Advice while on the trainer

Hello to all!

Just hopped on TR and I have noticed how intense the workouts are and wanted to know what do other cyclist eat or drink while on the trainer for a long period of time.

Thank you!

I subscribe to:

  1. Don’t consume a full meal closer than 2.5-3 hours before a workout
  2. One gel 15 minutes before the workout
  3. 60g carb per hour in the form of a drink and/or gel for sweetspot intensity or above


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I only drink water for the hour workouts and usually eat lunch or dinner at least 1.5 hours before hopping on the trainer. For the 1.5 intervals i have either a gel of some chews 1 hour into the workout. After finishing its either a recovery drink or some fruit of some kind nothing too big.

I usually just use water and gummy candies as fuel. For indoor workouts I tend to avoid using gels as they’re not particularly cheap, and instead try to make sure I’m well fuelled going in to the workout. That usually means a carb centric meal (often oatmeal, fruit and a source of protein) 2.5-3 hours and probably a banana about 30 minutes before a workout. I choose larger gummies (worms, sharks etc.) over say, gummy bears, as you need to eat fewer for the same amount of carb and thus count less during the workout. I’m lazy like that.

After I’m usually trying to eat within an hour of finishing, and again, typically something carb-centric, with lots of veg and protein. I’ll often gobble down an apple or two or maybe another banana while I’m preparing said meal. Or, if I’m feeling feisty, chocolate soy milk (about 250ml).

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I used to do nothing just made sure I wasn’t hungry, I only would have a gel if I was on the bike for longer than 90 minutes since supposedly thats how long it takes to deplete glycogen stores and then maybe have a recovery drink if it was a particularly long or hard workout.

I’ve started having at least 200 calories an hour (in the forum of gels and tailwind) and sometimes more and always having a recovery drink, even if its just an hour workout and it’s made a pretty big impact in how I feel on the bike (and I never felt tired or bonkish before, so didn’t expect it to be as dramatic as it has been) and also has made a massive difference in my ability to not overeat later in the day.


Big meals are a no go within 2 hours I’d say of the workout. If I do my intervals in the morning Ill have something small, a banana and peanut butter or sugary cereal half hour before. During I like pouring a small amount of maple syrup in a glass. I don’t like using gel packets, it seems bad for the earth to have all these little single serving packets.

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If I work out 250-300 times per year, I personally don’t want all those workouts fueled by sugar. It’s bad for your teeth and not great in general for long term health. I eat a big healthy breakfast of oats, fruit, nuts, toast, milk. If it’s been a while since I’ve eaten and I’m going on a ride I’ll eat a banana and/or take an extra with me on the ride. Occasionally I’ll take a healthyish bar as well if the ride is extra long.

If I’m doing a 3-4-5 hour fondo or group ride, I’ll eat an even bigger breakfast and take more food with me and only then will I put some drink mix in my bottle and take along some swedish fish or use gels.

My workouts are at 5am so a big meal 2.5 hours before is out of the question. I used to do fasted rides but realize that high intensity on an empty tank doesn’t fair well for successful workouts. Now if I start to feel like I’m fading i’ll pop a gel or some chews. For lower intensity I’ll still do it fasted, even if it’s a little harder, you’ll still get through.
On the weekends when I can workout later, I’ll just eat a bowl of oatmeal or something right when I wake up, and then I’m good to go a couple hours later, usually don’t need additional carbs unless the rides exceed 90 minutes.

I usually train early, so usually haven’t eaten for around 10hours before. Large strong coffee to get started and then on the big I only take on water (around 1.5l for a 2hrs workout) and food wise I just keep a packet of seedless dates which I pick at between sets, sometimes a cereal bar. But I try to eat fairly quickly afterwards, usually a bowl of muesli otherwise I will wilt fairly quickly