Eating while you ride

Posted: August 15, 2011 in 2011, General

I have long been of the opinion that cycling is one of the foremost sports for two reasons: you do it sitting down and you get to eat while you are taking part. The food I have been ‘stuffing’ myself with for years ranges from bananas, dried fruit, energy drinks/bars/gels of various shapes sizes and recipes and it has been great but a few months ago I started to wonder. If you train your body to become accustomed to exercise, it adapts, you put on muscle, lose fat and generally become a more efficient machine. Following on from this logic, if (while doing this training) your body becomes used to receiving a regular intake of calories then you will constantly be looking for the injection of food.

Now I have read the theory about glycogen depletion and the need to provide your body with calories and for long rides I can fully understand why this is a desirable thing however, as most of my rides are two and a half to three hours I don’t think this actually counts as a long ride. My logical conclusion is/was that I don’t need to constantly stuff food in as a matter of course. In recent months I have generally eschewed the varied delights of food, energy drinks etc in favour of water and…well that’s about it. I always take food with me on a ride and I reckon I’ll dip into it maybe 1 or 2 rides in 10. Whereas it was difficult to start with, going without energy supplements is now quite normal. I can ride hard for three hours and not be in need of sustenance, over that and it starts to get a bit iffy.

Am I going any faster? No idea but, and this is an interesting one (for me anyway), I weigh the same as I did before, but I am using one notch in on my belt. If I keep this up, I’ll disappear! 😉


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