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· Calm like a Bomb..
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Im trying to lose some weight so I am trying not to load up on carbs and stuff when I ride. I am wondering when is the best time to eat/snack before a ride? I usually ride about 1 hour to 2 hours so its not difficult not to eat during a ride.
 

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Some other time

stunzeed said:
Im trying to lose some weight so I am trying not to load up on carbs and stuff when I ride. I am wondering when is the best time to eat/snack before a ride? I usually ride about 1 hour to 2 hours so its not difficult not to eat during a ride.
Research and a lot of rider experience has shown that you don't need to eat anything for rides of less than 90 minutes, and lots of people don't eat anything on 2 hour rides. If you're going really hard, then taking in something that has a high glycemic index and is easily digestible may be needed in a 90-120 minute ride. When to eat before a ride depends on what you're eating, how much you're eating, and how hard you're going to ride. If the food is a big steak or double cheese pizza and you're going to be hammering your brains out, 3 hours before the ride makes sense. Lots of people do just fine eating some fruit or cookies just before a reasonable pace ride. It also depends on how much you've been snacking during the day. All that said, plenty of people jump out of bed and ride 90 minutes on just water.

BTW, losing weight is about your total daily calorie intake vs. your total daily calorie expenditure, not whether you eat during exercise.
 

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stunzeed said:
Im trying to lose some weight so I am trying not to load up on carbs and stuff when I ride. I am wondering when is the best time to eat/snack before a ride? I usually ride about 1 hour to 2 hours so its not difficult not to eat during a ride.
I've had very good experience with this:
1) No calories in the three-hour window before a workout. A light meal three or four hours before the workout. If early morning, nothing more than coffee, no need for breakfast before the workout, you have ample stores of muscle glycogen.
2) About 200 cal per hour during the workout. If I were going, say, three hours or more I'd look into more cal per hour.

Two things about this:
1) Quality of the workout is great. No bonking, no stomach distress, plenty of energy.
2) You easily expend more than 200 cal per hour while riding. So, net caloric deficit. Especially when factoring in the three hour fast.

IMO trying to maximize the caloric deficit during exercise is putting the cart before the horse. You'll feel crappy and not get as fit. If you decide not to take any calories during a two hour ride, you'll be more tempted to snack during the three hour window to "top off" energy stores, and that is really counterproductive.

The way to lose weight is sensible caloric restriction over 24 hours a day, not by restricting caloric intake when you could use it the most.
 

· Formosan Cyclocross
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I just completed a 4hr. mountain ride on an empty stomach and I had no real problems until the last 20 min. I then could feel the need for fuel. I had to mentally focus to keep it up until I got home. I usually carry a pack of dried mangoes or something with me just in case. Part of it is conditioning to go without food.
 

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I find that I can go on a 90min ride without any food, however i tend to eat something along the way with rides over 90mins.
I can manage not eating anything on a 120mins++ ride, however i do find that by the time i get back i am very hungry and struggle to eat sensible portions.
One of the keys in losing weight is minimising your portions, so being not hungry at meal times is helpful as to not over eat.
 

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Make sure you eat enough to power your riding. Eat before your ride and during the ride if it is long enough to deplete your reserves. I like to eat a decent breakfast with plenty of long-lasting carbs an hour or so before the ride. On rides longer than two hours I take some extra calories to consume during the ride. But that figure is different for different people, as is the amount of time required between breakfast and riding.

Don't skimp on the food for riding. Cut back on food at other times of the day. I find that it's easiest for me to cut back on dinner. If I am a bit hungry at night that's ok since I am asleep.
 

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I stay away from dairy and eggs before a morning ride, only oatmeal and make sure
it's approximately 2 hours before riding. During the ride, I use Cytomax at 2/3 strength.
You can tell when it starts kicking in after about an hour your power output stabilizes
and is more consistent. The perfect blend of electolytes and carbs in the correct amounts.
I am not a nutritionist and don't want to be, better to let them research and mix than me
homebrewing some hodgepodge of salt (only one of the four electrolytes) and sugar water.
 

· Calm like a Bomb..
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phoehn9111 said:
I stay away from dairy and eggs before a morning ride, only oatmeal and make sure
it's approximately 2 hours before riding. During the ride, I use Cytomax at 2/3 strength.
You can tell when it starts kicking in after about an hour your power output stabilizes
and is more consistent. The perfect blend of electolytes and carbs in the correct amounts.
I am not a nutritionist and don't want to be, better to let them research and mix than me
homebrewing some hodgepodge of salt (only one of the four electrolytes) and sugar water.

Is this a personal thing or is there a good reason to stay away from dairy and eggs?
 

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I recently ordered some Hammer Nutrition products and it arrived with a book all about nutrition and hydration. I recently got dehydrated after riding a double century in 90+ degree heat, which spurred my desire to address some of my fueling and hydration needs. I have tried some of the products they offered and really like them all. I use Heed drink mix on shorter rides (around 2 hrs max) and it supplies me with hydration, electrolytes, and nutrition. On longer rides (over 2 hrs) I use Perpetuum along with Endurolytes (electrolyte tablets) and plain water. I usually bring along some real food on longer rides as well. For short morning rides at around 25 miles, I feel that I have to eat a little something before starting, otherwise I just feel so empty and hungry during the ride. It's not so much an issue of fuelling, but more of a hunger/comfort thing. A favorite is a half of a peanut butter/banana/honey sanwich. I eat the rest at the end of the ride. Good stuff!
 

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B15serv said:
the body learns to use the energy sparingly.
Wow, I am a rookie but I need to call this one out.

The amount of energy used during activity by the body is a function of
intensity and duration of the effort and could not be altered by any
biological 'learning' process.
 

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phoehn9111 said:
Wow, I am a rookie but I need to call this one out.

The amount of energy used during activity by the body is a function of
intensity and duration of the effort and could not be altered by any
biological 'learning' process.
"[T]he body learns to use the energy sparingly" could be referring to the energy from the food.

I'm pretty sure that the body can be conditioned to metabolize fat more effectively, in other words use the carbs more sparingly.
 

· Cannot bench own weight
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My problem is post ride appetite. I ride three times during the week, after work. The rides are typically in the two hour range, and usually at a hard pace. After these rides I usually become ravenous, and I just want to eat things like a whole pizza.

This summer I've had pretty good success at watching what I eat at these times, however I've had a couple moments where I broke down and ate something like a foot long subway sandwich.

Even so, since May I've been running a daily deficit of about 1400 calories, mostly thanks to 200 miles of riding per week.
 

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The amount of energy used during activity by the body is a function of
intensity and duration of the effort and could not be altered by any
biological 'learning' process.

It works like this: If you are very fit, say someone who is racing or just training very hard, cruising along the flats in a group doing tempo at 25-26 mph might not feel hard at all. This rider will most likely not be taxing his glycogen stores and can metabolize other fuel like fat for this pace.

The weekend rider/rookie will probably find this pace much more difficult. To hold it they will have to use muscle glycogen as primary source of energy to hold the group. you see....?
 

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B15serv said:
I did 100 miles yesterday over 6hrs. All I had was two Naturevalley honeyoat bars and 2 gu gels. You just seem to get used to it. the body learns to use the energy sparingly.
I did almost 90 yesterday and ate only a peanut butter/banana/honey tortilla and some of those orange peanut butter crackers and an OJ at the top. I had some Hammer fuel drink, but I could not finish it. I was trying it out and it did not work for me. I've not used gels before. I'll try some of those next.
 

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Muscle glycogen is not only the primary source for muscle fiber energy, it is also
the only source. While it is true that a well conditioned athlete will obviously work
less hard maintaining a given speed, thus not crossing the anaerobic threshold,
the post in question did not elaborate, only saying that the body learns to use
energy more sparingly. Stricly speaking, this in and of itself is not true. Whether
the body converts fats or carbohydrates into muscle glycogens is a function of
the aerobic\anaerobic threshold. All other things being equal, equal muscle fiber
activity requires equal amounts of muscle glycogen, whether it is Lance Armstrong
or Joe Blow.
 

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Metabolic efficiency

phoehn9111 said:
All other things being equal, equal muscle fiber activity requires equal amounts of muscle glycogen, whether it is Lance Armstrong or Joe Blow.
Metabolic efficiency for humans is reported to range from 18 to 29 %, with fit individuals typically in the 24% range. Not sure about equal muscle fiber activity, but certainly equal power output does NOT require equal energy supply.
 
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