What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

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Carl170
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What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby Carl170 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:47 am

Hi, all!

A little bit about myself before I start. I am 42 years old, 5'8 and about 85 Kilos. I used to be about 70 Kilos, but piled on weight when I started an office job and stopped cycling. I used to always be out with friends on our mountain bikes, so never ever worried about my weight.

I need to lose about another 10 Kilos to reach a weight I would be happy with.

I was about 89 Kilos about 5-6 weeks ago, but started using "myfitnesspal" to track any progress. The app reccomended I eat 1200 calories a day (not including exercise) to sustain a steady weight loss.

I have started cycling again on my Kona about a month ago and am riding 3-4 times a week. Nothing overly strenuous, about 1.5-2 hours riding at a steady pace over a mixrure of terrain. I can feel my fitness improving and feel I can ride for a bit longer each ride.

Howvere, what I am finding is that on some rides (usually after work), I have little energy. The obvious thing is to increase my calorie intake (carbs I guess), but I am unsure when to eat, and what I should be eating. I was thinking of a SIS energy bar or similar about an hour before my ride. I may also start using some of the SIS energy drinks during the ride too.

My main worry is that I stop losing weight, or gain weight. I feel better even having lost the 4 Kilos, I would hate to put any weight back on.

Any suggestions or advice appreciated. I guess there must be others trying to do the same as me.

Regards

Carl

sandy771
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby sandy771 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 13:05 pm

Unless you have starved yourself I wouldn't think about eating too much. If the goal is too lose weight then eat some of your allocated calories before a meal - add an energy drink which is chock full of calories and you will be undoing a lot of the good work you are doing.

I did a 2.5 hour hard ride with mates on Tuesday night after 2 days of 600 cals (see the alternate day thread) and while knackered at the end I amanged OK for the first 2 hours. Pretty certain I was well into fat burning during that ride though and so happy with the result.

mikefrench
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby mikefrench » Mon Sep 17, 2012 16:59 pm

Carl,

I'm a user of myfitnesspal as well and have been using it now for about 15 months and when using it diligently have steadily lost a decent amount of weight. I'm assuming you are logging your food to match up to your daily allowance - which already has a daily deficit built into it to give you your planned weight loss per week (1lb = 500 cals per day deficit to give 3500 cals/1lb loss across the seven days).

Doing exercise just gives you more of a deficit, but more realistically for steady weight loss - more of an allowance to take on calories. As long as you have a reasonable handle on what you are expending - ideally from an HRM/Chest strap you should be able to balance them up.

When I ride I'll have a good idea of what I'm likely to burn within 50cals if I have done the ride before, some estimate based on miles/time. So I'll either plan to eat a little more than usual before the ride to give me some energy, normally carb rich, and a little more afterwards, normally protein rich. During the ride I make sure I have plenty of fluids, and if it is >1hr then I'll have some gels, chews or bars to give me a boost.

I stick it all in MFP, and try to keep the balance on a daily basis.

For example a typical evening ride for me burns 750-800cals so I'll have a decent breakfast (600cals rather than 350-400), and know that I can be a little more lax on eating a higher calorie lunch or dinner.

Yesterday I did a 40-mile ride in around 3:40 burning just shy of 3000 cals. I had +200 the day before in prep, and a decent cooked breakfast about 90 mins before I rode off, had 3l of high-5 fluid, 3 gels, and some shot bloxs (chews) which I took across the ride all of which kept me going and the pain away, I had a couple of chews right away at the start of the ride to give me a kick. Ate a good lunch of about 1200cals with lots of chicken, and then across a roast dinner (1200), some snacks and a protein shake.

Calories expended: 4661
Calories in: 4212
Over on my protein (to protect my muscles), level on fat and under on carbs

Balance: 449 under (less the 200 extra from the day before = 250 deficit which I'll probably take on today).

So across 3 days I'm even against target (and therefore 3 days of required deficit), with a good mixture of foods and fuelled before, during and after my ride.

Providing you keep a balance on your calories in, target and exercise you'll continue to lose weight steadily and safely.

styxd
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby styxd » Wed Sep 19, 2012 08:31 am

Yesterday I did a 40-mile ride in around 3:40 burning just shy of 3000 cals


How do you know that?

To the OP - 1200Kcal is pretty low, bordering on next to nowt!

Eating sports bars and what not is just a waste of time and money. The reason you are lacking energy is because you arent eating enough food.

Exercising and not eating enough is a sure fire way to damage yourself. I've done it before, a hard session on the road bike and got home with no appetite. Not eaten and then I've barely been able to walk the day afterwards.

Really, you need to eat more and up the intensity of your exercise. Remember to eat well afterwards and you'll get fitter and stronger whilst losing weight.

styxd
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby styxd » Wed Sep 19, 2012 08:43 am

Pretty certain I was well into fat burning during that ride though and so happy with the result.


Probably just into muscle burning I'd imagine.

mikefrench
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby mikefrench » Wed Sep 19, 2012 08:48 am

styxd wrote:
Yesterday I did a 40-mile ride in around 3:40 burning just shy of 3000 cals


How do you know that?


40 miles - GPS
3:40 - Watch
2981 calories - Polar HRM, calibrated with my age, weight, height, VO2Max, and training zones.

It isn't accurate to the calorie of course ;-) but I have spent 15 month balancing my calorie intake for weight loss and using a HRM for exercise tracking has been key to that, I'm comfortable it is in the ballpark.

styxd
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby styxd » Wed Sep 19, 2012 08:55 am

Sounds like and incredible amount of energy used just to ride 40 miles!

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T.M.H.N.E.T
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby T.M.H.N.E.T » Wed Sep 19, 2012 09:08 am

mikefrench wrote:
styxd wrote:
Yesterday I did a 40-mile ride in around 3:40 burning just shy of 3000 cals


How do you know that?


40 miles - GPS
3:40 - Watch
2981 calories - Polar HRM, calibrated with my age, weight, height, VO2Max, and training zones.

It isn't accurate to the calorie of course ;-) but I have spent 15 month balancing my calorie intake for weight loss and using a HRM for exercise tracking has been key to that, I'm comfortable it is in the ballpark.

You know that those are totally inaccurate right?

mikefrench
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby mikefrench » Wed Sep 19, 2012 09:17 am

T.M.H.N.E.T wrote:You know that those are totally inaccurate right?


Absolutely. 15 months of weight loss (79lbs) and then maintenance.

Completely inaccurate. But good enough for me.....

styxd
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby styxd » Wed Sep 19, 2012 09:22 am

Completely inaccurate.


They are. Wear it every day for a month and eat as much as it tells you to. I bet you get fat.

mikefrench
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby mikefrench » Wed Sep 19, 2012 09:35 am

I'm out.

Help the OP but stop wasting his time by challenging me & filling up his thread on things you can't possibly know, and which are irrelevant to him.

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T.M.H.N.E.T
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby T.M.H.N.E.T » Wed Sep 19, 2012 09:59 am

mikefrench wrote:I'm out.

Help the OP but stop wasting his time by challenging me & filling up his thread on things you can't possibly know, and which are irrelevant to him.

Was your vo2max figure via an actual test or polar fitness test?

Carl170
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby Carl170 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 am

styxd wrote:To the OP - 1200Kcal is pretty low, bordering on next to nowt!

Eating sports bars and what not is just a waste of time and money. The reason you are lacking energy is because you arent eating enough food.


Ok, I finish work at 5 and am usually on the trail at about 18:30. It is easy to eat an energy bar at about 16:30 at work.

What else could I eat that can be easily prepared at work, and eaten at my desk?

Also, I have a Polar HRM (somewhere!), that I might start to use. Are people saying these are completely inaccurate? I assume if you input your personal details in, it must be vaguely accurate. Why would people use them?

Lastly, I am finiding difficult using myfitnesspal when I am preparing fresh meals as I cannot calculate the details of every ingredient. Does anyone else have a better way to input stuff?

Thanks for all your posts so far!

Regards

Carl

Carl

styxd
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby styxd » Fri Sep 21, 2012 07:39 am

Carl170 wrote:
styxd wrote:To the OP - 1200Kcal is pretty low, bordering on next to nowt!

Eating sports bars and what not is just a waste of time and money. The reason you are lacking energy is because you arent eating enough food.


Ok, I finish work at 5 and am usually on the trail at about 18:30. It is easy to eat an energy bar at about 16:30 at work.

What else could I eat that can be easily prepared at work, and eaten at my desk?

Also, I have a Polar HRM (somewhere!), that I might start to use. Are people saying these are completely inaccurate? I assume if you input your personal details in, it must be vaguely accurate. Why would people use them?

Lastly, I am finiding difficult using myfitnesspal when I am preparing fresh meals as I cannot calculate the details of every ingredient. Does anyone else have a better way to input stuff?

Thanks for all your posts so far!

Regards

Carl

Carl


Just eat some food, anything. Homemade flap jack (costs next to nowt)/Soreen/sandwich/dried fruit and nuts/cereal bar etc. etc.

It just seems odd spending lots of money on "energy" products when effectively thats all any food is - energy.

Heart rate monitors are an innacurate way of measuring energy used. People use them to measure their heart rate, for training.

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MartinGT
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby MartinGT » Fri Sep 21, 2012 14:32 pm

I said this in another thread, but I shall copy it here, same applies.

The main thing you want is LOW GI Carbs, I.e brown pasta, brown rice, potatoes, oats etc. It will slowly trickle out of you and give you a good constant feed of glycogens. In the morning get a good breakfast in you of porridge or similar. Never skip breakfast. If you cannot stomach a solid breakfast try a bottle of carb rich sports drink and maybe a protein bar

In your lunch get some carbs and protein. Dont go too carb rich or you will fell lethagic in the afternoon. If you're riding about 18:30 have some rice pudding or similar, flapjack like people say about 16:30.

If you're going local and doing rides of say 20-30km I would stick with water for drinking and maybe take some flapjack. Water will aid you loose weight. I have read a few papers that say water encourages the body to burn more fat alongside glycogen during exercise. If its warm it will be advisable to get some electrolytes in your water Nuun do zero Carb ones, as do High5. If you are feeling it, go for a water, carb drink.

I train 5 times a week and race too and during my shorter training during the week I stay off any carb drinks and drink water unless its hot. I take a bar and a gel 'just incase' but usually I will do 50km and be fine with just water. On my longer runs or when I am racing I will use Gels & Carb drinks as I will be working at a higher intensity.

HTH

/edit. I use a HRM for training for making sure I am working in certain zones. VO2 Max, thershold etc. They are not accurate per say, but they are better than a rough guess.

/editagain. I would aslo consider doing a core session at elast once a week. Not only will this help your cycling, but short intense work outs will also aid with weightloss.

Stu Coops
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby Stu Coops » Fri Sep 21, 2012 17:19 pm

styxd wrote:
Pretty certain I was well into fat burning during that ride though and so happy with the result.


Probably just into muscle burning I'd imagine.


.
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Stu Coops
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby Stu Coops » Fri Sep 21, 2012 17:25 pm

styxd wrote:
Yesterday I did a 40-mile ride in around 3:40 burning just shy of 3000 cals


How do you know that?

To the OP - 1200Kcal is pretty low, bordering on next to nowt!

Eating sports bars and what not is just a waste of time and money. The reason you are lacking energy is because you arent eating enough food.

Exercising and not eating enough is a sure fire way to damage yourself. I've done it before, a hard session on the road bike and got home with no appetite. Not eaten and then I've barely been able to walk the day afterwards.

Really, you need to eat more and up the intensity of your exercise. Remember to eat well afterwards and you'll get fitter and stronger whilst losing weight.


Listen to this advice and forget all the 40 mile 3000kcal ride its nonsense
Zesty 514 Scott Scale 20 GT Expert HalfwayupMTB

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MartinGT
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Re: What carbs to eat before and during a ride?

Postby MartinGT » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:14 am

Follow this advice, and you won't just live lean. You'll also be able to ride longer on less food and never bonk.


Aye, ok then......


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