I’m curious how many people notice a substantial difference in how they feel when taking in this many grams of carbs per hour. I’ll normally do 4-6 hour rides with max of 600 calories and I feel fine but wondering if it would be a big improvement in feeling if I looked to double that.
Depends on if you are riding close to your max 4-5hr power. If you are riding at max power, then yes it will make a difference. Most of the time you would eat close to 100g/hr is to set a PR or ride close to it. I do feel it does require some “gut training” to get to that point comfortably though, for most folks.
I’m in a similar boat, I’m all for proper nutrition on a ride, but I like to keep things to a minimum, if I can. Maybe it’s a subconscious thing where I know I might be having a big meal and want to have my calories later and I just like to snack so I try not to overdo it on the bike. I’ve done a couple of 100 mile rides (endurance focused, not any real intensity) this summer in the neighborhood of 3400kj of work and taken in 900-1000 calories. But it’s not like i’m really going out of my way to be fat adapted or anything like that
I’m a huge fan of carbs. Being a cheapskate, i use sugar water while on the bike. 2 x 750ml bottles with 75g sugar in each bottle easily fuels me for 3 hours (I weigh less than 60kg). Add a pocket full of dates and I’m good to go for another hour or two with water stops.
There’s something in the back of my mind though about only being able to absorb 1g of carbs per 1kg body weight per hour, possibly more if mixing glucose and fructose.
Can someone confirm this (or educate me otherwise)?
Your body cannot use more than 60 g/h of a single carbohydrate ( 1 g/min). Though this limitation can be overcome by using multiple transportable carbohydrates like maltodextrins and fructose or glucose and fructose. This now means Intakes of 90 g/h of glucose fructose can enhance performance during long periods of exercise.
three 24-oz bottles of Gu Roctane @ 250 calories per bottle
one Cliff bar @ 250 calories
Carbs at 60g per hour in the bottle, and I often bump it up to 80g in the bottle. Eating anything (gels or food) while riding is a challenge for me. Usually aim for consuming something closer to 1200-1500 calories on a ride like that, but forgot to pack two Cliff bars. Ended up buying a Cliff bar and water at the regroup spot. Had carb loaded the two days prior, so experimented a bit by not buying two and only putting Roctane into 1 bottle at the regroup. Was definitely burrito and milk time after the ride!
I have been trying to increase the amount of carbs consumed on long rides after finding myself in a state of bonk on some long, hot rides lately (>3hrs, > 90F). After thinking about it I realized I was only consuming about 50g/hour on these rides.
This past Saturday I did a 70 mile gravel ride with temps starting in the 80s and increasing into the 90s. There was very little support on course so I started out with my pockets and a top tube bag stuffed with food. I emptied several bags of Skratch and Honey Stinger chews into my top tube bag so I could just reach now and grab them. I had gels and bars in my pockets.
I felt like I was constantly eating and drinking. I refilled one bottle at the only rest stop (mile 17) using Hammer Heed which was what they had… Refilled both at a convenience store at mile 45 with Beta Fuel.
It went better but I still found the last hour to be really tough. I kept all my wrappers and added things up when I got home. Even with all that I only consumed about 60g per hour (a little more if you count the banana I had at the start line).
I really need to learn how to eat much more. I did learn though to eat the bars early. After several hours chewing solid bars is really tough. Gels and chews are much easier.
Yes, that’s the big thing about drinks like SiS or Maurten. They mix all three types of carbs (glucose, fructose and malto) ; it makes a huge difference and also tastes wayyy less sweet. Good luck to drink 90g of pure glucose in one bottle over hours!
What works well for me is 14% or glucose, 32% of fructose and 54% of malto (75g per hour/bottle + 22g of carbs in an home made energy bar). I only fuel with carbs on race days however, rest of the time, I just drink electrolytes. Works like a charm!
I’ve recently been following the sugar water “science” and trying to gulp down 90g/hr of sucrose (50:50 glucose:fructose). It’s like rocket fuel but it’s so bonkers sweet!! So much so that I’ve created a new problem for myself in having to take in additional straight water which leads to the “race bladder” also getting a workout! I’ll have to experiment with lower doses, see if there’s a lower threshold for performance.
The glucose, aka dextrose, is a sweetener that can be substituted with maltodextrin, which is nearly tasteless.
My current recipe for Budget Beta Fuel is 2 scoops Cytomax (roughly 1:1 maltodextrin to fructose) + 1 scoop maltodextrin, which brings it up to 2:1. There is still some dextrose in the Cytomax, but it’s not overly sweet.
I add a pinch of salt to my sugar water. Try that to see if it resolves your ‘race bladder’ issue.
I find it improves the taste, and it’s got to help with salts lost through sweating.
I’m sure that there is a more scientific approach using a wider range of electrolytes rather than simple salt, but cheap sugar/salt/water works fine for me. I’m not being paid to ride a bike, let alone being paid to win, so I don’t see the point in getting too obsessive about it all.
Yup, already do the salt thing. I’ve also cut down on the sugar, from ~95g down to ~75g per hour. Part of the problem was all the extra water I was chugging just to cut the sweetness – like 4L for a 2hr workout!
I do maltodextrin/fructose for all of my on bike fuel. I can get ~90g carbs in 1L just fine, and don’t run into any issues with over hydrating mid ride, even on 2+ hour rides.
My recipe is 2:1 maltodextrin:fructose, about 1g sodium citrate, and 2 tbsb lime juice per liter. Lately, I’ve been making it 2L at a time, but mixing 1L up double strength, blending it to get it to mix. Then adding 1L of ice, and blending that up. Makes a fantastic frozen energy drink at about 180g for 2L.
Doing that (either frozen or not) makes it pretty easy to stick to about 2L for a 2 hour workout. I typically have some extra straight water incase I want it, but rarely touch it.