Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Nutrition Help!

I rode 70 miles at the weekend (including fish and saintbury hills) but really bottomed out towards the end. I barely made it home in the end. Therefore, I'd lilke to open up the forum on nutrition for all you seasoned long distance travellers!

During the ride I consumed one nature valley bar, some brazil nuts and raisens, one banana, 2 portions of soreen, a dairy milk bar, 2 750ml bottles of water (one including a berry zero tab). Ride time of just over 5 hours. I'm looking into improving my nutrition before, during and after riding, but just thought it might be a good topic to discuss.



  1. Sounds like plenty of food to me Si for 70 miles! The only thing which might be worth considering is it appears to be a lot of high sugar content food and maybe not enough slow release carbs??? I'm no nutrition expert but always found a good bowl of porridge before the ride does the trick and make sure you mix sugar and savoury as you need to replenish the lost salt from your sweat.....,,assuming you did sweat!!!

    Hope this helps & I'm sure Clive will have plenty to add :-)


  2. Hi Simon, I'm no expert either, but as Brett says it seems plenty of food, maybe too much water though as 1 bottle would do me for 70 miles at this time of year ( I know it's warmer in Stratford than Cardiff!!)
    What did you eat before you left? Breakfast is really important - you probably don't want to know what I recommend before a ride!!
    For the ride a banana or two, energy bar, 2 gels and jelly babies would do for me. Maybe a boiled egg sarnie with lots of salt on a long ride.Personally I'd stay clear of nuts and chocolate.
    However, it's what works for you as everyones body is different. It's going to be something to experiment on before the big day arrives!!
    I bet you'll have a million different opinions on this one!!
    Kind regards,

  3. What they said ^^^

    I'm guessing that a load of slow release carbs before you started would have been a good idea, then electrolyte drinks as you go round (especially important in the Summer). Then a mix of quick & slow release carbs as you go (chocolate coated flapjacks do the job really well). Important thing is to prevent rather than fix the 'bonk'

  4. Good stuff lads, yes Brett definitely too much sugar and not enough complex carbs I think was, and is, the main problem. Also, the fact that I'm not exactly a seasoned long distance rider. I think I can count the number of 60+ miles I've done, like ever, on my fingers and toes! Also, as Clive has pointed out in the past, I'm not exactly carrying any excess weight and this has its down sides with no back up fat reserves. It was also a very windy day. Beginning to sound like excuses now..
    Pre ride was a bowl of porridge (with honey, raisens and grapes), small amount of greek yoghurt and green tea. Followed by toast with poached egg and beans. I'm intrigued to know what you do recommend Phil?!? Is it smutty.
    I'll give the chocolate coated flapjacks a try Clive, I'm going to try to make my own, maybe with banana mixed in. I definitely want to avoid the 'bonk' at all costs!!! It sucks!

  5. To give a slightly different perspective from what’s been said, protein is often overlooked. It doesn't matter so much for short rides, but for anything over 3-4 hours then it becomes quite important. The idea is that by consuming protein during excercise the breakdown of muscle tissue is delayed - there has been lots of research done on it recently, just a quick Google search threw up this article, but there’s lots of long science papers on it too -


    It doesn't mean to say you have to have carb-protein gels, but you get the idea. I'll be sure to stick a few protein bars in my jersey on the big day that’s for sure! (along with lots of carbs as they still the most important thing for preventing the dreaded bonk!).

  6. Hi Si, That was quite a breakfast! I expected you to say that you had gone out with very little. My breakfast,(not smutty - just not to everyones taste), which I find good before a ride and as a recovery drink is -
    2 raw eggs, 3 tablespoons of sugar and enough semi or skimmed milk to make up to a pint. whisk all together and drink - lovely!!
    Your lack of fat reserves won't help - so just eat before you get hungry.
    Let me know if my recipe works for you!!

  7. Well Phil, I think maybe your morning beverage has been inspired by Rocky I?!? I will give it a go though. Enjoyed the discovery documentary. I'm consuming cycling stuff at the moment, such as Lance Armstrong: 7 in a row, Breaking Away, A Sunday in Hell, Eddy Merckx - The Greatest Show on Earth (about the 1974 Giro on YouTube), all inspiring stuff.
    Sam, that's some good research, moves us all towards better preparation and ultimately a good performance on the day!

  8. Great advice guys. I agree with most of what you have said. Definitely sounds like too much sugar and not enough slow release carbs. I'm interviewing a female Tour de France ride in the next few weeks so will post what she recommends as the best nutrition before and during and after.

  9. Never mind that! Ask if she has 10 spare bikes!!!!

  10. I think you're all wrong. What normally works for me on our Saturday morning rides is to stay out until about 1am, usually in the One Elm, drinking roughly 6 pints of delicious beer. If it's going to be a hilly ride the next day, I might throw in a trip to Snappy's Pizza for a meat feast. I then regularly forget breakfast the next morning as my beer confuzzled head has made me oversleep, so I have to rush out the door. Try it everyone.....it's greeeeeeeaaaaaat!

  11. Mrs H would like to express her admiration for the humble (wholemeal bread) jam sandwich as mid-ride nutrition. Ideal mix of quick and slow release carbs, easy to carry and cheap as chips (which by the way are NOT ideal mid-ride nutrition).

    I've tried jam butties, they work.