Fuel intake on a Ride

Jahmoo Posts: 168
edited January 2013 in Road beginners
Hi Peeps,

Sorry for all the questions, promise I am learning well from your experience :lol:

I am training for my first sportive, so really the first time I have actually taken note, as wanting to make sure I am in the know.

At the moment I am riding 1hr, 1.20hr and even a 1.45hr ride. At the same time as training for a sportive, I am also trying to lose weight.

With that in mind, do I still fuel up whilst riding 1hr and 1.20hr rides. I have read up on here ref what's good and how and when.

I did the 1.45hr today and took some energy drink, well Apple Juice mixed with water and a Banana just in case(I am Diabetic)

Any thoughts?



  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    On a ride that long i take some soreen or a banana and eat it after an hour if i need it or not.For sportives all the advice is keep fueling and drinking,so like you thats my goal so i train as for what im training for.If that makes sense.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • Jahmoo
    Jahmoo Posts: 168
    Cool, cheers for advise. I usually start off with a banana, as not to fill up before a ride, due to Diabetes.

    But as I get further in distance I will start to use gels and things to start, then get into the peanut butter sandwiches once I start to go past the 3 hr mark on the bike, which should be a few weeks away now.

    Thank you.
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    good luck..from what ive read on the subject im hoping to have got a system in place for eating and drinking that will see me through the sportive,as i dont want to screw up on the day from lack of prep.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • Herbsman
    Herbsman Posts: 2,029
    Not sure what type of diabetes you have but here is a good thread viewtopic.php?f=40011&t=12770566&hilit=diabetes

    and some advice here viewtopic.php?f=40011&t=12896633&hilit=diabetes#p18055198
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    There's a good guide somewhere on BR that summed up my own experience and stuff that I have read, I will have a look for it.

    The trick is to consume about 65g of carb per hour after the first hour. Most folks carry enough carb stores in their body for about 90 mins of hard riding which is why you don't need anything for a ride of 2 hours or less...but you do need to start topping up after about an hour for rides of more. Bear in mind a carb drink and a banana is about 65g, banana on its own or a flapjack is about 25g, gels are usually about 30g. Try and ensure a good mix of GI foods as you don't want sugar rushes (as they get followed by insulin rushes which will leave you feeling very low).
  • Jahmoo
    Jahmoo Posts: 168
    Thanks for the links, great help.

    Its going to be a bit of trial and error, due to me wanting to lose weight as well, but I will always have enough fuel and extra for emergency purposes.

    Same thing as Golf, 5hrs on the course, so need to make sure I have enough to keep me going for 6hrs, this I have down to a T, so wont be long until I have full understanding of how I react on the bike.

    Thank again :)
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I don't bother with any energy products on rides less than 2 hours or so. You clearly will need it for longer rides but the body has plenty of reserves and that distance shouldn't be an issue at all.
  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    cougie wrote:
    I don't bother with any energy products on rides less than 2 hours or so. You clearly will need it for longer rides but the body has plenty of reserves and that distance shouldn't be an issue at all.
    Same here, but I don't know how diabetes affects this. Less than 2 hours for me is just muesli for breakfast and supermarket own brand squash to drink.
  • Jahmoo
    Jahmoo Posts: 168
    I am just getting up to a 2 hr ride with a 1.45 at weekend and now this week 1.20hr training ride, so building my time on the bike. At the moment I am watering down Apple Juice, 550ml, half and half. But I am looking at being prepared for my 2hr plus training rides, which will be happening in the 2/3 weeks, I hope :)

    If you use Energy Gel which one would you recommend?

  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Energy gels are just gels. You might as well ask which petrol is best for your car. For 2 hours it won't matter. Take some malt loaf or a cheese sandwich if you really expect to collapse in a heap after 2 hours on a bike.
  • For the longer rides that I do, I use Honey Stinger Energy Gel( http://shop.honeystinger.com/categories/Energy-Gels/ ) The ones I get are pretty much just honey, b-vitamins, and potassium. They work for me, other then that if I need a small snack I carry some type of fruit and nut bar one me. Something small, not a meal just a snack.
  • Bustacapp
    Bustacapp Posts: 971
    My Sunday rides are anywhere between 1-2 hrs and I do them on a Cup of Tea only and have my 'brunch' when I get home. I don't feel lacking in energy at any point but that could be due to calories from the ale the night before!!
  • stueys
    stueys Posts: 1,332
    Worth bearing in mind that the terrain and intensity will change your fuel requirements. A hilly start will mean you need to eat earlier as your burn through your store. Sounds obvious but I was reminded of this the hard way yesterday, needed to hastily neck my emergency gel.
  • rich164h
    rich164h Posts: 433
    For average two hour rides I wouldn't bother. Just have a good breakfast and make sure you're well hydrated - do continue to drink on the ride though.

    If the ride is a hard 2 hours then a gel might be used but for the average fast(but not flat out) ride of that length of time it's not really going to be needed. What I do find though is that I'm really hungry afterwards though.

    For rides that are longer that two hours I would fuel and I'd start from about 30 mins in to the ride. For me 2.5 hours at my average pace is where I start to feel the effects of not having fuelled so by feeding from about 30 mins in on a little and often basis I can stave that off pretty much as long as I need to.
  • simon_masterson
    simon_masterson Posts: 2,740
    edited January 2013
    I won't tell you what your body needs as I don't like it when people do that to me, but the advic
    e that no energy products are needed for a ride less than an hour rings true with me. That's on the back of good meals, though.

    For anything longer than that, I will usually use dextrose or maltodextrin in my water (much cheaper than branded 'sports drinks' apart from anything else), and for 2-3+ hour long hard sessions of self-torture I will often have something to eat as well. Usually flapjack, though I always have a bag of jelly babies in my back pocket for bonk rations.
  • I took a few Medjool Dates with me on Sunday. Wrapped them individually in foil.
    Packed with sugars and really easy to eat.
    Definitely recommend giving them a try

    ETA Nutritional info here....... http://www.medjooldates.com/faq-nutrition.asp
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • Jahmoo
    Jahmoo Posts: 168
    Cheers for the feedback guys.

    Just remembering that I am diabetic Type 1, so need to be prepared for anything, as just started training.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221

    This is from my experience and reading and I don't know much about type 1 diabetes - but it may offer some help. You've probably read about consuming around 70g of carbs per hour etc but it also depends upon the effort you are putting in.

    If you do a bit of research on training zones eg: http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... sts-28838/

    you'll see that some work on 'fat-burning' effort where your heart rate is around 60% of your max. In this state, you're predominantly burning fat rather than blood sugar. This is also around the zone building up endurance so this kind of long, easy effort is great for preparing for sportives and loosing weight.

    If you train harder, then the body starts burning blood sugar immediately (it's quicker than burning fat). In which case, you need to consume carbs as you go (existing carb-loaded blood sugar, food, gels, drinks etc). This is great but it means you need to consume extra calories immediately to expend them immediately. So it doesn't have such a comparatively large weight loss effect other than helping burn excess blood-sugar and improving metabolism etc.

    So for training, certainly to start with, lots of gentle, steady miles will up your endurance and weight loss. Then you can bring in extra effort and intervals to prepare for climbs and a bit of pace.

    Gels - the main benefit I find is the ability to consume these without stopping - great if you're doing a 100 mile sportive in a group and don't want to stop to eat. A tip to save on carrying lots of empty packets and hassle opening them on the go is to get a small joggers bottle (hip flask-sized bidon) and fill that with half a dozen gels and keep it in your jersey pocket.
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    For long rides I take home made flapjack and have 1 [large] piece every 12-15 miles. This is in additional to the High5 isotonic drink which also adds some carbs.
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