How much food do you consume on a long ride?

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  • How much food do you consume on a long ride?
  • KINGTUT
    Member

    For an 85 mile road ride, some flapjack, 2 bottles of Torq energy drink and maybe stop off and buy a sandwich on route, I’ll carry an energy gel but I only use them if I bonk.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    How long in hours is that – about 5?

    I would have stopped for lunch somewhere in a five hour ride – either a pub lunch or a sandwich or two. Probably one flapjack as well. Maybe some sweets.

    sofatester
    Member

    2 bananas
    3 gels
    1 packet of soreen
    2 geo bars
    some ‘Tangfastics’
    and 2 bottles of energy drink

    WTF!

    I do the same on 1 value malt loaf, 1 bottle of water and 1 bottle of SIS.

    There is something wrong with you dude!

    jonb
    Member

    On a 60 mile road ride, I’ll eat a banana but carry a couple of extra bits incase I need them. But I’ll have a proper breakfast of 5-6 weetabix.

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    I was out for 7 hours yesterday. I ate a whole packet of jelly squirms, three muesli bars, 4 Chorley cakes and two smallish breadbuns with ham and pickle in them.

    I ate little and often throughout the ride.

    Just as a matter of interest, how much do people take with them on a long ride? I did an 85 mile road ride yesterday and took (and mostly ate) what seemed like an inordinate amount of food. Admittedly i was cycling during the period i would normally have had lunch but my consumption included:-

    2 bananas
    3 gels
    1 packet of soreen
    2 geo bars
    some ‘Tangfastics’
    and 2 bottles of energy drink

    Felt ok at the end of it and I suppose i was erring on the side of caution (not wanting to bonk). But i would have liked to have got away with taking less. I am reasonably fit and cycle regularly (though not normally that sort of distance)

    How much do others take?

    trail_rat
    Member

    200k audax – ate 1 x powerbar carbo jelly things and a bowl of soup+ a scone
    300k audax – ate 1 milkshake + muffin , a duck wrap and a fancy pastry , a plate of chips and a lucozade and a gel at the top of the lecht.

    Low effort so not much scran needed.tend to eat more when i get in mind ! and hae a decent breakfast before i go !

    Hard efforts like 10/12 hourmtb race – 1 x gel/banana/flapjack/maxim bar every 40 mins along with constant supply of torq and nuun mix in the bottle

    cynic-al
    Member

    Ddepends on how hard you are riding but if it’s hard-ish and not stopping that seems reasonable to me…I can do up to 2 hours on water but usually need a LOT of carbs to get much beyond that.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Ddepends on how hard you are riding but if it’s hard-ish and not stopping that seems reasonable to me…I can do up to 2 hours on water but usually need a LOT of carbs to get much beyond that.

    What you’ve eaten on a ride helps you recover too. I’d just go with what works for you and not others.

    sofatester
    Member

    What you’ve eaten on a ride helps you recover too. I’d just go with what works for you and not others.

    You can’t say things like that on STW, it’s far to sensible!

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    You should be taking in 1g of carbs per kg of lean body weight for every hour you’re riding.

    joemarshall
    Member

    You should be taking in 1g of carbs per kg of lean body weight for every hour you’re riding.

    Surely it depends on how hard you’re riding, what you had for breakfast, how big a meal you’re going to have at the end etc etc.

    I find the best thing is to eat whenever I feel like it, and stop and buy food if I need more than I take with me. Obviously not so good on a group ride, then you have to make sure you get a decent meal when you stop for lunch, and maybe take an extra mars bar just in case.

    Joe

    Seems, as usual, that there is a great variation in the amount people eat. Clearly it depends on intensity of exercise. I was also keen that i made a rapid recovery. As i said i still felt pretty good at the end. Part of my concern is the fear of bonking – hence the tendency to make sure i keep food intake up.

    taka
    Member

    weeeel on the swaledale ride i had a 1.5 l camelback with orange juice and 2 black jacks i found in the bottom of my back and my brother had a 500ml bottle of water :mrgreen:

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    Surely it depends on how hard you’re riding, what you had for breakfast, how big a meal you’re going to have at the end etc etc.

    The 1g/kg/hour is recommended for endurance riding and is a figure came up with through experimentation. Obviously, the exact quantity you need will vary but it seems sensible to start with something based on something a bit scientific.

    robdeanhove
    Member

    I just did the South Downs Double MORE ABOUT THAT HERE – now that was a hell of a long ride. Pushed all the way for 202 off road miles! I got it wrong once so spent a lot of time and effort getting my feeding and drinking improved and well tested.

    The 1g carb per 1kg lean bodyweight thing is about right, for any sort of effort really, your body can’t process all the energy it needs for hard effort from your stomach, the rest comes from you. You’ll struggle to consume less than a whole bunch more than you eat.

    You’ll also need to worry about what you eat as well as how much and how may calories. You’ll need some small amount of fat and protein and you’ll need electroytes to function and I found you’ll need them for your stomach too as well as to keep the cramps away.

    One thing in this thread is lots of people seem to be grossly under hydrating. An 80 odd mile ride on one bottle. Nuts, I drink more than that when sitting on my ass watching the TV! Yes it’s possible, but you’ll be faster and more comfortable if you drink more.

    Over 20hrs small errors soon add up. For my ride (202 miles, 19hrs 59mins, 25’400ft climbing!) I ate:

    5 chicken sandwiches
    2 nutrigrain bars
    8 gels
    6 bars
    2 flapjacks
    10 NUUN tabs
    1 REGO powder sachet
    15 litres of water (and finished quite dehydrated!)

    All a bit general, but I hope this helps

    Dimmadan
    Member

    I use a high carb energy drink so on a 100 mile road ride I will uses 2 x 1 litre bottles and have 1 bananna and a few bits of flap jack. I don’t really eat when riding as I find my drink mix gives me all I need. But stopping after 50 miles or so for lunch is a no no for me as I will just not be able to get rythem back.

    crikey
    Member

    It’s all relative; you were doing about 10 miles an hour, off road too, whereas 80 odd miles on a road bike, on the flat, might get done considerably quicker.

    As for hydrating, if you need to drink to watch telly, you probably need to drink more when riding, but some of us can manage with less fluid; the ‘hydration’ thing is not the only way people in the world function; them Kenyan fellas don’t carry Evian…..

    sofatester
    Member

    One thing in this thread is lots of people seem to be grossly under hydrating. An 80 odd mile ride on one bottle.

    Think that was aimed at me 😆

    Respect for doing the SDWx2 – impressive stuff.
    Funny enough im looking at the route as i type.

    robdeanhove
    Member

    crikey – yes, one does go slower off road, this is why I also gave the time, about 20hrs

    An 80mile road side sounds like about 4-5hrs of riding. A bottle is typically 750ml or 500ml, this gives a maximum rate of fluid intake that is less than 200ml/hr which is not enough for any sort of exercise. The question was about long rides specifically, and this is very clearly not enough for sustained effort of any sort. Even in winter.

    As for need ing to drink watching TV as an indication of not drinking enough whilst riding? I think you’ll find you need to drink when not in the bike to stay hydrated. 4-5hrs of doing anything is thirsty work.

    As I said, yes it is possible to ride for this long with a bottle, and I am sure that you and a lot of people on this site could do this, maybe even with drinking nothing, but it will be comfier and certainly easier when properly hydrated. This applies to all human beings, bar none.

    Dimmadam – as you correctly pointed out, bottles of energy drink are an alternate and equally appropriate way of fuelling and hydrating your body. I found this did not work for me so can not comment on quantities etc. to answer the original question. However for short rides, to minimise the amount of separate items I have to carry I do go with a just a bottle as you do sometimes. I just like eating too much to sustain this for longer periods and the “reward” of some food when going with solid energy seems to work better with my head. As you say, stopping for lunch, and then trying to get back on the bike with a belly full of pub grub is a nightmare and can be a ride wrecker

    Dimmadan
    Member

    I find that my legs just give up as they think the ride is over. They even start playing me up when I have a pee stop.

    Most of my 100 mile rides have been rellatively flat so I guess a harder climbing route will require more fluid/food intake.

    Horse for courses I guess. But when I do the 100k Merida marathon in Selkirk, I will be stopping at the feed stations to fill up.

    thomthumb
    Member

    rough guide about 300 calories per hour.

    on the day of riding the sdw (13 hours ish)i approaced somwhere near 10000 calories!!

    something along the lines of

    4 bacon sandwhich
    1 pack fig rolls
    13 assorted energy bars/ flapjacks/ cake bars etc.
    1 pack scottish oat cakes
    4 bottles torq drink + water
    bag of mixed fruit/nuts
    large lamb kofte
    1 can cider
    1 protein shake.

    although i probably overdid it – the next day i only ate 1 proper meal.

    but 80 mile road ride – proably couple of bottles of energy drink, couple of sandwhichs, couple of bars.

    for me the ability to eat enough on a big day in the saddle is variety. know people who will eat the same thing all day. 9000 calories of flapjack are not my idea of a day out!

    sofatester
    Member

    robdeanhove – You are far to intelligent and rounded to post on this forum 😀

    robdeanhove
    Member

    sofatester – no not aimed at anyone, just trying to help give a nice complete answer to the original question. So my answer was aimed at trickpsychlist if anyone!

    trickphychlist – I recommend taking on more fluid than that in the winter, lots more in the summer. If you’re going gently your body will be able to get a lot of the energy you need from itself. Most of a bottle of fluid and a snack (gel/bar?) per hour should see you through without the risk of a bonk raising its ugly head. Of coursem this varies from person to person, while experimenting with what works for you, it’s not a bad idea to carry an “emergency gel” or similar if you go too minimalist 😉

    Cheers for the congrats. Keep looking, go on, you know you want to, it’s a great ride, I didn’t stop smiling from start to finish (except up Butser!) and am still ginning just thinking about it now.

    Dimmadan
    Member

    That is true 1 Hours hard riding will use 600 calories. I always treat myself to a lardy cake and a hot chocolate when I get in either at home or in the car. Followed by a pack of wine gums!

    hh45
    Member

    On saturdays marmotte I ate, if i recall correctly and I was a bit bongoed by the end;
    2 bananas
    6 dry figs
    1/2 orange
    2x slices salami
    2x bits of french bread
    4x torq bars
    3x torq gels
    2x small pieces of fruit cake
    alot of energy drink
    peppermint drink (crazy French but nice)
    a NUUN tab
    more water
    bucket loads of pasta and other carb rich stuff in the two proceeding days.

    crikey
    Member

    Rob, although I agree with what you are saying to some extent, can you tell me how much fluid the stomach processes during hard exercise?

    I ask because 200mls an hour while exercising sounds like a lot of fluid to be processing…

    I’m also of the opinion that the human body is capable of dehydrating to a certain extent, particularly during exercise, and that the current trend towards perfect hydration at all times is something of a fad.

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    Water:

    I got through about 5 litres of water yesterday, riding in the heat for 7 hours. I was well hydrated before starting the ride and still well hydrated today, despite last night’s beers.

    I drink at least one bike bottle of water a day at work, as well as cups of tea, and always have a pint of squash when I get home. Can’t imagine doing a long ride with just one bottle of water.

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    I ask because 200mls an hour while exercising sounds like a lot of fluid to be processing…

    200ml is less than half a pint. That’s not very much at all.

    trail_rat
    Member

    10 under the ben this year 10 hours 50 of constant riding in the near 25 degree+ heat I drank 25 litres of fluid , split between Nuun / Go / Torq and water …. and still only took one piss the whole day that was brown as a mahogany door

    hazeii
    Member

    For long endurance rides, experience really is the best guide. As posted above, as a generality the body can only take in around 300 Kcals/hour but can burn around twice that – so for long rides (especially stuff like Rob’s epic!) it’s inevitable that there’s going to be a running deficit (made up from body reserves).

    Where the real variability seems to come in is how people cope with that deficit; some get dizzy and weak after a few hours, others are hardly bothered. Training clearly helps tolerate the effect, but it really just seems some people are luckier than others when it comes to coping with it. It becomes pretty obvious who needs to eat lots and who doesn’t on long distance group rides – seems to be no rhyme not reason to it.

    crikey
    Member

    So…. show me the research about how much fluid gets processed when exercising, should be easy if it’s ‘not much’..

    genghispod
    Member

    Being properly hydrated is important, as it keeps your joints lubricated (synovial fluid). If you have a damaged spine (as I do) you soon notice when it’s not sufficiently lubricated. Yes you can carry on for hours when dehydrated but I would suggest it’s not advantageous.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Crikey

    i refer you to page 99 , 124 & 153 in burkes serious cyclist.

    and page 250 of joe friels mtb training bible ….

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    Quick Google found this: http://www.healthline.com/hlbook/nut-fluid-intake-during-exercise

    This mentions drinking 0.6 to 1.2 litres of carb solution per hour. That was in relation to carb intake, but it talks about carb solution being absorbed faster than plain water.

    http://www.edb.utexas.edu/coyle/review%20arts/32%20PR)%20Fluid%20&%20Fuel.%20JSS%202004.pdf also cites 600ml to 1200ml per hour.

    This last one also mentions sweat rates of up to 2% of body weight per hour. 2% of my bodyweight is 1.5kg, or 1.5l of water – I’m not sure that a 1.3l deficit per hour is sustainable!

    trail_rat
    Member

    to quote dave gorman.

    you were going quite well up to the point where you said research but you dipped sharply when you used the word internet.

    crikey
    Member

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    I ask because I’m interested, but also because I use nasogastric feed on patients while I’m at work….and I’ve yet to see any convincing evidence that your stomach and digestive sytem generally can absorb the kind of volumes of fluid that are being suggested here.

    1.2 litres? per hour? while exercising?

    Show me the money I mean show me the actual evidence of fluid absorbtion; I’d really like to see some definitive research.

    hazeii
    Member

    Try this link – it suggests 1.2L/hour is a reasonable upper limit, and 0.6L/hour is low end (there are references).

    Certainly within the believable range; it’s not hard to sink 1L per hour over long distances in hot weather. How sustainable that is depends on the person, and on what else is in the intake.

    trail_rat
    Member

    google scholar is your friend if your sans books

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