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greetings.

this is about riding and food.

my (road) rides are short, ~70km, about 2.5 hours, but I tend to get hungry. So I started eating a couple of muesli bars mid-way and to tell the truth I am not impressed, they are not cheap and do not seem to do a good job either. Having eaten two of those bars I still feel out of fuel, hungry after about 55km so my last 15km is a struggle of hunger pain and "no legs". I prefer to avoid those energy bars due to too many chemicals and high cost. Something relatively clean, natural and healthy.

What are my options? Drink Gatorade instead of plain water? Anything else? Should I eat dried fruit instead of muesli bars? Such as dried raisins, apricots, apples, etc? What about nuts (cashews, peanuts, etc) during the ride? I know bananas are good but they tend to take more room/weight so I wonder if there is anything as good but more compact.

thanks
 

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The best ride food...

acid_rider said:
greetings.

this is about riding and food.

my (road) rides are short, ~70km, about 2.5 hours, but I tend to get hungry. So I started eating a couple of muesli bars mid-way and to tell the truth I am not impressed, they are not cheap and do not seem to do a good job either. Having eaten two of those bars I still feel out of fuel, hungry after about 55km so my last 15km is a struggle of hunger pain and "no legs". I prefer to avoid those energy bars due to too many chemicals and high cost. Something relatively clean, natural and healthy.

What are my options? Drink Gatorade instead of plain water? Anything else? Should I eat dried fruit instead of muesli bars? Such as dried raisins, apricots, apples, etc? What about nuts (cashews, peanuts, etc) during the ride? I know bananas are good but they tend to take more room/weight so I wonder if there is anything as good but more compact.

thanks
In my opinion, and I learned this from Eddy B, is that the best food to take on a ride is going to be a sandwich. A meat, a cheese, some good bread, and maybe some mustard or something like that. Make it, cut it into easy to eat sqaures of 4, wrap in foil, stuff in jersey pockets. There's no rule out there saying what you should or shouldn't eat on the bike. Real food is better. That's the bottom line. Don't drink Gatorade, just swill some water, you'll be all good at 2.5 hours. Nuts, again, in my opinion, are more protein and fat, and tend to make me "feel" heavier on the bike when riding. I avoid them on rides, but they are a good post ride snack. The other stuff you said is good as well. Apples, raisins, oranges, strawberries, all good stuff. The best part about real food, is that you can make it compact. There is this thing, called a knife, that cuts things, and you can size your food to what you want it to be.
 

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Whole wheat fig bars. I wrap them in foil so I can unwrap easily while riding.
You can also make your own bars: Search the interweb for "homemade powerbar" and pick a recipe you like.
 

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Misfit Toy
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Fig bars, trail mix, dates (if you have time, stuff 'em with nuts) - I prefer real food to bars too.
 

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I agree with Eric & Snap. I like bananas because they're easy to carry, easy to eat, and digest / get into the blood stream very rapidly. I also like Gatorade, raisins, dates & figs.
 

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god no on the eating meat on a ride - that's laughable.

you can get organic fig newtons (fig newmans) that are good and provide energy. Of course you want 1 bottle of energy drink and 1 bottle of H20 on your rides also.

Trail mix of cashews, m&ms, and granola is 'purty good for energy.
 

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I never carry more than half a Pizza in my jersey pocket. It makes too much of a mess.
Unless you are going very hard, you shouldn't need more than a powerbar for a 40 mile ride.
 

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magnolialover said:
There is this thing, called a knife, that cuts things, and you can size your food to what you want it to be.
Really? Wow!

Does it come in carbon fiber?

Is it heavy?

Is there a fancy one that will make me faster?

Am I a fred if I don't have one?
 

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Food is a personal thing. What works for some may or may not work for you. I find that Fig Newtons or any kinda "energy" bars do nothing for me on a long ride, >60 miles. My stomach needs a ham and cheese sandwich (real food).

Skittles work for me too.

Try a carb/protein drink mix. It helps replenish nutrients used during hard and long rides. If it's not worth spending money on, then I'd try water/Gatorade/salt/honey mix. I've experimented and it seems to work for me, especially during the summer. Just remember that Gatorade is much denser than water, so a 50/50 water and Gatorade mix may leave your mouth with that nasty, sour aftertaste and leave your throat thick with mucus. I usually mix a 70/30 water and Gatorade with half a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of honey. Sounds gross but so far it's kept me going.
 

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Ever tried it?

The Carlster said:
god no on the eating meat on a ride - that's laughable.

you can get organic fig newtons (fig newmans) that are good and provide energy. Of course you want 1 bottle of energy drink and 1 bottle of H20 on your rides also.

Trail mix of cashews, m&ms, and granola is 'purty good for energy.
Ever tried eating meat on a ride? It's no different than getting the recommended protein and carbs out of a drink that some people promote as the best fueling option. I'm not talking like deli style sandwich here, talking more like a slice of something, some cheese, and some bread. You'd be surprised how well it works, it's not laughable at all. We mock what we don't understand...

Read this book, and get back to me (a lot better than Friel or Carmichael):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0941950077/002-8136874-8326402?v=glance&n=283155
 

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Old style pro racing in Europe, the musettes had ham sandwiches (France) or Anchovy and olive oil: A bit of fat to calm the stomach, bread for carbs, and salty cured meat.

Keep in mind that this isn't a heaping sandwich, but more than likely a baguette with a very thin slice. Watch some old Eddy Merckx films and you see the soigneurs making the sandwiches for the musettes. There was a recent story in Bicycling also.
 

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5 words...

Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie

calories, carbs, fat, and a lot of processed love. It WILL get you home.
 

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Breakfast?

acid_rider said:
...my (road) rides are short, ~70km, about 2.5 hours, but I tend to get hungry...

What are my options?
What and when are you eating before your ride? For 2.5 hours you ought to be able to look at your total diet and come up with a solution on what you eat for breakfast before a morning ride, or lunch before an afternoon ride, etc.
 

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Here here...

Spunout said:
Old style pro racing in Europe, the musettes had ham sandwiches (France) or Anchovy and olive oil: A bit of fat to calm the stomach, bread for carbs, and salty cured meat.

Keep in mind that this isn't a heaping sandwich, but more than likely a baguette with a very thin slice. Watch some old Eddy Merckx films and you see the soigneurs making the sandwiches for the musettes. There was a recent story in Bicycling also.
Here here my friend, someone who understands what I'm talking about.

It might be "old" style racing and all, but it worked then, and it works now, nutritional needs don't really change that much, it's just that now we have all these processed "power" foods, which can be done with regular foods such as sandwiches and other things. I was watching something last year about the food the guys on the Tour are eating, and by far, the most popular stuff in the mussette bags were what? Sandwiches and tarts, the powerbars and such were left uneaten a lot of times to trade it in for real food. There's a reason a lot of these old timey methods are old timey, they work.
 

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Another vote for ham sandwiches

magnolialover said:
It might be "old" style racing and all, but it worked then, and it works now, nutritional needs don't really change that much, it's just that now we have all these processed "power" foods, which can be done with regular foods such as sandwiches and other things.

I can do 50-60 miles on nothing other than a good breakfast. But, if I am doing a longer ride, I need real food along the way. Bananas, bagels, fig newtons and ham sandwiches are my staples. I "discovered" the miracle of ham sandwiches when I was on a really hard, organized ride (100+ miles, 10,000+ feet of climbing). I had a ham sandwich at a rest stop and felt like I just had consumed a few Enervit cheer packs. I usually don't carry a ham sandwich in my back pocket. But, I have made detours to convenience stores on supported organized rides to find a ham sandwich.
 

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Early, early morning rides

Another question, my average 45min - 1hr steady commute (which is the bulk of my training miles) is fine on regular breakfast.

I want to extend this to 1 1/2 -2 hrs of tempo, hills etc say twice a week, problem is I start work @ 7, getting up @ 4:30 to ride is fine but what to eat??
Dinner is usually 6pm - I eat well, but not keen on late night snacking - but maybe I need to "top off" glycogen prior to bed to be fuelled for early morning rides?

Was thinking maybe a banana and small bowl of oatmeal - then out the door. steady 1/2 hr warm up to digest then 45 min w/out then cool down to office.
Have tried going without and I'm dead after 1hr - not good for hard w/outs. I stomach most solid food except drinks - gatorades etc make me wanna hurl. A good carb/protein drink mix you can recommend?

Cheers
 

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dreww said:
Another question, my average 45min - 1hr steady commute (which is the bulk of my training miles) is fine on regular breakfast.

I want to extend this to 1 1/2 -2 hrs of tempo, hills etc say twice a week, problem is I start work @ 7, getting up @ 4:30 to ride is fine but what to eat??
Dinner is usually 6pm - I eat well, but not keen on late night snacking - but maybe I need to "top off" glycogen prior to bed to be fuelled for early morning rides?

Was thinking maybe a banana and small bowl of oatmeal - then out the door. steady 1/2 hr warm up to digest then 45 min w/out then cool down to office.
Have tried going without and I'm dead after 1hr - not good for hard w/outs. I stomach most solid food except drinks - gatorades etc make me wanna hurl. A good carb/protein drink mix you can recommend?

Cheers
Seems like the proper time to bring out the good old chokolate milk (skimmed or low fat).
 

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My stomach gets pretty sensitive when I ride, that is why for many years, I would eat nothing. Now, I realize that probably isn't the best option. I can eat Powerbars, bananas and fig bars, but if I eat anything heavier than that, I get all bloated feeling in my stomach, and feel like a brick for 25 miles. I just stick to plain water too. The energy drinks, besides being sticky and messy, just seem too strong for my stomach. It gets upset. The gels too, are just too much for my stomach to handle on the bike. I think everyone is different in this area. You have to figure out what works for you and go with it.

brewster
 

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Bannana is pretty hard to beat!

I like a lot of what people are saying- but I've been thinking a long time how hard some companies work to try to match a bananna... 40 cents a pound vs. a $1.40 for a Clif Bar (the best, IMO, of the bars... lemon poppyseed, please.)

Ah, the bananna! Great nutrition- (now with potassium!), tastes great, too. Easy-open package that is biodegradable- just toss it well away from the road (so you don't lure critters in to the kill zone) and it will be gone in 24 hours. Two of them fit in a back pocket just right. Hard to make a lot of money selling bannanas, though.

I'm also partial to bagels. A bagel is pretty dense carbs! Pumpernickle or whole wheat if you must, I'll eat any bagel so long as it is a nod to a REAL bagel. (Aside: What the *&$^ are those things in the yuppy bagel shops? Frickin' DONUTS! All the fat and sugar of a donut without the good taste! If you need a donut, eat a donut and enjoy it!) So, what about that bagel? Plain, tosted and cold, put a little cream cheese on it, maybe a little mozzerella cheese stick with it, and put me in the meat camp- a thin slice or two of a nice hard Italian salami- protein and fat and salt and tastes good!

What else... candy. People will eat a goop packet, but turn their nose up at a piece of hard candy or two?

As for energy drinks- that's what the BP-Mart is for. One of my big disasters is to run out of water before the BP-Mart so I have to gag down the gatoraide at 100%- I like 50% better. I don't start drinking that crap until mile 28... which happens to be where the BP-Mart is. I think it helps, though.

Anyways, this is just me. Yeah, sports bars are handy and good for a change of pace, and I often bring one. I try to bring it home, too.

Fig Newtons- awesome. The chemical ones taste better than the organic expensive ones, imo.

'meat
(my training loop is 58 miles, the "sprint" loop is 28 miles... for 28 miles, I'm often having dinner on the road- just to save time before sunset)
 
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