Eating on the bike

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Gazza81
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Eating on the bike

Postby Gazza81 » 5 Mar 2018, 9:13pm

So as my miles are going up and my rides are getting longer im starting to think about eating while im out.

Im doing about 20miles at the moment which takes about 1.5hrs, should i be eating or drinking anything other than water?

Ive singed up for my first event in april, 35miles and im trying to get it all dialed in

Im thinking along the lines of first hr nothing but water, second hr a bottle of lucazade and third hr start eating jelly babbies 2 every 20mins? Sound ok? Overkill?

Any advice much appreciated

brynpoeth
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby brynpoeth » 5 Mar 2018, 9:19pm

Have porridge for breakfast, slow-release carbohydrates
Velocio wrote: eat before you are hungry, drink before you are thirsty
Best to take sandwiches, flapjack etc in case you get hungry
Quite different in summer, then drinking plenty is very important

Water is good, fruit juice. I do not believe in Sports Drinks. Other opinions are available
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SmilerGB
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Eating on the bike

Postby SmilerGB » 5 Mar 2018, 9:43pm

Sports drinks like lucazade are not ideal.

You should be drinking electrolyte drinks & as you increase your ride effort or distance you should look in to drinks with carbs or gels.

I personally use sis products
There’s a lot of info on there site to help choose/explain the products.

https://www.scienceinsport.com/uk/
Last edited by SmilerGB on 5 Mar 2018, 9:43pm, edited 1 time in total.
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whoof
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby whoof » 5 Mar 2018, 9:59pm

If you are doing 20 miles in 1 1/2 hours then you are probably looking at about 3 hours for 35 miles. For this amount of time something to eat to keep your energy levels up sounds reasonable. Sports drinks, gels and energy bars all have their place and can make for convenient easy to process sources of energy. However, that place is mostly racing and those simulating racing caning it to meet a difficult to obtain target in a sportive.
I would suggest a good breakfast, probably not a fry-up and then in the first hour something savoury such as a sandwich then maybe a banana and or dried fruit and carry something sweet, muesli bar, jelly babies for final hour or if you feel you really want something sugary. As for drinking, I'd go for little and often and personally haven't used anything other than water or tea since I stopped racing.
The final thing to note is everyone is different what one person can happily eat feels like having eaten an anvil to someone else. Try out different things well before your event and you will find what works for you.

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mjr
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby mjr » 5 Mar 2018, 10:04pm

SmilerGB wrote:Sports drinks like lucazade are not ideal.

You should be drinking electrolyte drinks & as your ride effort or distance you should look in to drinks with carbs or gels.

Firstly, Lucozade doesn't contain much sugar any more so isn't as useful a drink.

Secondly, I drink water and eat real food instead of processed sports junk food that upsets many stomachs. Flapjacks are pretty good, but mix it up.

Eta: whoof's written a good reply.
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 5 Mar 2018, 10:17pm

Hi,
If you are new to cycling / not that fit then your body will run out of energy at about 1.5 - 2hrs.
As said eat some food before the ride, not so much as to make you uncomfortable.
Only drink pure water if you are also eating food (sandwiches - flap jack - cereal bars - bananas)
If you don't eat whilst drinking just water, then salts don't get replenished and might feel lethargic at end and the rest of day.

Eat some food before you go and try to eat some basic food sandwiches and flapjacks.......before you start on energy drinks and gels etc.
You will be just fine.
Try to drink at least 1/2 a litre every hour, if it sloshes in your stomach, then drink a little less, warm day drink liberally as long as you are eating food too.
The long and short is any water is better than no water.

Don't try to hydrate leading up to ride especially the day before, but start eating and drinking on ride as soon as you want.

Good luck.
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NUKe
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby NUKe » 5 Mar 2018, 10:34pm

Drink squash with a dash of salt. Food eat what you want,
Only problem with jelly babies, I eat them too quick so I take wine gums.

Don't over think it, just make sure you have enough to drink and eat. Bananas are a good cyclist food,
If you are already doing 20 miles 35 is not going to be much harder.
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sloyd
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby sloyd » 5 Mar 2018, 10:48pm

yeah, don't overthink it
you'll be fine without too much food
My routine is porridge with plenty of LSA (linseed, sunflower, almonds) for breakfast
750mls water with a hint of cordial, a twist of salt and a shot of apple cider vinegar - that'll last me a fifty mile run
only real food, no processed crap - brazil nuts, prunes, dates. get to a wholefood shop, buy in bulk and make your own flapjack with all manner of nice goodies in
eat sparingly
remember, you're not going into the Mongolian steppe, you're on a ride in the UK . never too far from a shop, filling station, supermarket if you get stuck.
Plan your route to end at a cafe or pub for dinner. The less you carry the faster you'll feel and the more you will enjoy your ride

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Mick F
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby Mick F » 6 Mar 2018, 6:25am

sloyd wrote:yeah, don't overthink it .............
Plan your route to end at a cafe or pub for dinner. The less you carry the faster you'll feel and the more you will enjoy your ride

Unless the weather is warm, I wouldn't even bother with water in 35miles.
Nice and hydrated before I leave, and that's it. Drink when I get home.
Just a normal usual breakfast, and then lunch at home. It's only 3hrs or so. Out at 9am, back by noon-ish.

I can understand your concern about this, but don't worry and don't read too much about food and drinks and the "importance" of it. It might make a difference to athletes and racing cyclists, but for a normal bloke on a 3hr bike ride ............. no worries at all.
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Gazza81
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby Gazza81 » 6 Mar 2018, 6:26am

Ok thanks for the ideas, ive been so paranoid about crashing and running out of energy ive been having too much i think, normally eat healthy so i will cut out the sports drink and have water with squash and a dash of salt.
I normally have a bowl of granola or peanut butter on toast before i go so ill keep doing that.

Ill pick up some dried fruit, i like that idea and take a banana too

Ill prob still hide away some jelly babies in my saddle bag just incase haha

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Cunobelin
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Mar 2018, 6:28am

Get a recumbent trike, and you effectively have a deck chair..... far more comfortable and refined

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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby Vorpal » 6 Mar 2018, 7:14am

What I do is as follows:
-eat well before I set off (omelette, porridge or other substantial breakfast)
-drink water regularly (at least every 20 minutes or so)
-eat every 2 or 2-1/2 hours with no more than 5 hours between meals

For 35 miles, I probably wouldn't have more than a banana and water. However, that's just what I would do. Some folks wouldn't need anything at all, and others might need somehwat more. You need to work out what works for you.

Also, if you need some electrolytes, you can buy drops to add to your water that don't have any sugar. I use them sometimes, though mostly just when it is hot out.
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Alan O
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby Alan O » 6 Mar 2018, 7:55am

Whoof and others are talking a lot of sense here.

The high-tech cycling energy products certainly have a part to play in competition/endurance events/etc, but for a pleasant few hours cycling you just need food, ordinary high-carb food, not gels, energy bars, special drinks, or any of that stuff.

I went on a ride of about 40 miles last weekend. I had a bowl of muesli with fruit about an hour before I set off, took sausage butties for lunch, and a couple of Snickers bars. For drink I took my usual water mixed with 6 teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt per litre plus some lemon juice for flavour. I sometimes take squash with a bit of salt instead. Some on the ride ate at the chippy where we had our lunch stop, while others had cake and coffee.

Bananas are good, jelly babies are good, and I especially like Kendal Mint Cake

I tried a gel once, which was included as a freebie in a package from Wiggle - it was like I was eating lemon curd mixed with sick.

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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby eileithyia » 6 Mar 2018, 8:05am

Don't over think it, don't try to eat beans on toast etc., on the bike... it's not easy to wash off the bean juice... :lol:
Seriously a good breakfast. If out for a longish ride I would consider 1.5-2 hours the sort of time I would ride before a cafe stop, ie 15-25 miles.
Does the event you plan to ride have any stops mid way?
Proper breakfast, carry a banana or similar, unless racing 50-100mile events I only ever carry water in my bottle.... I would not use anything in my bottle that is 'gassy'. Tea / coffee, cake / toasted t-cake / beans on toast / soup is adequate re-fuelling at a cafe stop....
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Gazza81
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Re: Eating on the bike

Postby Gazza81 » 6 Mar 2018, 8:50am

eileithyia wrote:Don't over think it, don't try to eat beans on toast etc., on the bike... it's not easy to wash off the bean juice... :lol:
Seriously a good breakfast. If out for a longish ride I would consider 1.5-2 hours the sort of time I would ride before a cafe stop, ie 15-25 miles.
Does the event you plan to ride have any stops mid way?
Proper breakfast, carry a banana or similar, unless racing 50-100mile events I only ever carry water in my bottle.... I would not use anything in my bottle that is 'gassy'. Tea / coffee, cake / toasted t-cake / beans on toast / soup is adequate re-fuelling at a cafe stop....


Yeah I think it has stops along the way it's the South Downs Sportive lots of hills from what I've heard

I think I might try just water and squash with a little bit of salt for my drink and just takes the mini packs of raisins just in case I need them

Thanks for all the advice guys