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Help With Nutrition On First Century

CleeRiderCleeRider Posts: 304
edited August 2014 in Road general
A friend and I are planning our first 100 mile ride in a couple of months.
I've heard advice to have a drink every 15mins and eat 20g of carbs every 30mins.
I normally drink water with a High 5 Zero tablet (electrolytes) and a Clif Bar half way through a 40-50 mile ride.

I was planning to get into a routine of eating half a Clif Bar (20g carbs) every half an hour as I train up to the longer distances but read that 7 Clif Bars over the 100 miles is a bad idea on the stomach etc.

Can anyone provide advice on what combination of food and drink works for a century ride and how you carry it all as we'll be unsupported. There's a few hills so we're estimating 7 hours.

Thanks!

Posts

  • Jelly babies when you're riding, cake when you stop for a rest and drink water as often as you need to.

    Well that's what I did for my first 100 in May which took me about 7hrs.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    Flapjack little and often and a couple of 750ml bottles will see you through it, it might be worth taking a couple of gels just in case.
  • HerzogHerzog Posts: 197
    If it's a relaxed 100 mile ride, then I would suggest eating real food rather than gels, bars etc.
  • holiverholiver Posts: 800
    I did 130km last weekend when it was pretty muggy. I sweat a lot (eww) and am pretty sure I didn't drink enough, despite having a couple of 750ml bottles that were gone by the time I stopped for lunch at ~80km when I was feeling pretty rubbish.

    Felt much better after 1 pint of OJ & lemonade, 1 pint of water and a burger! Filled up my bottles at the pub and they were gone by the time I got home.

    I didn't need to p1ss at any stage of the ride, which makes me think I was still a bit short on liquid intake through the ride. Ate 3 cereal bars before lunch too!
  • Scoff a load of malt loaf for breakfast and that'll keep you going for hours. I did this the other weekend and only scoffed a small SIS bar because I got hungry towards the end of 91 miles. The malt loaf was good for at least 5 hours!
  • craigus89craigus89 Posts: 887
    I would take one bottle electrolite and one water. If you do need a gel later in the ride like I do I find the gels quite sickly, and just want water to neutralise the taste, electrolite drinks just make it worse.

    Just eat little and often, I take a cut up Soreen malt loaf in a food bag and a couple of gels with me, stop a couple of times for coffee/flapjack/cake/can of coke and you'll be fine.

    Don't get too worked up about what to eat and how often, if you have a good breakfast and eat when you feel like it you should be fine.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,816
    I guess a lot has to do with whether you want to complete the ride in some sort of timeframe or whether you just want to go 100 miles on a bike.

    I just did a coast to coast averaging 80 miles/day for 5 days. Each day routine was: Ate full english breakfast, went 25 miles, cake/flapjack and coffee, went 25 miles sandwich or similar at pub, went 20 miles cake and coffee, and rode to finish, dinner at pub and repeat the next day. Drank when I wanted (approx 3-4 bottles per day plus OJ and Lemonade at pub lunch) and kept munching on the jelly babies when I remembered to.

    Highest mileage close to 90 miles and most days I felt could have done 100. Never felt hungry or lacking in energy. Unless you're planning on not getting off of the bike for the entire time, it's difficult to see the obsession with gels and "energy" bars when the metabolism at that sort of distance gives you the rare opportunity to eat the sort of things you normally try to deny yourself.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,183
    Just to present an alternative point of view, I prefer to carry most of my calories for a century ride in a drinks bottle. I put 240g of maltodextrin plus 60g of whey protein into a 1.0 L bottle (with some squash for taste) which lasts me the whole ride. I also use plain water in a second 0.75 L bottle and depending on how arduous the ride I might refill this once or twice as the ride progresses. I will also carry maybe a banana and an energy bar of some description just for something solid to eat occasionally.

    I take sips from the energy bottle on a regular basis and drink from the water bottle according to my thirst usually after the solid food and probably at a rate of about 3:1 to the energy bottle. This means I am usually drinking plain water most of the time and don't have that sickly sweet taste from energy drink constantly in my mouth. I also don't use any electrolyte products either. I also carry a couple of gels just in case but haven't needed them on any of my UK century sportives.

    I realise that this strategy will not suit the majority of people but it has stood me in good stead for several century sportives over the last couple of years. That includes the Marmotte in July although I did supplement with slightly more solid food there due to the length and severity of the climbs. I have arrived at this strategy after reading tons of nutritional advice on-line and experimenting and honing it on many long training rides.

    Assuming that you are going to be increasing your mileage in preparation for the century ride, I would advise you to experiment with your energy and hydration strategy over the coming weeks to see what works for you.
  • ProssPross Posts: 27,033
    Why do so many people recommend Jelly Babies? They are basically pure sugar so are great for a short term burst of energy or to get you home after bonking but if you eat them throughout a ride they will trigger an insulin response. You're better off with a more balanced form of carbs to get you through the ride. A bit of simple sugar to keep the glucose levels up is fine but don't overdo it.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    I would have 1 drink bottle with High5 4:1 (carbs for energy and protein to avoid fatigue and electrolytes etc)
    1 drink bottle with just water
    sachet of High5 4:1 to use when refilling the first bottle of it mid-ride.

    Then eat something solid like a snack bar/flapjack/cake/pie every hour. Have something more substantial at lunchtime - if not a proper meal then at least a sandwich, sausage roll, malt loaf, banana or something of that sort.

    If you feel a dip mid-way between the hourly feeds have a gel or some jelly babies maybe - or if you need something extra for the last 20 miles.

    thats my formula and it worked well on my century last year and a few Audaxes just short of a century since.

    On Sportives or Charity rides, all of this is often available in the price at various feed stations.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,183
    Pross wrote:
    Why do so many people recommend Jelly Babies? They are basically pure sugar so are great for a short term burst of energy or to get you home after bonking but if you eat them throughout a ride they will trigger an insulin response. You're better off with a more balanced form of carbs to get you through the ride. A bit of simple sugar to keep the glucose levels up is fine but don't overdo it.

    That is only partly true. Any source of carbohydrate will illicit an insulin response which is how the body breaks it down into usable energy. The body utilises sugar differently when exercising when your glycogen stores are running down and the energy is shunted directly to the muscles. Jelly babies should be fine providing you don't stuff too many down at one go and overload gastric emptying leading to a stomach ache.

    I'm not saying it is a good thing to exist on them solely for energy but is certainly a valid choice as part of an energy strategy and seems to suit a lot of people.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Pross wrote:
    Why do so many people recommend Jelly Babies? They are basically pure sugar so are great for a short term burst of energy or to get you home after bonking but if you eat them throughout a ride they will trigger an insulin response. You're better off with a more balanced form of carbs to get you through the ride. A bit of simple sugar to keep the glucose levels up is fine but don't overdo it.

    Mark won the National 12 on nothing but gels and carb drink. Good enough for me.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • apreading wrote:
    I would have 1 drink bottle with High5 4:1 (carbs for energy and protein to avoid fatigue and electrolytes etc)
    1 drink bottle with just water
    sachet of High5 4:1 to use when refilling the first bottle of it mid-ride.

    Then eat something solid like a snack bar/flapjack/cake/pie every hour. Have something more substantial at lunchtime - if not a proper meal then at least a sandwich, sausage roll, malt loaf, banana or something of that sort.

    If you feel a dip mid-way between the hourly feeds have a gel or some jelly babies maybe - or if you need something extra for the last 20 miles.

    thats my formula and it worked well on my century last year and a few Audaxes just short of a century since.

    On Sportives or Charity rides, all of this is often available in the price at various feed stations.

    A pie every hour!! That is something I could fully get into!
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I'll offer a different perspective. If you have 2-3 months then you have enough time start doing low cal training. This can make a massive difference to your body's ability to turn fat to energy. However, it took me about 3 months to do it.

    Results are worth it and I can go for much longer on less fuel as a result. Get up get some caffeine in you and train hard for 1 - 1.5hrs, then eat modestly for the rest of the day. Alternatively (better option) fast all day and train in the evening. Do this a couple of times a week and you will get your endurance ability to a whole new level, unless of course you are under weight. You still need electrolytes, salt and water, but you can get these in the zero cal high5 tabs.
  • ProssPross Posts: 27,033
    Grill wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    Why do so many people recommend Jelly Babies? They are basically pure sugar so are great for a short term burst of energy or to get you home after bonking but if you eat them throughout a ride they will trigger an insulin response. You're better off with a more balanced form of carbs to get you through the ride. A bit of simple sugar to keep the glucose levels up is fine but don't overdo it.

    Mark won the National 12 on nothing but gels and carb drink. Good enough for me.

    They are supposedly scientifically balanced though.
  • ProssPross Posts: 27,033
    hypster wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    Why do so many people recommend Jelly Babies? They are basically pure sugar so are great for a short term burst of energy or to get you home after bonking but if you eat them throughout a ride they will trigger an insulin response. You're better off with a more balanced form of carbs to get you through the ride. A bit of simple sugar to keep the glucose levels up is fine but don't overdo it.

    That is only partly true. Any source of carbohydrate will illicit an insulin response which is how the body breaks it down into usable energy. The body utilises sugar differently when exercising when your glycogen stores are running down and the energy is shunted directly to the muscles. Jelly babies should be fine providing you don't stuff too many down at one go and overload gastric emptying leading to a stomach ache.

    I'm not saying it is a good thing to exist on them solely for energy but is certainly a valid choice as part of an energy strategy and seems to suit a lot of people.

    True, I was talking about the recommendations that seem to suggest just jelly babies with maybe a bit of cake and thinking more of overloading with sugar which my understanding is can lead to reactive hypoglycemia as the insulin over-compensate. A few every now and then should be fine. I bonked massively on a sportive despite eating and drinking plenty throughout and the only reason I can think of for that happening is that I stuffed handfuls of jelly babies into my mouth at the feed stations :oops: (it could have been some other unknown reason of course). By contrast I rode a 12 hour TT a few weeks later and was fine with most of my feeds consisting of rice pudding handed out in an ice cream cone by a roadside volunteer!
  • jotkojotko Posts: 457
    Eat/drink little and often - you are not trying to lose weight, you are trying to ride 100 miles, make sure you take on enough hydration/calories.

    I would also say make sure you use food/drink that your body is used to - a long ride is not a good time to experiment with new gels etc, stick with what you know.

    Gels / energy bars do my guts in, banana / flap jack / fig rolls etc agree with me much better so that is what I would advise, but obviously we are all different.

    Anyway, good luck, my first century I am pretty sure I had net calorie gain :lol:
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    Pross wrote:
    By contrast I rode a 12 hour TT a few weeks later and was fine with most of my feeds consisting of rice pudding handed out in an ice cream cone by a roadside volunteer!

    Ritchie runs the best 12hr. :D
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • ProssPross Posts: 27,033
    Grill wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    By contrast I rode a 12 hour TT a few weeks later and was fine with most of my feeds consisting of rice pudding handed out in an ice cream cone by a roadside volunteer!

    Ritchie runs the best 12hr. :D

    Is that who Sub55 on here is as I think he was the one doing the rice pudding cones.
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