Fueling for 90-120mins

Hi, what’s people’s opinion on fuelling for rides around 90mins?
Most workouts I do are 90min long and my usual road route is about the same. On this would you bother with any carb mix? I normally have about 30-40g per bottle and drink 2 of these, I’m trying to cut down on some calories and sugar so i was thinking of cutting the sugar mix out for a while.
I eat plenty of food and carbs per day so don’t think I’d be low on energy.

For 90 minutes of endurance, I usually throw a few things in my pocket (maybe 30-40g of sugar, and some extra as bonking insurance) but eating cereal or something not long before the ride often covers me if the ride isn’t hard. If it’s a 90 minute “workout”? I take at least 100g of carbs–maybe 60+ in the bottle plus extra food.

Either way, if I were trying to cut calories, I’d start with off-the-bike calories first under the “don’t diet on the bike” theory.


For 90 mins I do about 60g split between two bottles. Mostly just because it makes me feel better and drink more because I have a sweet tooth. Having said that, I lost a lot of weight last year and did it without fueling rides and rarely noticed I was missing it on 90 mins beyond the flavor.


What intensity are you doing these rides at?

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Outside is a fairly hard effort.
Indoors I do what TR recommends although this is a bit all over the place now we are in summer I try to ride outdoors as much as possible. I average about 700-800calories and hour on most workouts.
I never used to fuel my rides but I think I feel better now having the sugar but I’m not sure how much of that is physiological.
I don’t ever fuel the gentle endurance session.

For 90+ minute rides, we’d definitely recommend fueling your rides. You can generally get away with no on-bike fueling for sub-90-minute sessions (though taking on some carbs during those shorter sessions can still help!), but for 90+ minute rides, you should really take some nutrition with you.

Everyone can tolerate a different amount of carbohydrates when exercising, but a good starting point would be 60-90g of carbs per hour. You can learn more about using carbs to fuel your performance in the following article:

You mentioned that you never used to fuel your rides, but since you’ve started, you’ve been feeling better. That’s definitely physiological! You’re keeping your energy stores topped off as you ride, so you have more energy to use when you’re on the bike.

You also mentioned that you don’t fuel endurance rides – even if you’re riding at Zone 2/Endurance, you should still continue to fuel while on the bike. It will keep your energy levels topped off during your training, and it will also help you recover more quickly once your training session is over.

As @jlsazart said, if you’re trying to cut calories, try to cut down on off-the-bike calories first. Never try to diet on the bike during your workouts. Cutting carbs/calories on the bike during your workouts will result in fatigue and a significant lack of power in the legs.

Hope this info helps – feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!

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I fuel all my rides about the same. About 75 to 90 grams of carbs an hour. If it’s an 90 min endurance ride, i’m a bit on the lower side of that amount and a heavy workout i might even go up to 100. Depending on FTP, that’s still way less then you’re burning during that ride. Also, depends on how many days you ride. I usually pack a 90min endurance session on Wednesdays after intensity on Tuesday and Thursday. So it’s also important to keep fueled up for the next workout.

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Thanks for all the feedback. Looks like il get the sugar back in my bottles :+1:t2:
Thinking of rather than having 2 bottles around around 35-40g in each I may use my first bottle at a higher level of 50-60g, this usually lasts me about an hour then just have my electrolytes in my 2nd bottle. Will have a play around with it and see what feels best

If it’s 90 mins I wouldn’t bother with anything more than water in my bottles. But then I usually do my sessions within an hour of having my porridge. I have something to eat when I finish. No problems with energy levels or performance.

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What you’re doing is pretty good but also depends on other factors such as heat and intensity. In most cases, you can get away with 60-80g of carbs for this duration. If you’re doing really challenging stuff you might increase that to 120g (for two hours, so 60g/hr), but there’s little need to go much above that for 90-120min.

Generally for a 2hr endurance ride, I’ll do two bottles of Skratch. For 2hrs with like sweet spot efforts, I’ll do a 90g bottle of Tailwind or similar the first hour, the Skratch the second hour. In an intense workout, you want to front load the sugar IMO.

For an easy hour, I’ll do water. Once I’m up to 90min or any intensity I want something, but there is no need to overdo it and do 100g/hr for short durations.

Length alone isn’t enough for me.

That length with threshold or vo2 intervals I’d be taking some liquid sugars. Or a continuous sweet spot 90.

Same. Maybe a banana or two before leaving, and a blueberry Clif bar or two at end of ride. Depends on workout and time between lunch and workout. Dinner within an hour of finishing. Never have a problem completing 90-120 minute workouts. I prefer real food and so much better not having to clean sugar water off my bike.

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I’m thinking about this…maybe. A continual endurance effort, like indoor quality probably agree. Will adjust accordingly.

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