T Nation

Nutrition During Two-Hour Bicycle Ride


#1

I recently had a friend ask me what he should be eating/drinking before and during a two-hour pretty intense bicycle ride. My understanding of nutrition for endurance athletes is pretty limited, so if anyone can help, I would appreciate it. His goals are related to performance, not body composition. Thanks in advance,

Matt Miller


#2

I just completed a 4hr mountain bike race last month. 3hrs pre I chowed down all the oats and yoghurt I could handle. 1hr before started chugging Gatorade and didn't stop until the race was over. It was a very hot day- I got through 1 litre per hour and could have used more if it was available. At the half way point I had some low fibre cereal bars with plain water, but I wouldn't recommend anything solid for a 2 hour race. Get the solid stuff in early and then stick to the carbo drinks. Maybe try the carbogels- but they can cause stomach cramping if you're not used to them. I also upped carb intake massively the week before, but again, for a shorter race it's probably not too important as long as they are adequate to begin with. Hope this helps a bit.


#3

I just completed a 4hr mountain bike race last month. 3hrs pre I chowed down all the oats and yoghurt I could handle. 1hr before started chugging Gatorade and didn't stop until the race was over. It was a very hot day- I got through 1 litre per hour and could have used more if it was available. At the half way point I had some low fibre cereal bars with plain water, but I wouldn't recommend anything solid for a 2 hour race. Get the solid stuff in early and then stick to the carbo drinks. Maybe try the carbogels- but they can cause stomach cramping if you're not used to them. I also upped carb intake massively the week before, but again, for a shorter race it's probably not too important as long as they are adequate to begin with. Hope this helps a bit.


#4

I have been involved in cycling and multi-sport competition for years. Tell your friend that pre-race nutrition starts the night before the race with something carb heavy like pasta. In the hours before the event, eat breakfast about 2 or 3 hours before the start, include about 200 calories for each hour. Eat mostly low-glycemic carbs, but include some fat and protein. Also try to limit fiber intake on race morning. During the race, gatoraid is fine, but your friend needs to make sure he is drinking on cup of water for every cup of gatoraid. In a two hour race, I see no need for any soild foods the calories from the sports drink should be fine as long as he drinks enough to stay hydrated and keep his sodium levels high.


#5

That's old school carb loading, and it's not terribly effective from what I've heard. THE MOST effective way to do it, if you can stand it, is to go very low carb for say 3 days prior to the event, then the day before the event start to carb up, and continue eating carbs until race day. So, say 1g/lb for 3 days, then 5-6g/lb on the day before and day of race.


#6

Do a search of JB's articles, he has written one on endurance athletes and w/o nutrition.

I cant recall the title right now. Sorry

Hope that helps if you find it.
Phill


#7

Here you go. I quit being lazy and found the article I spoke of 4 ya.

"Endurance eating"

http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/endeating.htm

Hope that helps,
Phill


#8

Thanks, everyone. I'll pass on the thread to him. Oh, and Phill, that article was golden.

mwm


#9

No prob.

I'm here to help.