Carbs per hour recommendations - Help me wrap my head around it

First of all - I am absolutely no expert on this but I would have thought if you are getting through your workouts feeling OK, not feeling the need to binge on food later on in the day or losing weight if you don’t want to, then there is little or nothing wrong with your fuelling. Everyone is different as regards the ratio of fat & carbs that they burn at different intensities. I found this the other day which I found very helpful. Fat Oxidation in Athletes: High Carbohydrate versus High Fat Diet - Glut4 Science
One of the advantages I understand of eating any extra carbs whilst on the bike is they get utilised better for energy and/or replenishing glycogen stores and so have little left to convert to fat. It’s something to do with the insulin response being muted during exercise.

I feel you completely. I’ve been doing this for quite a number of years and some of this is scientific, some anecdotal. You will need to increase the available fuel at some point, and simple sugars allows that. I would not try and go to the deep end and hog on 90g per hour straight away - this is not necessary. Get some haribo or, even better, portable fruits, and eat a small amount every 15 mins. 60g (carbs) per hour is completely enough for the time being - the 90g thing is very recent and requires some faff. As far as I’m concerned a lot of the advice given around here does not align with long-term health - there is simply no supporting long-term study on this and quite frankly, a lot of us do not burn the fuel high-level athletes do. Keep up with the well-rounded diet!!! :slight_smile:

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Some gels or bars really messes up my intestines and sometimes I will get a high and then drop off so I have to carb up again. In the past month I have been using UCAN, a slow release carb and so far it is working out really well. I will take 1 scoop 30 min before the workout and depending on intensity and duration, I may take another scoop right after the warm up period. I used to avoid carbs but with high intensity 2 hour sessions, it gets pretty difficult for sustained energy levels, especially with a Sweet Spot MV or HV training plan. Proper fueling will reduce the stress to the body and help maximize return on workouts.

No. But you’d benefit from doing so.

Maybe! You may be adapting nicely without it. You’d probably adapt even faster with it.

Increased carb consumption during training and the high glycogen replenishment that results independently promotes increased production of the enzymes used in the aerobic metabolism of carbs for energy during training. This promotes more rapid increases in 1- to 60-minute power bests, especially those in the 3- to 20-min range.

Recommendation: Dump sugar in your bottles. Eat more carbs in general. Performance is likely to improve even faster than it currently is.


@Dr_Alex_Harrison After hard training or even when the training session has been late on the evening i often suffer night sweats. Also the the need to urinate during he night increases. I have considered that this is due to low blood sugar etc and is linked to inadequate carbohydrate intake.
Is this something you haves even or can comment on?

Sounds like a very reasonable assessment. Timing and magnitude of post-workout carb consumption becomes more important as workouts move later in the day.


  1. Fuel well during training.
  2. Eat immediately after training. Carbs!
  3. Eat plenty of carbs asap, to restock lost glycogen and prevent blood sugar crashing from muscles vacuuming up all the sugar out of your blood in a midnight effort to restock their glycogen.

Doing all the above can reduce sleep latency (time taken to fall asleep) and reduce wakefulness during the night.

My personal strategy for mitigating urination demand at night: consume more sodium in final 4 hours pre-bed especially if substantial sweat loss happened recently.

I’m not sure the urination demand, and the sweats, are related. Sodium for the first. Carbs for the second. That’s my guess, anyway.

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