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What to use for extra energy on the move?

bandsawmanbandsawman Posts: 39
edited November 2011 in Road beginners
I'm relatively new to road riding, and most of my cycling is the commute.
It's 11 miles, with a few hills, I'm riding a single-speed, it takes me 40 mins, and I work 12 hour shifts (days and nights), so my energy levels are a bit unpredictable. Sometimes I can ride into work feeling like I could ride forever, then riding home I've got no energy...
I've been learning a lot about pre-ride nutrition, and I feel I'm finally getting the hang of it, but sometimes it still isn't enough. I've started eating fig rolls on route and I think they may be helping, but I'm not sure. The problem with eating these is the fumbling around for them in the bag in my jersey pocket, and then they leave a residue in the mouth etc, which all affects the concentration.

Should I not simply be adding something sugary to my drink? Or maybe sucking on a boiled sweet?

This nutrition stuff's doing my head in!

Posts

  • On the days you feel the need for energy try a sports drink before you start your cycle
  • you can buy energy sweets, kind of like jelly beans or wine gums, something like this

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/jelly-belly-spo ... -24-x-28g/



    infact some peeps on here have said they take wine gums
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • kylemalco wrote:
    On the days you feel the need for energy try a sports drink before you start your cycle
    For instance?
  • I work nights and day shifts and find energy levels can be a problem if you do not plan ahead,especially if like me you get different levels of overtime every day .
    What works for me is having something to eat regularly at every break opportunity rather than eating a big meal at one designated meal time.A bannana/ small cereal bar works for me around 2 hours before i finish.
    Eating while you ride for this sort of distance will not be effective as you should not have depleted your energy stores enough and it takes a while for any energy to get into the system.You should be looking to eat food that gives you long term energy release rather than a sugar rush which will leave you feeling down when the rush wears off.

    This is helpful...

    http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/cycling/cycling-food/

    This would be a typical menu for me , i do have a physical job and a hilly 10 mile commute.

    Breakfast
    Porridge with sultanas or 2 pieces of toast with jam

    commute , 10 miles

    get to work cuppa + small cereal bar
    work 3 hours
    break cuppa + 1 piece of bread sarnie
    work 2 hours
    dinner 2 sarnies , bananna, satsuma,yoghurt, cuppa
    work 2 hours
    bannana, cuppa
    work 2-4 hours ( extra 10 min break if its 4 )

    This is where it gets complicated ... overtime ranges from half an hour to 2.5 hours and is mandatory so i take an extra nibble or hold back on the last bananna if i am not hungry to a later time .
    I find this way i keep on top of my energy levels throughout the shift and have plenty in the tank for the ride home.
    FCN 3/5/9
  • sOREEN
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • sOREEN

    This
  • peasepease Posts: 150
    Home made fllapjack with cinnamon, cornflakes, rasins and chopped nuts. The problem is its so nice I tend to snack on it all day !
    Insert witty signature here
  • peasepease Posts: 150
    Home made fllapjack with cinnamon, cornflakes, rasins and chopped nuts. The problem is its so nice I tend to snack on it all day !
    Insert witty signature here
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    As Cybernight says - its a waste of time for an 11 mile commute really. A good energy drink (during and maybe within the 30 mins before riding) and something to eat a couple of hours before you ride is going to be much more likely to help you if you get the chance in work.

    Banana / cereal bars / fig rolls etc are good - quick and easy.
  • As Cybernight says - its a waste of time for an 11 mile commute really. A good energy drink (during and maybe within the 30 mins before riding) ....

    What kind of energy drink?
  • Dates -- totally portable, real food, quick energy. If your commute is just 11 miles, before long you may not need extra food.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    Nobody needs any extra food for an 11 mile ride. If you have a balanced diet, 11 miles will deplete very little from your daily nutritional intake. If you have an unhealthy, fatty diet, you certainly don't need any MORE calories!!!! You need to change to a healthier diet, and cycle 11 mles more often (build up to doing more than 5x11 miles all together!) The fitter you get the easier you will find it to go significantly further than 11 miles having eaten virtually nothing! I am not advising this, simply pointing out that many cyclists could go 11 miles and not even feel warmed up.....

    PP

    Edited to add that I bonked for the first time on a ride last week. I can normally ride 100+ miles with nutrition enroute no problems. That day I went with a pal on a 60 mile ride in the hills. I got the nutrition wrong; I ate breakfast early, had a ham sandwich just before the ride, a stop for a slice of flapjack and a cofee halfway, BUT forgot to take my bidons, which I didn't realise until we had driven to the start point. I borrowed one and bought another and filled them with water. This was an error as I normally have one full of energy drink. With 10 miles to go on a particularly steep climb I had nothing left and could only just keep the pedals turning. In hindsight though, it wasn't all about the nutrition. I had been working a particularly punishing work schedule - 11 shifts in 12 days, having gone from early mornings to deep nights. This one day off after 7 was when I went riding......fatigue had set in by that point and my disrupted and limited sleep patterns had taken their toll. The nutrition on the day was just one more small nail in my coffin!!!
  • Pilot Pete wrote:
    Nobody needs any extra food for an 11 mile ride. If you have a balanced diet, 11 miles will deplete very little from your daily nutritional intake.........

    ........ and cycle 11 mles more often (build up to doing more than 5x11 miles all together!) The fitter you get the easier you will find it to go significantly further than 11 miles having eaten virtually nothing! I am not advising this, simply pointing out that many cyclists could go 11 miles and not even feel warmed up.....

    You were bang on with this!

    I'm over this problem now - I was simply too unfit! I've got many more miles under my belt now and lost some more weight as well - it's just getting easier all the time :D

    That comment about many cyclists not even being warmed up by 11 miles really hit home with me - I kept thinking about it on my rides and it really gave me the push I needed! And now I'm at that stage - by 10 miles I'm feeling like I'm just settling in nicely :D
  • Another point to make is that eating a meal just before riding is counter-productive in energy terms. The body busily sets about digesting the food with less resources directed to powering the ride. Believe me, I have direct knowledge of this as I ride to a pub for lunch! Too heavy a meal, or too much beer, leaves a distinct feeling of lassitude on the journey home. To cope with this problem I force myself to stay in the pub longer.
    The older I get the faster I was
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