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  1. #1
    nimble biker
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    what kind of food do you guys eat before a ride?

    what kind of food do you guys eat before a ride?

    I am tired of eating nuts, berry bars. it doesn't have enough energy for me.

    I become exhausted, and tired after a ride due to hunger

  2. #2
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    Re: what kind of food do you guys eat before a ride?

    Eat well regularly, make sure your diet is balanced.

    One of the things I like to eat is a foot long Club from subway loaded with spiniach, lettuce, tomatos, green peppers. onions, jalopeños, and brown mustard.

    While out I may rely on Naked Protein smoothies, or muscle milk (not recommended but sometimes it does the trick).

    Make sure u intake energy every 45min.

    When I did my Indy tour on my 29er that was 57 miles I had a huge breakfast, a veggie burger at lunch, beer, coffee...then 15 mikes later more beer... I was ripped full of energy that ride!!

    The weird thing is that the day before my energy was abysmal with crap handling and decision making which led to a crash. I think I simply didn't have enough caloric intake.

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  3. #3
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    what about McDonald milkshake? I hope it has enough calories for a ride.

  4. #4
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    Personally I'd never take in a bunch of dairy prior to working out/riding. Recipe for ...YMMV

  5. #5
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    And that's kinda relying on sugar...which isn't best.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    what about McDonald milkshake? I hope it has enough calories for a ride.
    from the McD's website:

    Chocolate Shake
    850 Calories, 19g Protein, 23g Fat, 141g Carbs, 380mg Sodium

    Ingredients:
    Milk, Sugar, Cream, Nonfat Milk Solids, Corn Syrup Solids, Mono- and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Dextrose, Sodium Citrate, Artificial Vanilla Flavor, Sodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Disodium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Cream, Nonfat Milk, Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mono-And Diglycerides, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 80, Beta Carotene, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Mixed Tocopherols, Nitrous Oxide, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Caramel Color, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Artificial Flavor (Vanillin), Red 40, cherries, water, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sulfur Dioxide.


    Sounds more like a chemistry experiment than food to me. If the food we eat is the fuel we use, then I'm pretty sure this is the equivalent of pissing in your gas tank.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AirKuhl View Post
    from the McD's website:

    Chocolate Shake
    850 Calories, 19g Protein, 23g Fat, 141g Carbs, 380mg Sodium

    Ingredients:
    Milk, Sugar, Cream, Nonfat Milk Solids, Corn Syrup Solids, Mono- and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Dextrose, Sodium Citrate, Artificial Vanilla Flavor, Sodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Disodium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Cream, Nonfat Milk, Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mono-And Diglycerides, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 80, Beta Carotene, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Mixed Tocopherols, Nitrous Oxide, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Caramel Color, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Artificial Flavor (Vanillin), Red 40, cherries, water, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sulfur Dioxide.


    Sounds more like a chemistry experiment than food to me. If the food we eat is the fuel we use, then I'm pretty sure this is the equivalent of pissing in your gas tank.
    And 121g of sugar!


    That milkshake would negate your entire ride!

  8. #8
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    Those little sugar packets you see on the table in diners have about 3 grams of sugar in them, so this means the shake has about 40 sugar packets in it.

  9. #9
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    If I'm going to be gone riding a while I always pack a few non-alcoholic beers. When the fatigue kick in I'll stop for 5-10 min and drink one. Carbs and calories plus it's cold and tasty.

  10. #10
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    For morning rides I'll fry 2 eggs in olive oil, add a slice of toast and a bit of fruit (blueberries, dried figs or a banana). I like to train with a half+ full stomach so I'm used to it. For a later ride, I'll eat about half what I normally would (half a sandwich, half a chicken breast and some noodles, some salad), and the other half of the meal when I get done with the ride. I also typically ride with cytomax or similar in my bottle.
    Race morning I'll eat 3 eggs or so (less if it's an early race) usually in breakfast burrito form (a little ham, cheese in a tortilla), some hashbrowns (also in olive oil, w/ sea salt), and fruit. Figs or dried pineapple, or a cliff bar if I need a snack pre-race. Dried pineapple has a LOT of carbs per oz. Hammer Gels for mid race, the apple cinnamon tastes good warm mid race. After last race my wife had made egg salad sandwiches for me and my race friend, that was great afterwards and sat really well. I was going to eat half prior, but wasn't hungry enough. I also tried a package of Hammer Recoverite afterwards (long hard race) and I felt a lot better than I expected the next day.
    I've bonked enough times to know I really hate it, so I try to avoid having an empty stomach while riding hard.

  11. #11
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    Your whole fueling strategy may be contributing to your feeling tired after the ride. There are a couple of things to think about:

    1. Pre-ride: eat a good meal about 2 hours before your ride so that you are replenishing your glycogen stores and have time to digest it. Then, sip your sports drink before the ride top off your glycogen stores. My guess is that you are entering your ride with your glycogen stores already depleted.

    2. During ride: maintain a steady intake of calories...try to aim for 250 calories/hour if going longer than 2 hours. You can add up your sports drink + gels + whatever you use to arrive at this number, or just use an all in one fuel. With your

    3. Post ride: recover by replenishing your glycogen stores first by continuing to sip your energy drink for about a half hour. THEN, follow with the protein. A lot of folks make the mistake of taking protein right after their ride and this actually can inhibit the absorption of glucose (which is used to replenish your glycogen stores).

    Nuts (which are mostly fat) and granola bars probably contain enough calories, but the problem is that they take time and energy to break down into a usable form of energy (glucose).

    Hope this helps,
    Jenny
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  12. #12
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    In the morning I usually make a big egg white omelet with avocado, spinach, and cheese. Then I will have a piece of wheat toast with it as well. That keeps me filled for hours so during the ride i just drink a lot of water or sports drink. After the ride i will snack on almonds and walnuts with some crasins.

  13. #13
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    I'm in love with my month old NutriBullet. Great pre and post ride NutriBlasts and it really helps to keep up with balanced nutrition, especially for someone that forgets to eat their veggies and fruits regularly.

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    What about a bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager or a bottle of Guinness?? That should do the trick!!

  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    For longer rides I start with oatmeal for breakfast about 2-3 hrs before the start. If I have time I do steel cut oats but if not I do a quicker cooking version (just never instant which in my opinion shouldn't even be called oatmeal). Then I have a peanut butter sandwich right before the ride. No jelly for me - it's way too sweet for me. Then during the ride is where things get tricky for me. I have stomach issues so I have found out the hard way that solid foods are a struggle so I have had better luck with liquid or semi liquids like gels. For liquid calories I have been having good luck so far with e-fuel powder drink mix. It's not real sweet (I don't like sweet stuff) and then I load up on gels like crazy. I get sick of them during long rides but they keep my stomach from rebelling so that's what counts.

  17. #17
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    Oatmeal with a ripe banana 2 or 3 hours before. I take hammer stuff with me, and pace myself for longer rides. I don't race or train but try and ride 2 to 3 days a week if planning on a long ride.

  18. #18
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    Before a long ride I go with 5 pieces of bacon, two pieces of toast, a hash brown, oatmeal and maybe some corned beef hash. I eat that about two hours before I'm on the bike and I'm good other than a couple of Gu packets and maybe a granola bar during the ride.

  19. #19
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    whatever I can get my hands on... Pre ride nothing too heavy - carbs, maybe a sandwich. Afterwards usually go for protein and a salad. If I'm out with the in-laws (dad/bro) post ride is a cider+ale...

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  20. #20
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    Your whole fueling strategy may be contributing to your feeling tired after the ride. There are a couple of things to think about:

    1. Pre-ride: eat a good meal about 2 hours before your ride so that you are replenishing your glycogen stores and have time to digest it. Then, sip your sports drink before the ride top off your glycogen stores. My guess is that you are entering your ride with your glycogen stores already depleted.

    2. During ride: maintain a steady intake of calories...try to aim for 250 calories/hour if going longer than 2 hours. You can add up your sports drink + gels + whatever you use to arrive at this number, or just use an all in one fuel. With your

    3. Post ride: recover by replenishing your glycogen stores first by continuing to sip your energy drink for about a half hour. THEN, follow with the protein. A lot of folks make the mistake of taking protein right after their ride and this actually can inhibit the absorption of glucose (which is used to replenish your glycogen stores).

    Nuts (which are mostly fat) and granola bars probably contain enough calories, but the problem is that they take time and energy to break down into a usable form of energy (glucose).

    Hope this helps,
    Jenny[/QUOTE]

    This is the best advice on the page. Spot on!

  21. #21
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    I do two pieces of whole wheat toast with nutella, peanut butter, and honey two hours prior to race time. I will drink plenty of water and two cups of coffee. During the race I drink Skratch labs drink mix with GU packs every 15-30 min.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    what kind of food do you guys eat before a ride?

    I am tired of eating nuts, berry bars. it doesn't have enough energy for me.

    I become exhausted, and tired after a ride due to hunger
    It's not just what you eat before your ride. It's also your general diet, condition, and training. Eat well, push limits, stretch after and gains will come.
    Round and round we go

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Eat well regularly, make sure your diet is balanced.

    One of the things I like to eat is a foot long Club from subway loaded with spiniach, lettuce, tomatos, green peppers. onions, jalopeños, and brown mustard.

    While out I may rely on Naked Protein smoothies, or muscle milk (not recommended but sometimes it does the trick).

    Make sure u intake energy every 45min.

    When I did my Indy tour on my 29er that was 57 miles I had a huge breakfast, a veggie burger at lunch, beer, coffee...then 15 mikes later more beer... I was ripped full of energy that ride!!

    The weird thing is that the day before my energy was abysmal with crap handling and decision making which led to a crash. I think I simply didn't have enough caloric intake.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
    God not sure how you do that! I ate a footlong Subway Club a half hour before a 2 lap 12 mile single track ride and I was throwing up half hour into it..... No more Subs before riding for me!!
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  24. #24
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    Beer, cheetos, beef stick.
    So many trails... so little time...

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    I have found that as someone already mentioned that your regular diet is what is going to help you the most. This means eating real food, not processed garbage like fast food.

    Ever since I was forced to eat at chinese buffet for lunch due to office renovation instead of eating deli sandwiches, my athletic energy has greatly improved as well as losing weight. However, I eat very well rounded meals and don't load up too heavily in any one area.

    I also noticed that my hangovers are way less severe too lol.


    Quote Originally Posted by pattongb View Post
    God not sure how you do that! I ate a footlong Subway Club a half hour before a 2 lap 12 mile single track ride and I was throwing up half hour into it..... No more Subs before riding for me!!
    Yeah I've never had any problems with it, or anything else for that matter... although just before Barry Roubaix started that morning I felt like I wanted to barf up some of my bfast only because I ate way too much lol. Thankfully I ate 2 hours before the race started and was fine by the time my wave launched.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    Beer, cheetos, beef stick.
    I hope you're joking
    Round and round we go

  27. #27
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    Yeah, I'm joking. It is usually doritos and jerky.
    So many trails... so little time...

  28. #28
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    When I know Im going to be doing a lengthy run the next morning I may have a small bowl of pasta. And wash that down with water.

    In the morning i have either a Gatorade or water and a piece of toast and a orange. I might take a red bull with me too. As well as a pack of shot blocks

  29. #29
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    I tried this recipe from Brendan Brazier as a pre ride snack and was charged for 4 hours of riding... only had to supplement with a Mrs. May's Trio bar midway through the ride... it may sound weird but it tastes great too! he calls it Energy Pudding:

    2 bananas
    1/2 cup of dates
    1/4 cup of ground flax seed
    1/4 cup roasted carob powder
    1 tbsp coconut oil
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1/4 tsp sea salt

    combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth

  30. #30
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    ^^^^ btw that is 2 servings. you can put it in the fridge and it keeps for a couple of days but its best to eat fresh

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    I'm in love with my month old NutriBullet. Great pre and post ride NutriBlasts and it really helps to keep up with balanced nutrition, especially for someone that forgets to eat their veggies and fruits regularly.
    just picked one up myself if you don't mind me asking what nutriblasts do you drink before and after ? there is plenty of choices of course but i was just looking for a head start from someone who has tried a few already any help is appreciated T.I.A
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 05kas05 View Post
    just picked one up myself if you don't mind me asking what nutriblasts do you drink before and after ? there is plenty of choices of course but i was just looking for a head start from someone who has tried a few already any help is appreciated T.I.A
    If I pre-ride blast, I typically do the conventional Spinach/Kale, pineapple, apple, banana, with a handful of cashews, and then use Almond Milk.

    My post-ride Blast that I always do about 30-45 minutes after a ride is Vanilla flavored Cytosport Whey protein (27g), along with pineapple, 1/2 apple, a few rasberries, and I'll throw in some different boosts like almonds, chia seeds, pepita seeds, cacao, or whatever sounds good at the moment. Again, I'm pretty much always using Almond Milk as the liquid in my Blasts. The Whey powder causes the blast to be very voluminous. It fluffs up and thickens the drink so that is the reason for no banana and a bit less fruit content. It's an excellent recovery drink.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennyv View Post
    Your whole fueling strategy may be contributing to your feeling tired after the ride. There are a couple of things to think about:

    1. Pre-ride: eat a good meal about 2 hours before your ride so that you are replenishing your glycogen stores and have time to digest it. Then, sip your sports drink before the ride top off your glycogen stores. My guess is that you are entering your ride with your glycogen stores already depleted.

    2. During ride: maintain a steady intake of calories...try to aim for 250 calories/hour if going longer than 2 hours. You can add up your sports drink + gels + whatever you use to arrive at this number, or just use an all in one fuel. With your

    3. Post ride: recover by replenishing your glycogen stores first by continuing to sip your energy drink for about a half hour. THEN, follow with the protein. A lot of folks make the mistake of taking protein right after their ride and this actually can inhibit the absorption of glucose (which is used to replenish your glycogen stores).

    Nuts (which are mostly fat) and granola bars probably contain enough calories, but the problem is that they take time and energy to break down into a usable form of energy (glucose).

    Hope this helps,
    Jenny
    This is excellent information, thanks for sharing. One spot I'm struggling to nail down is the post workout protein and meals. Is it good to load up on some carbs as well? Or should the meal really just be focused on protein? Thanks in advance.

  34. #34
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    I eat nothing within three hours prior to racing/hard training, only hydrate. Once started, I gradually consume about 200-250 calories per hour of maltodextrin mixed in my water bottles. For races longer than 2 hours, I will have around 10% of these calories come from added soy protein powder. My fluid needs are lower than most people, so if I feel over-hydrated, I carry a few gels as well.

    Eating the morning before a ride has much less of an impact on your glycogen stores than the habit of properly refuling following each workout.

  35. #35
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    My bigger rides and races are usually morning starts so for breakfast I'll have a bowl of oatmeal (1/2 cup dry measure + 1.5 cups water + a few tbsp of ground flax + fruit of some sort, either frozen blueberries, or fresh fruit which is better) maybe an hour before the race, then more like 20 min I'll eat a banana, all while drinking plenty. My plan is to have to take a pee right before the start, that's usually a good sign of hydration level.

    I sweat gobs, so I have trouble staying hydrated for really long efforts (nearly every long event I've been in I've ended up cramping). I am very conscious about sodium level in my drink (Skratch Labs) and gels (I like powerbar which has ~300mg per packet). I keep telling myself I'll get better at this, and I have gotten better, but not great. I trust aid stations too much to have something salty enough for me, so now I carry my own drink mix or at least fast-food salt packets I can add to a bottle if I want to.

    I prefer real food on the bike (rice cakes/balls, pbj sandwich, etc) but those are so hard to eat on a mtn bike (road bike I can like dine with silverware if I wanted, ha!), squirting a gel in your mouth takes seconds so often times I'll opt for that. I like the PowerBar gels and some of the Stinger (but most stinger are so sweet!), the Clif ones are like glue to me and so are the GU ones. I tried the PowerBar chews once and nearly choked while riding, do not try to eat something that gummy while you are working really hard and gasping for air.

    There are some interesting points in the book 'Get Fast' from Velopress (written by some lady) about carb loading. Basically why does everyone automatically associate carbs with breads and pasta, that is starch loading, if you were really carb loading you'd be eating carrots, potatoes, kale, squash...which is what she recommends. I'm vegetarian so I eat gobs of vegetables on a daily basis anyway and I usually just up that amount a few days before any event, to make sure I'm topped off nutrition-wise (and ofcourse nutrition is much more than just calories).

    I like to practice my race-day eating when I'm just out riding on a weekday, it makes me feel more like it's a legit ride, so I'll actually think about how many bottles I need to go through and when, and what order I'll eat these gels in, and then at least think about it afterwards and possibly write myself notes about what worked well and what was horrible.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 802spokestoke View Post
    This is excellent information, thanks for sharing. One spot I'm struggling to nail down is the post workout protein and meals. Is it good to load up on some carbs as well? Or should the meal really just be focused on protein? Thanks in advance.
    I'm an advocate of having a well balanced meal all the time. Carbs come in many forms from the starches that we traditionally think of to citrus fruits and peas, beans and corn. You can get your protein through a recovery drink, or just as part of your meal that is protein focused, but I would still include some carbs. One caveat: if you are following metabolic efficiency training then you probably wouldn't include many carbs (dang...no beer!).

    As a datapoint, protein recommendations for endurance athletes are 1.2 to 1.4 g per kilogram of body weight per day, whereas those for resistance and strength-trained athletes may be as high as 1.6 to 1.7 g per kilogram of body weight per day.
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  37. #37
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    Another question I have. Would raisins make a good snack when you feel energy dropping off a bit?

  38. #38
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    Another thing I have to ask. I only drink a red bull when biking ( dont drink them any othe time ) I find that when I drink one I have to pee alot, would the higher caffeine in them do that? especially on a semi empty stomach and drinking more water while on the trail

  39. #39
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    Sure, raisins are good.
    Don't have a medical or scientific explanation or proof, but coffee makes me pee alot. Haven't had red bulls too often because the upside is useful but the downside/crash is not.
    Round and round we go

  40. #40
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    Coffee is diuretic, it's quite normal

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rendisha View Post
    Coffee is diuretic, it's quite normal
    To be more general I think most consider caffeine to be a dieretic. I never drink coffee but will drink 5 hr energy or take caffeine tablets before a tough outing and have noticed the same thing.

  42. #42
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    First of all A carb is a carb is a carb, I don't care if it comes from a carrot, a peice of bread, or a sugar packet it is a carb and will eventually be broken down into glucose, it may take a different path there but it will be turned into glucose. The type of carb has more to do with digestive sensitivity and the glycemic load (glycemic index along with total amount of glucose in the food) leading to the insulin/glucagon response. Further the insulin response to simple sugars can be thrown out the window during exercise, there is a completely different response which happens then. Don't get me wrong I am not saying replace a bag of carrots with a few sugar packets, I am a big promoter of eating whole foods, non processed.

    For the OP if you are looking for energy make sure you eat carbs to fuel your ride starting about 2 hours before the ride then little amounts leading into the ride. Depending on what you can deal with have some but not too much fibre as that slows digestion and may sit in your stomach well into the ride. I have always been good eating berries, banana's before riding and racing but this past weekend I had some pineapple before a pretty hard race and that all came back out after the race looking pretty much the same as it went in so not to pleasant.
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  43. #43
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    Mistakenly had a wee snack just prior to today's ride... it caused grief for 30 mins or so...
    to err is human... to face plant is frickin hilarious!!

  44. #44
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    If I'm riding during the week its in the afternoon, so I don't really do anything special. My typical routine is:
    5:30 am- Strawberry smoothie with greek yogurt and 20-30g of protein.
    9:30 am- 3/4 cup of oatmeal with raisins and protein shake.
    Noon- Chicken breast or tuna (no mayo in "tuna salad", just dill pickle relish and franks buffalo sauce), grapes, baby carrots and hummus or half an avocado, sometimes a couple almonds.
    4:00- Single piece of wheat bread, either peanut butter or almond butter and honey. This is the time I get home, so I'm either on the bike or at the gym shortly after.
    After ride- 30ish gram Protein shake with ice water to drink while loading up to go home.
    After shower- chicken/steak, various vegetables.

    If riding first thing in the morning, i'll do one cup of oatmeal with raisins. I'm not crazy about cliff bars or Gu. I'll pack some Fig Newtons in my jersey pocket. Much easier to eat on the bike. I'll have one bottle with water and the other is a various electrolyte mix. Weekly rides I don't bring any food with me, everything I've eaten during the day works great.

    Old thread, but figured I'd add to it since it was bumped.
    Livin' the dream.

  45. #45
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    I would always go with some club sandwiches along with orange juice

  46. #46
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    Chorizo and potato burrito. Favorite mornin ride starter.
    Maybe a banana at the trailhead.

  47. #47
    Training for the Darwin's
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    It really depends on the time of ride and duration. I commute three times a week and try to start the day with a couple fried eggs, whole wheat toast or a toasted bagel with jam a yogurt and a cup of coffee (finished up at least 30 minutes prior to riding). Sounds like a lot but work is 17.5 miles (the short way) and I don't want to a. bonk or b. be hungry all day because I skipped protein. I normally eat lunch pretty early and it's usually a sandwich with lots of protein (meat), raw veggies and fruit. If I'm just going on a ride I'll try to hit some carbs and proteins an hour before I leave. If I'm riding much longer than an hour I'll eat a cliff bar (or similar thing) around the hour thirty mark. When I bonk it's almost always too much caffeine, too little water or both.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  48. #48
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    noodles
    banana
    peanut butter sandwich
    cup of coffee
    PIVOT

  49. #49
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    For morning rides, I always get up and have a cup of coffee and a greek yogurt. That seems to work well for a 1-2 hour ride and I usually take a small snickers with me. I also like Egg McMuffins or small breakfast burritos.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  50. #50
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    Stay away from MCDs. Their milkshakes aren't that good either way. If you so much want a shake, make your own fruity shake/smoothie.

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