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  1. #1
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    How important is post ride nutrition?

    I'm often not hungry after a 2 hour ride or 45 minute intense boot camp style workout. Does having a smoothie right after help that much with recovery or am I fine waiting an 1-3 hours until I get more hungry?

  2. #2
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    As long as you aren't in danger of running out of glycogen, which would result in a bonk (brain begins to not function properly, likely having trouble keeping eyes open and focused), you can have your recovery meal many hours beyond your workout without any detriment.

    The intense boot camp style workout sounds like it would also need protein. As little as 25g of high quality protein (e.g. milk) is enough for an adult.

    When you eat enough at once, you trigger an insulin spike, which acts as an anti-catabolic. Your body goes from a catabolic (converting energy) state to an anabolic state (biosynthesis, using fuel to rebuild your body). You essentially stop the fat-burn and start packing on mass.

    If your goal is to get cut, getting leaner, you can delay a meal. The time it takes to get home, get hygiene in order, prepare a meal, do some chores before it gets dark, mingle with family, etc. can all be done before you eat. When you are in a fasted state, your body is more efficient at absorbing nutrients anyways.

    Lab tests regarding the "anabolic window" for resistance training regiments have concluded that there's no difference between eating within 30 minutes of a workout and 3 hours. They actually found that subjects absorbed more after 3 hours (fasted state).

    What's proven to be beneficial is that sipping an energy drink containing glucose, sucrose, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium offers performance enhancing benefits that will allow you to perform intensely enough to promote adequate muscular hypertrophy that will build back stronger. It essentially allows you to push your limits, in contrast to subjects who pace themselves to their perceived stamina levels. The key is to sip in regular intervals, as you do not want to consume so much that you trigger an insulin spike, nor take away blood flow from the body to aid in digestion.

    In other words, what matters most for us part-time athletes is our workout quality. The only ones who I'd be worried about, regarding recovery, are the "train-a-holics" that don't take any rest days unless you force them to. Normal folks worrying about recovery are just being scared into spending, as if they're losing their workout without it. It's ironic that they are losing their workouts with what they're choosing to consume. I'd criticize their compromised-hygiene habits too. Their self-reporting is often notoriously inaccurate too. Can reduce the amount of work we need to do to undo eating unhealthy, by being more careful with what we eat. Chocolate milk, bananas, etc. are all paid marketing by their respective industries, which then gets parroted by the people who bought into it...

    I learned this all from researching stuff in a thread I made earlier (links to scientific papers)... http://forums.mtbr.com/nutrition-hyd...n-1091212.html

  3. #3
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    I appreciate your research, ninjichor, but I'm not too sure on that energy drink part. Just one study butů

    Even just one energy drink can harm your blood vessels, study suggests
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I appreciate your research, ninjichor, but I'm not too sure on that energy drink part. Just one study butů

    Even just one energy drink can harm your blood vessels, study suggests
    Caffeine laden energy drink: monster, redbull... xD

    Blood vessel dilation increases blood pressure for the same heart rate, but a number of those ingredients also increase your heart rate like caffeine. I think that's just a warning for sedentary people. When you workout, your blood vessels expand. That's why when you immediately come to a stop after an intense effort, it's hard to keep your head up, since there's not enough blood pressure to push blood to your head due to your blood vessels being too expanded for a slowing heart rate.

    This is the kind of energy drink I am referring to:

    How important is post ride nutrition?-3252_source_1530553107.jpg

    Hammer Nutrition, Skratch Labs, take your pick. They allow you to workout more intensely. If you don't push your limits, you plateau.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Caffeine laden energy drink: monster, redbull... xD

    This is the kind of energy drink I am referring to:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hammer Nutrition, Skratch Labs, take your pick. They allow you to workout more intensely. If you don't push your limits, you plateau.
    Ahh, got it. I thought it was odd you would recommend those. We probably need a different name for those to avoid confusion. Those are usually referred to as Recovery Drinks, aren't they?
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ahh, got it. I thought it was odd you would recommend those. We probably need a different name for those to avoid confusion. Those are usually referred to as Recovery Drinks, aren't they?
    Hmm, no wonder a buddy of mine keeps trying to give it a new name. I call it an energy drink and ever since I've been sharing it, he's been trying to call it go-go juice, or even anabolic steroid... *eye roll* (I don't buy/drink Monster, Redbull, 5-hour energy, etc., so I didn't see that connection)

    The recovery drinks are a different formula, containing less glucose/simple sugars and containing other nutrients intended to replenish, such as protein and complex carbs. These aren't readily absorbed into the blood stream and require digestion to break them down. Sugar (glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc.) would simply be stored as fat/triglyceride if found in excess; this includes sugar from healthy sources like fruit, which are healthy more for their fiber, vitamins, and various other nutrients.

    The pictured one is called Endurance drink, intended to be consumed during the exercise. It helps keep glycogen levels high, to prevent the bonk, and allow you to push harder than you otherwise would have without such a hydration strategy. Without the electrolytes, electrical signals from the brain won't correctly flow through the nervous system to the muscles--it's been long suspected that cramps are due to "misfired" signals due to lack of electrolytes.

    P.S. you can make your own "endurance drink" from the basic ingredients, which you can get all from amazon. Can figure out the proportions to the formula by just comparing nutrition fact labels. I personally copied the Tailwind Formula minus the sea salt (using plain sodium chloride and sodium citrate to meet the sodium ratio), and used calcium citrate instead inf calcium carbonate, since it seemed to match the research reports better.

  7. #7
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    Great info. Thanks guys!

  8. #8
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    ninjichor's post is good. Workout quality matters is really important. As for post ride recovery, you don't have to eat ride away but it doesn't hurt to either. If I ride more than 1 hour or spend more than 10 minutes in zone 5, I usually eat some gummi bears, or take a sugary drink. I may have some ice cream. Not because I have to because I love that stuff and I avoid it most other times. But that post ride window is a good time to indulge and not suffer bad consequences. Been doing this now for years and it has not caused any gain in body fat %. Of course, I am not taking in excess calories either, but if you are, then too much sugar could stimulate body fat. But I eat mostly a whole foods diet so getting excess calories is difficult.

  9. #9
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    midwest, I'm honestly worried that you endorsed a cheat meal, saying it doesn't hurt due to having it during a small time window. I'd question the fundamental reasons behind this claim.

    Some people just don't know how careful you are with everything else to know how much planned effort it takes to offset it. Mentioning whole foods is kind of vague; I suspect that it means you seriously abstain from junk food during any other time, and that your "cheat meal" isn't exactly that unhealthy (yogurt, chocolate, etc.), especially compared to another person's snack (e.g. bag of chips) or deep fried comfort food. Genetics are suspected to have a role in it too--there are some who find it hard to get lean and high muscle density who must be that much more disciplined to see results, while others pack on mass, whether it be muscle or fat, quite easily.



    All I can generally add to this thread is that your results reflect your routine.

    Nurture your body carefully and observe the feedback loop. Those who do those periodic body selfies after putting themselves on a new routine, are essentially performing science on their own body. Hypothesizing that they can get such a result through such actions, and putting the theory to the test, observing the results. Example: 100 pushups a day for a month, observing before and after, and (re)discovering the plateau effect.

    By opening yourself up to a question like the one the OP brought up, you unlock the door to the path of progression. We passively half-ass stuff for the sake of efficiency, simplicity, and stability. It got us through daily challenges before acceptably and, if nothing changes, it'll get us through another. This is closed-mindedness, filtering out all the data that's not needed to do stuff at an adequate competency level, which puts you on a path of "linear growth" or even regression. For the sake of progression, open yourself up and question things fundamentally.

    It's hard to sense small gradual changes, so if you want a noticeably progressive result, the best thing I can think of that you can do is make a new core value to support it--something like a code of honor in which you put pride, effort, and joy into, since you believe it'll result in something great. If you do this, it won't be a matter of discipline, but a matter of way-of-life.

  10. #10
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    Personally having ridden for 50 years I find on the road bike I need a decent meal after say 40-50 fast miles---less than that I do not. On the mountain bike a 2 hour ride I find I do not need to worry and just eat when hungry----longer then the same as the road bike.

    For 1 hour no matter how hard I do not bother----it simply does not affect me after say 10 minutes----

    I think you find what works but in general the longer the effort the more the need---but i see NO reason to spend a bunch of money on sports drinks which have millions in marketing to convince folks to spend tons on non natural food---

    Racers may be different but us strong rec guys can just find what works

  11. #11
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    Ninjichor, I gave the context for when I eat my post ride "cheat meals" 1. intense glycogen burning workout and/or long duration. 2. Eating a "whole foods diet" which most people in this day and age who pay attention to nutrition at all have a general understanding of. And I even mentioned the elephant in the room (which you haven't touched on at all) which is that one has to avoid chronic excess calorie consumption, which is far more harmful than having a handful of gummy bears or ice cream post workout by someone who has balanced energy input/output.

    Since you are focusing on "part-time" athletes, then the single biggest factor that keeps people from thriving is adherence. Adding complexity and minutiae does not help. Telling someone to make their own energy drink does not help. Telling them that they have to get it all right or they lack discipline or are closed minded does not help. If you are talking to world cup racers, fine, go at it. But most people fall inside of two standard deviations on the bell curve where the 80-20 rule is far effective than "creating codes of honor" and pretending to be a gladiator. This usually leads to one quitting or acquiring a eating disorder.

  12. #12
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    @midwestmtb Where you wrote "does not help", should instead read "may not help." You're pre-judging a suggestion from your closed-minded point of view.

    Different people find different value in the such suggestions. To me, the suggestions allow me to understand nutrition and how it affects my body to a fine degree, being able to quantify what I'm putting in my body for any given quantity serving. I only have to figure out this stuff once. After that, it becomes routine as I repeat the steps. I expect that people would be interested in at least reading nutrition fact labels on the different formulas, and perhaps checking what each ingredient does, if they already don't know, verifying my claims of how it helps.

    A code of honor is not necessarily something militant or chivalrous. It is something that makes you an unique individual. I used it as a way to describe a core value. Examples: show up x minutes early. Don't cheat. Be eager to face challenges. Wake up early enough to have breakfast and prepare for the day. Don't procrastinate. Be a little more polite than the average person. Don't treat children like they're overly dependent on adults. Don't assume people are stupid. Treat others how you'd like to be treated. Don't look away and ignore bad behavior. Don't shame problems and those committing them, help solve them. Don't waste water. Try to reduce, reuse, recycle. Think of preserving things for future generations. Don't ruin public land for others... the list goes on. These core values are the components of a personal philosophy, like the stepping stones of a path in life (one of many possible paths), or even the "rules" that businesses make themselves follow to uphold a slogan/reputation. I'm suggesting that someone can make it their image, that they are health-conscious in a specific way, rather than make it a pie-in-the-sky wish that they need to maintain motivation for.

    You demonstrated poor understanding/comprehension of what I've written, and I opted to correct things so my point got through clearly. That's all, so don't make things so personal. I don't care to question your claim, nor care about you. I care for sharing knowledge, over misinformation, for those that visit this thread.



    Everyone knows that they should have daily meals for energy. They may have been raised to have a meal before and after work, and a meal mid-way through their job/school hours. This thread was made because someone opened up to the idea that rides need nutrition afterwards.

    My entire point downplays the importance to be simple glycogen replenishment, in which the timing doesn't matter. I then focus on how to better spend your effort to get more potential gains from your rides: making the ride itself a better workout, with a nutrition/hydration strategy.

    I followed up with a generalization that sort of basically said that people get complacent, commending the act of asking such questions being a way to attaining progress, but implying that they should not overly focus on attaining "micro gains", but instead aim for "macro gains". Micro gains would be like upgrading your cranks or rear hub to something luxurious, while a macro gain would be spending the same resources on something with far more potential gain like a trip to a destination riding area.

    Look at this all in another way: You burn 700-900 calories in 1 hr of mtb depending on your pace (calculated for an average weight male adult). You can take that into consideration in your nutritional needs, after the ride, but are your rides always timed? I'm suggesting that it's simpler to replenish those calories during the ride, sipping an "endurance drink" at regular intervals, at a rate proportional to your riding needs.

  13. #13
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    It depends. Depends on the ride, your state after the ride(which often has a lot to do with your state before the ride), and the frequency of your rides.

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    Ninjichor, I respect your knowledge but using words like "closed minded" repeatedly, mansplaining with dense paragraphs and then not seeing context in other people's post while accusing them of being rigid, while asking people to not take it personally suggests a level of tone deafness in your forum interaction.

    Imo if you are giving out general advice to people out on the internet, you should seek to do the least amount of damage to "avg people" who tend to cluster around the meaty part of the distribution. If you know them personally, then by all means customize the advice. But if you don't, keep it simple and focus on macro gains (talking about hormonal issues, fat storage of different drink compositions without talking about basic caloric regularities is chasing the micro rather than the macro). If people ask you for details, then provide it.

    Also, what YOU need is also possibly very different from what an avg person needs.
    You sound like you are an outlier (in a good way) so digging into more details probably works great for you. But for many people, it would just be overwhelming. It was nice that you summarized your suggestion but there is so much micro detail, it was hard to find.

    As for misinformation, nothing I have said is controversial among mainstream trainers and nutritionists. Sure if you pull out an isolated statement like "eat more ice cream" it can be taken out of context. But it is consistent with 80/20 type thinking which is becoming much more common rather than regimented dieting philosophies of the past due to major adherence problems at the population level.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I'm often not hungry after a 2 hour ride or 45 minute intense boot camp style workout. Does having a smoothie right after help that much with recovery or am I fine waiting an 1-3 hours until I get more hungry?
    I'm sure there are a million responses. My experience comes from riding with a member of the US National team and even their guidelines have changed over the years. I think the best advice I can give based on that experience is this. For muscle repair after a hard ride, replacing protein in your system as soon as possible is best for muscle recovery. Unless you plan on successive ride days, you can generally worry about glycogen replacement later. On the other hand, if you're doing multiple day rides or successive training rides, getting some carbs going as soon as possible is important too. Regardless of your riding plans, hydration is key.
    Unicycle, promoting unity and cycling by being hard to ride since 1866.

  16. #16
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    ^^^Yeah. Depends on your goals, but if it's to get fitter and stronger, recovery is when that happens. The hard workout stresses and breaks things down. Recovery repairs and builds them back stronger than before ("training effect"), so it's important not to compromise recovery. It doesn't take a lot, just a some protein and carbs within an hour or so of the workout.


    The inflammation response is a normal part of recovery. NSAIDS suppress inflammation and can interfere with the overcompensation during recovery so should normally be avoided unless there's an injury or some other issue.
    Do the math.

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