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trouble eating/drinking enough(8 posts)

trouble eating/drinking enoughandy02
Jul 10, 2003 7:35 AM
I am about 135lbs 5'8 and ride about 200-300 miles/week. I have trouble getting the right amount of food on the bike. I will normally take a couple of gel packs, two bottles of accelleraid
(sp?) and stop for bagel/water on a 60-80 mile ride. If I do two long rides in a weekend (one might be only 50) then it takes a couple of days for me to stop felling hungry. Does anyone else have this trouble? I am looking for a good way to figure up how much to eat for a given speed/distance...this trail and error approach is getting old. Also does anyone get joint pain from dehydration?
How long have you been doing distance riding?Humma Hah
Jul 10, 2003 7:54 AM
One thing that struck me on my first few distance rides (both attempted without adequate training) was that I seemed totally unable to digest food on them. I could absorb fluid, but only if it were a diluted sports drink ... water just sloshed in me. Late in the ride, I'd notice my stomach was ice-cold to the touch, even though the day was quite hot ... virtually no blood circulation there.

Now, somewhat better trained, I CAN handle some solid food on a ride, but not much. I still depend largely on gels and liquid energy drinks.

Compare this to MB1 and Miss M, who will typically ride 150-200 miles every Saturday, recover with a century on Sunday, and commute all week. They'll stop for lunch at the halfway point and down a sandwich. I'll eat the same thing and it nearly kills me.

It comes with conditioning. It takes your body a while to learn to handle food on long rides.
How long have you been doing distance riding?andy02
Jul 10, 2003 8:07 AM
I have been riding for awhile and have actually done some pretty crazy tricks to make sure that I can eat what ever. Some of my tri friends in college use to have a belly buster trianing ride/run. We would usally stuff our selfs (favs were pasta with white sause or very greese stuff) and go hammer until someone lost his/her dinner.

the question really is how much to eat.
I wonder if that trained your body to fear food while riding?Humma Hah
Jul 10, 2003 8:14 AM
I've never heard that technique before. Sounds scary.

Most riders here would suggest numerous small snacks, and nothing exotic. One of the things you must do while training is find out what foods you, personally, tolerate well on a ride.

I can handle a lot of gel, enough to give some riders painful gas. OTOH, some riders like milk with sugar ... that seems to trigger a serious coughing spell resembling exercise-induced asthma in me.

Almost everyone has good luck with fruit Newtons and fruit bars.
re: how much to eat?JS Haiku Shop
Jul 10, 2003 9:10 AM
conventional wisdom is 300-400 cal/hour, depending upon how hard you're going and what your stomach will handle.

that can be had through solids, gels, liquids, or a combination.

what works for one doesn't work for all; the only way to find out what works for you is to experiment. just remember--you're burning an excess over what your body can process. if you're riding 80 miles on a bagel and some sports drink, you're putting yourself into a large calorie deficit. if you're not consuming an adequate amount in regular meals off the bike, there's going to be some hunger involved. also, one of the most helpful things i've read/heard: on the bike, you're eating *now* for the next hour.

additionally, are you partaking in any immediate post-ride recovery food or substance? this may help.

recently i've found dehydration to be the cause of insatiable hunger over several days after a ride. just a personal observation, nothing scientific.


I will try 400/hour and see what happens nmandy02
Jul 10, 2003 9:20 AM
From what I've heard...t0adman
Jul 10, 2003 9:50 AM
...carbohydrates are your best source of energy during intense exercise. Carbs in solid food can take around 3 hours to be fully absorbed and available for use by the body (which might explain the difficult you're having). Low glycemic carbs, like those found in good sports gels or powders, can be absorbed with an hour. I'm doing the Seattle to Portland ride (120 day one, 86 day two) and plan to mix a thick carbo gel formula with sodium and potassium supplements as my only fuel for the ride. I'll ingest about 3000 calories of carbs and as much water as I can drink. I'll let you know how it works.
ultra cyclingmdooley0
Jul 10, 2003 12:47 PM
log on to You can read a lot of information about nutrition for long rides.