Nutrition whilst riding

mattyarse Posts: 65
edited December 2013 in Road beginners
Quick question if I may on what distance of ride people would start to consider the requirement to eat something?

My longest rides are currently just over 30 miles and I just make sure that I drink some water little and often, but I have taken to putting a small packet of haribo in my jersey pocket in case of need, but haven't needed them yet.

I know we are all different but I assume there is a point at which you should start to introduce either a gel of piece of cake or whatever to keep things going well as opposed to suddenly hitting a cliff and needing to refuel to get back to a stable position?



  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Energy drink is usually the first thing to do - that should get you up to 40 miles or so.

    Buy powder or make your own. Gels are messy and expensive. Its just a bit of syrup - so you may as well just add it to your drink.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    The only time I take on fuel before 50 miles is if I plan on riding back to back centuries, it's ridiculously hilly, or I'm in a 100 mile+ TT. Thing is everyone is different, so the best thing to do is listen to your body. If you're crunching a bit at 30 miles then take something, but don't worry too much about it if you don't feel the need.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    You have sufficient energy in your bloodstream to cope with 60-90mins of exercise, depending on intensity - if you are planning to ride longer or find you do suffer from a hunger knock/bonk, then consider topping-up every 20-30 minutes with an energy drink/ carb-rich food. You need to drink to stay hydrated regardless - working hard and wearing lots of clothes in winter still generates sweat. Waiting for 90 minutes to see how you cope is too late as it takes about 10-15minutes for the energy from ingested food to reach your bloodstream.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • cougie wrote:
    Energy drink is usually the first thing to do - that should get you up to 40 miles or so.

    Buy powder or make your own. Gels are messy and expensive. Its just a bit of syrup - so you may as well just add it to your drink.

    Over 2 hours then energy drink. On longer rides I'll have Medjool Dates as well. Gels are expensive but I like to carry them as they are convenient and they keep for next time. Cliff double expresso are my current favourite and they contain enough caffeine to make your eyes look like this :shock:
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • Little and often.

    When I made the jump from short 30-40 mile blasts to century plus rides I encountered two main problems. Hangover like headache the next day and bonking on the ride itself. Dehydration and lack of "energy".

    Therefore these days on a longer sportive I take two bottles (one with High5 Energy Source 4:1 and one with High5 zero), both have electrolytes plus the 4:1 has some sugars in there too. I try to grab a sip when I can, if you're riding with others this is usually when it's their turn on the front. I also pack food to have something to eat every hour (usually on the hour if I can). This used to be Clif bars which can be a bit pricey but found you get about the same calories from Kellog's Breakfast Bake bars. So for a 100miler I have 5 bars in my jersey pocket.

    Like a few others have mentioned before the ride is equally important, have a sensible meal the night before but don't stuff yourself. Chicken pasta bake is a favourite of mine. A good breakfast (porridge and fruit) on the day about 2-3hrs before the start of the ride will also help.

    This is highly unscientific but seems to work for me.
  • Coach H
    Coach H Posts: 1,092
    Chunk of Soreen +weak SIS Go for anything over 25miles for me, one chunk every 20ish miles
    (also when it sticks to your teeth it encourages you to drink!)
    Coach H. (Dont ask me for training advice - 'It's not about the bike')
  • Thanks for the replies. Appreciated.
  • What about the eat every hour rule? As i understand you are supposed to eat/drink 30-60 grams of carbs every hour. So one large banana will sort that out.
    Ribble Ultralite Racing 7005, Campagnolo Veloce groupset, Campagnolo Khamsin G3 wheel set
  • I'll have something to eat on any ride over 90 minutes. In which case I'll eat something after an hour and then every half hour.

    Personally I don't bother with gels or any energy drinks, I'll stick to malt loaf, bananas, biscuits, that kind of thing.

    Come to think of it, stopping for coffee or cake is one main reasons I go out riding!
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    One packet of haribo & 3 750ml bottles or orange juice/water mixed 50/50 (has 3 bottle holders fitted on frame in the summer) has done me ok for the few 100 mile rides i've done but i wasn't going flat out only 14-15mph average at most.

    So maybe you only need all theese gels etc every 20 minutes if your really going for it, could be linked to Heart Rate Training Zones?
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    For me anything around thirty or more miles means a combination of muesli bars and water as and when needed. I do not go flat out over longer distances so don't need anything else.