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Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?(11 posts)

Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?tarwheeler
Jul 1, 2001 4:35 PM
On a recent group ride, I took a banana out of my jersey and offered some to the group before taking a bite myself. One of my riding buddies said, "You will NEVER catch me eating solid food while riding a bicycle!" then went into a detailed discussion of the human digestive process that I will spare you here. His argument was basically that the digestive process with solid food detracts from athletic performance, and that riders should stick to energy drinks and gels exclusively. I've always liked a good banana or pretzel on a long ride, and have noticed these foods, Fig Newtons and even pasta salad served on some centuries I've ridden.

So, do you eat solid food on rides? Why or why not?
re: Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?Elefantino
Jul 1, 2001 4:55 PM
I suggest the reason your riding buddy uses drinks and gels exclusively is that they are easier to pour into THE HOLE IN HIS HEAD!!!
Have you ever seen what they eat in the pro peletons? Rice cakes, energy bars, GELATO fer crissakes, and yes, even bananas.
Unless your buddy has just set the hour record, just smile at him, back away slowly ... and eat what makes you feel good on your ride.
re: Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?shmoo
Jul 1, 2001 5:30 PM
I think your riding buddy is taking himself just a "little" too seriously, and is probably mis-informed. I recently watched a pro level triathlon on TV. Saw a guy take an entire banana in one huge bite while on the bike. Had to wonder how he got the whole thing in there. I see the pro peleton use them too. Actually I think the banana is about the closest thing to a perfect single package natural food you can use on the bike. And, I'm sure it pretty much liquefies as soon as it hits your system, so as a "solid" food, it ain't like a bagle.
re: Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?Lone Gunman
Jul 1, 2001 6:14 PM
I don't know how your buddy classifies a banana as "solid" food. I believe it is possibly, and most fruits, 70% to 80% water. Eat what you want, other than a grilled steak and chicken wings or a side of ribs on a ride. Everything in moderation.
re: Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?Steve R
Jul 1, 2001 6:53 PM
I eat bananas and even peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I can't recommend brisket and bean burritos and hot sauce though.
re: Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?casati_rider
Jul 1, 2001 6:55 PM
I agree with the other posters and think your buddy is misinformed. I eat apples, bananas, pop tarts, oatmeal cookies and other stuff on long rides. As long as you eat small quanities frequently most people have no problems and it helps keep you fueled for the long haul.
re: Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?badabill
Jul 1, 2001 7:18 PM
Eat what you like. My fav is figs. Cut the stem off and they are bite sized treats. I once saw a pro racer on a training ride pull out a piece of pizza, complete with anchoves!No ill effects I saw, and he kept it down for the whole ride. :-)
re: Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?wscott
Jul 2, 2001 7:31 AM
Your friend was correct that eating solid foods can detract from your performance during a bike ride, although it sounds like he was a bit too zealous about it. Anything other than liquid is going to slow your digestion down, and hence the rate at which you can absorb calories and water. Gatorade and most sports drinks use a 7 or 8% glucose concentration because that actually allows you to empty your stomach the fastest, and maintain your hydration better than even water alone. So if hydration is very important your best just using Gatorade or something, eating solid foods could lead to dehydration and a decrease in performance. I think you can only absorb about 400 calories an hour when intensely exercising, so anything more than that is probably just sitting in your gut. You can easily get that from Gatorade and gels, and this is probably optimal, but eating other things most likely will not noticeably detract from your performance especially if your going at a more moderate pace. That being said a banana is not a good thing to eat. Its filled with fiber which is not good if your trying to stay hydrated and maximize your rate of calorie absorption (although the potassium may be great for maintaining electrolytes). The most recent Cyclesport or ProCycling has an article by the nutritionist for Rabobank and he says you only absorb a ridicuously small amount of the calories from a banana if eaten during a ride because fructose is poorly digested and because of the fiber. Will you actually notice a decrease in performance from eating bananas? That probably depends on a ton of variables, how hard your riding, how long, how in tune you are with your body, what's limiting your performance, are you pushing the limits of your performance, etc.
tons of 'emDog
Jul 2, 2001 7:33 AM
I eat bananas always during long events. In fact, often I'll eat one at a rest stop, and pack another to eat on the road. They are nearly ideal for that, for you can eat it easily and pitch the peel off the side of the road guilt free. Can't do that with many other containers.

Hey, they work, and are always available, at least at every event I've been to.

Doug
bah... sillinessDuane Gran
Jul 2, 2001 10:03 AM
Although there are scientific trends about certain foods, the only thing this person can tell is weather or not bananas work for HIM. You have to find out personally what works and doesn't. I know that apples are bad news for me, but I see others munching away on apples during rides. I don't wag my finger at them because I know that one person's meal is another person's rock in the stomach.

Bananas are great in my opinion. I rarely go riding without one in my pocket, along with a small bag of fig newtons. These are great low fat and high carb fuel supplements for training rides. During races these aren't very convenient, so I tend to use gels and powerbars. For a ride though... heck I have pulled out a sandwich.
re: Goin' bananas...do you eat 'em on rides?Peter E
Jul 2, 2001 10:47 AM
I think that it sounds like a oppinon comming from a retailer wanting to sell his gel or energy drinks.
Myself, i found the bananas to be one of the best "energy bars" there is.
And iv'e read that the one's that have gone a bit black is ritcher of fast carbonhydrates while the one's that still is a bit green is ritcher of the slow one's