Eating in the Heat is hard

There are some 4 and 5 year old threads, so I figured I’d open up a new one in case there’s new info.

Both last weekend (Tahoe Trail) and this weekend (just riding for fun) temps on the back half of my rides were above 100°F /38°C and while I was able to force hydration, eating just wasn’t really happening. I suppose if I had some cold liquid carbs that might help, but geeze the heat just sucks the desire to eat out of me.

Anyone else have this problem and if so how have you managed to mitigate it?


Wake up and start earlier :rofl:

It’s an issue. Practice.

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Liquid calories (malto, sugar, or whatever mix you prefer… add salt). No dry foods (licorice sticks from costco slide down pretty well, chews/gummies are moderately ok… cliff bars are death). Maple syrup. Lots of water to wash stuff down. Ice. Refill ice. Refill ice again. Don’t forget electrolytes.

It was 110 on my way home from the group ride this morning. (I’m now sitting by the pool.)


This! Plus I use Precision Hydration 1500 tabs with the malto/fructose mix. I also use Cliff salted watermelon and/or margarita blocks for added salt.

110? Wtf. That’s just silly

Liquid calories FTW. If you eat a snack and eat properly before riding, you can get a long way on just liquid (or gel if you must). Routinely do 4-5hr rides on just liquid. Eat a solid breakfast, then I hit a graham cracker and a banana before I go out the door around 9am on my normal schedule, then it’s 1200-1800cal of liquid during the ride.


I can’t go long in the heat on just liquid. My stomach requires a banana or a Cliff bar to keep all that liquid from sloshing around.

Same. I can do maple syrup but not carbs in the bottle. Plus a Clif bar or two.

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Well this was from today on my head unit, but subtract 10 because garmin. Even so, yeah it got hot at the end.

More Ice would have been nice, my hydration bladder was about 1/3 frozen at the start and was still cool at the end.

Gonna keep working on it…


My worst stomach day on the bike so far was trying Maple Syrup, and solid food makes it worse if it’s a hot / hard day. Absorption of calories gets harder as you dehydrate, and liquids absorb easier and faster than solids.

100% Liquid works great for me, and some gels too (but not all - I use Maurten and SIS currently). If it’s cooler, I use more gels so I’m not taking in as much fluid if I’m not sweating. Another trick for me was figuring out I need ~1200mg of sodium per liter of fluid, and on a real hot day I can be 40 oz or more of fluid loss per hour.

I’ve also found out that a “Hyper Hydrate” high sodium / carb mix right as I head out works well. 16 oz of water, 50g carb, 1600mg sodium.


You have to start riding earlier. Even if you optimize your nutrition and hydration, riding at those temperatures will place a significant strain on your system and you have to be careful.

Generally, though, I find liquid calories are more easily digestible under those conditions.

I was just thinking about the same thing a few weeks ago and switched up what I’m using for “solid” food.
I normally use 1 bar and some sips of sugar water every hour.
Lately I haven’t been able to deal with energy bars in this heat. I’ve switched to sweeter things that are easier to chew.
Things like Gummy bears, gummy worms, cookies and pop tarts have helped. (Ride fast eat trash)
I’ve been making cookies at home for the past few months, it’s a good change from the date and oat type of bars.
One last thing, I never used a reminder before on my head unit. I now have one that alerts me to eat every 20 minutes. That also helps a little, but can be annoying.

My old coach used to have me use these hammer flasks to drink liquid carbs and keep it separate from my water bottles that were just filled with water.


Think about this way, you only have certain amount of blood in your body. When you ride “empty” it all can go in your legs and muscles. When you eat solid food during your ride part of the blood goes to your stomach area. When it get really hot you body send a lot of blood to your skin to help with cooling and it’s a priority (aka important for survival). That is why for example your HR goes up when it’s hot since you heart need to pump more blood to deliver same amount of o2 to your legs.

Same thing happens when let’s say you are in a race or long climb going full gas, you just can’t eat.

What you want to do it do fuel with liquid calories and carry a small snack for when you really need to eat something solid. Also, as it get’s hotter 2-3h into your ride you need to move to mostly water plus gels. And yes you can get away with just liquid calories, it just takes a bit of getting used to. I did 2023 Unbound 200 with all liquid carbs and 2 small waffles as my solid “emergency” plan.

I live in South Florida and ride in the heat often.


I think, just like everything else w/ on the bike nutrition, it takes practice and adjustment periods.

I used to be the same way, but I can do long rides / races now with primarily just liquid calories. I did Dustbowl 100 yesterday (6 hours, clock time) and only had one Honey Stinger waffle and a Rice Krispie treat. Everything else was liquid or maple syrup. I have just gradually increased the amount of liquid calories while decreasing solid foods.


Was tempted to get some of those Never Second frozen gels until I discovered they’re 5 bucks a piece.

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And you have to have some way to keep them iced. Only thing I can think of is a drop bag in the form of a really great cooler at a checkpoint of some sort.

I find I need to separate my hydration and fuel, especially when it’s hot. I will put sodium citrate in water and drink that no problem, and for fuel I really just like dates and maple sugar candy (basically just compressed maple sugar). I haven’t had any problems eating those even on these very warm weekends. I actually kind of like it when the dates get warm. I really don’t like hot sweet drinks. I can just drink the sodium/water freely, and plan for refill stops. Much easier to refill with plain water and carry a ziplock with a small amount of extra sodium citrate than to have to have a baggie with extra malto+sodium.

I agree with most people that starting earlier is a good idea, but it’s not always feasible to start at 7 - our group ride starts at 9, and you had no control over when you started the Tahoe Trail.

Yeah, solid foods don’t go down well in the heat. Drink mix with electrolytes and Clif Bloks and/or lightly salted medjool dates are my go-to. If it’s a really long ride and I need something solid, I’ll eat the solids in the cooler morning part of the ride, saving the easy-to-process stuff for when the heat really kicks up. Freezing one of your bottles the night before is also the bomb.

The TdF riders have little panty hose ice pouches to go in their back jersey pockets.

Ya. When I was a kid I could eat anything. Now in my 70’s my stomach is a bit finicky.

I use that trick too on supported rides. It’s just not for the pro’s