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Porridge doesn't work???

secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,612
edited April 2015 in Road beginners
So - have done the whole "porridge before riding" thing, and it doesn't seem to work - I hit the bonkey wall thing regardless, even with additional fuel.

Unfit or is porridge a myth? :shock:

It's just a hill. Get over it.
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  • secretsam wrote:
    So - have done the whole "porridge before riding" thing, and it doesn't seem to work - I hit the bonkey wall thing regardless, even with additional fuel.

    Unfit or is porridge a myth? :shock:

    Eat more porridge.
  • Have you really bonked? I mean properly? Or is it just that you're not fit enough? There's a massive difference, trust me. If you can't turn the pedals around, if there isn't a gear small enough for your legs to turn, even on the flat - if there's all kinds of strange shapes appearing in front of your eyes - then you've probably bonked. If you are just out of breath and going slower than you thought you should be and your legs ache a little when doing those last few miles home - that's just a lack of fitness*

    How soon before your ride are you eating? Are you hydrating properly alongside the feed? There's every possibility that it's just not being processed by the body quickly enough to become useful as a fuel and a kickstart.

    * and remember - it never gets easier, it just gets faster.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,025
    secretsam wrote:
    So - have done the whole "porridge before riding" thing, and it doesn't seem to work - I hit the bonkey wall thing regardless, even with additional fuel.

    Unfit or is porridge a myth? :shock:

    News just in - porridge has no magical qualities.
  • How did you have your porridge? Plenty of sugar or honey by any chance? I used to do that and boy did it fail to get me through my exercise. I would be left feeling shaky and needing to sit down to eat something and let it work after porridge. I hated the stuff without some form of sweetener. Well i ain't Scottish so can;t eat it with just salt.

    I did eventually try it without any sweetener and it did the same just not quite as quickly. I tried eating more of it and that just delayed the effects of low blood sugar/low energy. I seriously used to eat a huge bowl of it but never thought it worked. So much for porridge being the super food. no doubt it is for less active use.

    I don't know if the effect it had on me was the same as "bonking" but it was a strong inability to make progress without further fuel. That activity was not cycling but a slower but more endurance event (challenge walking - includes running at times - over long distances). Basically that should have been fat burning but since it was at a fast pace, continuous without many or long stops and over varied terrain it did take out the various supplies of carbs in muscle, blood, etc that the body uses for high energy activity.

    My serious advice is avoid porridge if you do not think it is giving you what is needed from you breakfast. Chose your own food. That can be anything that works for you. Porridge is only a foodstuff, not a miracle food. You will not turn into a Chris Froome just by eating porridge (seriously doubt he eats it neither). I also heard that eating a lot of carbs about 2 hours before you activity allows them to load up where you need them, or something like that. Then I think there is a recommended carb intake during your ride. Can't remember the figures but it could be something like 200-300g of carb over 2-3 hours ride. Also vaguely remember 60g per hour but not sure if that was for the carb loading the day before or on the day of the ride.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    How long are you riding, do you have any intensity data (e.g. HR zones)? Are you overweight/underweight? The thing about fueling is too much is as bad as too little.

    40 grams of porridge with lots of water and cup of coffee, plus water on the ride should get you through even the toughest ride of up to about 3 hours. If you are "bonking" before that then the problem is more likely fitness/endurance ability.

    And if you are overweight. Always start there for a solution.
  • seanoconnseanoconn Posts: 6,725
    I eat porridge and bonk regularly.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I dont eat before a ride - but I will stop for cake half way round and on long rides I'll have energy drink and bars.

    How far are you riding to bonk ?
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,612
    Right, in answer to the many, many questions raised (thanks all!): the answer seems to be an equation:

    (Lardarse)+(Unfit)+(30 miles)+(Not drinking enough)+(porridge one hour before ride)+(not being Chris Froome) = (porridge not working) :lol:

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • Chris Froome may well eat porridge. I know that Team Sky buy porridge in the UK before European events because they can't be sure of getting it abroad (although I successfully get my oats in Amsterdam)
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    30 miles sounds a bit soon to bonk ? When I bonk I'll be as weak as a kitten and be focussing on stopping at the next available shop to eat my bodyweight in chocolate etc....
  • TheHoundTheHound Posts: 284
    Maybe it just doesn't work for you. There's no one size fits all with food.

    Personally I hate the texture so can't eat it anyway.

    But a big bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes a couple hours before usually sees me through 2-3hr rides.

    Anymore than that I'd make sure I start eating 30-60mins in. Little and often.
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  • Based upon the descriptions, I don't think I've ever bonked. I came as close to it as I've ever done on the 6th ascent of the Alpe but a gel gave me a good kick to finish (the porridge that I'd eaten 12 hours earlier obviously wasn't doing its job :wink: )

    I adore porridge - especially the jumbo variety - though I'm getting more and more sophisticated, mixing jumbo and standard, half full-fat milk, half water, and some chia seeds topped off with a small dash of maple syrup.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Porridge works for me. Massive bowl made fairly thick with half milk half water, pinch of salt. Served with a generous spoon of brown sugar. Properly sets me up for the day!

    I can't ride anywhere without breakfast; I'd be going dizzy and falling off. Maybe there's something wrong with my glycogen storage / metabolism??
  • secretsam wrote:
    Right, in answer to the many, many questions raised (thanks all!): the answer seems to be an equation:

    (Lardarse)+(Unfit)+(30 miles)+(Not drinking enough)+(porridge one hour before ride)+(not being Chris Froome) = (porridge not working) :lol:

    I very much doubt you would bonk after 30 miles. I'm sure it is possible, but I really would be surprised if any semi-keen cyclist did.
  • secretsam wrote:
    So - have done the whole "porridge before riding" thing, and it doesn't seem to work - I hit the bonkey wall thing regardless, even with additional fuel.

    Unfit or is porridge a myth? :shock:

    It is this, Sam , that will doom you forever inside Road Beginners even with over 3000 posts.
    Do you think you will ever progress?
    My pen won't write on the screen
  • You didn't mention how long before a ride you eat it? Porridge is quite stodgy and find I need at least two hours after eating it before getting on the bike, preferably 3.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    obvious point maybe but have you tried eliminating the porridge as a factor, simply by just hopping on the bike and going out and seeing what happens over the same distance/duration without having the porridge at all.

    not of the fan of the stuff myself, but it seems to keep me going on longer rides, certainly felt it when I didnt use it once at least. and Chris Froome obviously eats porridge as why else would Team Sky sell Team Sky breakfast porridge for :lol:

    team-sky-breakfast-high-protein-porridge-pot-case-of-12-p214-472_medium.jpg
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,591
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  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 18,874
    seanoconn wrote:
    I eat porridge and bonk regularly.

    Me too ;)
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Imposter wrote:
    secretsam wrote:
    So - have done the whole "porridge before riding" thing, and it doesn't seem to work - I hit the bonkey wall thing regardless, even with additional fuel.

    Unfit or is porridge a myth? :shock:

    News just in - porridge has no magical qualities.
    I was going to say the same thing but less elegantly

    I like porridge, it's a good breakfast anyway and very suitable pre-ride. The fact that you bonked is in this case, not a reflection of a bad breakfast choice. If you bonked you didn't eat enough or you're not trained enough for what you were doing. Why blame the porridge?
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    You avoid bonking by increasing your ability to maintain output while burning fat and recognising when you are in the fat burning phase and moderating your output to allow your body to deal with the extra work it has to do. You can reduce the impact of this by topping up your carbs, but ultimately if you are doing any kind of hard effort for long periods of time, you are eventually going to have to deal with fat burning. IMO there is no food that is going to help you as much as proper endurance training.
  • diy wrote:
    You avoid bonking by increasing your ability to maintain output while burning fat and recognising when you are in the fat burning phase and moderating your output to allow your body to deal with the extra work it has to do. You can reduce the impact of this by topping up your carbs, but ultimately if you are doing any kind of hard effort for long periods of time, you are eventually going to have to deal with fat burning. IMO there is no food that is going to help you as much as proper endurance training.

    This. You need some glucose to support the fat burning so, ultimately, if you don't keep the glucose topped up, you will eventually bonk but you can keep going faster longer by building your fat burning capability through building the base miles.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,002
    The last tie I bonked I couldn't work out where I'd been or where I was going.
    Insert bike here:
  • Last time I bonked was on the commute home from work, I suffered a mild migraine at work which apparently shuts down the stomach, so any carbs ingested could not be digested. Cycling with a sort of tunnel vision and uncooperative legs on busy roads in the dark and wet was not my idea of fun.
  • Doesn't sound anything to do with your porridge. Moreso, what were you eating the evening before, how much fluid are you taking on daily? What's your regular diet. How's the general level of fitness? Are you sleeping? How's the stress levels?
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    The more refined simple carbs Cause a rapid increase in blood glucose which signals An insulin response which causes a rapid drop in blood glucose which is further sped up by exercise, this causes a flood of glycogen which causes an insulin response...etc

    This spiky activity gives the body every oportunity to bonk. It's called Reactive hypoglycemia, or postprandial hypoglycemia.

    You need to eat a combination which has more complex carbs to even out these peaks, or eat more fat to slow down digestion.
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  • Is there much of an insulin response when you are exercising?

    Edited - found this really interesting article

    http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/co ... /S271.full

    Talks about the different insulin responses to various intensities of exercise.

    Also talks about why low intensity exercise fasted might be useful. Also what's going in the "magic hour" after exercise and why this is a good time to take on carbs.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I bonk trained (90 mins zone 2 early morning on empty with 3 cups of coffee) for about a year, as part of my diet regime and found it made a big different to my endurance. However, this is academic when you are starting from a position of being out of shape, the answer isn't going to be in here.

    1. start by getting to target weight. Using BMI or something similar as a guide.
    2. Use interval training to build up your CV performance.
    3. Once you have got 1 and 2 in the bag, look at working on base endurance.
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Is there much of an insulin response when you are exercising?

    Sometimes very little exercise will do it! I bonked on the way to the kitchen this morning, I bonked and i had only thought about porridge, had to eat dates instead! :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    edited February 2015
    Digestion takes some energy before it gives you energy. If you have very little energy to digest what you ate, it could explain it. It sounds extreme but isn't, I am only talking about being hungry and eating, where is the energy going to come from to digest it. :wink:

    This can be the case if your body fat is low. You've probably got to leave it a bit longer after eating.
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