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Fueling up for a big ride

RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
edited April 2013 in Health, fitness & training
I'm a bit new to long XC rides and I don't think I prepare properly or keep myself properly fueled and hydrated.
This weekend I'm going for a 60km ride across the Purbeck hills.
After previous big (50km) rides I have suffered terrible migraines which I believe were possibly caused by my blood sugar dropping. My wife is diabetic so she tested me after my last ride and I was down to 4.2 after having a Snickers bar on the way home, after the ride and before the blood test.
My first question is how should I prepare? And secondly how much and what sort of food and drink should I take? Thirdly what should I do for recovery? I'm guessing collapsing on the sofa with a pint as I usually do isn't what I should be doing.

Posts

  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Ditch the snickers bar, as an emergency its OK due to the nuts but generally chocolate bars tend to add to the sugar high/crash cycle.

    Make sure you eat properly before your ride is the start. Drinks wise try some energy drink as will add liquid calories & depending on which brand may also contain sodium etc.

    Food on the ride try and keep it simple is the best & cheapest way to go. Bananas, flapjacks (homemade), fig rolls, dates etc. If you want to spend then you can buy ready made energy bars but they can be quite expensive.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • MTB13MTB13 Posts: 29
    Drink plenty! Headaches can be caused by dehydration.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I don't think it's dehydration causing headaches, I have no other symptoms of dehydration. I think it has more to do with blood sugar crashing. I have lost a lot of weight over the last four months so I have been trying not to eat much when riding but I think I might have gone too far a few times.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    I don't think it's dehydration causing headaches, I have no other symptoms of dehydration. I think it has more to do with blood sugar crashing. I have lost a lot of weight over the last four months so I have been trying not to eat much when riding but I think I might have gone too far a few times.

    Sounds like your on top of it then in understanding the cause. Just need to find a fuel that you get on with & doesn't undo all your hard work.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • iDadiDad Posts: 68
    MTB13 wrote:
    Drink plenty! Headaches can be caused by dehydration.
    +1

    I've suffered for over 20yrs with Cluster Migraines....get a few in a week then non for months..........tried all the usual "cut out that...cut out this" and i've noticed i get them when dehydrated.....i know by the colour of my urine when i'm dehydrated and i can get shocking thick heads....once i've got plenty of fluids in me and they seem to ease up and stay away.

    alcohol also gives me the thick heads but thats just the pain of the pleasure lol
  • concordeconcorde Posts: 1,111
    Sip a bottle up to the start from about an hour before the ride. Then set your timer and take smallish sips every 15 minutes. Humans are really bad at keeping properly hydrated.

    Obviously need to eat well the day before the ride, I go high protein meal in the daytime before a ride and then a high card mean in the evening. Morning of the ride a good brekkie 2 hours before then nothing until you're out on the bike, Apart from sipping the bottle.

    Nuts I find are good on a ride. Plenty of cals in them. Flapjacks :-) I wish I liked bananas!

    Gels etc. I eat chocolate bars too. Don't see how it's ok to eat a gel/sports drink full of sugar but not a chocolate bar?!

    I eat loads when riding, it's all getting burnt!
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    concorde has it spot on - eat well the day before, lots of fluids prior

    flapjack or banana or soreen on the ride, a mini mars bar if you are needing a sugar boost - sainsburys do an imitation snickers that is dirt cheap and the size inbetween a mini mars but not as big as a full one, don't overdo them tho
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
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