After listening to Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast 357, I’m confused by some tips about taking on carbs during a workout. Mainly if it’s applicable to less than 2 hours.
It’s in contradiction (or more I’ve misunderstood) to advice by Allen Lim in Feed Zone portables. Essentially your body has way more carbs stored than it’s going to need to complete a workout less than 2 hours.
So why should I eat during a workout of 2 hours or less. My assumption here is that I would eat 1-3 hours before a workout so carbs would be topped up.
Your muscle glycogen stores are roughly 1500-2000Kcal, it varies from individual to individual, I think the liver stores around 500Kcal. So, yes you can ‘get through’ a 60-120m workout with no intra-workout nutrition, but you are burning those stores which need to be replenished, if you do this regularly, you can see how chronic depletion may negatively impact your performance on subsequent sessions. There is a lot to this subject, it depends on intensity e.g. 2hrs endurance will use more fat relative to a 2hr sweetspot session.
As for pre-workout I would not eat with less than 2 hours before a session, you may experience rebound hypoglycaemia, where the insulin response + the increased demand from exercise makes your blood sugar plummet - essentially you feel awful.
Technically you’re right. But in my experience, consuming carbs on the bike, even for 1 hour endurance rides, makes me feel better on the bike and after the ride. Also, there have been studies (this one has been mentioned on one the the podcasts, not sure which one tho) that suggest that just the taste of suger/carbs will decrease RPE.
If I do a morning session, its usually around 5am, I just make a strong bottle(s) (60-90g carbs) the night before and keep in the fridge. I aim to fuel for ~50% of the calories of these sessions, as I am going in fasted. Seems to work for me!