Each rider has their own thoughts on diet whilst riding their bike . My personal needs are for natural food and in the main that is all I eat but I always carry muesli bars and Power bars in my back pocket . As stated in many of my Blog Posts , every time I go out on the bike I am loaded in the same manner thus avoiding having to deliberate on individual rides and then finding myself caught short should I extend the ride for any reason .
Each breakfast is either Oats or muesli followed by boiled eggs and toast , this will generally carry me through the afternoon should I decide to skip lunch . Eating the main meal around 1730hrs sets me up for the next day and an untroubled nights sleep . Hot chocolate drink before sleeping also adds to that sense of well being that allows for a last minute read to be cut short as I nod off .
Fat cyclist has this week had the help of Dr Allen Lim , whom I have met many times with Team Radio Shack , in advising cyclists on the best ways to avoid digestion problems and thus avoid the dreaded “ Bonking “ problem that so many suffer from time to time . The article which best sums up the situation contains advice from a variety of male and female pro racers and I have copied the highlights rather than say go to the article , which is :
Could not copy the correct link , but going to fat cyclist and the directory if the link doesn’t work will achieve the same result .
Some of the advice copied here :
1/ Eat what you’re used to: Don’t try anything crazy or different on your big ride.
2/ Start eating early: Eat before you’re hungry so you don’t have to eat everything at once. You need to make sure to spread what you eat out over your whole ride rather than making it up when you start to bonk.
3/ Everything in moderation: Don’t just stick to one food. Eat a variety. Nothing is bad in moderation. It’s when you eat too much of one thing that you start to have problems.
4/ Avoid too much sugar: When there’s too much sugar in your stomach things start to go bad. So avoid a lot of sugar or make sure you balance it with enough water.
5/ Stick to foods with really basic ingredients: I like really simple foods and simple bars when I ride. Really basic stuff with all natural ingredients work for me. The simpler the better.
1/ Don’t eat a lot of fibre before a ride: I try to avoid a lot of fibre before training and riding, especially on days when I know there will be a lot of hard efforts.
2/ Eat real food rather than packaged bars : Sometimes, all we have to eat in races are pre-packaged bars and foods. So I try as much as possible to eat real foods to balance things out, especially in training. One of my favorites is bread with cream cheese and a creamy honey.
3/ Avoid gels: I mostly eat gummy foods or foods that have a solid consistency when I ride. Occasionally, I might have a gel in a race if I’m desperate, but I don’t like them. They’re messy and gross. I’m fascinated by how people train or race with gels. I can’t really fathom it.
4/ Figure out what works and what doesn’t: I find that certain foods trigger problems for me. Bananas don’t work for me even though they are pretty popular in cycling. Also, depending on where I am in my monthly cycle, I can be sensitive to certain foods.
Danny Pate (HTC-High Road / Heading to Sky)
1/ It’s about moderation: Just like in life, you need to be sensible. You can’t be flying off the handle doing crazy stuff. So don’t overdo it. Some riders are concerned about their weight and try to start light so they don’t eat much before and they have nothing in them. Then they need to eat a ton in the race and that just overloads their stomach.
2/ Trial and Error: It all comes down to trial and error. You need to figure yourself out. Normally, I can eat or drink anything. I once had 2 liters of Mountain Dew before the Athen’s Twilight and won the “most laps led” competition. Mainly I was just buzzed on sugar and caffeine and was really scared. Anyway, I had no stomach problems — and I almost never have stomach problems. But there are two products that jack me. I won’t mention the brand, but one is a product that other guys have no problem with, but one bite and my race is over. I can eat bags of gummy bears or jellybeans, but I can’t eat this stuff. The other is a particular sports drink. I don’t know what’s in it, but I can’t use it. I have no idea why.
3/ Those directions weren’t written for you: I think most of the directions on these energy bars and drinks are written to be on the safe side, but they still may not work. You need to write your own directions.
Christian VandeVelde (Garmin-Cervelo)
1/ Stay away from high fructose corn syrup: Anything with it screws me.
2/ Stay hydrated: When I get dehydrated I’m busted…every time. But it’s not just about water, it’s about keeping the sugar to water ratio right. Once you get too much sugar and not enough water it’s all over.
3/ Avoid Gas Station Food: I had a coffee drink and some food from the gas station on the ride today and within half an hour I had the worst gas ever. So do what I say, not as I do, and avoid gas station foods, even though sometimes you can’t do anything else. Just stay away from processed foods and stuff your pockets with real food – a Panini, or bread with jam. Those small packages of SDM are great. If you have that, you can just get water at the gas stations and you’re set.
4/ Figure out what works for you: It’s all about keeping it simple. For me, the Clif Kid Z Bar is so much simpler than other bars. It tastes great and easy to eat and digest. It’s 130 Calories. One of those bars every half hour and a bottle of sports drink and I’ve got 350 Calories an hour, which is perfect. What I can’t eat when I’m racing are foods with yeast, soy, and dairy. They wreak havoc. If I stay away from those foods then it’s all good across the board.
David Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervelo)
1/ Go easy. (Note from Lim: Dave didn’t follow up this comment with anything. He just stopped talking after he said it, and there was an awkward moment of silence. But it’s actually some pretty sage advice. When you’re going really hard, blood flow is shunted away from the gut to working muscle and that makes it hard to digest anything. Often, the rate-limiting factor isn’t one’s heart, lungs, or legs, it’s your stomach. And one of the easiest ways to avoid gut rot is to just go easier or to time your food intake when you are going easy.)
2/ Avoid crappy food: Anything processed is just bad. Some people out there might be adapting to it, but whatever.
3/ Keep your diet simple: The simpler you make your diet the easier it is to figure out what doesn’t work and what does work. I mean I could eat nothing but potatoes tonight and tomorrow morning I know I’ll wake up looking terrible. I had all those food allergy tests done and I’m allergic to everything but some things I’m allergic to are fine for me and other things aren’t. So who knows. I just keep things simple so I can hone in on what works.
4/ I’ll sell my colonic machine for a hundred dollars. (Note from Lim: Again, Dave didn’t follow this up with anything. There was just some awkward silence.)
Taylor Phinney (BMC)
1/ Avoid gels: I’ve never had any terrible stomach problems, but if I do the gels, I’m screwed.
2/ Eat what works for you: I particular love Almond Snickers as well as homemade rice cakes with pieces of scrambled eggs and bacon.
3/ Drink: I also try to drink water or a mix with low acidity and a solid amount of salt. For me, drinks like Gatorade have too much sugar and not enough salt.
Dr Allen Lim wrote a Cook book together with Chef Biju :
The Feed Zone Cookbook strikes the perfect balance between science and practice so that athletes will change the way they think about food, replacing highly processed food substitutes with real, nourishing foods that will satisfy every athlete’s cravings.
Chef Biju and Dr. Lim vetted countless meals with the world’s best endurance athletes in the most demanding test kitchens. Now, in The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes, Thomas and Lim share their energy-packed, wholesome recipes to make meals easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and better for performance.
The Feed Zone Cookbook provides 150 delicious recipes that even the busiest athletes can prepare in less time than it takes to warm up for a workout. With simple recipes requiring just a handful of ingredients, Biju and Lim show how easy it is for athletes to prepare their own food, whether at home or on the go.
Could be a Great gift for Xmas !