Fuel on rides – food or drink?

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  • Fuel on rides – food or drink?
  • racing_ralph

    I used to be a devout of sis go or torq as a fuel for longer rides. I am now airing on plain water and controlling intake of calories by eating regular food. Food of choice is currently Honey Stinger Cherry Blossom energy chews. NOMTASTIC!

    What do you lot do – sis type food and drink, sis type drink, energy foods?

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    Porridge in the morning then Tesco Jelly Babies for the ride.

    Recommended by an ex army mate. Better than Bassets because crappier and softer, and so cheap 🙂


    Half water/half apple juice (still tastes good warm) for drinking, jelly babies, banana, Soreen malt loaf for eating. The kids get these Organix raspberry and apple flapjack things that rule, so some of them too. For longer rides, a toasted bagel or two with peanut butter, jam and banana, cut into 4 bits.

    Deeply suspicious of all these sport bean energy bar things. Rip off and probably interfere with your toileting.

    Premier Icon nickc

    Can’t get enough in on food alone, not without puking or being to stuffed to move…


    Food for MTB as that normally involves intermittent stops. Drink for road as that tends to be flat-out non-stop.


    Deeply suspicious of all these sport bean energy bar things. Rip off and probably interfere with your toileting.

    Not so – https://www.isoactive.com/hs/products.html#chews


    I usually just take a couple of supermarket cereal bars for anything up to 4 hrs
    More than that & I tend to add something like fig rolls but usually stop somewhere as I get a serious savoury craving after overloading on all the sickly, sugary stuff


    A strong coffee to get the heart started in the morning, then all I have is a camelback of torq and a couple of torq bars and gels if needed.


    Home Made flapjack with fruit n nuts added plus choc coating on top.

    orange squosh in the bottle,water in camel bak.

    stops top up on bananasor apples

    lunch good meal in a pub or simular.

    oh and start the day with good bowl porridge. 🙂


    i used to use ‘proper’ bars and ‘proper’ drink, now its just elevens bars and water with a bit of salt in it… same effect and alot cheaper.


    Usually a combination of:

    ….only have a bottle of Gatorade from time to time when its on 1/2 price offer in Sainsburys.


    Water with a splash of ribena.
    Malt loaf, tracker bars, fig rolls and a bag pf top secret home made trail mix.
    All interspersed with tea and toasted teacakes.


    Tried Torq drink, but now favour Nuun for hydration (I sweat a lot!) and Torq bars for calories.


    When riding, mars / twix or snickers bars. Not much less healthy than the flapjack / muesli bars, and dirt cheap. Bananas, again pretty cheap.

    Or if I really need a boost, buy a bag of skittles, eat one a minute. I’ve done a 20 mile off road slog when exhausted with the skittles.

    When I stop on a ride, soreen or cake, or sandwiches if I can be bothered to make em.

    I use energy drinks in races, long distance challenges, 100 milers etc. or when I’m in training for an event, but can’t see the point for normal riding, they only make a slight performance difference, and aren’t any healthier than just eating sweets, and cost a whole lot more.


    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth

    Much of what you need to eat and drink depends on how long you’re riding for and at what intensity.

    The general rule is that you have around 90 mins of energy as blood sugar. This doesn’t just come to a halt, though, as your liver metabolises your energy (including fat) reserves. However, if you’re using energy faster than you can get it into blood sugar form, then you’re in trouble – this is determined by the intensity of riding.

    So, for MTBing, because the rides are rarely longer than 3 or 4 hours, and aren’t run at that high an intensity (due to the general faff and looking at the views etc.), I use water only and a banana or cereal bar or two.

    On the road, if it’s a hard ride longer than an hour (aren’t all road rides longer than an hour?), then I use a combination of homemade energy drink (maltodextrine and fructose in a 2:1 mix), energy bars and gels.

    I control my calorific intake off the bike by being careful what I eat (though not failing to fuel properly for rides).


    if I ride before lunch I tend to take it with me. cheese & tomato sarnies and a pot of cold rice, tuna & veg or something. drink is usually watered down fruit juice.



    So, for MTBing, because the rides are rarely longer than 3 or 4 hours, and aren’t run at that high an intensity (due to the general faff and looking at the views etc.)[/b]

    All my rides are high intensity, Fast = Fun.

    I only use Torq etc when I’m racing. On normal rides I drink water and have a packet of these:

    about my person in case I bonk.

    If its a long ride I take cake of some description with me.

    I like the shot blocks when racing, I find them much more palatable than monkey jizz gels. Almost like eating sweets. I’ve also used tesco jelly babies with moderate success.


    Water and 8p packs of jelly


    I used to get starving after about 90 mins, tried Torq bars but found it all a bit up and down. Use powerbar in the camelback now for anything up to about 3hrs. For all day rides it has to be Eccles cakes from Dunns Bakery Crouch End N8. Not the original, but the very best.

    Premier Icon twinklydave

    clif shot bloks are good if you’re going fast, esp when combined with some sort of energy drink (currently loving maximuscle viper)

    common or garden cereal bars and water are fine for most riding though, with a high5 gel in the jersey pocket “just in case”


    i found flapjack bars with honey and seeds in my local cheapo store for 20p. they taste great and have now taken the place of the musli bar (whichever was on offer at supermarket). usually throw a couple of bananas, trail mix, malt loaf into the mix. i dont stick to a particular diet as it gets boring and i dont beleive the sports bar/gel/drink hype brings any benefit to weekend riding. i’ll use em at races though.

    just H20 in the camelbak.

    beans on toast or porridge for brekkie.


    I tend to be hungry most of the time anyway, so for MTBing I tend to go with the following:

    Evening ride (up to 2.5hrs): camelbak of water and any combination of monkey sticks, tesco jelly babies and usually some kind of energy bar (Torq probably the best for me)

    Weekend ride (3-5hrs): porridge or bacon/eggs/beans/toast for brekkie, then camelbak of water plus mixture similar to above and/or home-made fruitcake (my ex’s version was probably the best energy source ever), or soreen or even jam/peanut butter sarnies

    Have tried loads of beans and gels but not yet found anything that really works for me. I think it’s cos I’m an ‘eater’ and therefore need something more substantial.

    I also tend to eat and drink at regular intervals, i.e. before I feel hungry of thirsty … and also have a munch say 10mins before a particularly hard climb.

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