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Food intake on longer rides

essjaydeeessjaydee Posts: 917

Been out on a few longer club rides, longest being 83 miles, but these always include a cafe stop (or 2) :)

Doing a 67 mile reliability on Sunday, and scheduling a quick 10min stop for a bottle refill, stretch and coffee break about midpoint.

Read on here that calorie burn will be approx 600 to 800 per hour, and I don't want to bonk on the day as the first 25 miles are uphill, although gently to start off with :!:

So what do I need to take and tips on consumption during the ride ie; one banana/hour.......

I do have a couple of SIS gels and bars already, but not sure if these will be enough on the day, and is it worth carbo loading on Saturday night :?:


  • Hi
    There is no definitive answer on this, but pre loading is a good idea. I always have a four egg omlette for breakfast and take some flapjacks with me to have a nibble every 90 minutes. Since following this routine i have never 'bonked' during a ride.
    I firmly believe that energy drinks high in sugars are not necessary and sometimes are counter productive in giving a sugar rush but tot giving enough nutrition.
  • For a 60 mile ride I have a good breakfast (non-sugary cereal) and then take 2 bottles (1 with Lime SIS), 2 bars and a gel. I never get to the gel.

    For longer rides I'm a lot more conservative (after bonking on my first century, the last 10 miles of 110 was no fun). My general rule is if you're unsure then around a bar every 30 minutes should get you there (gives you roughly 400 cal / hour of the 600ish you're burning, any more and you'll probably struggle to digest it anyway), you probably won't eat it all but better too much...
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    There are some good tips here, particularly the link to a BR feature all about food:

  • Are you doing th stafford reliability? I'm hoping to participate in the 47 mile route having just got back into cycling, as you say if you can get up to loggerheads then the rest of the route is flat or downhill.

  • Are you doing th stafford reliability? I'm hoping to participate in the 47 mile route having just got back into cycling, as you say if you can get up to loggerheads then the rest of the route is flat or downhill.


    Nope...Coal road challenge near Lancaster 8)

    Thanks for the replies :)
  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    Little and often is the key rule. Try to take at least some carbs onboard every 30mins or so which may include a third of a bar or a gel and also use a sports drink. I always have a large bowl of porage(and every other morning as well) before an event or a century plus ride. If doing a century plus sportive I can consume up to 4 gels and 4 bars. If doing a equivalent rode on my own I eat far less but go a tad slower and take in the view and enjoy myself.

    Cycling is great in that you can have your cake and eat it! I keep a little treat such as jelly babies to consume in the last 10miles

    PS I always have a milkshake and a sandwhich in my cool box for after a big ride or a sportive and feel the benefit to get this down my throat ASAP.
    Brian B.
  • Thanks Brian :)

    I was trying to (roughly) work out what to consume and how often last night :|
    I'm ex-forces and believe in the 5 P's :lol: (my Mrs hates it that I have to plan, prepare and research etc etc :!: )

    I was looking on the SIS site for information on the gels and bars - gels 88kcal, 22g carbs
    enough energy for 20-30 mins of exercise
    . Bars are 218kcal and 43g carbs.

    So was figuring on a good hearty brekkie, porridge with honey. Banana on drive up, about 1/2 hour trip and being well hydrated. Coffee while I get set up before the off. I'll 'nibble' on a flapjack between hour 1 & 2. We are stopping mid point for a quick coffee, bearing in mind there is a time limit to finish in, so it will be a brief stop. Then planning on 'nibbling' through a SIS bar, and will have 2 gels just in case. Will take a good stock of jelly babies too.

    Post ride milkshake and sarnies sounds a top idea too, so will take these.

    Sounds like a plan of up the logistics operation (shopping)..and then strategy to sort :lol:
  • Mark Cavendish, in his book "Boy racer" said that he takes one gel every 20km and a caffeine one 20k from the end. He self caters, after a disaster when he didn't get to a feed station. Obviously he needs the caffeine more than me, but I try to do a gel or real food every 30km. I've even set the lap distance on my 705 to 30km to remind me. On really long sportives I've made a couple of small cheese sandwiches wrapped in foil just for a change.
  • If it's good enough for Cav, it's good enough for me I reckons :D

    Handy tip with the Garmin. Hadn't thought of that.

    Thanks M :)
  • I make my own energy gels consisting of milk, bananas, maltodextrin mixed in a blender to get a nice consistency.
    Optional extras I sometimes add:- Beta Alanine, Caffeine, Whey protein (banana flavour)
    I also use the Garmin splits beep as a reminder to feed/drink every 5 miles.
  • Thanks for reply :)
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