on a daily basis may be judged on your daily calorie intake. For a person who is just doing a regular amount of activity (taking in 1,600-2,200 calories), carbohydrate intake is more (around 65%), whereas fat intake is lower (20%).

    But if the person has a higher calorie intake (e.g., 3,000-4,000, as in someone who does long-distance running, etc.) the person will need less carbohydrates (55%) and more fats (30%). There isn't a raw number of carbohydrates to intake because the amount of exercise a person does depends essentially on how active they are overall.

    For athletes, the most important carbohydrate is the complex ones (glycogen) such as oats, fruits, vegetables... anything with fiber, mainly potatoes, pasta, bread, cereal. But you have to watch out: carbohydrates are easily over-consumed.

    If you are not aiming for weight loss, the amount of any food per day is subjective to age, health conditions, physical activity (calorie expenditure per day). There are many other minor factors that may determine the amount of calories and carbs that a person needs. So, based on the law of individualism, each individual is unique and their needs are different.

    It can depend on how many calories/day diet you maintain. 45% of your daily intake should be carbs. On a 1,600-calories-a-day diet, 720 calories should come from carbs. Or about 180 grams. The important thing is what KIND of carbs. You should limit refined (processed) carbohydrates.

    I recently reconstructed my diet and lost 30 lbs in about 10 months and 2 inches off my waist. I base my food plan on these three rules: Calories must be less than or between 1000 and 1500. Grams of fat must never exceed 35g.

    Grams of carb cannot exceed 100 for a maintenance diet once the weight has been lost. I do not limit the kinds of food that I can eat - only the amount. I eat snacks during the day and drink between 2-4 liters of water. I also have a strict exercise schedule.

    For good health, or for weight loss, or weight maintenance, strictly limit refined (processed) carbohydrates (apart from the occasional treat). Refined processed carbohydrates are a major cause of weight gain, obesity, diabetes type 2, and many other diet related diseases. If you are unsure what these foods are, you will a list further down this page, listed under Sources and Related Links.

    Do not eat white bread, white pasta, white potatoes, or white rice. These foods are VERY high glycemic and will spike your blood sugar, which will make you hungry again much quicker.

    Add fiber to your diet (which you will automatically do if you switch to whole grain carbs) and eat 5-6 small "meals" during the day instead of 3 big meals. You will never be hungry and will shed pounds like mad.
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    I just eat my breakfast and go out about 30 mins later if it is a long endurance ride, and just eat on the bike, even then it isn't much, the body has plenty of fuel as body fat to do endurance rides. For 5 hours I would eat about 3 bars and possibly a can of coke from a shop, as well as water in my bottles.

    If I am doing a harder shorter time ride, then I will leave it a couple of hours after a meal. One of the good things about cycling is you can do it with a full stomach. Obviously if you are going to be racing, or doing a very hard effort, eat well before riding, but for a long endurance ride then nothing special needs doing IME

    Most food apart from meat and fat contains a big percentage of carbs, so no fancy carb heavy meals are need either IME
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