Good savory carb options for on the bike?

So my go to ride nutrition has been just 60g of sugar in each bottle, but on rides longer than 2 hrs I need to bring food as well. Yesterday I did a 3h20m ride and brought 3 rice krispie squares and it was just too much sweetness.

What can I take on the bike that is savory but still has ~30g of carb per serving? Ideally it’ll be easy to eat, easy to make, and/or just ready to buy at the store.

I do these fig bars:

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not exactly savory, but I do like them! but sadly they stopped selling them at our Costco

search for rice cake recipes - I do a rice, egg, bacon, touch of maple syrup and salt for savory.

I find them easy to make, I just go with candy for stuff to buy at the store, but those Cliff nut butter bars are good in a pinch.


Rice cakes, pbj sandwich, and bananas all work for me. Another traditional favorite is salted boiled potatoes. I haven’t done that in a while, but now I’m going to!

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Spanish tortilla, the omelette, not the wrap. Without onions works best. I stick a shop bought one in the air fryer for 20 mins, chopped into fingers. Really nice slow release non sugary energy. I keep it in greaseproof paper in my food bag but you could chop into larger “bars” and wrap individually.

Fillos Walking Tamales


These are super tasty, easy to make, easy to carry and easy to eat on the bike.

-Use sushi rice
-Smush the rice+flavors into a pan when the rice is still warm, top with furikake
-Chill fully (overnight ideally)
-Cut and wrap. I get packs for the Skatch Paper wrapping, which is cheap and works really well for this.


Roast and salt some new potatoes

I did a ride last October, so it was chilly up here in the northeast US. One of the rest stops was serving hot baked potatoes, and you could load it up with bacon, sour cream etc. I was not expecting it to be so delicious after riding 60 miles/6k’ ft of climbing :sweat_smile::potato:

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I get those Hawaiian Rolls for sliders.

Cut in half - spread pub cheese and salt on each side.

place in Ziploc.

SMASH them down with my hands to flatten.

About 90 cal/25g of carbs in each. Savory from the spreadable cheese.

Can get everything from TJs. My go to when I’m sick of gummy worms and carbs in the bottle.


never heard the term pub cheese, like cheezwhiz or something else? sounds tasty though

It’s a BIT higher class than cheese whiz. Imagine peanut butter, but cheese instead of crushed peanuts. Trader Joe’s has jalapeno and horseradish varieties too. But I stick with sharp cheddar for on the bike snacks.

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One thing I’m picking up from my work with a sports nutritionist is that

  1. Savory Matters.
  2. The calorie / carb density of that savory doesn’t matter.

The first part is given, but also that it should be something you have to chew and get your salivary glands going. The second is the fact that most (but not all) savory things aren’t going to come close to gels, high carb drink, or gummies when it comes to calories.

Here’s what I had for savories on my ride this weekend.
I make the Feedzone portable rice balls in a mini-muffin pan. The dark ones are Pumpkin,date, and curry powder. The light ones are mushroom and Swiss frittatas. It’s about 10g of carbs for two, but clears the way for more sugar the next time I get an eat prompt.

Just eat some white sandwich bread the store and add jelly if you want it even sweeter. Save your money


Curious to hear more about your findings/contention here. Does savory matter just from a motivation-to-eat perspective, or is there some physiological benefit. (Assuming electrolytes are being consumed via other means.)

And your rice balls: They look tasty, and it seems like with a larger muffin tin you could easily get 25-30g carb from one of those, i.e. the same as most gels.

Savory does break the sweet cycle, but savory with chewing does a bunch of signaling to the digestive system that gels/gummies/carb drink don’t because while gummies can loiter in the mouth, do you keep them there long enough to get the signalling done? :man_shrugging:t2:, so yes, chewing a savory or even a sweet (Betty Lou’s fruit bars taste like a piece of pie!) does things engineered/packaged carbs don’t. I think the same goes with pringles, chips, pretzels, or anything else you need to chew thoroughly. They all put you into the full eating process that sends expected signals to the whole digestive system.

Right now I’m working on keeping that signalling active by actually doing the whole eating process once and hour. So when I do my mini rice bites, they follow say a gel. Maybe a gu as they are lower in carb than Maurten or Never2nd. but still get me to my target 90g an hour.

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I do get why someone might want to eat something savory between lot of sugar to break taste monotony. But does it really matter physiologically? What kind of digestive system signalling are you talking about? I do 24h ride with only liquids (Maurten 320 with caffeine, electrolyte water, occasional icecream smoothie with apple juice) with no issues :man_shrugging:

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Super interesting, chewing/salivating as a cue to the rest of the GI tract to get its act together is not really something I’d thought about. Seems like this could be a big help after a few hours when carbs start to get unappetizing and one starts to feel a bit bloated. Gonna need to experiment a bit but food for thought. (Pun intended; intend your puns you cowards!)

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No I don’t think it does apart from our concise brain’s whims for variety.

I don’t get the bloat, but my desire to eat after 5 hours just disappears or flips to almost feeling nauseous and not eating OR drinking. Both are what the experts would consider as non-conductive to maintaining a good pace over let’s say over a 100 mile+ gravel or MTB race.

Hence my working with a nutritionist to try and undo that particular Gordian knot of a problem.