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Energy replacement?

gingertimminsgingertimmins Posts: 26
edited April 2017 in Road beginners
Hi guys, as mentioned in an earlier post I'm new to the world of road bikes so here I am with a possibly silly question.

The question is what are good things to eat within the 20 minute post exercise window? I guess protein would be good but I don't often have cooked chicken or whatever in my fridge when I get home.

The problem for me isn't so much longer rides as I expect to be knackered after that and I find some rest and good food does the job. I'm actually looking for a way to replenish my energy during the week after my 8 mile each way commute. I find that by mid week my legs are sluggish and I get really tired in the evenings. I know 8 miles is nothing to most of you roadies but I'm also a chef so I'm on my feet all day. In the morning I normally smash out a bacon sarnie within 20 minutes of getting to work so that's cool but I'm wondering if there is some sort of nutrition bar or something to have as a snack when I arrive home? I'm currently eating a bowl of nutty muesli but I also have that for breakfast and I'm getting bored of it.

So, sorry for the long post but what do you guys eat?

Posts

  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    There's a misconception that you need protein directly after a ride (in the "magic" 20-40 minute window). This isn't so. Your body will use protein as and when it gets it as it needs it.

    What you MIGHT need is carbs. Your body will spike insulin in that 20-40minute window and store blood sugars preferentially as glycogen during that period. There's no harm in taking some protein at that point and chocolate milk or breakfast cereal with milk seems to be a good bet.

    All of that said, 8 miles probably takes not a lot longer than 30 minutes even at a relatively moderate pace. You're probably talking only 200-300kcals. Normally I'd say you can stay on top of that kind of energy expenditure with normal eating. If you're on your feet a lot with your job, you're probably just tired. Over time, you'll just get used to it.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Big fan of milkshake after big efforts.
  • How long have you been doing this for? It is quite common to take time to adapt to regular endurance exercise. A sensible diet with enough carbohydrate can more than adequately sustain a fairly heavy training schedule, so should be fine for what you're doing.

    The whole idea of the 'post exercise window' is a bit contentious for some people, but regardless, not really something to worry about unless you are doing regular hard training sessions and trying to recover effectively.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    The question is what are good things to eat within the 20 minute post exercise window? I guess protein would be good but I don't often have cooked chicken or whatever in my fridge when I get home.


    Well if it comes down to eating something that's in your fridge, it would probably help to tell us what is in your fridge, so we can chose
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Listen to your body - with a bit of luck you'll develop cravings for the things it wants, and not just, y'know, cake (although a bit of that doesn't do much harm).

    Personally I do my morning commute fasted, then have a Huel shake (or more recently just a mix of Whey and Instant Oats because I'm tight) and an apple. Post afternoon commute I usually go for wholemeal pittas with houmous and/or peanut butter (I go for the pure stuff, meridian peanut butter - cheap on wiggle).

    To echo what others have already said though, it's a process of adaptation for your body - just as sure as you are training the muscles, lungs and heart, you are also training it to store, process and supply the energy you need for the new regime.

    I can remember feeling absolutely wiped out in the evenings after 8 miles home in the first few months. Now I do 28 miles every day and think nothing of it.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    The whole idea of the 'post exercise window' is a bit contentious for some people, but regardless, not really something to worry about unless you are doing regular hard training sessions and trying to recover effectively.

    I had the link to a very thorough study that was actually linked to diabetes but showed this post-exercise insulin spike very clearly. It makes some evolutionary sense that your body would look to restore glycogen in your muscles to prepare you for the next time you needed to peg it (after some food or away from something that saw you as food).

    Certainly, I've measured my blood glucose drop quickly after a hard ride which suggests something like this is happening. I'm not diabetic.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    If 8 miles each way is leaving you feeling wiped out, 2 things occur to me:

    Are you pushing too hard? Try it at an easier pace and see how you feel.

    Can you do it every other day till you build up your fitness? Or at least take a midweek break?

    TBH after an 8 mile commute I wouldn't be looking to eat anything extra
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    cougie wrote:
    Big fan of milkshake after big efforts.


    Protein shake thing for me, but basically the same as a milkshake
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Thanks for the input guys. I should have mentioned that I have only been doing this commute for about 6 weeks and if I'm honest it is getting easier and according to Strava I'm getting faster and faster. I was just wondering if there were some go-to snacks that would aid my progression.
    You've definitely given me some food for thought (pun intended!)

    Someone mentioned resting in between days... well this week I missed out a couple o commutes and cycled home today on my old hybrid (flat on the roadie that I haven't fixed yet) and I got pr's pretty much all the way home!
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    Yup - rest is a good call at this stage. Your body needs a chance to adapt and the benefit of this shows up after a bit of rest. If you don't naturally have a break from the bike every few weeks (6-8???), try to have one - you'll find that you're flying afterwards. I found a week off the bike to be about perfect. You'll need this a lot less as your fitness progresses and it just becomes "what you do". I would try not to develop any different eating habits - especially as we naturally over-compensate and end up eating more than we've used. You might find that you need to drink more water.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Sound advice mean red spider. Having thought about it I think I need to develop sensible eating habits. It's a common misconception that chefs eat a lot when in fact we spend a lot of time on our feet and using energy but never really replenishing our energy supplies. Sure we taste a lot but never actually take a break and never eat a full meal.
    I think if I can nail this and just get used to the bike and the route then it will be fine.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    "Energy replacement" you mean food, right?
  • Garry H wrote:
    "Energy replacement" you mean food, right?

    Yes, you are correct.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    Good. Then i'm sure that any energy replacement needs can be met by eating a healthy, balanced diet,without having to overthink it. Anything else, take a d ay off every now and again.
  • Garry H wrote:
    Good. Then i'm sure that any energy replacement needs can be met by eating a healthy, balanced diet,without having to overthink it. Anything else, take a d ay off every now and again.

    Thanks for the insight!
  • stovemanstoveman Posts: 125
    I'm a head Chef same as you mate, I don't eat anything extra, but have made sure I have a decent breakfast, usually scrambld eggs and mushrooms ect. then I will do a 5 - 6 mile commute and then if I am on a split I try to do a 15 - 20 mile trip before back for evening service.
    Usually have a bowl of soup before service then I will have a stir fry after work.Snack wise I tend to have fat free greek yoghurt with a good sprinkling of trail mix 2 or 3 times a day.Seem to be fine for me energy wise,occasionally add in a banana too. Coffee consumption has also rocketed though,cracking out average of 10 - 14 hr days 5 days a week.
    My diet seems to have improved since starting cycling seriously last year,but I still need to drop a few stone.
    Stay away from the pastry section though :)
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 345
    You dont need to change anything on your diet, its all about rest. Take a brake midweek and give time to your body to adapt.
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