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What to eat during a century?(10 posts)

What to eat during a century?homegrown2004
Apr 17, 2003 3:55 AM
Sorry if this has been posted a million times before but, I'm doing my first century on Sunday and I"m stumped about what to bring to eat. I don't want to stop for a long period of time to eat at a restaurant or anything but my jersey can only hold so many clif bars/clif shot. Aside from a crap load of energy bars, what are some other foods that are high in calories or good for long distance rides? Would eating bananas as I ride be a good idea? Any advice is appreciated.
Eat what you want if you're not racing but...bigrider
Apr 17, 2003 4:07 AM
make sure that you intake salt. One of my foods of choice on a century is combos. High in salt, a little too much fat but easy to put in a bag in your back pocket. Pretzel nuggets are also good. Low-fat cheese nips are also good sources of salt.

Other packables that can be eaten instead of energy bars are Oatmeal cookies, fig newtons, Little Debbie Snacks, Rice Krispie Treats, and those creme filled cookies.

I refuse to buy energy bars because they don't taste that great and I can buy a WHOLE PACK of fig newtons at the local Dollar General for a 1.50 throw them in baggies and you are good to go.
Read snack boxes & count calories...bent_spoke
Apr 17, 2003 4:41 AM
On my first Century I had the same problem(what to bring?). I stuck with Powerbars, because of the convient packaging but I've since expanded to other things, including making my own PB(packaging ???able).

One thing that I found helpful was to build a spreadsheet to understand the calories that I would burn/hour. You factor in the rest stops, Gatorade & find out what you'll need. You should find out what they're serving, as this is a great help. I was able to stuff 6-7 PB into my jersey & bag(one of the small c'dale pacs), which turned out to be over kill.
The other thing that I did was packaged up some pre-measured Gatorade powder so I could mix it along the way, to be sure that I got calories here too.(snack-size zip lock baggies are great). I also brought along some asprins & Tums just in case. As everyone will tell you, eat before you're hungry & drink plenty of fluids (start before the ride). Make a list of what you need to bring & get it together ahead of time. I also planned some snacks for the ride home....the things that I either couldn't bring or are way off my diet (ring dings did it for me). Have fun & enjoy the ride!!!
What Century is it???
Same stuff you have been eating . . .ms
Apr 17, 2003 5:23 AM
I assume that you have done high mileage rides even if you have not reached the 100 mile mark. I think that the most important thing for a first century is that you not introduce too many new things during your attempt. This includes not only food and drink, but equipment and your bike set up as well. Keep eating and drinking the same stuff you have been doing, just have more of it. I got sick at the end of the first century that I did because I drank cytomax at rest stops. I never had drunk cytomax before and discovered that it does not agree with me. Don't make the same mistake.

It is not clear from your post, but I am assuming that you are doing an organized century. Try to find out in advance the number of rest stops and generally what they will be serving. If you can get what you need at the stops, you will not have to carry as much with you. If you are doing a
self-run century, find out where convenience stores and other potential rest stops are along the route. Even in the most remote areas you usually can get gatorade, banannas and other things that will satisfy your caloric needs. It is hard to carry all of the food that you will need for a 100 mile ride.
ms is right on about not changing foodsBIG RING
Apr 17, 2003 10:05 AM
Last year I did the Ride Around the Bear with a buddy of equal climbing ability. A quarter up the first grade on HWY 330, he wasn't doing well due to stomach cramps, gas, the whole gastrointestinal thing. We had ridden up to the Mt. Baldy ski lifts the prior four weekends in a row, so, we had an idea about altitude effects on our body, fueling strategies, we were pretty much dialed in. However, my buddy decided to eat a Muselix cereal the morning of the ride looking for more carbs..........bad call. he had never eaten the cereal before and his body, especially under duress, didn't like it. I ended up waiting 2 hrs. for him at the finish line. Ugly.
Everyone's advice is 'right on' andcoonass
Apr 17, 2003 5:36 AM
here is a site that may be of some future info:
whatever has worked on your training ridesJS Haiku Shop
Apr 17, 2003 5:56 AM
shoot for 300-400 calories per hour; 400 is probably more than your body (active) can process. if you've been eating "energy bars" on shorter rides, and they've worked for you, then stick with 'em.

as another poster replied, fig newtons work, and are easily packed, and inexpensive. i used 22 fig newtons, some corn chips, gatorade, and a power gel (1) last weekend for an 8-hour ride, and finished strong. try to consume 300 calories per hour. err on the side of too many calories, if you can. drink plenty, and don't forget sports drinks for electrolytes & stuff.

if energy bars,...instead of eating a whole bar on the hour, eat 1/4 of a bar every 15 minutes, with some fluid. your body burns energy stores constantly, why not feed it constantly? i've found it's easier on my stomach that way; YMMV.

be sure to rest and hydrate well for several days before the "big ride". pace yourself, good luck, and let us know how it goes.

re: What to eat during a century?homegrown2004
Apr 17, 2003 8:45 AM
Thanks for the advice guys. This is NOT an organized century - just me, myself, and my bike. I'll go to the grocery store and stock up on the suggested items. Thanks!
Don't forget a little protein!Fredrico
Apr 17, 2003 9:21 AM
Eddie B., the coach from Poland, said his team used to take little ham and cream cheese sandwiches with them on long training rides. Your body will appreciate a little protein along with the carbs, if not right away, at least later. Warmed up in your jersey pocket, honey roasted ham with cream cheese and a little jam really tastes delicious about the 75th mile!
re: What to eat during a century?madwiscbiker
Apr 17, 2003 9:50 AM
Caloric counts seem right on from the other posts. I try to consume a lot of calories via fluids, they are absorbed more quickly and don't funk up my stomach as much, important for me since i have a tendency to run after long rides. I am not a powerbar/clif bar/ etc fan, i have eaten too many i guess and their texture and taste don't go down to well. So i like: a bit of trail mix, the nuts provide a bit of protein and fat, raisins have a bunch of calories and iron too boot not that that is huge on the ride though, and salt which is always important. I also like non-frosted pop tarts, they are the best tasting thing i have found after being on the bike for a few hours, although not the easiest to eat. I go with the non-frosted since they are already loaded with sugar. Chewy granola bars, i can fit a whole one in my cheek at one time so super easy to eat. the occasional gel especially if i have a climbing work out to do, for some reason they help me, probably psychological partly, but wash em down with a bunch of water. for longer rides, 100+ i have even taken some cold pasta in a bag, macaroni or pene or one of those that is easier to eat, and just munch on it every now and then. the carbs are a bit more complex and are absorbed a bit more slowly, wouldn't do it on a race though.
but as i said before, hydration and lots of calories from a sports drink are great.
and don't forget to take care of that stomach when you get home, i find a protein shake or a meal that is high in protein but not super high in fat is the way to go for recovery.
whew, long winded i guess i am.