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Nutrition whilst on long rides?

lee_85lee_85 Posts: 16
Hey guys,
As the Christmas break is fast approaching I am planning on a few long bike rides over the break, does anyone have any advice for food?! I'm from a triathlon background so have the carb gels etc... any other ideas???
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Posts

  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    How long is a ride?
    ...................................................................................................

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • lee_85 wrote:
    Hey guys,
    As the Christmas break is fast approaching I am planning on a few long bike rides over the break, does anyone have any advice for food?! I'm from a triathlon background so have the carb gels etc... any other ideas???

    Throw the gels away.
  • Loads of options really and all natural (if you make them rather than buy them) except a few

    Bananas, flapjack, malt loaf, fig rolls, rice cakes with cream cheese & ham (spread the cheese on the ham then fold into 2 rice cakes and bag up stops them going soft), pita bread easy to fill with what you like (for me its turkey, chicken, lamb some tomatoes and salad greens) bag it up and ready to go.

    I just tend to think what I would like to eat and make a list, take out all the things that are too heavy on the stomach or you wouldn't be able to carry and away you go. I know guys that happy go out with a boots meal deal and just take the sandwich out of the box and into a bag.

    Sure people have their own personal favourites,.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Bananas

    I tried banana soreen last week, it was the claggiest thing I have ever eaten. Terrible.
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    I personally use sports energy bars. Buy them in bulk (packs of 24) and just buy whatever is on offer at the time (so just look out for 50% sales etc)

    I can't be doing with all this making food up before you go out on a ride. I can see the benefit of real food, but bars are convenient, don't squash, water/sweat-proof and seem to have a 'half life' of a few years! But I do have two small children, so time always is limited for me.

    I have looked at supermarket muesli bars previously; most are too dry to eat on the bike; some also seem to contain high levels of fat. So have give up and stick to what I know. It's obviously not the cheapest solution.
    Simon
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    For me the purpose of long rides is to convince my body that it can keep riding at a not very fast pace for a very long time. I am ensuring my core strength, leathery backside and steely determination are in full working order.

    There might be some kind of aerobic fitness gain but it is minor

    So it doesn't really matter what I eat on long rides. As long as I eat something more or less appropriate, everything is ok. I eat "an item" every hour after the first hour. This might be a flapjack, a bottle of milkshake or a banana. Easily digested stuff with a nice bit of carbohydrate in them. A bag of chips doesn't work, too much fat.

    If you are on a diet of some sort then you might like to think more carefully about this stuff
  • nickelnickel Posts: 476
    Supermarket own brand ripoff nutrigrain bars. Box of 18 from Asda for £2.50, around 26g of carb per bar and they don't taste too bad either. Other than that flapjack and when on offer Organic Mango torq bars, because I absolutely love them, seriously I could quite happily eat them as a snack when not cycling, they taste that good.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    Start the ride with stuff that's slower to be absorbed with more complex carbs

    Move onto gels etc. later in the ride when you need the more instant boost.

    20-60g of carbs an hour depending on the individual and intensity (I personally try to stick to 20-30 on a club run or sportive)

    I'm also a big fan of energy drinks as opposed to food and gels and take at least 500mls of SIS Go Electrolyte Energy drink on most rides, I'll also use it for intense Turbo sessions etc.

    -Energy Drinks
    -Malt Loaf
    -Flapjack
    -Cereal bars
    -Energy Bars
    -Gels
    -Bananas
    -Banana loaf

    etc.

    My No1 tip is to take a spare powerbar on every long ride you do and if you bonk 1/2 a bar will set you right, and the other half will see you home.
  • Start the ride with stuff that's slower to be absorbed with more complex carbs

    Move onto gels etc. later in the ride when you need the more instant boost.

    20-60g of carbs an hour depending on the individual and intensity (I personally try to stick to 20-30 on a club run or sportive)

    I'm also a big fan of energy drinks as opposed to food and gels and take at least 500mls of SIS Go Electrolyte Energy drink on most rides, I'll also use it for intense Turbo sessions etc.

    -Energy Drinks
    -Malt Loaf
    -Flapjack
    -Cereal bars
    -Energy Bars
    -Gels
    -Bananas
    -Banana loaf

    etc.

    My No1 tip is to take a spare powerbar on every long ride you do and if you bonk 1/2 a bar will set you right, and the other half will see you home.

    All of this.
  • Eat a large well balanced meal the night before. Eat a good breakfast. Take food on the ride. Do not be brainwashed into thinking you need gels and sports drinks or energy bars. These are are all full of cheap censored which is then packaged with a load of scientific babble to convince idiots to think they need this garbage to ride a bike more than half a mile down the road.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4737#ref-9

    http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4797?

    Assessment of evidence behind sports products
    A team at the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University assessed the evidence behind 431 performance enhancing claims in adverts for 104 different sports products including sports drinks, protein shakes and trainers.
    If the evidence wasn’t clear from the adverts, they contacted the companies for more information. Some, like Puma, did not provide any evidence, while others like GlaxoSmithKline— makers of Lucozade Sport—provided hundreds of studies.
    Yet only three (2.7%) of the studies the team was able to assess were judged to be of high quality and at low risk of bias. They say this absence of high quality evidence is “worrying” and call for better research in this area to help inform decisions.
    What the research found
    As part of the BMJ’s analysis of the evidence underpinning sports performance products, it asked manufacturers to supply details of the studies. Only one manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline provided a comprehensive bibliography of the trials used to underpin its product claims for Lucozade—a carbohydrate containing sports drink.45 Other manufacturers of leading sports drinks did not and in the absence of systematic reviews we surmise that the methodological issues raised apply to all other sports drinks.
    Carl Heneghan, Rafael Perera, David Nunan, Kamal Mahtani, and Peter Gill set out to appraise the evidence and found a series of problems with the studies (see online for full article).9
    Small sample sizes limit the applicability of results—Only one of the 106 studies —in 257 marathon runners—exceeded the acceptable target for a small study of 100 participants per group. The next largest had 52 participants and the median sample size was nine. Thus the results cannot be generalised beyond people with the study group characteristics
    Poor quality surrogate outcomes undermine the validity—Many studies used time to exhaustion or other outcomes that are not directly relevant to performance in real life events
    Poorly designed research offers little to instil confidence in product claims—Most studies (76%) were low in quality because of a lack of allocation concealment and blinding, and often the findings contrasted with each other. The studies often had substantial problems because of use of different protocols, temperatures, work intensities, and outcomes
    Data dredging leads to spurious statistical results—Studies often failed to define outcome measures before the study, leaving open the possibility of numerous analyses and increasing the risk of finding a positive result by chance.
    Biological outcomes do not necessarily correlate with improved performance—Reductions in use of muscle glycogen, for example, did not correlate with improved athletic performance. Physiological outcomes such as maximal oxygen consumption have also been shown to be poor predictors of performance, even among elite athletes
    Inappropriate use of relative measures inflates the outcome and can easily mislead—One study inflated the relative effect of carbohydrate drinks from 3% to 33% by excluding from the analysis the 75 minutes of exercise both groups undertook before an exhaustion test
    Studies that lack blinding are likely to be false—Studies that used plain water as the control found positive effects whereas those that used taste matched placebos didn’t
    Manipulation of nutrition in the run-in phase significantly affects subsequent outcomes—Many studies seemingly starve participants the night before and on the morning of the research study
    Changes in environmental factors lead to wide variation in outcomes—Although dilute carbohydrate drinks may have some benefit in heat, studies found no effect in cold environments. No plausible reason given for benefits
    There was no substantial evidence to suggest that liquid is any better than solid carbohydrate intake and there were no studies in children. Given the high sugar content and the propensity to dental erosions children should be discouraged from using sports drinks. Through our analysis of the current sports performance research, we have come to one conclusion: people should develop their own strategies for carbohydrate intake largely by trial and error.

    Another problem with the research is transparency. Even though a large proportion of the studies have been conducted by scientists with financial ties to Gatorade (PepsiCo), GSK, and Coca-Cola, the authors’ individual conflicts of interest are either not published or not declared. Conflicts of interest also exist within the key journals in sports medicine—GSSI funded scientists pepper their editorial boards and editorships.
    Around half of the studies supplied by GSK appeared in four journals—the Journal of Applied Physiology (20), Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (24),International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (11) and the Journal of Sports Science (9). Several of these journals belong to organisations that have long relationships with Gatorade (box).

    Most of the scientists identified as being on the GSSI board have prominent roles in journals. Even its global senior director, Asker Jeukendrup, professor of exercise metabolism at Birmingham University, is an editor of the European Journal of Sport Science—the official journal of the European College of Sport Science. His biography states that “he has been a member of the advisory editorial board of theJournal of Sports Sciences, and served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sports Medicine and Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. To date, Asker has served as a reviewer for 35 different scientific journals.”53Jeukendrup is one of the main authors of a series of research papers given to theBMJ by GSK to demonstrate the effectiveness of its sports drinks.9
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Start the ride with stuff that's slower to be absorbed with more complex carbs

    Move onto gels etc. later in the ride when you need the more instant boost.

    20-60g of carbs an hour depending on the individual and intensity (I personally try to stick to 20-30 on a club run or sportive)

    I'm also a big fan of energy drinks as opposed to food and gels and take at least 500mls of SIS Go Electrolyte Energy drink on most rides, I'll also use it for intense Turbo sessions etc.

    -Energy Drinks
    -Malt Loaf
    -Flapjack
    -Cereal bars
    -Energy Bars
    -Gels
    -Bananas
    -Banana loaf

    etc.

    My No1 tip is to take a spare powerbar on every long ride you do and if you bonk 1/2 a bar will set you right, and the other half will see you home.

    Energy gels and drinks on every ride? Total waste of money.

    My advice: eat normal food.
    More problems but still living....
  • Eat a large well balanced meal the night before. Eat a good breakfast. Take food on the ride. Do not be brainwashed into thinking you need gels and sports drinks or energy bars. These are are all full of cheap censored which is then packaged with a load of scientific babble to convince idiots to think they need this garbage to ride a bike more than half a mile down the road.

    Thread title - Nutrition whilst on long rides?

    Scenario:

    Mile 60 and you’re starting to flag. You’ve got a lump of Soreen in your back pocket and a Gel. The Soreen is going to take at least 20 mins to start working while the gel will give you an almost instantaneous energy hit. Which one would you go for?

    Gels, blocks and shots work. They do the job they’re intended to do i.e. give an instant energy fix and quickly top up the rider’s carb level when required. They definitely have their place on intense and long rides.

    An example of the sort of stuff I’ll take for a century:

    4 x Cliff Shot Blocks cut in half to give 8 ‘gel’ quantities.
    1 x High 5 gel bottle filled with 5 x High 5 Caffeine gels.
    4 x Homemade rice cakes (sushi rice/bacon/egg/soy sauce/brown sugar/parmesan)
    2 x bottles filled with High5 2:1 ‘normal’.
    2 x sachets of High5 2:1 – sometimes one of them will be an ‘Extreme’ sachet.
    A cafe stop half way for a caffeine boost and cake.

    The rice cakes give an hourly savoury fix and I’ll make a large batch so the guys I’m riding with can get some too.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    amaferanga wrote:
    Start the ride with stuff that's slower to be absorbed with more complex carbs

    Move onto gels etc. later in the ride when you need the more instant boost.

    20-60g of carbs an hour depending on the individual and intensity (I personally try to stick to 20-30 on a club run or sportive)

    I'm also a big fan of energy drinks as opposed to food and gels and take at least 500mls of SIS Go Electrolyte Energy drink on most rides, I'll also use it for intense Turbo sessions etc.

    -Energy Drinks
    -Malt Loaf
    -Flapjack
    -Cereal bars
    -Energy Bars
    -Gels
    -Bananas
    -Banana loaf

    etc.

    My No1 tip is to take a spare powerbar on every long ride you do and if you bonk 1/2 a bar will set you right, and the other half will see you home.

    Energy gels and drinks on every ride? Total waste of money.

    My advice: eat normal food.


    It may be a waste to you, but its what works for me. (and I only use gels for sportives and races).
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    edited December 2012
    It may be a waste to you, but its what works for me. (and I only use gels for sportives and races).

    I thought you were saying you used gels for all rides. They have their place for races, I agree on that.
    More problems but still living....
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Mile 60 and you’re starting to flag. You’ve got a lump of Soreen in your back pocket and a Gel. The Soreen is going to take at least 20 mins to start working while the gel will give you an almost instantaneous energy hit. Which one would you go for?

    Gels, blocks and shots work. They do the job they’re intended to do i.e. give an instant energy fix and quickly top up the rider’s carb level when required. They definitely have their place on intense and long rides.

    They have their place in racing and intense rides. But if you need them on regular long rides then you just got your fuelling strategy wrong earlier in the ride and you should look at that instead of knocking back gels to help you limp home.
    More problems but still living....
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    I often think some people mistake fatigue for running out of fuel and are turning to energy products unnecessarily. I don't know any cyclists I'd class as experienced who rely heavily on energy products for training.

    For a turbo session I wouldn't bother with anything other than water - I don't go over an hour on the turbo and I don't see the need for food for that length of time.

    A long low intensity ride I wouldn't bother with any energy products - low intensity means you can eat everyday foods such as bananas or flapjack which is a lot cheaper, tends to be better for your teeth (even something sugary is better than sipping constantly on a sports drink), and probably healthier all round. I think the fitter you are maybe the more fuel you can get through - so you'd expect the racers to be the ones using these foods more for high intensity rides - but it tends to be more the new cyclists and to a large extent I just think they've been taken in by the marketing and the rubbish some magazines print.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    flapjack - flap jack - f l a p j a c k

    oh f f s flapjack is censored !

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,546
    For rides of around 4 hours I find I don't need to eat a great deal, especially at this time of year when the pace isn't massively high. For that kind of duration you maybe burn 2-2,500 calories.

    A good breakfast can give you half of that, so it's pretty unlikely people will be bonking, given how much we usually have in reserve anyway.
  • **** - flap jack - f l a p j a c k

    oh f f s **** is censored !
    That is hilarious. Does fla pjack even have a rude meaning??????? I mean, I can twist my only mildly perverted mind into making one up, but seriously.... :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

    Edit: in these situations I refer to the only dictionary I ever need, namely Roger's Profanisaurus.

    Obviously, a fla pjack is a tool for jacking flaps apart. How did I not realise... Clearly, Mary Whitehouse is alive and well, and moderating this forum.

    Edit: also this. WTF??????
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • stevewjstevewj Posts: 227
    Bowl of porridge with honey before a three to three and a half hour ride. I take three fig rolls as well and eat them if I feel like it which is about half the time. The only time I have a gel is in a fifty mile time trial - I have a caffeine gel at 30 and 40 miles.
  • phreak wrote:
    For rides of around 4 hours I find I don't need to eat a great deal, especially at this time of year when the pace isn't massively high. For that kind of duration you maybe burn 2-2,500 calories.

    A good breakfast can give you half of that, so it's pretty unlikely people will be bonking, given how much we usually have in reserve anyway.

    1000/1250 cals for breakfast?
  • i would eat about every 3 -4 hrs anyway, so even after a decent porridge breakfast, i'll be hungry 3 hrs later. so i like to eat 2 hrs into a ride then about every hr after that.

    raisins
    bread and jam
    cof and scones
    bananas
    fig rolls

    gels, almost never.
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,134
    I found when i was quite unfit(noob) i needed to eat quite a lot to suvive a decent length ride.
    Now on a 50 i might take 1 gel just in case. On a 100 a couple of sandwiches or a croissant/flapjack/etc. and maybe a couple of gels just in case.Bananas are also good.
    "real" food is perfectly good for most rides, if you like/or get on better with/ gels etc then why not?
    Initially i would say it was more important to be out riding. As you get fitter you can refine your feeding strategy and look at your food in/energy burned balance. Find out what works best for you.
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • Eat a large well balanced meal the night before. Eat a good breakfast. Take food on the ride. Do not be brainwashed into thinking you need gels and sports drinks or energy bars. These are are all full of cheap censored which is then packaged with a load of scientific babble to convince idiots to think they need this garbage to ride a bike more than half a mile down the road.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4737#ref-9

    http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4797?

    Assessment of evidence behind sports products
    A team at the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University assessed the evidence behind 431 performance enhancing claims in adverts for 104 different sports products including sports drinks, protein shakes and trainers.
    If the evidence wasn’t clear from the adverts, they contacted the companies for more information. Some, like Puma, did not provide any evidence, while others like GlaxoSmithKline— makers of Lucozade Sport—provided hundreds of studies.
    Yet only three (2.7%) of the studies the team was able to assess were judged to be of high quality and at low risk of bias. They say this absence of high quality evidence is “worrying” and call for better research in this area to help inform decisions.
    What the research found
    As part of the BMJ’s analysis of the evidence underpinning sports performance products, it asked manufacturers to supply details of the studies. Only one manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline provided a comprehensive bibliography of the trials used to underpin its product claims for Lucozade—a carbohydrate containing sports drink.45 Other manufacturers of leading sports drinks did not and in the absence of systematic reviews we surmise that the methodological issues raised apply to all other sports drinks.
    Carl Heneghan, Rafael Perera, David Nunan, Kamal Mahtani, and Peter Gill set out to appraise the evidence and found a series of problems with the studies (see online for full article).9
    Small sample sizes limit the applicability of results—Only one of the 106 studies —in 257 marathon runners—exceeded the acceptable target for a small study of 100 participants per group. The next largest had 52 participants and the median sample size was nine. Thus the results cannot be generalised beyond people with the study group characteristics
    Poor quality surrogate outcomes undermine the validity—Many studies used time to exhaustion or other outcomes that are not directly relevant to performance in real life events
    Poorly designed research offers little to instil confidence in product claims—Most studies (76%) were low in quality because of a lack of allocation concealment and blinding, and often the findings contrasted with each other. The studies often had substantial problems because of use of different protocols, temperatures, work intensities, and outcomes
    Data dredging leads to spurious statistical results—Studies often failed to define outcome measures before the study, leaving open the possibility of numerous analyses and increasing the risk of finding a positive result by chance.
    Biological outcomes do not necessarily correlate with improved performance—Reductions in use of muscle glycogen, for example, did not correlate with improved athletic performance. Physiological outcomes such as maximal oxygen consumption have also been shown to be poor predictors of performance, even among elite athletes
    Inappropriate use of relative measures inflates the outcome and can easily mislead—One study inflated the relative effect of carbohydrate drinks from 3% to 33% by excluding from the analysis the 75 minutes of exercise both groups undertook before an exhaustion test
    Studies that lack blinding are likely to be false—Studies that used plain water as the control found positive effects whereas those that used taste matched placebos didn’t
    Manipulation of nutrition in the run-in phase significantly affects subsequent outcomes—Many studies seemingly starve participants the night before and on the morning of the research study
    Changes in environmental factors lead to wide variation in outcomes—Although dilute carbohydrate drinks may have some benefit in heat, studies found no effect in cold environments. No plausible reason given for benefits
    There was no substantial evidence to suggest that liquid is any better than solid carbohydrate intake and there were no studies in children. Given the high sugar content and the propensity to dental erosions children should be discouraged from using sports drinks. Through our analysis of the current sports performance research, we have come to one conclusion: people should develop their own strategies for carbohydrate intake largely by trial and error.

    Another problem with the research is transparency. Even though a large proportion of the studies have been conducted by scientists with financial ties to Gatorade (PepsiCo), GSK, and Coca-Cola, the authors’ individual conflicts of interest are either not published or not declared. Conflicts of interest also exist within the key journals in sports medicine—GSSI funded scientists pepper their editorial boards and editorships.
    Around half of the studies supplied by GSK appeared in four journals—the Journal of Applied Physiology (20), Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (24),International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (11) and the Journal of Sports Science (9). Several of these journals belong to organisations that have long relationships with Gatorade (box).

    Most of the scientists identified as being on the GSSI board have prominent roles in journals. Even its global senior director, Asker Jeukendrup, professor of exercise metabolism at Birmingham University, is an editor of the European Journal of Sport Science—the official journal of the European College of Sport Science. His biography states that “he has been a member of the advisory editorial board of theJournal of Sports Sciences, and served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sports Medicine and Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. To date, Asker has served as a reviewer for 35 different scientific journals.”53Jeukendrup is one of the main authors of a series of research papers given to theBMJ by GSK to demonstrate the effectiveness of its sports drinks.9

    Nice edit of your post. Pity it's total and utter bollocks.
  • marzmarz Posts: 130
    Depends on how fast you intend to ride and whether you plan on stopping to refuel or will eat on the road.

    I like to ride as fast as I can (there's nothing to look at round here and so speed is the only thing that drives my road riding) and so I like to ride light and eat on the fly. I've yet to find a way to carry 5000 cals of normal food in a jersey pocket and so I like power bars.
    On a 100 mile ride I'll start eating 1 hour into the ride and then keep eating one 225 cal bar every 30 mins. I've tried every 45 mins and I started to feel hungry/week towards the end.
  • FlacVestFlacVest Posts: 100
    phreak wrote:
    For rides of around 4 hours I find I don't need to eat a great deal, especially at this time of year when the pace isn't massively high. For that kind of duration you maybe burn 2-2,500 calories.

    A good breakfast can give you half of that, so it's pretty unlikely people will be bonking, given how much we usually have in reserve anyway.

    I'm assuming you're fit, which isn't the case for a large number of people posting on these forums.

    Yes, as you increase in fitness, you'll be able to "hold" more Calories and put those down; I never eat while riding and always have gorged on a huge meal right after, and throughout the day.

    With that said, from my HR monitor, I can put out about 2000 or so Calories before I start thinking about bonking; no way could I do that a month or 2 ago. If you don't train to put down a lot of power over a long duration and cruise at ~17 or 18 mph for a long time, your body will burn a lot less efficiently if you amp up the speed, simply due to not adapting for that kind of output.

    Your body type and training will dictate this, and anybody can work on improving their energy reserves and their overall wattage through x time.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,546
    phreak wrote:
    For rides of around 4 hours I find I don't need to eat a great deal, especially at this time of year when the pace isn't massively high. For that kind of duration you maybe burn 2-2,500 calories.

    A good breakfast can give you half of that, so it's pretty unlikely people will be bonking, given how much we usually have in reserve anyway.

    1000/1250 cals for breakfast?

    Sure. Bowl of muesli with semi-skimmed milk is around 600. Couple of slices of toast with jam is a good 300. Add in a smoothie or fruit juice and you have another 100 or so.
  • FlacVest wrote:
    I'm assuming you're fit, which isn't the case for a large number of people posting on these forums.

    :shock:
  • phreak wrote:
    Sure. Bowl of muesli with semi-skimmed milk is around 600. Couple of slices of toast with jam is a good 300. Add in a smoothie or fruit juice and you have another 100 or so.

    I'd get rid of that muesli if it's coming in at that. You'll get way more carbs to cals with an average bowl of porridge.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,546
    Well sure, a similar sized bowl of porridge works out at around 400 calories. Don't want to eat the same thing every day though, and muesli is far from the worst culprit. Granola or something comes in at nearer 750 for the same bowl.
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