Consuming carbs

I hear and read alot about not consuming carbs if the workouts are lest then 60 minutes or 90 minutes long . Must of the TrainerRoad workouts are 60 to 90 minutes long but most of them are high intensity. So my question Is should I do my workout with not eating anything or should I eat a gel at least? If any body has an answer I will appreciate. Thanks.

To a certain extent it’s up to you. The comments about not eating, are based upon you should have enough on-board to cope with 60 to 90 minutes of exercise, after the 90 min mark you become depleted and therefore may struggle to complete the said 2 hr workout. To a large extent this will depend on how well you are fuelled & hydrated prior to commencing the workout. Hope this helps.


Thank you that helps alot.

I consume carbs just before and all during my workouts. Gel 10 mins before and every 30 mins or so. My bottle also has fuel in it (Heed). I do this for all workouts SS and above. I have much more energy for the workouts to finish strong. If you are trying to loose weight or become fat adapted then maybe this is not the route. However, for me it’s carbs.


Thanks no I’m not trying to lose weight I just want to have good energy while I do my workout. Thanks I think I will try using more gels.

For aerobic workouts I may skip on nutrition during, but I always have a gel, banana, or toast with honey prior to those workouts. For anything above a .70 IF, so tempo intervals and above, I’ll usually consume some carbohydrate every 30 or as needed. I find this prevents me from get really hungry after and keeps me sustained throughout the workouts.

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In that range of duration/intensity I think you’re better off paying attention to the carbs you eat 3 to 2 hours PRIOR to the workout rather than the carbs you eat DURING the workout. But, anyhow, it won’t hurt to take a gel during the workout. It probably won’t make a difference either way but if you wanna, g’head.

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Agree, I also make sure I have real food healthy carbs 2:30 - 3:00 hours before every “hard” workout. The only exception is when I workout in the early morning (which is rare), and always feels twice as challenging anyways.

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I think the answer is very individual. A lot depends on how long you have been training, what else you are eating through the day, etc. I still haven’t completely sorted it out in my own case.

I was restricting carbs for a while and always feeling tired and sometimes not being able to complete my TR workouts, I then started eating more carbs and the outcome has been very noticeable…

Hope this helps!!!

Not that it matters much now since we are not racing for a while but… taking in carbs, in the form you would during a race, would be something to consider as well so it’s not a shock to your system on race day.

I’m assuming that most of these recommendations for 60g or so carbs per hour are for intensities close to 1hr crit style races.

Is the relationship between intensity and required carb intake linear? I.e. if I go for a five hour ride at 60% of threshold then the carbs required are: 5 x 0.6 x 60 (180g)? Or does the body draw more on fat reserves at these intensities so the actual carb requirement is a bit lower?

My events are (well would be) typically 14-16hr days for multiple days and are self-supported so no feed stations but you can restock at shops, cafés and the like but you may go a day or more without going past one so you are often carrying that amount of food which would equate to at least 2kg of food.

During TR workouts I’m trying out different foods to see what my stomach can deal with at different intensities. The main difference for me is afterwards - if I don’t eat then I’m raiding the cupboards for anything :laughing:

I usually ride in the morning and fasted, I have a gel and or banana next to me. If I feel like I’m running out of energy I go for the banana on a recovery set or the gel if It’s a V02 session

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It does, or more to the point, it will/can but it has to be trained to do so (e.g. fasted endurance rides). When I started my 4-month block of Z2, I could hit maybe 3hrs before I had to eat; by the end I was doing 5hrs on water (not that that’s necessarily healthy or even necessary).

I’ve been experimenting with liquid carbs during workouts and this was one thing I also noticed — I wasn’t absolutely craving food afterward. Could be a signal of too many carbs during the ride?