Am I Over fueling?

That hasn’t been my experience. I have tried both and when I started fueling my rides consistently, I got a significant FTP bump (311 W —> 348 W). I also feel much better on and off the bike.

On individual rides <= 1:30 I couldn’t tell a difference except for feeling completely famished afterwards. Like you correctly wrote, we have enough glycogen on board. But in the long run it did make a big difference with recovery and during harder rides. I can dig deeper, because my body has gotten consistent signals that I take in carbs while I train every time. I also no longer feel shitty after a post-workout meal, feeling as if I have overeaten.

But I’m not discussing a strategy for hard rides. I’ll have had my two peaks for this year. Both volume and intensity will drop off in October, November and December as they naturally do anyway. Any token maintenance intensity will be incidental- not essential.

I agree with everything you say when performance is your goal but that’s not sustainable for 12 months of the year anyhow and not the way building fitness works.

I don’t think carb cycling to suit the demands of the mesocycle you are in is even that new an idea. What is new (and fairly unique to here) is the notion that every single ride of every single phase of every single month of the year needs to be ‘fuelled’ to the upper limit of your gut tolerance :rofl:

I’d love to see your food journal for your current fueling strategy (lots of sugar on the bike) vs. when you start doing everything without fueling on the bike. Could you post the current one for reference and then the new one when you’ve made the swap?

Mine is really not that complicated :rofl:
I just put 90g table sugar, plus squash plus a pinch of salt in a 750ml bottle and aim for one an hour. The squash probably tips that closer to 105g total carbs.
For a race or chaingang, I do the same but aim for 120g table sugar plus squash plus pinch of salt.

I mostly ride a Specialized Diverge so run a third bottle cage if needed and will add more bottles to my jersey if I need 4,5 or 6 (I rarely stop even on a century).

And that’s it. I’ve stopped eating on the bike as don’t need to with that protocol.
I have tried 90g in 500ml bottles to save weight but I need it diluted with the extra water (that gave me gut distress for the last hour of a 5h40 century.)

I’ll go back to nothing (or just strong squash for any 1h ish Zwift races) during the weight loss phase.

Last week it added up to about 1kg of sugar in bottles alone.

For three hours before, I like wheetabix + tablespoon sugar + two tablespoons of Nesquick powder with milk :yum: That is like rocket fuel :rofl:

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I don’t mean your on bike diary but your entire food Jonah that covers your entire diet. The on bike changes are simple, I’m curious what else you’re eating currently and what that looks like when you drop the sugars while riding

I assume with all of this you’ve already journaled a few days with current strategy

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As mentioned- I don’t really want to get into the weeds when it comes to family meals so I tend to just go with the flow and eat what the wife and boy are eating.

I do count on MyFitnessPal and am usually close to 60% carbs, 20 protein, 20 fat inc on bike sugar consumption.

Breakfast is typically scrambled eggs on brown bread toast with coffee.

Lunch is tuna sandwiches plus an apple, grapes, strawberries or other fruit and crisps plus coffee.

Dinner is something plus salad and or veg. (Could be chicken based, steaks, pizza, toad in the hole, ham egg and chips, pasta bake, spaghetti bolognaise, shepherds pie, lasagna etc).

Snacks are either chocolate, more toast (usually with eggs cheese or tuna for the protein post workout) or wheetabix pre ride.

No alcohol or regular soft drinks.

In my weight loss phase it will be the same but less :man_shrugging:t2:
Smaller portions, less snacks, less rocket fuel cereal bowls and no kg of sugar.

Your meals look similar to mine. Although my lunch is a big salad and veggies and fruit like this:

With some rice in the bowl for carbs.

And then on the bike around 5pm. Almonds and some fruit for a snack. And 1200-1500kJ rides without needing a lot of carbs, coming home and making dinner.


I know. My training plan makes me alternate between hard and easy workouts. Fueling easy workouts and rides has significantly improved my recovery from those easy workouts, which means, I can dig deeper during the next workout — which is a hard workout. That is despite upping training volume (I train 4x90 minutes and 1 long ride whose length varies, but is at least 2 hours, typically 3–4 hours. That is up from 3x60 minutes, 1x90 minutes and 1 long ride.) The other effect, which I mentioned, is that my body knows it gets fuel during each and every workout, which is a much more consistent signal than every other workout or twice a week. The last benefit is that I have learnt to fuel intuitively, i. e. I don’t “forget” to take fuel in and I intuitively know to vary the amount based on intensity, how much I have had before the workout and other parameters.

Overall, the effect of fueling correctly in my experience has been a reduction in long-term fatigue. That’s the kind of fatigue you only notice after weeks and weeks of training, the type you can’t shed very quickly and that builds up over long time. Not fueling for me is akin to pushing through a workout that is a bit too hard to be productive: I can do that a few times, but if I tried to do that over the course of several weeks, it’d quickly destroy me.

Who said I was training 12 months a year?
Performance is my goal, but I know about periodized training and I know I cannot peak 12 months per year. So I have been riding the wave, up and down, I put in the work. At the beginning of a season, I don’t compare my numbers to my peak numbers last season, I compare them to the numbers at the same training stage last season. An easy one is my FTP at the start of the new season.

The other huge advantage of fueling the way I do now is that my off-the-bike nutrition doesn’t change much during the entire year. It does not vary (much) by training stage, by volume or intensity. In the past, I’d usually gain weight during my offseason, because my appetite was still geared for the on season. And taking in 3,500 kCal during normal meals when you only need 2,500 kCal takes some getting used to.

I think you misunderstood how I fuel. If you read my posts above, you see that I make sure I have a base and then let my body decide how much it wants to top that off with. I never force fuel into my body, nor do I feel bad for any food I eat during training. I know it is beneficial for me to hit a certain baseline and make sure that I do. But taking in a certain amount of carbs for every ride seems to be have net benefits for performance. Fasted rides do sometimes have their place in training, but as far as I understand, you are then aiming for certain adaptations (such as being able to perform well even when depleted) and not about maximizing performance. Based on what I heard on the podcast and saw/read in other places, including @timpodlogar’s work, it seems clear that most people are able to handle 90–120 g/h and there is a consensus that taking in carbs during endurance exercise is a net positive. Experts like @Dr_Alex_Harrison will tell you (and I believe them) that ideally you want to vary intake a little by intensity. But IMHO that is something you should incorporate after you have gotten used to fueling every ride. And likely you will be doing that yourself anyway.

Indoors, my carb intake varies a little depending on intensity, outdoors it varies quite a bit more depending on duration, etc. Indoors, I usually hit 100 g/h, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. This morning I didn’t feel so hungry (I had a large dinner last night), so I only took in 73 g/h. But I felt great. My breakfast was also smaller. No biggie. I know why and it is fine. It isn’t important that you slavishly hit numbers every single time no matter how you feel. What is important in my experience is consistency and building habits.

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That looks pretty delicious. Is that a watermelon salad with cheese (mozzarella?) and basil? That’s a pretty delicious combo, especially in the summer. A friend of mine gave me a similar recipe, but she put in feta. Has all the things you want: sweet, savory, aromatics.

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I think you are doing just fine with what you are taking in around your training on the bike.
What you are experiencing is that you don’t loose weight from exercise. As long as there is an unlimited supply of food around us, if we follow our appetite to control the amount of food we eat, our weight will remain fairly stable.

To loose weight (fat) we need to eat less than our appetite is telling.

Large field tomato chopped up with some chicken. A lot of great tomatoes grown in this area, took me a long time to warm up to them.

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I think we are bordering on saying a similar thing in two different ways :rofl:

Relating it back to the OP though-
The answer to “Am I over fuelled?” largely depends on the definition of fuel.

There are only limited amounts of levers to pull to hit your goals- and pulling each one has consequences for the others.
Yes you can continue to consume high rates on the bike and lose weight but the trade off could be you don’t make it through the other 23h that day without smashing a tub of ice cream.
Or you could have a slightly higher RPE session on the bike, feel ravenous afterwards and eat a tuna steak and bowl of salad that leaves you feeling full until bed time.
Given how amazingly adaptable the human body is- It may even be that they cancel each other out and don’t make a gnats worth of difference…. :rofl:

i can give kudos to high carb fueling guide from @Dr_Alex_Harrison
i am testing it for quite a while now- just table sugar 80-100g per hour.
yesterday i did a big ride and want to let you know about the details.

saturday high carb low fat: potatoes, fruits and porridge
sunday pre ride: 80g rice with maple syrup
during the ride 8 bottles 750ml 140g table sugar, 2g salt, bcaas, taurin and beta alanin
additional 2 bars and a gel to hit 1000g of carbs.
11 hour ride (1h paused) → 10hours with 220w average
250km with 3400m climb, 70% gravel 30% road
25 degrees sunny
about 8000kcal burned

220w average until home ! no bonk, no hunger, no gut problems, just ride and have fun.
to note: i had to drink more water than the 8 bottles caused by feel.
@Dr_Alex_Harrison is this because of the weather? too much or to less sodium? or is this normal?

negativ: none - maybe just dental heatlh :slight_smile:

sunday post ride: a banana with kefir, 2 toasts with cheese and marmelade, some veggys and egg.
a porridge 100g oats, fruits and nuts.

still had a 3000kcal deficit but no hunger anymore.
now its monday and my appetite is quite higher of course.

but overall for me its a perfect example how this works and how important it is to hit 100g per hour.
in the past i was more in the eat less on the bike to eat cheat meals after a big ride, but this lead only to junk food and higher kcal than i needed.

the main positive for me is that i can go 10hours full gaz without any problems!
this was a z2 ride 80%
when i go racing or including intervalls i would go for 120-140g? also with 750ml bottle?


Try mint in place of the basil - both are delicious and surprisingly different

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I believe the point he was making was not to modify fueling strategy to try to elicit higher fat ox. Instead, train appropriately and accomplish higher fat ox through training adaptations.

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I’ve been involved in debates on this front. It’s quite an arm-wrestle to convince sponsors “I need to ride a different wheel if you want me to win with your logo all over my bike and body”

Depends on body composition and blood sugar dysregulation, if any. Underfueling causes more apparent short-term deficits in performance. Overfueling tends to have longer-term deficits in health that are impossible to “feel” while you’re doing it (barring GI issues, of course). Hence: an individualized approach is handy.

Agreed on all else.

This is a fantastic point. I’ve seen more people believe that they are just not good at endurance sport, simply because of hypoglycemia or bonking, than because they’re actually not talented at endurance sport. Reason? It feels bad to get hypoglycemic!

I’d posit that this is as severe or more severe than the elite athlete who has a very bad training sessions or a botched year of training. Feeling bad while exercising has long-term health effects because people cease to exercise. The elites often fight back, return to more serious training, and extremely rarely are compelled to “not exercise anymore” because they had some bad fueling experiences.

If you interview them in detail, I’d posit that the ones with the “water + banana” folks have all been riding for many many years and have higher fitness history than those who fuel more. That’s how it works in my bike group, which sounds similar to yours. Their poor fueling strategies are masked by a lifetime of high fitness.

Sweat rates influence fluid needs. Yes, 8 bottles, even if 1-L each, might be too low for a sweaty 11-hr ride. It would be for me!

Maybe, if gut can handle it. Might need to move up to 1-liter bottles and get more sodium and fluid. I wrote an app that customizes fuel approach for you. It’s in beta. iOS instructions or Android install.

Channel on Discord for quicker responses from me if you run into questions. Join email Email list here for notifications about releases etc.

Tagging @IvyAudrain here because I’m clearly linking out to things that I may eventually make money from, but also because it’s genuinely the best way for me to disseminate information on how to customize fueling strategy, which has been a common line of questions here. @mcneese.chad feel free to modify or delete any portion of this post or request that I do so and I’ll do it immediately.

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no worries thank you!
i give you all the money if this makes me even a better rider :slight_smile:

so for more water - 750ml with less sugar and more refill stations would be better?
1 hours 750ml with 100g of sugar instead of 140g

i will try your app

I think you could keep carb content similar on a per-hour basis and just increase fluid consumption rate. Yes, probably either need to carry more fluid or stop more often to make this happen.

There is a chance that with more fluid consumption to better match thirst and sweat loss, that you could also benefit from higher carb intake too.

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Just downloaded the app. This is soooo helpful. I am new at training and fuelling and am thankful to have this app to play with.

Will you be adding other solid foods in the app? Often I eat a couple of dates and/or banana with pb. Would be helpful to Know how these stack up and what “top up” is needed as a mix/chews/gels etc

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For now we’re allowing folks to add their own solids in the Custom tab of the Select Product screen. Add your dates & a banana!

Once you add those to the Custom tab, you’ll be able to add servings of that food item to any activity, and then top up with beverages, gels, etc, on the PREP screen.

@mcneese.chad I’m shooting you a DM about this conversation! Just want to make sure I’m not leading folks astray from the intentions of the forum here.

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