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  1. #1
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    Other Nutrition Ideas

    I have tried hammer products (perpetuam/sustained) and they made my stomach upset on hard efforts and I have recently been using infinit with the same results. I am ok for about 4-5 hours, but after that it's not a quite a "gut bomb" but I just feel like I am going to puke, especially when the ride is over. Also, when I get that feeling I can't stand the taste of the product anymore and therefore I quite drinking, not good when I have another 50 miles to go. Gels and stingers seem to work ok for me, along with endurolytes, but I tend to lose focus on keeping up with them and get behind on my nutrition, also juggling a fel flask or package while rolling is not the preferred, so the liquid nutrition in the camelbak seems to be the best if I can find a product that won't make me sick.

    Any other recommendations for liquid nutrition that will provide not only hydration, but 200-250cal per hour, and electrolytes I want to try and go strictly liquid for up to 10 hours with possibly a bananna or two at an aid station.

    Or any other possible ideas on nutrition for long rides.

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    I have stomach issues with hammer (soy in general)

    I've used GU Roctane to good effect on a 12 hour race and a couple century rides to good effect. No tummy issues at all, even on the 12+ hour events.

    I haven't tried the infinit drink mix since the GU seems to work for me. I drink a bottle an hour with a drink every 15-20 mins and a gel every hour
    It's not about being better than others, it's about getting the best out of myself.

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    Last year I was doing my own stuff with Maltodextrin & sea salt. I can't recall the calories so please don't shoot me but 1/4 cup malto per hour (I think ~150 calories) and a pinch of salt. Flavored with whatever I have on hand, lemonade, tang low cal Gatorade...

    I'd only mix 5 hour bottles but would often bring 2 on longer rides along with some real food.

    why? it's way cheaper than any other method.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasiorv View Post
    I have tried hammer products (perpetuam/sustained) and they made my stomach upset on hard efforts and I have recently been using infinit with the same results. I am ok for about 4-5 hours, but after that it's not a quite a "gut bomb" but I just feel like I am going to puke, especially when the ride is over. Also, when I get that feeling I can't stand the taste of the product anymore and therefore I quite drinking, not good when I have another 50 miles to go. Gels and stingers seem to work ok for me, along with endurolytes, but I tend to lose focus on keeping up with them and get behind on my nutrition, also juggling a fel flask or package while rolling is not the preferred, so the liquid nutrition in the camelbak seems to be the best if I can find a product that won't make me sick.

    Any other recommendations for liquid nutrition that will provide not only hydration, but 200-250cal per hour, and electrolytes I want to try and go strictly liquid for up to 10 hours with possibly a bananna or two at an aid station.

    Or any other possible ideas on nutrition for long rides.
    Pretty much all my athletes (road and mtb) are on Infinit (my custom formulas), along with a pile of other athletes that I don't coach who have asked for my formulas, and nobody has had a problem with Infinit once they get used to it. I've been on Infinit for about 5yrs and have over 20 24hr Solo races, along with a pile of 12's, 8's, etc and I race on just liquid nutrition. Maybe you need to tweak things?

    How much do you weigh, how many cals per hour do you race on, and how much protein per hour is in your formula?

    I don't work for Infinit and I don't get anything for posting this, I'm just trying to help out.

  6. #6
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    195 lbs.

    My current formula is 258 cal per serving with 2.05 - 4% protein.

    I have another formula with 270 cal per serving with no protein, I am going to try it next.

    I typically drink close to 100 oz in 4hrs. I have tried mixing it at 8 scoops (4 serv) per 100oz, and I have also tried to mix it light with 6 scoops (3 serv) per 100 oz with similar effects.

    I did one time mix it heavy ( 9 or 10 scoops) and I did a hard effort in the heat and ended up finishing all 100oz in just over 3 hours and when I stopped at the aid station to refill I got sicker than anything (I was OK until I stopped). I decided to fill up with just water and began drinking just water. I was nauseated, light headed, no energy to turn the pedals etc..... until about 20 min after the aid station and then all of a sudden, I started feeling better again and pow I got my energy back and rocked on. It was like a switch was flipped.

  7. #7
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    At 195lbs and 260cals per hr and less than 4gms of protein, you should be ok.

    My suggestion is, and I know this will sound OCD, get yourself a kitchen scale and weigh out your hour doses to the gram and then put them in each bottle. The scoops have a lot of variability based on powder settling, etc and there can be quite a caloric swing from one scoop to the next.

    Slice your bottle consumption into 6-10 slices. So in an hour, don't gulp a quarter of a bottle because you are getting behind in your consumption, stay on top of the steady trickle of cals and slice that bottle up into smaller sips.

    Make sense?

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    staylor,
    makes sense but I was hoping to mix in the camelbak and not use a bottle at all. I am trying to avoid having to reach for bottles, flasks, etc..... but just for training and to see if it improves my stomach issue, I can give bottles a try and mix up a 5 or 6 hour bottle with the gradients added and then sip plain water from the camelbak.

  9. #9
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    I'm not a fan of racing with a cameback, in general. Unless you are practicing a lot of time riding at race pace with a camelback and perfecting your drinking volume, it's easy to misjudge the amount you have consumed per hour because you don't have a visual reference. It's so much easier with bottles.

    That's not to say camelbacks can't be done, it can be done, of course. I sometimes see Elite/Pro riders doing endurance races with camelbacks and they are successful, probably because they've been doing it for a long time and over time they've dialed it in and tested their system during multiple races. The counter-argument to camelbacks would be that nearly everyone I see that's racing for the podium is on bottles.

    On a point to point race I go out with 3 bottles filled with Infinit and have several ziploc baggies crammed in my jersey pocket. Each baggie has a weighed 1hr dose in it. When I get to an aid station with water, or a fresh creek, I'll bite off the corner of the baggie and pour the 1hr dose in a bottle, I'll usually do two bottles at a water stop and it's well under 1min. On lap races it's much easier as you can throw your empty bottles towards your pit support as you approach them and grab a bottle handup on the roll-by.

    Once you get used to bottles they are really simple, there are always multiple spots on a course where you can drink from them. Never a problem.

    I don't recommend mixing up a concentrated bottle and playing it off against a plain water camelback, after several hours of redline racing the simple things can become a bit more complicated. Taking tiny equally measured sips could be a recipe for disaster if the sip is a bit bigger than it needs to be. If you consider there are typically 24oz in a bottle, at your dosing of 260cals over 6hrs, each 1oz sip will equal 65cals which is too many cals at once (if you are at race pace), your stomach will get upset. You would really need to be targeting a half ounce sip from that water bottle and that's some delicate precision if you are really hammering it down the trail.

    Try the 260cals per 24oz bottle. Each hour start a new bottle. Try to slice each bottle into approx 8 drinks per hour.

    Make sense?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TreeFarmer View Post
    I have stomach issues with hammer (soy in general)

    Wurd...

    I took a bottle of HEED in at one of the checkpoints at the 2008 Shenandoah 100...it ended up all over the trail in very short order...just to be sure...tried it again on a training ride when I got home...yup...


    Can't touch Hammer drinks unless I was a castaway...


    I do however, LOVE Hammer gel (Apple Pie...YUM)....great stuff.


    Like others have posted, you have to experiment and see what works best for your guttage.


    .




    .

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    I have had problems in the past with stomach issues as well. I have a very sensitive stomach so I tried multiple brands and formulas to finally get what I thought was best. I am about 40lbs lighter than you but you can tweak this to your likings. I use Tailwind products to get calories and electroyletes. I also mix it with CarboPro to raise the calorie count and get in more complex carbs. I have run this mixture in both my camelbak and waterbottles with great results. The Carbopro is netural tasting while the Tailwind has three flavors (my favorite being berry). the Tailwind also tastes great so its a pleasure to drink. Every now and then I'll eat some Clifbar shot blocks for just something to give a little extra kick. Try this out. It works great. And no I don't work for either of these companies.....I'm just relaying what I have found.

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    Gatoraid works well and you can get it at just about any store so it is convenient.

    I also like Cliff bars for the same reason.

    For many rides some left over pancakes or waffles from a big breakfast can help.

    To return to the original question you may want to try some baby foods. I had a friend who did this because he had a baby and then found this was something he liked and raced well on.

  13. #13
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    I have been on Infinit for 5 months. I had no problems on it until my first 24 hour solo race where I spent a lot of time in the bushes let's say after about 12 hours. However, since then I have had no problems and completed another 24 hour solo in October with no problems. I really focused on taking small drinks on a regular basis as well as I used Infinit's Jet Fuel product every 4-6 hours which has no protein in it and helps to flush out the system. It seemed to work for me and I have a very sensitive stomach.

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    From my experience and research:

    You might be running too dense of a mix as well. From most research on the subject, more than about 180 calories per 22-24 oz bottles is too concentrated to be absorbed easily. If the mix is too concentrated, the body has to dump water from your plasma back into your gut to absorb it, thereby dehydrating you and slowing absorption rate, leaving a bloated gut. If you need more calories, you need to drink more. Instead of 1 bottle per hour, think 1.5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    From my experience and research:

    You might be running too dense of a mix as well. From most research on the subject, more than about 180 calories per 22-24 oz bottles is too concentrated to be absorbed easily. If the mix is too concentrated, the body has to dump water from your plasma back into your gut to absorb it, thereby dehydrating you and slowing absorption rate, leaving a bloated gut. If you need more calories, you need to drink more. Instead of 1 bottle per hour, think 1.5.
    Uhmmm, that's just plain bad information, either that or I'm totally misunderstanding what you are saying.

    I've got thousands of hours of personal experience on approx 260cals per hour per 24oz bottle - in race, during trg, and on casual fun hours - spread out over multi-hour rides and races. I've seen tens of thousands of hours supporting similar cals/bottle numbers (similar meaning - to be adjusted to each athletes body weight and style of racing, etc but still within an approx 225-290cal per hr, per 24oz range), as reported to me by the hundreds of endurance athletes that I coach or have coached. The numbers that I see on a day to day, simply don't support what you are saying.

    Perhaps those reports you mentioned were based on some unusual cals/bottle/hr control factor that was trying to demonstrate something else unrelated to endurance bike racing?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    Uhmmm, that's just plain bad information, either that or I'm totally misunderstanding what you are saying.

    I've got thousands of hours of personal experience on approx 260cals per hour per 24oz bottle - in race, during trg, and on casual fun hours - spread out over multi-hour rides and races. I've seen tens of thousands of hours supporting similar cals/bottle numbers (similar meaning - to be adjusted to each athletes body weight and style of racing, etc but still within an approx 225-290cal per hr, per 24oz range), as reported to me by the hundreds of endurance athletes that I coach or have coached. The numbers that I see on a day to day, simply don't support what you are saying.

    Perhaps those reports you mentioned were based on some unusual cals/bottle/hr control factor that was trying to demonstrate something else unrelated to endurance bike racing?
    A comparison of the gastric emptying ch - PubMed Mobile
    Here's a quick link to one of the earlier studies on the subject of cho concentration and gastric emptying. Since, higher concentrations merely slow gastric emptying, not stop it, I'm sure you and your athletes do perfectly fine at higher concentrations. However, the research does tend to show that the highest rates if absorption are at lower concentrations. For some, this could lead to a gut bomb feeling, I have found that to be the case with me, as well, with a variety of products. Sorry for a brief response, just a quick iPhone note as I have to get back to work.

    Edit additional:
    I make my own drink products as I've never been super happy with anything out there, and I found that at lower concentrations I can actually consume more calories per hour because of faster gastric emptying. I've found that I can stomach up to 2 bottles/hr at lower concentrations, around 160-180 calories per bottle (about 6% concentration, as reported to be the highest percentage with the fastest absorption rate in the above study) giving me up to 360 calories per hour. While there has been another study that show that concentrations of up to 8% improve performance over a 6% concentration, I believe that study didn't control for total calories (from what I remember and I could be wrong here). So you and your athletes could be doing just fine at higher concentrations, but maybe missing some hydration potential. I think with nutrition, the goal is for consuming both the highest number of calories of CHO and maintaining the highest amount of hydration without creating a gut bomb or hyponatremia. My own drinks have a high ratio of electrolytes to carbs in comparison to most brands to prevent hyponatremia, with the exception of Scratch labs as that is based off of using solid nutrition for calories.
    The two bottles an hour is not unheard of, as I heard of Dr. Lim using that amount with his athletes in the tour. Dr. Lim's approach is that hydration is as important as nutrition for endurance athletes. I tend to agree. I just use liquid nutrition because it is easier on the mtb during racing than eating rice cakes.
    Last edited by Whambat; 11-26-2012 at 09:51 AM.

  18. #18
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    I appreciate everyone's feedback and input. After some thought during a few shorter rides this weekend, I am currently not willing to give up the camelbak, so I need to figure everything out with the camelbak.

    I noticed that with both plain water and with a nutrition mix in the camelbak (and even with bottles on the road bike), that I tend to not drink much the first hour or so and then I start drinking heavily (maybe 12-16 oz in the first hour, and then 28-32 oz the following hours). For a shorter 2-2.5hr ride with just water, this has not been an issue, but with nutrition in the mix, maybe that is what is causing some of my issues. Since I still have 1.5 bags of infinit, before I run out and try one of the other products, I may try to focus on starting to drink right from the beginning with smaller more constant sips. Basically, in lieu on focusing on "what product", focus on "how" I am consuming.

    Unfortunately, I only have the opportunity to get in one long ride per week, so it will take me several weeks/months to figure out if that is working or if I need to just switch to a different product. I understand that most people have been having good luck with infinit, but no matter what product that sick feeling just sucks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gasiorv View Post
    I noticed that with both plain water and with a nutrition mix in the camelbak (and even with bottles on the road bike), that I tend to not drink much the first hour or so and then I start drinking heavily (maybe 12-16 oz in the first hour, and then 28-32 oz the following hours). For a shorter 2-2.5hr ride with just water, this has not been an issue, but with nutrition in the mix, maybe that is what is causing some of my issues. Since I still have 1.5 bags of infinit, before I run out and try one of the other products, I may try to focus on starting to drink right from the beginning with smaller more constant sips. Basically, in lieu on focusing on "what product", focus on "how" I am consuming.
    As your body has a limited ability to absorb both water and nutrients per hour, you want to be staying on top of it early, it's near impossible to catch up on either. Even at max consumption levels, you are never keeping up with what you are depleting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    A comparison of the gastric emptying ch - PubMed Mobile
    Here's a quick link to one of the earlier studies on the subject of cho concentration and gastric emptying. Since, higher concentrations merely slow gastric emptying, not stop it, I'm sure you and your athletes do perfectly fine at higher concentrations. However, the research does tend to show that the highest rates if absorption are at lower concentrations. For some, this could lead to a gut bomb feeling, I have found that to be the case with me, as well, with a variety of products. Sorry for a brief response, just a quick iPhone note as I have to get back to work.
    Some general observations:

    - The study is pushing 30oz per hour, not 24oz per hour.
    - It only makes general reference to more CHO per hour demonstrates slower gastric emptying vs. less CHO per hour demonstrates faster gastric emptying.
    - It doesn't describe the type of, or the percentages of blend, for the CHO (which could show a large impact on the results).

    The obvious pitch in this report is that more CHO causes slower gastric emptying than less CHO. But practical experience would dictate the need for CHO replacement over the course of an event. So the more CHO you can replace per hour the better from a whole body refuelling perspective. Consider that in a race or trg you can lose anywhere from 600-800cals per hour (more or less), in the perfect world you would be replacing them cal for cal. But that's not really possible for a number of reasons. So finding that optimal CHO replacement rate per hour becomes a key focus and it is a moving target; depending on the racer, their body weight, the ambient temp, the type of event, and the intensity of pace to mention a few things. With that said, it's realistic to absorb much more calories per hour than the 180cals per hour that you mentioned earlier.

    Now, if you or another person is experiencing 'a gut bomb feeling' it might have less to do with the cals per hour, it might be things like intolerance to the form of protein used, the amount of protein per hour, a reaction to an ingredient/preservative/chemical used, or it could be a combination of these things and simply too many cals of CHO per hour. Racing/trg/riding on liquid nutrition isn't rocket science, though it does require some experience/experimentation to nail things down until it finally works well.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    Some general observations:

    - The study is pushing 30oz per hour, not 24oz per hour.
    - It only makes general reference to more CHO per hour demonstrates slower gastric emptying vs. less CHO per hour demonstrates faster gastric emptying.
    - It doesn't describe the type of, or the percentages of blend, for the CHO (which could show a large impact on the results).

    The obvious pitch in this report is that more CHO causes slower gastric emptying than less CHO. But practical experience would dictate the need for CHO replacement over the course of an event. So the more CHO you can replace per hour the better from a whole body refuelling perspective. Consider that in a race or trg you can lose anywhere from 600-800cals per hour (more or less), in the perfect world you would be replacing them cal for cal. But that's not really possible for a number of reasons. So finding that optimal CHO replacement rate per hour becomes a key focus and it is a moving target; depending on the racer, their body weight, the ambient temp, the type of event, and the intensity of pace to mention a few things. With that said, it's realistic to absorb much more calories per hour than the 180cals per hour that you mentioned earlier.

    Now, if you or another person is experiencing 'a gut bomb feeling' it might have less to do with the cals per hour, it might be things like intolerance to the form of protein used, the amount of protein per hour, a reaction to an ingredient/preservative/chemical used, or it could be a combination of these things and simply too many cals of CHO per hour. Racing/trg/riding on liquid nutrition isn't rocket science, though it does require some experience/experimentation to nail things down until it finally works well.
    Yes, there are some factors to be considered as type of CHO, as were not included in that study, and that could have serious impact as the gyclemic index variation between fructose and maltodextrin is huge. However, I've found it with my N of 1 studies that I do better closer to that 6% ratio. I do agree that you want and can have more than 180 per hour, I suggested drinking more at lower concentrations such as 1.5 bottles per hour, bringing it to 270 per hour.
    I did just add some additional to my last post that I was probably typing when you last wrote as well, I covered some additional there. I do feel that lab based research is not the end all as most stuff is discovered in the field and later analyzed in the lab. So, I do appreciate hearing about your experiences and do not discount them. There are many approaches to on the bike nutrition and I think it's often best to find what works for an
    individual, which is why I suggested trying lower concentrations to the OP.

  22. #22
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    what are your goals?

    Quote Originally Posted by gasiorv View Post
    I have tried hammer products (perpetuam/sustained) and they made my stomach upset on hard efforts and I have recently been using infinit with the same results. I am ok for about 4-5 hours, but after that it's not a quite a "gut bomb" but I just feel like I am going to puke, especially when the ride is over. Also, when I get that feeling I can't stand the taste of the product anymore and therefore I quite drinking, not good when I have another 50 miles to go...
    Lots of good information in this thread. But I think a point I'd add:

    Whether to avoid using a camelbak and stick with just bottles makes me think; what are your goals and what types of events will you be doing? Are they events where there are always ample aid stations? Are you in it to win it?

    Personally, unless I'm never more than an hour from an aid station, my rule is that I have clear plain water with me. I like to feed from a liquid source in most situations, so for me that means either camelbak AND bottles, or multiple bottles. I have gotten into the situation you describe, where all I had was liquid with food in it. I got to where I couldn't tolerate it. And then I had nothing. And I was hours away from a source of plain water in the heat of July in the Rocky Mountains.

    I am never in it to win it, and I do both organized and completely self-supported events. In a lap race or one where there are lots of aid stations, I might race with just a bottle of food and no plain water, but I always make sure that I take in a fair amount of fluid that's just water.

    My food liquid I usually mix a bit more concentrated than what is recommended so that I can take a quick slug and get a good dose of calories. I do my sipping to stay hydrated using water in the pack.

    My system is camelbak for plain water, bottles for food. Like somebody else noted for them, my body does not like soy. I like Hammer stuff, but the perpetuum and sustained energy are poison for me. HEED has no soy (or any other protein, just for info sake).

    I'm lucky in that I can fuel on lots of stuff. But that's probably largely because I'm almost never pinning it. My all day pace is just not at that high output. But I like HEED, Acclimate, and recently tried Tailwind during an event and REALLY liked it. Next time I need a re-supply, it's going to be Tailwind.

    In a pinch, I can even do just gatorade (simple sugar). I did WRIAD in October and forgot to bring my drink mix, and a friend gave me some gatorade G2 packets. And I was fine.

    I like Honey Stinger Energy Chews and waffles. But those slow you down lots if you're just trying to keep your head down and grind.

    My biggest problem is protein. I pretty much fall back to bars like hammer or Kate's Real Food, and actual food like breakfast burritos and ham sammiches (get the little croissants from the grocery store and make little three-bite sandwiches) for my protein. So that means I'm going without any protein usually for hours at a time. A trickle of protein is better from what I've heard.

    But again, my goals are different. I do long efforts, 8-24 hours minimum. And I do it at a pace that I can sustain. Lots of times, I'm out away from help. If I pin it and bonk, it can be real trouble. But that's me. Some people wouldn't even call what I do "racing".
    Last edited by TomP; 11-26-2012 at 10:40 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    Yes, there are some factors to be considered as type of CHO, as were not included in that study, and that could have serious impact as the gyclemic index variation between fructose and maltodextrin is huge. However, I've found it with my N of 1 studies that I do better closer to that 6% ratio. I do agree that you want and can have more than 180 per hour, I suggested drinking more at lower concentrations such as 1.5 bottles per hour, bringing it to 270 per hour.
    I did just add some additional to my last post that I was probably typing when you last wrote as well, I covered some additional there. I do feel that lab based research is not the end all as most stuff is discovered in the field and later analyzed in the lab. So, I do appreciate hearing about your experiences and do not discount them. There are many approaches to on the bike nutrition and I think it's often best to find what works for an
    individual, which is why I suggested trying lower concentrations to the OP.
    You are right, there are many approaches to bike nutrition. It sounds like you've done some experimentation and might have found what works for you.

    I just read your edit and I'll quote that and address it right now, if only to offer some more for you to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    A comparison of the gastric emptying ch - PubMed Mobile
    Here's a quick link to one of the earlier studies on the subject of cho concentration and gastric emptying. Since, higher concentrations merely slow gastric emptying, not stop it, I'm sure you and your athletes do perfectly fine at higher concentrations. However, the research does tend to show that the highest rates if absorption are at lower concentrations. For some, this could lead to a gut bomb feeling, I have found that to be the case with me, as well, with a variety of products. Sorry for a brief response, just a quick iPhone note as I have to get back to work.

    Edit additional:
    I make my own drink products as I've never been super happy with anything out there, and I found that at lower concentrations I can actually consume more calories per hour because of faster gastric emptying. I've found that I can stomach up to 2 bottles/hr at lower concentrations, around 160-180 calories per bottle (about 6% concentration, as reported to be the highest percentage with the fastest absorption rate in the above study) giving me up to 360 calories per hour. While there has been another study that show that concentrations of up to 8% improve performance over a 6% concentration, I believe that study didn't control for total calories (from what I remember and I could be wrong here). So you and your athletes could be doing just fine at higher concentrations, but maybe missing some hydration potential. I think with nutrition, the goal is for consuming both the highest number of calories of CHO and maintaining the highest amount of hydration without creating a gut bomb or hyponatremia. My own drinks have a high ratio of electrolytes to carbs in comparison to most brands to prevent hyponatremia, with the exception of Scratch labs as that is based off of using solid nutrition for calories.
    The two bottles an hour is not unheard of, as I heard of Dr. Lim using that amount with his athletes in the tour. Dr. Lim's approach is that hydration is as important as nutrition for endurance athletes. I tend to agree. I just use liquid nutrition because it is easier on the mtb during racing than eating rice cakes.
    Now things are a bit more complicated since you mention your current cals and bottles per hour. All I can say is this... that is a lot of cals per hour. It might be working for you up to, hmmmmm, maybe 5-6hrs of race pace but have you pushed it beyond that timeline at race pace on multiple occasions?

    No doubt, hydration is important and it can be adjusted somewhat based on the environmental conditions. I do it, my athletes do it. You are talking about 1400ml consumption per hour, which I think is a bit high for multi-hour high intensity efforts, you might find this interesting:

    http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/7161/1...ren-K-7161.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    But again, my goals are different. I do long efforts, 8-24 hours minimum. And I do it at a pace that I can sustain. Lots of times, I'm out away from help. If I pin it and bonk, it can be real trouble. But that's me. Some people wouldn't even call what I do "racing".
    I've seen you post on this subject often enough Tom that I know you have done your own experimentation. Experience drawn from multiple long efforts (8+ hrs) is the only way to be confident in solving the on-bike endurance nutrition puzzle. Some people who read up on this forum subject fail to grasp that point. I know you have a grip on it, so the point below isn't directed at you, it's just another opportunity to try and get the point across.

    A 2hr XC race and a 12 or 24hr endurance race are obviously different things. The point that I've been beating to death on this forum over all these years is a lot of racers can make a lot of things work for them up to about the 5-6hr mark and that's when the racers preceding nutrition choices start to make an impact. At the 8-12hr mark you can't be racing for podium on 12 boiled eggs per hour.

    There is flexibility on what an athlete can eat or drink, the rate of consumption per hour can be adjustable, and the ratios of protein/fat/carbs can be adjustable. No two athletes are the same. With that said, the guys that I see on the podium that are consuming boiled eggs, pastrami sandwiches and leftover cold pizza (or whatever) are far and few between but when they are it's because they have spent years learning their body and fuelling system and know what to adjust when things start going sideways.

    Liquid nutrition isn't the ultimate problem solver, it's just one way of solving the puzzle. Just because liquid seems simpler than trying to race on pastrami and eggs, it shouldn't be guess-worked, it still requires some strategy, experimentation and experience to solve the puzzle for races over 8hrs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    I've seen you post on this subject often enough Tom that I know you have done your own experimentation. Experience drawn from multiple long efforts (8+ hrs) is the only way to be confident in solving the on-bike endurance nutrition puzzle. Some people who read up on this forum subject fail to grasp that point. I know you have a grip on it, so the point below isn't directed at you, it's just another opportunity to try and get the point across...
    No way would I take offense. You are a pro coach and have obviously helped lots of athletes be successful.

    If I ever decided I wanted to take it to the next level and start entering events to be competitive, I'd for sure hire a pro coach and start looking for answers from science. My race is usually a race to make a cut-off, or to finish before nightfall, or at least before my batteries die and I lose my lights. I actually may hire a coach one of these days soon to help me vanquish a couple big events that I haven't had the speed to finish. Some of my fails have been because I'm just not fast, but others have been that the fatigue and time wore me down to the point that my sustainable pace slowed to the point being only slightly faster than banana slugs during mating season. Lots of that kind of dramatic decline are what you're talking about, out past 8 hours of hard effort when diet is either keeping you going or failing.

    That said, my experience in the last decade of learning about this has been a self-exploration. It's kind of a game to me. Learning from experience, reading, advice from experts has all added to what I've worked out as a system. But what's been most rewarding to me has been using my brain; my judgement and to a certain extent intuition, coming up with ideas then testing them... That's what makes it really fun for me.

    EDIT: One point I meant to make in this reply, that lead me to post in this thread. While you're just learning, experimenting with food/hydration on long rides--keep in mind that hydration is the most important thing. Getting low on blood sugar can lead to a painful bonk. But what the OP described, getting so nauseated by the only moisture he had left and subsequently not drinking anything; that can lead to kidney failure, heat stroke and all kinds of other bad things. Having some plain water, something you'll be able to drink for sure, is an insurance policy that everyone should have when they are getting started. Even if it's more to carry than you'd really like to have. In case there's any doubt, that is my humble opinion only.
    Last edited by TomP; 11-26-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    No way would I take offense. You are a pro coach and have obviously helped lots of athletes be successful.
    If someone did take offence I would hope for them to say something. Not only to sort out the problem but also because I'm sure I would learn something from it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    That said, my experience in the last decade of learning about this has been a self-exploration. It's kind of a game to me. Learning from experience, reading, advice from experts has all added to what I've worked out as a system. But what's been most rewarding to me has been using my brain; my judgement and to a certain extent intuition, coming up with ideas then testing them... That's what makes it really fun for me.
    Absolutely agree.

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    My goals

    My goal is to finish a few 100 milers next year before all the beer is gone, Seriously.

    I am not looking to be on the podium, sure, we all want to be there, but I don't have the time to train to be there at this point in my life. But I don't want to finish so far behind my friends that they are showered, loaded, ready to go, and the beer is gone, when I cross the finish line.

    I have done 6 and 12 hour lap races solo and I have done 50 and 60 mile races (5-6hr time frame). I have also done several 100 mile all day rides (not at race pace). Now I want to do 100 mile endurance races and I want to try and work out my nutrition over the next several months prior to my first race at the end of April. Unfortunately, I don't have endless dollars nor time. I know based on past races and training rides that I have been having stomach issues at the 5-6hr mark when riding hard.

    I appreciate everyone's feedback and suggestions, it gives me a lot of ideas to evaluate and assist in how I tweak my ride/race day nutrition. I was originally looking just for different product options, but now I see that if I do it wrong, I may have the same problem no matter what the product. I need to work out the "how" and what "works" for me. Hopefully, I will have it worked out before the first race!!
    Last edited by gasiorv; 11-26-2012 at 02:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gasiorv View Post
    My goal is to finish a few 100 milers next year before all the beer is gone, Serously.
    As a beer lover, I applaud your goal!

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    HelloThe trick that works for me is:eat carbohydrates that are the fuel for our engine = legson tour eat raisins and dried fruits, for long races mini sandwiches with butter and jam.by the end of the race a dash of cola and a bit of sugartest and you'll see that these home remedies and easy pay off

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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    Now things are a bit more complicated since you mention your current cals and bottles per hour. All I can say is this... that is a lot of cals per hour. It might be working for you up to, hmmmmm, maybe 5-6hrs of race pace but have you pushed it beyond that timeline at race pace on multiple occasions?

    No doubt, hydration is important and it can be adjusted somewhat based on the environmental conditions. I do it, my athletes do it. You are talking about 1400ml consumption per hour, which I think is a bit high for multi-hour high intensity efforts, you might find this interesting:

    http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/7161/1...ren-K-7161.pdf
    The full 2 bottle per hour scenario really comes into play for me on the days I'm training in some real heat, 90 and above, sometimes above 100, for 4-6hr training rides but I do bring down the calories per bottle by a few on those days. Often though, I do multi-hour bottles and a camelback for races and mountain bike training rides if it is not a loop format, but similar calories and liquid. The higher the pace, the more I prefer more liquid. I do have protein in some of my mixes, and I use less in the heat or shorter races. I do tend to put down a lot of liquid in comparison to others, part of that I attribute to the digestibility of the drinks I make and their high salt content, which leaves me craving more liquid.

    With reference to that study you posted, that is for a 1 hour test right? Hydration, like nutrition, tends not to be a huge factor during that short of a test. Maybe, I'm not seeing what you are here, am I missing something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    With reference to that study you posted, that is for a 1 hour test right? Hydration, like nutrition, tends not to be a huge factor during that short of a test. Maybe, I'm not seeing what you are here, am I missing something?
    Thought you might be interested in the study as their approach chose not to totally focus on the CHO, the focus was more about hydration and level of stomach discomfort in a thermoneutral environment (which I'm sure you understand can only be treated as a baseline to be manipulated in the real world based on environmental conditions, etc).

    It was good to see the subjects were trained (not always the case):

    "Each had competed in cycling time trials for at least the three previous seasons and was capable of completing a 25-mile (~40-km) cycling time trial in less than 55 min. Additionally, for the 6-week period preceding the investigation, subjects had been training for a minimum of 8 h a week, and competing at least once every 2 weeks."

    The focus was on low to high volume fluid consumption and associated stomach discomfort:

    "Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to clarify the benefits of consuming different volumes of fluid, with an identical CHO content ingested during a 1-h TT performance of trained cyclists conducted under thermoneutral conditions."

    As you can see in the test design layout, the protocols and testing was fairly rigorous. And the end result?

    "Although maximal rates of fluid absorption have been found to be about 800 ml · h–1 at rest (8), it has been suggested that this might decrease at high exercise intensities (5, 10, 18). The maximal rate of gastric emptying could be responsible for a decreased efficacy of fluid consumption during exercise. The delivery rate of fluid into circulation might have been limited by the rate of gastric emptying and/or fluid absorption. Although neither gastric emptying nor the fate of ingested fluid were determined during these trials, if the maximum rate of fluid absorption during exercise is < 800 ml · h–1, it is likely that the fluid delivery is HF, MF, and FAM (and possibly LF) was the same, which might explain why no differences were found in TT performance The increased feeling of stomach discomfort and the lack of increased performance when fluid intake is above approximately 1200 ml, suggests that cyclists should be recommended not to drink more than 1200 ml during a 1-h cycling TT in a thermoneutral environment."

    I underlined the key takeaway in the section above.

    So, you might be seeing success at 1400ml fluid consumption per hour and I suspect that is partially due to an increased acclimatization, and your sodium level is 'right' for you, which is helping to clear the gastric pathway. If I was coaching you I would suggest moving the per hr down to 1000ml and of course adjusting the electrolyte load in order to keep percentages the same, and see how that treats you. But I'm not coaching you, hahaha, so I'm just making casual observations and thinking to myself that you've probably already played around with all this stuff and have found a system that works for you over the multi-hour courses and I'm typing all this stuff out for no apparent reason. If nothing else, this general discussion might give other forum members something to think about.

    My concluding statement on this subject, to nobody in particular... Every athlete is different, there's always a puzzle to solve and each athlete's puzzle is unique. If you are reading this and you are new to endurance racing nutrition, be sure to apply the general nutrition concepts only as a starting point and from there you can start to solve your own puzzle. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    Thought you might be interested in the study as their approach chose not to totally focus on the CHO, the focus was more about hydration and level of stomach discomfort in a thermoneutral environment (which I'm sure you understand can only be treated as a baseline to be manipulated in the real world based on environmental conditions, etc).

    It was good to see the subjects were trained (not always the case):

    "Each had competed in cycling time trials for at least the three previous seasons and was capable of completing a 25-mile (~40-km) cycling time trial in less than 55 min. Additionally, for the 6-week period preceding the investigation, subjects had been training for a minimum of 8 h a week, and competing at least once every 2 weeks."

    The focus was on low to high volume fluid consumption and associated stomach discomfort:

    "Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to clarify the benefits of consuming different volumes of fluid, with an identical CHO content ingested during a 1-h TT performance of trained cyclists conducted under thermoneutral conditions."

    As you can see in the test design layout, the protocols and testing was fairly rigorous. And the end result?

    "Although maximal rates of fluid absorption have been found to be about 800 ml · h–1 at rest (8), it has been suggested that this might decrease at high exercise intensities (5, 10, 18). The maximal rate of gastric emptying could be responsible for a decreased efficacy of fluid consumption during exercise. The delivery rate of fluid into circulation might have been limited by the rate of gastric emptying and/or fluid absorption. Although neither gastric emptying nor the fate of ingested fluid were determined during these trials, if the maximum rate of fluid absorption during exercise is < 800 ml · h–1, it is likely that the fluid delivery is HF, MF, and FAM (and possibly LF) was the same, which might explain why no differences were found in TT performance The increased feeling of stomach discomfort and the lack of increased performance when fluid intake is above approximately 1200 ml, suggests that cyclists should be recommended not to drink more than 1200 ml during a 1-h cycling TT in a thermoneutral environment."

    I underlined the key takeaway in the section above.

    So, you might be seeing success at 1400ml fluid consumption per hour and I suspect that is partially due to an increased acclimatization, and your sodium level is 'right' for you, which is helping to clear the gastric pathway. If I was coaching you I would suggest moving the per hr down to 1000ml and of course adjusting the electrolyte load in order to keep percentages the same, and see how that treats you. But I'm not coaching you, hahaha, so I'm just making casual observations and thinking to myself that you've probably already played around with all this stuff and have found a system that works for you over the multi-hour courses and I'm typing all this stuff out for no apparent reason. If nothing else, this general discussion might give other forum members something to think about.

    My concluding statement on this subject, to nobody in particular... Every athlete is different, there's always a puzzle to solve and each athlete's puzzle is unique. If you are reading this and you are new to endurance racing nutrition, be sure to apply the general nutrition concepts only as a starting point and from there you can start to solve your own puzzle. Good luck.
    Okay, I see why you included that paper, and I am appreciating this discussion. However, I see a couple points worth mentioning:

    1. 1200ml is 40 oz, not far from my two bottle per hr scenario, which is always give or take a sip or two. And 1000ml is closer to my typical 36 oz per hour plan.

    2. The study used a 1 hr TT, which would be at near LT. At those intensities, gut function will be reduced from the shunting of blood. Several steps down from LT, at endurance race intensities, I'd imagine that improved gut function would improve gastric emptying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat View Post
    Okay, I see why you included that paper, and I am appreciating this discussion. However, I see a couple points worth mentioning:

    1. 1200ml is 40 oz, not far from my two bottle per hr scenario, which is always give or take a sip or two. And 1000ml is closer to my typical 36 oz per hour plan.

    2. The study used a 1 hr TT, which would be at near LT. At those intensities, gut function will be reduced from the shunting of blood. Several steps down from LT, at endurance race intensities, I'd imagine that improved gut function would improve gastric emptying.
    I agree with your second point, in theory. The level of intensity to push out a sub-55min TT is much higher than a 12hr endurance race, but it's not too much higher than the intensity required to push out a 6hr podium result. It's different, no doubt, but the relative differences are minor. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen a new athlete putting out an XC race pace (as confirmed by their NormP wattage) during the first 60-90mins of a 6hr race. I can usually observe the point in their datastream when their gut was compromised.

    If racing was based on theory and Pubmed, and everybody read the same materials, nobody would ever have any problems... their races would be perfect... right? ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gasiorv View Post
    I have tried hammer products (perpetuam/sustained) and they made my stomach upset on hard efforts and I have recently been using infinit with the same results. I am ok for about 4-5 hours, but after that it's not a quite a "gut bomb" but I just feel like I am going to puke, especially when the ride is over. Also, when I get that feeling I can't stand the taste of the product anymore and therefore I quite drinking, not good when I have another 50 miles to go. Gels and stingers seem to work ok for me, along with endurolytes, but I tend to lose focus on keeping up with them and get behind on my nutrition, also juggling a fel flask or package while rolling is not the preferred, so the liquid nutrition in the camelbak seems to be the best if I can find a product that won't make me sick.

    Any other recommendations for liquid nutrition that will provide not only hydration, but 200-250cal per hour, and electrolytes I want to try and go strictly liquid for up to 10 hours with possibly a bananna or two at an aid station.

    Or any other possible ideas on nutrition for long rides.
    I try to stay away from electrolytes and such and relay on juice and water...

    However I have had luck with Ultima replensher.

  36. #36
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    I've been doing good with 1 bottle of infinite and one bottle of water spread out over a couple of hours. Sometimes my body just seems to crave plain water "especially" later in a race where I am much more fatigued. Of course plain water has zero calories so I always carry Shot Bloks in a jersey pocket and use them for my fuel if I'm not tolerating the Infinite well. Gels really cramp up my stomach but the Bloks don't at all for some reason and I can really "feel" an energy boost from them. I don't like fumbling with trying to "open" a package while racing so I will normally open one end of the packages before the start of the race and place them upright in my jersey pocket. I usually plan for 1 package per hour. No science here. Just what I've found that works for me.

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    There is a lot of good information here but I'll add my 2 cents based on my experience in the last few years. I'm still new at endurance racing and into my 3rd year now and have had all the same issues the OP stated.

    It was hard for me to give up a camel back but after more racing I realized it was hurting me more than helping. It is different sucking on a drink vs squirting it into your mouth from a bottle. The bottle is much easier under effort. Not to mention you can regulate what and how much you are drinking from a bottle. I do however still use a camelbak for water only on really hot days...mid 90's plus.

    I also learned from infinit do not consentrate it or drink it too much at a time.

    In a recent 24 solo, I had to make more changes in my nutrition due to stomach issues that got worse on hard efforts. My legs and conditioning felt good but the gut didn't. Fortunately, I felt this coming early enough to combat it. In a recent 6 hour race that lasted almost 7 hours at race pace with no stops, I finally had no stomach issues in a race this long at effort.

    I used scratch labs drink mix for the first hour. Hour 2- used a light infinit mix with no protein but caffeine. Hour 3 and 4- used infinit protein mix. Hour 5- started over and used scratch labs again then infinit light mix, etc.

    It has taken me 3 years and 9 races 6 hours or longer to get this down and 3-4 formula changes from Infinit. I'm sure this will change even more after some more 12 and 24 solos. However, I do plan to hire a coach this next year for a 24 solo training and nutrition plan.

    However, be careful consuming more than 40+oz of fluid an hour over several hours...My wife almost died from flushing all the sodium out of her body in a recent 24 solo effort. She spent 2 days in the hospital on the verge of a coma and was off the bike for 3 weeks and took 5-6 weeks to recover. Long story that I'll share later.

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    I've got a pretty cooperative stomach, so feel free to take any of this with a grain of salt.

    Over the years, I've arrived at a 1:1:1 mix of Heed, Perpetuem, and powdered Gatorade. I shift the flavors around a bit with each purchase, which has really helped me from burning out on the "all liquids, all the time" approach.

    I ride with Magnum 33 ounce bottles, each loaded with about 400 calories, and try to finish one every 1.5 hours.

    Like somebody mentioned earlier, I also don't really like to drink that much at the beginning of a race, so I try to ingest my first bottle during the 2 hours before the event.

    I guess I'm in it to win it, so on rougher courses without significant road sections, I use a Camelbak for ease of drinking while under the gun on single track. Otherwise, I vastly prefer the bottle approach.

    I took a little tumble late in a race one year and lost my final nutrition, and was not going back to find it. Arrived at the final aid station, and the 50-milers had cleaned it out of everything but water and Shot Blocks. Given no choice, I tried the Blocks, and I loved them. Three years later, and they remain my supplementary fuel of choice. Hammer bars also on rare occasions, but ONLY at the top of long descents, so there is actually a chance of some digestion occurring!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    ...I took a little tumble late in a race one year and lost my final nutrition, and was not going back to find it. Arrived at the final aid station, and the 50-milers had cleaned it out of everything but water and Shot Blocks. Given no choice, I tried the Blocks, and I loved them. Three years later, and they remain my supplementary fuel of choice. Hammer bars also on rare occasions, but ONLY at the top of long descents, so there is actually a chance of some digestion occurring!
    I like the hammer bars too, the but cashew choc chip is the only flavor I can stand now.

    Re: Shot Blocks, try the Honey Stinger Chews, which are the same basic thing. Diff is the Chews are a little smaller and a lot softer. After hitting the chews hard for a while, I got some shot blocks because they were what were available. Seemed like I had to chew them forever. With the Honey Stinger ones, if I'm in a hurry I'll just rip open the packet, stuff all of them into my mouth, shove the empty container into my shorts cuff and then ride along chewing and swallowing. Nice big calorie dump late in the race when the tank is getting low...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I like the hammer bars too, the but cashew choc chip is the only flavor I can stand now.

    Re: Shot Blocks, try the Honey Stinger Chews, which are the same basic thing. Diff is the Chews are a little smaller and a lot softer. After hitting the chews hard for a while, I got some shot blocks because they were what were available. Seemed like I had to chew them forever. With the Honey Stinger ones, if I'm in a hurry I'll just rip open the packet, stuff all of them into my mouth, shove the empty container into my shorts cuff and then ride along chewing and swallowing. Nice big calorie dump late in the race when the tank is getting low...
    That is a great tip. I'll give the Stinger Chews a try next spring. EZ swallowing would be a big plus, especially in a true race situation.

    Thanks!
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  41. #41
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    This is exactly the scenario that Tailwind Nutrition was designed for. Here are a couple of reviews you can check out:

    Drinkable Energy: Nutrition Startup eschews solid food for Water | Gear Review | Gear Junkie
    First Look: Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel | Bike198
    Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel :

    Ultimately, as staylor pointed out, nutrition is a very personal choice and requires you to experiment and find out what works best for you.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennyv View Post
    This is exactly the scenario that Tailwind Nutrition was designed for. Here are a couple of reviews you can check out:

    ...

    Ultimately, as staylor pointed out, nutrition is a very personal choice and requires you to experiment and find out what works best for you.
    Jenny

    Interesting to me that Tailwind is going with the philosophy that protein does not help. I'm going to read some of the articles that your web site points to on that... I certainly agree that protein can be a source of indigestion. And I have done some pretty darned long efforts with no protein and felt more or less fine.

    My first exposure to the science of endurance calories was from Hammer, which is all about no simple sugars and protein needed. It did not take me very long at all to find that I could not tolerate their protein-oriented mixes, but I've spent more hours on the bike fueling on HEED than anything else, by far.

    But in the last couple years I've started doing a much wider variety of things for calories (wider variety of drink mixes, chews, snickers bars, SPAM, etc.) with varying degrees of success. I had a chance to use Tailwind during the DDC this past July, and I will say my belly really liked it. I'm going to buy some when my current stores of phewd run down.

    But I really wonder for myself, going out past 12 hours will I be able to do without protein? I'm doing a 24 solo in February. I can definitely see going without protein until midnight, but not sure about the long haul. But I certainly don't think I'd be looking to stay 100% liquid for that long anyway. My after midnight protein will quite likely take the form of bacon or some other solid junk food sacrilege.
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  43. #43
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    Protein is really an important piece of your overall diet, and certainly for recovery (after you have replenished your glycogen stores). But, while you're on the bike, there is no measurable change in performance according to the most recent research. Joe Friel did a good write-up here where he cites a number of different sources:

    Joe Friel - Should You Use Carbohydrate-Protein Sports Drinks?

    Protein is a very complex molecule that takes a lot of effort, time, and energy to break down - and ultimately slows down your gastric emptying rate (thus slowing down your body's ability to process fuel in the form of glucose).

    Btw, glad you were able to try it at the DDC!
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    What has been working well for me through experimenting in long medium-hard running and then finding it works just as well for riding is this: (I've also been using the Hammer products).

    I can't have everything in the camelback. I need to keep hydration separate because I drink more in hot weather and I wouldn't know how to mix different carb ratios based on temperature etc. I just use water and the hammer endurolyte fizz in the camelback.

    I use the hammer gels at no more than one every 45-60mins. If I try a gel every 30mins I'll get nauseous eventually. At the 45-60mins I don't feel nauseous even after 12h of riding. For anything that will be over 3h I chase a gel with a perpetuem solid tablet. I might do two tablets if I feel like it. Especially with running it seems like my legs hurt less after 3h if I'm taking perpetuem and and I feel better the next day. I assume it's helping my riding the same way.

    I used this as the sole fuel source on a 12h MTB race and had no problems with nausea or bonking. So that I didn't have to think too hard about remembering to fuel during the race, I just had a gel/tab on the hour and sometimes a second tab on the half-hour.

    For this coming year, I do want to experiment with making up a paste of gel + perpetuem powder and carrying that in a hydrapak soft-flask for convenience etc. A soft-flask might do the job for you if you don't want the hassle of carrying and opening gel packets etc.
    Last edited by melibokus; 12-05-2012 at 06:02 PM.

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    great thread, as I run into some of the same issues at about 8 hrs ie bloat after 6hrs hope for some input on the cold weather variable as I'm doing winter endurance rides/races 6-18hr in temps -5f to +25f.

    Any changes/adaptations for food/hydration absorption in cold. Bottles are out do to freezing issues but camel backs work well

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    I do the same thing for energy in colder temperatures. Although I'm not out for any longer than 4h. I'm drinking less than I do in the summer but I do make sure to drink enough and at least after every gel and every perpetuem tablet (they are meant to be taken with water).

    If I was going to try and get everything into a one camelback then these would be the temperatures that I would try to do it. It is when it gets warmer that my water needs vary so much.

  47. #47
    Tailwind Nutrition
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    Have you tried heating up your drink before placing it in a camelback? For backcountry skiing, we heat up our endurance fuel and drink it like tea out of our hydration packs. Not only does it taste pretty good, but it helps to keep your core warm. At the same time, you're getting your calories and electrolytes, and keeping hydrated.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    I agree with your second point, in theory. The level of intensity to push out a sub-55min TT is much higher than a 12hr endurance race, but it's not too much higher than the intensity required to push out a 6hr podium result. It's different, no doubt, but the relative differences are minor. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen a new athlete putting out an XC race pace (as confirmed by their NormP wattage) during the first 60-90mins of a 6hr race. I can usually observe the point in their datastream when their gut was compromised.

    If racing was based on theory and Pubmed, and everybody read the same materials, nobody would ever have any problems... their races would be perfect... right? ;-)
    Staylor, sorry if my late response feels like rehashing an old discussion, but I ended up on vacation right after my last post and then got really busy at work over the holidays.
    I agree that pubmed, and research articles in general, aren't always the best for making sole decisions. While my background is in exercise physiology, I do tend to be skeptical about the ability to always determine in a lab best practices on the bike. I feel that, more often than not, it seems that sport practitioners seem to figure out what works and science then tries to explain it in the lab. There does seem to be a good back and forth, between the lab and the field, and the lab does often guide future in the field experimentation, but reliance on the lab would usually leave one short. Which is why I've been conducting my own, unscientific, N=1 studies on myself, ha ha.

    That said here's Allen Lim describing what his athletes ate and drink in the tour. I will note that he lists up to 15-20 small (16 oz) bottles of 5-6% CHO solution for a 5-6 hr race, that's 10-15 24 oz bottles, but his mixes also have a ton of sodium to prevent hyponatremia.

    RaceFood WrapUp with Dr. Allen Lim - YouTube

    As for others reading this, I would say that Tailwind solutions seems to have a good mix to try, I've never tried it, but looking at the label, it's pretty close to my carb only mix, in terms of sodium to carb ratio. Besides, they sponsor this forum and are involved here so I'd support that.

  49. #49
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    Whambat, I watched that video when it first came out. It was Lim that got me thinking about electrolytes in greater detail.

    I don't coach or have any personal experience with TdF Pro's but I do coach a lot of solid (and podium winning) endurance athletes in both road and mtb. And as this is the mtb endurance forum it's easy agree that no endurance racer gets the level of support out on a singletrack race course that a TdF Pro gets. Last time I looked behind me in a race I didn't see a wheel car or someone handing me full bottles every 20mins. ;-)

    Further to the TdF comparison, if you look at TdF wattage files (publicly available) you will note how much time is spent at various intensities, a decent chunk of their riding within the peleton is done at a more conservative pace (for them) that allows for higher fluid/calorie intake. Not so the case for mtb racers in a 6hr where they are basically hammering the whole way.

    The practicalities of mtb point to point racing or lapped racing necessitates solutions that focus on the challenges we face, not what TdF pro's face. Typically for mtb endurance racers that means reduced water loads, smart electrolyte, protein and carb loads, and nutritional pacing.

    I will use myself as a real world example of racing on what I know to work, though I could easily tell the same tale about hundreds of races in 2012 that I've got files and results on from athletes I coach... The last race I did was a 24hr Solo at the end of Oct, the race was just outside of Austin, TX and the starting temp was over 90 F. The coolest it got in the middle of the night was mid-80's and the next day it was back up to the 90's again, humidity was 100% (or higher, hahaha). I was racing singlespeed hardtail on a very active course and I was racing for a win which had me hammering really hard for a big chunk of the race. I won the Solo Singlespeed category and also placed 3rd overall against the Open Solo Male cat, I also won fastest Solo lap. Here's the important part - I did it on 1 x bottle of Infinit per hour. Maybe I got lucky? I had four other 24hr Solo athletes in that race and they were all on similar 1 x bottle of Infinit per hour. Notable results among my four athletes were an Open Solo Female cat 1st place (with a huge margin) and a definitive Open Solo Male cat 1st place (he crushed it), a 6th place finish in Solo Open Male cat and a 3rd place finish in Solo Sport Male cat. All five of us had excellent races under demanding environmental conditions. Maybe it wasn't just luck?

    I enjoy theories and studies, I really do, but the majority of my lessons learned come from the school of hard knocks, not in a lab. Getting in the trenches of endurance mtb racing and failing more times than succeeding has taught me a thing or two. I made some big mistakes in the early days of endurance racing nutrition, luckily I figured out what works for me (and many others) a few years back. The things I've learned over the years have allowed me to race well enough nutritionally to get results, and coach well enough nutrionally that my athletes get the results they deserve based on the hard work and talent that they personally bring to the start line.

    I could continue but I'll finish off with something I say to a lot of athletes that I don't coach who have firm opposing opinions on what they think will work for them in a hard-charging endurance race. Invariably I will say "Good luck, I hope that works out for you". And I really do hope it works out for them.

    Every athlete is different and maybe there are some racers out there who can hammer for 12hrs on nothing but beef jerky (though I haven't met them yet). There will always be that racing anomaly who can podium on debatable nutrition. Whether they did the race on old pizza slices and lukewarm milk, or did it on bottles of liquid fuel, they will still get my handshake and a nod of respect.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    Whambat, I watched that video when it first came out. It was Lim that got me thinking about electrolytes in greater detail.

    I don't coach or have any personal experience with TdF Pro's but I do coach a lot of solid (and podium winning) endurance athletes in both road and mtb. And as this is the mtb endurance forum it's easy agree that no endurance racer gets the level of support out on a singletrack race course that a TdF Pro gets. Last time I looked behind me in a race I didn't see a wheel car or someone handing me full bottles every 20mins. ;-)

    Further to the TdF comparison, if you look at TdF wattage files (publicly available) you will note how much time is spent at various intensities, a decent chunk of their riding within the peleton is done at a more conservative pace (for them) that allows for higher fluid/calorie intake. Not so the case for mtb racers in a 6hr where they are basically hammering the whole way.

    The practicalities of mtb point to point racing or lapped racing necessitates solutions that focus on the challenges we face, not what TdF pro's face. Typically for mtb endurance racers that means reduced water loads, smart electrolyte, protein and carb loads, and nutritional pacing.

    I will use myself as a real world example of racing on what I know to work, though I could easily tell the same tale about hundreds of races in 2012 that I've got files and results on from athletes I coach... The last race I did was a 24hr Solo at the end of Oct, the race was just outside of Austin, TX and the starting temp was over 90 F. The coolest it got in the middle of the night was mid-80's and the next day it was back up to the 90's again, humidity was 100% (or higher, hahaha). I was racing singlespeed hardtail on a very active course and I was racing for a win which had me hammering really hard for a big chunk of the race. I won the Solo Singlespeed category and also placed 3rd overall against the Open Solo Male cat, I also won fastest Solo lap. Here's the important part - I did it on 1 x bottle of Infinit per hour. Maybe I got lucky? I had four other 24hr Solo athletes in that race and they were all on similar 1 x bottle of Infinit per hour. Notable results among my four athletes were an Open Solo Female cat 1st place (with a huge margin) and a definitive Open Solo Male cat 1st place (he crushed it), a 6th place finish in Solo Open Male cat and a 3rd place finish in Solo Sport Male cat. All five of us had excellent races under demanding environmental conditions. Maybe it wasn't just luck?

    I enjoy theories and studies, I really do, but the majority of my lessons learned come from the school of hard knocks, not in a lab. Getting in the trenches of endurance mtb racing and failing more times than succeeding has taught me a thing or two. I made some big mistakes in the early days of endurance racing nutrition, luckily I figured out what works for me (and many others) a few years back. The things I've learned over the years have allowed me to race well enough nutritionally to get results, and coach well enough nutrionally that my athletes get the results they deserve based on the hard work and talent that they personally bring to the start line.

    I could continue but I'll finish off with something I say to a lot of athletes that I don't coach who have firm opposing opinions on what they think will work for them in a hard-charging endurance race. Invariably I will say "Good luck, I hope that works out for you". And I really do hope it works out for them.

    Every athlete is different and maybe there are some racers out there who can hammer for 12hrs on nothing but beef jerky (though I haven't met them yet). There will always be that racing anomaly who can podium on debatable nutrition. Whether they did the race on old pizza slices and lukewarm milk, or did it on bottles of liquid fuel, they will still get my handshake and a nod of respect.
    No, I don't think it's luck for you or your racers, obviously a ton of hard work gets results and you have found a nutrition plan that works.

    Yup, roadies have a lot more down time to eat real food and down drinks. With the exception of really long mtb races such as the CTR, liquid nutrition would probably be the most effective option for mountain bikers.

    I also think finding out what works for people in the field, which varies from rider to rider, helps find best practices better than the lab. Labs tend to just validate field work, but endurance mountain biking is hard to replicate in the lab so field work will probably never be properly tested in the lab.

    Thanks for taking time to carry on this discussion, I have found it very informative, hopefully others have as well.

    edit additional:

    here's a cool article I found on fluid and electrolyte replacement on slowtwitch that pertains to this thread: The Math of salt loss - Slowtwitch.com
    Last edited by Whambat; 01-21-2013 at 09:34 PM.

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