long ride nutrition- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    long ride nutrition

    just recently been getting into doing longer rides. for me that is 25+ miles with the goal of making it to 50 at some point. i did 26 miles this past sat and it took me about three hour, i goofed up big time on nutrition and want to do it right so i don't pass out in the woods. i had two balance bars for breakfast and one two hours into the ride and drank about 1.5-2 liters of water. i carry a camelpack with me so i can carry whatever necessary. what is a good guidline to follow when i am out there? i am not looking to break any speed records, so stopping for a couple minutes to eat something is fine. i usually have to check my gps anyways to make sure i am on the right path still. any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Well, as you'll hear from others, you'll have to experiment to see what works for you. But about 300 calories an hour is a good starting point.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva
    Well, as you'll hear from others, you'll have to experiment to see what works for you. But about 300 calories an hour is a good starting point.
    What he said. I've done up to 50 off road and 60 on road with nothing special really. I eat breakfast (usually peanut butter and jelly's) then pack a few power bars with me. I try to eat a lot of callories the night before (usally pasta of some kind). I think it has more to do with just getting use the mileage than anything. I can do 30 to 40 basically whenever, as long as I'm going at my pace and not trying to keep up with anyone else. I do put gator ade in my hydration pack instead of water. More calories, and it has salt in it. I also pack a few power gels to help with cramps if i get any.

  4. #4
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    Not knowing your physiology we can only guess.

    Here are my thoughts assuming you want to go at less than race pace but above casual cruise.

    Drink more. On a 3 hour ride I will drain a 100 oz bladder. I drink @ every 10 minutes.

    On a short duration, <3 hrs, I run water with gu blocks every 1/2-1 hour. I don't find I need solid food for shorter rides. I finish a ride with a recovery drink.

    On longer rides, or shorter high intensity rides, I add one lg bottle of electrolyte energy drink. I alternate water and energy drink. I will eat a bar @ 1 1/2 hrs in and then a piece of a bar @ each hour after that.

    Finding food and supplemental drinks that work for you is an experimental process. Some people do well with protien based supplements others not so well. Read the contents of the bars and supplements you use. Keep track of the types of sugars, protiens and carbs you use and what feels best.

    HTH
    Tight + Twisty = Tasty
    Earn your turns!

  5. #5
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    electrolyte drink is a good addition i think. i am going to throw that in my bottle cage and i will make sure to eat a real breakfast this time. are you guys eating the bars on the go or do you stop to eat them. my pace is somewhere inbetween race and casual. granted i am only a cat 3 guy so my race pace isn't that impressive to begin with. maybe i can time my eatin and bottle drinking to the small pieces of road(probably only a couple hundred yards. i figure the more efficient i can be at this it could in the long run make a 5.5 hour 50 miles ride take 5 even. not that i am looking for speed but being done faster means i am eating less also.

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    I did 32 miles the other day on just a bottle of water, and a cliff bar before the ride, so maybe I'm not the best example. But try some Cliff shot blocks, and maybe try some of the hammer drinks. I raced a 50 mile endurance race with only a cliff bar, and a bottle of heed. So I think finding what works for you is the most important.

  7. #7
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    on rides I shoot for no less than 400 calories per hour and typically do 500+, I eat a powerbar or similar per hour plus drink about one scoop of accellerade and supplement with honey to make up the balance.

    Everyone is different, ramp your calories up until you start to not feel good on a ride because you are eating too much then back off a little.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrftc
    on rides I shoot for no less than 400 calories per hour and typically do 500+.....Everyone is different, ramp your calories up until you start to not feel good on a ride because you are eating too much then back off a little.
    Wow that's a heck of a lot of calories per hour. I wish I could handle that much but much north of 290-300 per hr I start to get GI issues. Like you said...everyone is different, so I think the previous suggestion of starting to target 275-300 cal per hr and 21-28oz H2O an hr is a good start and then work from there. I did a fair amount of research years ago when I had nutrition disaster in a triathlon. There is some good nutrition info on Hammer's site. You just need to wade through some of the supplement "hard sell". I love Hammer stuff and use to use it exclusively but the money you can spend on all their supplements is ridiculous. I think their core products are solid and still use Heed on most of my rides.

    In my case I'm 100% liquid nutrition (except in rare cases)...21-24 oz per hr Heed for any training rides under 3-4 hrs with some Nuun if it's hot out & then Infinit Nutrition custom blend for training & races north of 4 hrs. A lot of guys here in CO are using Carborocket...nvr tried it myself but it's pretty popular with the Endurance race crowd.

  9. #9
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    i like solid food on the bike for training rides that are longer.

    this past weekend when i did a 5hr MTB ride i had...

    Pure Bars http://thepurebar.com/

    Fruit Leathers http://www.stretchislandfruit.com/

    and a Honey Stinger Waffle http://www.honeystinger.com/

    in my jersey pocket.

    I also had EFS http://www.firstendurance.com/ in one of the two bottles I carried. Though I didn't this time, I sometimes bring extra drink mix in a ziplock so that I have a second bottle when I refill them. It was a cool day, so I went through only four bottles of fluids.
    Try to be good.

  10. #10
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    It is hard for me to eat a lot on the bike so I make sure I eat a big breakfast. I usally make a burrito that consists of burrito potatoes from the frozen section, bacon or sausage, a couple of eggs and veggies. For me by eating a big breakfast I only need to consume about 200 cal's and hour for a 4 hour ride.
    2 Balance bars just cannot cut it for me. By experimenting, I know this works for myself.

  11. #11
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    What works for me:
    On longer training rides, I've found that I typically do well at about 300 cal/hr, with a drink mix that has a small amount of protein (about 6 gms per hour). If I am at higher intensities, like racing, I prefer a straight carb mix. I generally like all liquid nutrition, unless I got some time to take a lunch break mid-ride, which is rare. Although, rides longer than 5-6 hrs, which are generally at lower zones, sometimes my body starts craving some solid food.
    For the mountain bike, if it is longer than three hours, I tend to carry a couple multi-hour bottles of mix (in other words, drinks mixed at 2 or 3 x strength) and get religious about how much I drink every 15 min, and then back it up with straight water in the camelback. On the road, I just bring straight 1-hr bottles, at least 3 of them, and extra mix to make mid-ride at a convenience store or water fountain.
    If you start experimenting with more than about 250-300 cal/hr, make sure you are drinking extra water. Otherwise the concentration in your gut gets too strong, and your body dumps water back into your gut for digestion, leading to dehydration. Dehydration can wipe you out faster than hypoglycemia. Most studies have shown that sports drink concentrations stronger than 6-8% actually slow absorption of H2O. Hammer claims that their maltodextrin only based drinks can be made stronger, but I haven't seen research to back that up. This also applies to adding solid food or gels, they both need water to digest. For every gel, you need about a half a bottle of water to stay below that 6-8% concentration.

  12. #12
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    i think i am one of the people that needs some type of solid to eat during a ride. going to eat a good breakfast this time. bring three bars for the ride with a gatorade in the bottle cage and 2l+ of water in my camepac. i think i might ride somewhere else this weekend as my place i want to ride could be really muddy so my new place will allow me to stop by the car if need be to grab another gatorade and more water.

    i have never been one to cramp up and i didn't cramp last week at all. the best way i can describe it is i ran out of gas. i was literally pedaling on the street in the granny ring and my legs would barely move the bike. i thought for sure the next two days i would be wicked soar but i wasn't at all which leads me to believe i just didn't give myself enough fuel.

    thanks for all the tips my goal is 300cal an hour with the bars and gatorade and we'll see how that goes.

  13. #13
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    gave it another whirl today. 29 miles just about 4 hours. place was super wet and slippery rocks and roots, plus i was on my specialized pitch which isn't known for it's speed. aside from me going a little slower i felt great. had a good breakfast, a granola bar at each hour, and a cliff bar at the last hour, drank a portion of my gatorade at each hour break too. could have kept on going but i didn't want to push my luck i should have picked the pace up a bit but was to affraid of what happened last week. thanks for all the advice i feel like i am really getting a handle on what i need to do to meet my 50 mile mark.

  14. #14
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    There is some good info on the Hammer website about general guidelines for calorie and fluid consumption. Use it as a starting point and tailor it to what works for you. I like First Ensurance, cliff blocks, and bananas. The important thing is to have steady, consistent calorie and fluid intake. On long rides you simply can't replenish all the calories and fluid you will lose, I used to make the mistake of trying to take in too much.

  15. #15
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    Per Hammer's advice, I skip b-fast if there is less than 3 hours before the ride/race starts. I just eat a hammer gel right before. The glycogen stored in your muscles should be enough to "bridge the nutrition gap". For rides under 2 hours, a combo of HEED, water and Hammer Gel is good for me (about 250 cal per hour max.) For longer rides I use Perpetuem, HEED, Hammer Gel and water. The danger I get into is trying to keep up or catch up with what I think should be my calorie intake and then I get some GI issues. Your body needs far less calories than you'd think - less is better than more! If you are running out of energy your energy source is probably not ideal rather than the number of calories being low.

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