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Sleep/Eat Combos really make a difference.(18 posts)

Sleep/Eat Combos really make a difference.Delia
May 30, 2001 7:29 AM
I had a great ride yesterday...better than ever....and I'm pretty sure it was due to the 8 hours of sleep and 'right' fueling. I've finally found something that works! I mean, before I was dying on the Tuesday rides with Kristin. All I could think is 'keep'll get stronger' blah blah blah. But then I tried to stray from the rock-n-roll lifestyle and actully get some sleep and quit smoking (just quit Sunday). The day of the ride, I fueled up with pasta and a snickers bar. During the ride I felt great, I felt like I could just keep going and going. So I've started to get a feel for rest/fuel combos that work. I'm sure it is different for everyone. What works for you guys?
re: Sleep/Eat Combos really make a difference.PingPong
May 30, 2001 7:44 AM
Last Friday I fuelled up on pasta like yourself and had a good night's sleep, then rode 60 miles at a cracking pace. Then I had a heavy(ish) Friday + Saturday night, didn't eat much as I was a guest at another house (should have snuck out!). Anyway, had to ride the 60 miles back on the Monday, started slowing down drastically around 30 miles in, tried to ration my energy and eat as many cereal bars as possible, spent the last 10 miles in agony.

On a more positive note, I find that it is the amount of sleep you have had over the 3 or so nights before the ride that really counts. This is reassurring I think, especially to those of us who get nervous and lose sleep before important rides.

Moral of the story : Keep a good balance in the sleep bank!
First, and most importantly, CONGRATS...boy nigel
May 30, 2001 8:00 AM
...on quitting smoking! I must admit, though, that I was a bit shocked initially to read that you (or anyone on our beloved board) smoked. Did you do it cold turkey, or with the aid of a patch or Zyban? The last is a great drug that takes the craving away and the "need for calm" that many smokers feel when they reach for a cig--it worked for my addictive-personalitied mum, who's 75, so it can work for anyone. Really, that's the best thing you could do for yourself (and even for your cycling; you'll feel you have much more air in you--and lung power--than before). Good going, Delia.

As far as food goes, I really like the CLIF series of active-minded foodstuffs. The CLIF shots are small packets of energy gel; they're delicious and natural tasting, and give quick bits of energy as needed (you take them before they're needed, though). The CLIF Luna bars ("Nutrition for Women," they claim--just a gimmick) are solid nutrition with 180 calories (27g carb, 10g protein, and 4.5g fat). They taste GREAT, and come in a huge variety of flavors (like Chai Tea--Yummy!). They're great on-the-bike food, or for a snack during the day. I even have them for breakfast here and there, and they're satisfying 'til lunchtime (or almost). They also make the CLIF bars, which have 240 cals (41g carb, 10g protein, and 4g fat), and are more moist than the Lunas; they're delicious as well, and all are easily stored in a jersey pocket--and MUCH better and healthier for you than a Snickers bar, since they're made with wholesome, natural ingredients without sugar!! Try them; you'll probably love them. Check 'em out at No, I don't work for them; just spreading around what works very well for me (and they taste great--something to look forward to on a ride). :)

Can't think of any other foods which make me go, go, go, but I try to eat pretty healthfully and get a good amount of sleep each night. I'd recommend that for anyone.

Congrats on the cig-stopping; keep it going!!

live like a rock star, ride like one. snickers and smokes?!?Haiku d'état
May 30, 2001 8:06 AM
pasta, yes--snickers? DOH!

i find that if i sleep and eat well for the 2-3 days prior to a "big ride", i ride it well.

i also find that i can stay up all night with adult beverages and get only 4-5 hours of sleep, little or no breakfast, and a total lack of hydration, and ride a fast ("fast" is relative to your riding partners) and hilly/very hilly 40-60 miler, off the front the entire time. guess beer can be considered "carbo loading". i can do this one or two days in a row without problems. more than that and i'm asking for a cold/to get sick.

sleep=good. eating right=good.

recovery food + stretching=GOOD!

my riding has improved dramatically--as well as my ability to bounce back from a long ride with a fast long ride the following day--since i started consistently eating recovery food/high-protein, .5-1 liter of water, and stretching immediately post-ride. i've tried endurox and met-rx shakes, but it seems the powerbar protein bars and the met-rx protein bars work best for me. ymmv. who knows? good luck!
re: Sleep/Eat Combos really make a difference.DINOSAUR
May 30, 2001 9:17 AM
Consider your body as a high tech machine that runs best on high octane super unleaded fuel. When you are young (or younger) you can cheat a little bit, once and awhile. When you hit middle age, diet becomes more important. If you abuse your body (smoking? shame, shame)you will crash and burn on those long difficult rides, and it can lead to total collapse. Remember that your body is the temple of your spirit, treat it with respect and it will last far beyond what you would expect. Smoking is terrible for your skin if nothing else. Ever see the face of a middle aged gal that smokes? A pretty young gal such as you should know better!!! Eat right, ride right.
re: Sleep/Eat Combos really make a difference.dwight yookam
May 30, 2001 10:22 AM
Better to fuel up the night before, eat a good lunch and be drinking lots of water all day...
I've had good luck with...Greg Taylor
May 30, 2001 11:32 AM
...just keeping it simple. Eight hours sleep (if I can get it), limit the refined sugars (hard to do these days), and drink enough water daily so that your urine is relatively clear (yes, guys look after they are done).

On the bike, I like bannanas and (GASP!) Pop Tarts (so much for limiting refined sugars). Cytomax or Revenge are good drinks for a "serious" ride (anything fast over 60 miles) as they have a fair amount of carbs for fuel. I find that they do begin to taste nasty when they get warm.

Most important for me is what I do after the ride: there is a 90 minute window of time after you stop exercising where your muscles will "refuel" with glycogen at a faster clip than normal. A recovery drink like Endurox is good. It also has a protein element that is supposed to minimize muscle soreness. It works pretty well, but you can do the same thing by drinking a glass of milk and eating a turkey sandwich after you get off of the bike...
What to do about that smoking?Brian C.
May 30, 2001 11:34 AM
I've had a similar experience with the eight hours sleep and pasta.
While on the trip, some homemade energy bars (from recipes provided by folks on this board a while back) help keep up the stamina.
But that dreaded smoking. What to do about that dreaded smoking? I've tried quitting, but it's got me by the throat. I dunno. I just don't know.
Good luck.
Just look at those who do smoke alot.128
May 30, 2001 11:47 AM
Among other strategies (hop in the shower, can't smoke there!)
I often look at those folks who are dedicated smokers and think, at the very least "Do I want to look like that?" All greyish and wrinked, aging too soon, breathing noisily, tired gait, shuffling out into the cold rain for a smog...NNo way man, not for me, not this time, not now. Wait for an occasion, have Saphire Gin and a sweet cigar...(not a big cigar fan anyway)
Never a heavy smoker myself but all I need to do is look at someone my age who looks so unnaturally creased and discolored, and I'm again detered, and ready for a ride.
I still have a vivid memorymike mcmahon
May 30, 2001 12:04 PM
of watching the smoking scare film from junior high school where they show the people who had their larynxes (is that the right part?) removed because of cancer and are forced to breathe and talk through a hole in the throat. One dude was actually still smoking: through the hole in this throat! I used to be a social smoker (after a few drinks), but that film in the junior high cafe-gym-atorium had its intended effect with me, and I never became a full-time smoker. Calif. Health Services is currently running an anti-smoking TV ad with a lady with a hole in her throat talking about how her 7 year old niece finally got her to quit.
Seen it, can't watch it. Only smoking and drinking very rarely128
May 30, 2001 12:37 PM
it is aparent to me that those hangovers were mostly the toxins in smokes. I could smoke a couple American Spirits (mostly 'natural' tabacco)and no beer and no problem., Smoke a couple Marlboros and holy smokes wake up practiaclly shaking and feeling like a toxic waste dump, nerves all jittery and poop. Add some crapy American beer to that mix and all it's additives (illegal in Germany I'd add)and jeeez it's like you should be stored with nuclear waste in a mountainside till you're inert again. Lesson: drink top shelf if at all, get stoned instead. (ok, don't smoke up now either, but alcohol and cigs are far more problematic..)
So now it's just endorphins but never before lunch! and occassional seratonin, socially with friends, on the weekends, between sunrise and sunset...

What to do about that smoking?Fred(notFred)
May 30, 2001 11:58 AM
Most people who try to quit, and are ultimately successful, fail a couple of times. Don't give up. The fact that you think about your health and fitness and ride a bike are in your favor.

While being a cyclist will help you overcome some of the cardio downside of smoking, fitness won't head off the carcinogenic effects of tobacco.

Maybe a nic patch and a support group?

Best of luck ...
What to do about that smoking?GregJ
May 31, 2001 12:04 AM
Brian, Don't get discouraged to easily. It took me a few years of trying to finally quit. Now it has been about 10 years since my last cigarette. Look at the times you have attempted as practice. What did you do to get motivated, to get a day or week off or what did it feel like to just skip the morning or lunchtime smoke? Be persistant and you will ultimately be successful.
Rock and Roll Lifestyleblue bayou
May 30, 2001 1:51 PM
Smoking, well you can shake it. Make sure you hang around people who don't smoke, get into activity that makes it hard to do, say biking vs billiards, and decide not to do it. The cravings will come on hard and fast but last only 10 minutes or so. Tell others " I don't smoke" instead of "I quit smoking." Drinking in the R&R lifestyle can eat up all of your cycling gains in calories and dehydration. Booze can really dry you out and kill your desire to stay with activity.

Congratulations on your success thus far. Don't look back and find more ways to improve. You'll do fine. Find support in your riding partners.
More time for sex and R&R (&biking) w/o the drugs...128
May 30, 2001 2:10 PM
plug in, tune up, turn up to 11.
More time for sex and R&R (&biking) w/o the drugs...4bykn
May 31, 2001 8:07 AM
Which is it, Aerosmith or Spinal Tap?
Side note, I saw in USAToday that Spinal Tap is playing at Carnegie Hall!!???
Aerosmth, post-creative period, Spnl Tap w/Keasey, and me!128
May 31, 2001 9:11 AM
I just bastardized all their stuff but hey, good artists create, great artists steal!

As for Carnegie; well, I knew that Hall would eventually get some talent in it...And those guys don't even practice practice practice!

Didn't the Ramones play Carnegie? Now that's justice. (Rock on Joey...)
Riding is great motivation for healthy habitsAlan B
May 31, 2001 10:38 AM
The only thing that keeps me away from cheeseburgers and pizza is knowing it will screw up my ride. I find nothing so motivating in a dietary sense as knowing how various foods will affect how I feel on the bike. The more days a week I ride, the more apt I am to eat better all week long. Hopefully the same motivation will work for you in kicking the smokes! Good luck!