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  1. #1
    Just Wanna Ride!
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    More Nutrition on the Bike - Real Food or Mixes?

    Over the years I've done several 24 hour races on teams and several 6 and 12 hours solo. I've tried a range of drinks/gels (cytomax, accelerade gatorade, etc) and have tried to eat plain food (PB & J, pretzels, chicken nuggets, cheeze crackers, etc.).

    Nutrition on the bike and during a race always seems like a crap shoot. I've done the same thing for 2 different events and had stomach problems on one and not the other. Just can't seem to figure out what to eat and drink to keep me going. Sometimes I don't feel hungry but feel like I should be eating to maintain.

    Looking for feedback on 2-3-4 hour rides plus 6 and 12 hour races.

    -How many calories or carbs do you try to take in per hour?

    -If you're doing regular food, what kinds of things are you eating? Have seen the rice cakes squares that the Garmin team was using. Anyone using something like that? What else?

    -For those of you doing drink mixes are you doing an entire 6 or 12 hour race with no solid food and using the drink mix only?? Do you eat anything between laps or take on gels too?

    -What do you drink/eat before a race? If the race is rolling out at 9 would you eat an early breakfast and then another snack before the race?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    I generally don't go further than 4 hours so I can't comment on true endurance races...

    Powerbars and clif bars give me heartburn, and there is something about Gu or gel that turns me off, I can't even bring myself to try it. Could they have come up with a better name? Maybe energy slime?

    I like real food. I've tried pop tarts on a suggestion (crumble in my jersey pocket) and the Allen Lim rice cakes (which are awesome especially since they are savory and most ride food is sweet.)

    Chris Carmichael suggests 30-60 grams of carb/hour. 30 for an easy ride, 60 for a hammerfest. I stick with that... I don't really look at calories.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    My two cents...

    First, I will say that you've got to figure out what works best for you. Take whatever advice or tips you receive with a grain of salt. We all process and metabolize food differently. What works someone might not for another. Temperature, time of day (11:00am verses 2:00am), effort level, etc all play a huge roll in nutrition on the bike.

    With that said, here's what I recommend....

    As for nutrition before an endurance event (8hr solo, 100 miler mtb, or 24hr solo) I will have eat three scrambled eggs, two large blackberry and walnut pancakes, and coffee. Obviously I drink plenty of water as well. About an hour before the start I will eat a banana.

    On the bike nutrition for the 8's and 100's are a bit different than the 24hr solos. It all kind of depends on if it's a lap course format or and out and back with aid stations. Again, weather plays a huge roll in what I will carry with me from the start.

    Here are the foods that I eat during those types of events:
    bananas
    rice krispy treats
    beef jerkey
    roasted sweet potato or yams
    PBJ
    orange slices
    ham sandos

    As for the liquid, I use Camelbak Elixer in the bottles or Camelbaks. I'm a firm believer in Sport Legs and use them on all endurance events. After about 9 hours of racing I usually switch to water only and keep an eye on my electrolytes by using Sport Legs or Endurolytes.


    Again, I will say to NOT try something new on race day. Figure out works best for you in training and go with it.

    Hope that help.

    Mike
    www.mikeharrisonracing.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    a.k.a. MTBMaven
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    Here are some links on the subject:
    http://www.socaltrailriders.org/foru...nk-thread.html
    Budget/home-made endurance food and drink?
    Who eats whole foods in long races?
    http://www.socaltrailriders.org/foru...ms-dr-lim.html

    Q: How many calories or carbs do you try to take in per hour?
    A: Between 200-300 per hour per Hammer Nutrition

    Q: If you're doing regular food, what kinds of things are you eating? Have seen the rice cakes squares that the Garmin team was using. Anyone using something like that? What else?
    A: Depends what I'm doing. I tend to like salty things but this can be hard to find in the prepared sport food market and at organized events providing food. For lap style endurance events I like to have a ramen soup about the time the sun is setting. The events I do are from 9 to 9. 5:00PM-6:00PM is about when the temps drop and I needs an injection of salt. Small cans of V8, Ensure, and Mountain Dew are great at these events as well. Pealed potatoes whole or mashed with salt, soy sauce, etc. is excellent as well. Pasta with a very light sauce is good too.

    Q: For those of you doing drink mixes are you doing an entire 6 or 12 hour race with no solid food and using the drink mix only?? Do you eat anything between laps or take on gels too?
    A: As much as I have tried to get away from mixes it is hard to beat powder energy. For my non-lap endurance events (50+ mile MTB rides and 100+ mile road rides) my primary source of caloric replacement is from Hammer products. I like to make a bottle with 5-6 scoops of Perpetuem, and maybe two of Heed. This will last about 4-6 hours.

    I have given up on gels. I use pure honey from a local bee farmer in a gel canteen. I actually feel the energy hit my system. Great stuff honey, and it's natural an cheap.

    Q: What do you drink/eat before a race? If the race is rolling out at 9 would you eat an early breakfast and then another snack before the race?
    A: Again depends on the event but I like things like oatmeal, yogurt, bananas, bagels. Before the 12 hour events I do we hit up this diner that opens at 5:00AM for buckwheat pancakes. Those things are excellent. Plenty of time for them to settle in before the race starts at 9:00AM.

    Good luck with your nutrition!
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  5. #5
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    Hammer + Clif plus assorted other stuff

    I just completed my first SM100 over the weekend and I must say the nutrition worked out extremely well. I used Hammer products including Perpetuem, HEED, Endurolytes, and Race Caps daily leading up to the race. Here's a summary of my experiences:

    1) Daily nutrition and hydration leading up to the race

    Every morning for about 2 weeks I took one of the Hammer Race Caps Supreme capsules along with a multivitamin and a probiotic pill (basically the "good" bacteria that you get from yogurt). I tried to drink lots of water, at least 1/2 gallon every day (don't drink too much at once though). I ate mostly whole grains (lots of fiber), lean protein and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Generally low calorie intake to keep the GI tract clear. The final two days before the race I had some oatmeal in the morning (with flaxseed meal), fruit and nuts during the day (nonfat yogurt plus golean for lunch) then a lean but carb-heavy dinner. The night before the race I had the pasta dinner they served at the campground (plus two pints of Dogfish, not for nutrition value but it relaxed me a bit). Yummy!

    I also had one scoop of Hammer Recoverite the night before the race (after dinner) with about 12 oz of water.

    2) Race day

    5am wake up, I had a plain bagel, a banana, a Clif bar and 1 scoop Perpetuem mixed with about 12 oz water. Two cups of coffee and vitamins (but no probiotics). During the race I had Perpetuem in the bottle, diluted HEED in the Camelbak, plus a Hammer gel flask. About 1/2 large Clif bar or around 120 calories of solid food per hour (also had some of the stuff they were offering throughout the course -- Nature Valley chewy granola bar, banana, PB&J quarters, pringles, apple slices, orange wedges). I know lots of people like sugary stuff like gummy bears, Coke, etc. but I stayed away. The complex sugars in Hammer products plus complex carbs in the other foods agrees with me. I didn't want to push it with refined sugar/corn syrup in the mix.

    3) Endurolytes and Sport Legs

    After training with these and using them during the race, I am convinced they helped me. I didn't have any cramping issues (except at one point when I crashed and my feet were stuck in the pedals, I was in a weird position for a moment and my legs cramped). I weigh 170 and I took 1 Endurolyte every 1/2 hour and 3 Sport Legs every 2-2.5 hours. I used Tylenol travel size pill bottles (small with a screw-on cap, holds 9 caps) in the legs of my bike shorts. Had extras in my drop bags. Worked out well. (Actually they handed out Endurolytes on the course.)

    Overall I think you want to plan for no more than 300 calories per hour, and anywhere from 20-40 oz of liquids per hour during the race. Experiment with different products but once you find something stick with it (don't experiment on race day). If it's hot you will need more electrolytes (maybe two e-caps every 1/2 hour instead of one) and more fluids. But don't eat or drink too much or you can get bloated. Most importantly though, eat a little bit constantly instead of waiting until you feel hungry. You may have to force yourself to keep eating. But if you don't eat enough, or if you don't start eating right away, from the beginning of the race, you can bonk.

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