Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

What to put in the water bottle? Energy bars?

alpineaddictalpineaddict Posts: 247
edited September 2017 in Training, fitness and health
Hi folks...

Ive been doing some reading, on here, looking through the previous few pages, and need to get some succinct info on food and water for longer rides...

Up until now I purely use water (2 x 750ml bottles). I try to drink 1 per hour as I suffer with cramp in my inner thigh, IT band area (just below hip) and calves. I try to hydrate myself sufficiently pre ride and stretch (not daily) but always pre and post ride...

A couple of years back, I suffered a dislocated ankle and broken leg, and subsequently now, have little movement in my ankle, resulting in it being very hard to stretch the lower part of my leg... and my other leg has suffered as a result of months of baring all my weight...

So, I'm trying to see if I can do anything through food/water intake to assist me. Ive never really used electrolytes etc. I'm currently riding 40/50 miles tops, training for for the Velo Birmingham at the end of Sept... Getting out 3 x a week. Left my training late but reckon I can get up to 70 before the actual ride...

Any help appreciated... :)

Posts

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    TBH, if you're not pushing it then 2-3 hrs doesn't need "food" - although a little snack 1/2 way through may help.
    I tend to just use squash - or electrolyte tabs - depending on the ride.

    The issue I'd have with energy drink is that it is too sweet -it's ok to have a bit, but then for a long ride you will probably crave just a plain drink. Last few longer rides I've done I've just had fig rolls in my pocket - cheap, taste ok - not too sweet - although they are a bit chewy and you need a drink afterwards - then the electrolyte tabs in the bottles ...
  • Thx for this... Tbh, Im more focused on if I can/ should be suing anything in my bottles (other than water) to assist in cramps etc. I'd read somewhere that just dropping electrolyte tabs in your water on the day of the ride does nothing for you, if you're not used to drinking them previously???? Not sure if that is just censored or not????
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    When you sweat you lose electrolytes - these are minerals and such that do all sorts of things for the working of your body.
    They do need replacing in someway shape or form - for me (and I suppose many others otherwise you couldn't buy it) the electrolyte tabs are the easiest way of achieving that. I'd say that it's one thing you could just drop in on the day of the ride - it's not going to do nothing for you.
    What you shouldn't do is change your diet for the day of the ride - so if you normally eat cereal bar and a banana - don't ditch those and go for energy gels all the way around. Nor should you use brand new kit that you've not tested.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,660
    High 5 citrus energy drink I've found to be not as sweet as others - but you they're all a bit sweet.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    I think you'd need to be giving it big beanz in order to lose enough electolytes for it to affect you, or riding for a long time in really high temperatures.
  • Pane e aqua.
    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.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,183
    Commercial energy drinks will tend to be sweet because they usually contain a certain amount of fructose. You can make up your own energy drink using maltodextrin which has the same energy level but is nowhere near as sweet. In fact, it's hardly got any taste at all so I use a bit of squash for taste. Alternatively, as others have said if you want to add electrolytes then the tablets are usually flavoured. You can get bags of maltodextrin from Myprotein and it works out a lot cheaper than the commercial mixes.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,126
    If you were riding through the Sahara desert for a week on a restricted diet you might end up with an depleted electrolyte inbalance but riding for 3 hours its unlikely?
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Perhaps - or perhaps not? I ended up feinting after a hard but short turbo session with nothing but water. There were other contributing factors as well - anything associated with having a toddler in the house. ;)
    Won't be doing that again - no, not the hard turbo - I'll do that - just not without the tabs as well.
  • Have you ridden 100 miles before? IME and I am guessing for a lot of other riders, the difference in the amount of food and drink required ramps up from mile 50-100 and can easily catch out people who don't eat/drink enough over the first 30-50 miles. As people have said you can get away with a couple of bottles of water and some food on a 40 mile ride but when you are in the saddle for anything from 5hrs to maybe 8/9hrs depending on your speed you need proper amounts of food, energy drinks and I would include gels just in case for the latter stages of the ride when you are possibly too fatigued to eat solid food. Personally I would not rely on water as your only drink.

    What drink/gels/bars is hard to say as it is personal taste and potentially what agrees with your stomach. Go and buy a few and try them out on your rides to see what works for you.

    Also focus on what you eat/drink for 4 or 5 days before the event, from experience starting a sportive dehydrated is hard to recover from.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,201
    unless you're starting out dehydrated or it's really hot and/or you perspire heavily, 1.5 litres seems an awful lot for that distance, in typical uk 'summer' temperatures i barely get through 500ml over 80k

    feeding depends on energy expended, pace, course, weight, headwind etc. influence this, fwiw over 50k with c. 400m ascent i burn about 1100kcal if i'm not pushing it

    typical human can only absorb 60-90g/hour of carbs (depending on composition of the carbs), which equates to around 250-360 kcal/hour, you body will also be taking some energy from stored fat

    during ride there's little point carrying/eating more than can be absorbed, the better strategy is to eat well enough in the day(s) before, top up at digestion rate during the ride, start replenishing after the ride

    cramp in one place isn't so likely to be due to hydration/low electrolytes, getting some specific massage could be beneficial to help loosen up the muscles, stretching alone probably won't be as beneficial
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Thx for all the words of help folks... As I mentioned, I feel cramp very quickly on rides, largely due to (I think) to my accident and my body being thrown out of line form my accident... I can stretch my lower legs easily, which I believe is the issue, so I was just wondering if fluid intake, of any kind would help me...

    Im currently riding 35/40 miles, averaging 17 ish mph... I am riding a 100 with 5000ft of ascent in about 4 weeks time, so Im pushing hard over the coming weeks to get myself up to about 70 miles...

    I'll take onboard the advice about massage... I have massage but not on my legs for some time... Pretzels, I'll also give them a try for snacks and salt replenishment... Many thx again folks...
  • I put H2O in one bottle and H2O with a Nuuns tab in the other. I prefer the tabs without caffeine. I bring gel shots too (caffeinated and not). I typically drink every twenty minutes (intake at these intervals vary with the heat) and have a gel every 45-60 minutes when unsupported. Sports driinks are too sweet for me and turn my stomach on hot days. Best bet is to experiment a bit and see what works best for you, then stick to it. What works for one may not be a fit for another. Experience and opinions vary.
  • stormsedge wrote:
    I put H2O in one bottle and H2O with a Nuuns tab in the other. I prefer the tabs without caffeine. I bring gel shots too (caffeinated and not). I typically drink every twenty minutes (intake at these intervals vary with the heat) and have a gel every 45-60 minutes when unsupported. Sports driinks are too sweet for me and turn my stomach on hot days. Best bet is to experiment a bit and see what works best for you, then stick to it. What works for one may not be a fit for another. Experience and opinions vary.

    +1 across the board.

    In terms of food, on a 100mi I try to mix real food, usually sandwiches, with a small food bag I put together which has Clif Bloks and sliced up Clif bars in it.
Sign In or Register to comment.