High training volume, high calories = body weight increase

Dear fellows riders! Maybe someone esle already touched this topic. If that’s the answer, I apologies for making another topic. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any answer to my doubt.
I train almost constantly a very-high volume to be an amateur. I keep riding from 20 to 30h week almost contantly.
I found this strange body-behaviour as I increase my hour, so that means also food quantity. That’s said, I also keep fuelling my sessions from 60 to 90g of carb/h.
The more food I eat (eq more training) the more weight I retain. Then, this weight goes down a lot if I stop train.
As a real example: I finished a long base training block (several consegutive weeks of training) and then took 2 days off. Today my weight is 61.5 when the morning of the first rest day was 65. I can feel also that my belly is flatter, I feel lighter, clothes fit differently ecc ecc
I tried everything, from all whole-food to completely free of fiber diets. The result is almost the same. I gain weight and I feel a bit sluggish in general. I feel hunger and I have no problem in eating 5000 and more calories a day. Is just the upset-stomach that bothers me a bit.
Did some of you experience the same? Is it normal? I am sure our body is not made for eating those amount of food for months and months. Could it be inflammation? Body retaining water? I am so confused. I also keep eating an high carb diet during any of my off day. So I believe the level of glycogen keeps the same, I don’t to any low carb
I wonder how the professionals can keep those amout of food under control without feeling a bit of sickeness. Is not a bad feeling, is just slightly unconfortable. I even tried to go gluten free for some days. But that leads to a lot of salt ingested due to the increase of packed-food I eat (bread ecc ecc) wich come almost always to 1g/salt per 100grams. I don’t like to go so high on sodium, for general health
I really appreciate your help!
Have a lovevly weekend

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I don’t know about the rest of it but the stomach thing may be fructose intolerance, if you’re taking fructose on the bike. Maybe try all-glucose/maltodextrin for a while.

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Do you fart smelly? No joke… like the comment above suggests it can be fructose intolerance, it just sits at your stomack… try to reduce it like 4:1 glucose:fructose.

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I found this year that, after increasing my fueling in the bike, I did not lose a good chunk of the winter weight I normally do. I was not fueling anywhere near the often-cited 90g / hour, but I was up substantially from my “normal” fueling.

I am cutting back on my on-bike fueling as I don’t think I need that many calories….weight I stable / slightly down, despite reducing my overall training due to the off-season.

Moving into next year, I’m going to reduce my fueling from this year, but still an increase from previous years….especially for lower intensity rides.


Thanks all for the help! During my off days I eat much more fruit than I do in training… And still, I lose 3 kg ahahaha I am so confused
On the bycicle I eat haribo-style candies which are sugar (first in the list of ingredients) and then a mix of glucose-fructose. It doesn’t specify the ratio.

To clarify… you are eating ~7000 calories of sugar a week… just on the bike? And what volume of liquid are you drinking this in?

Usually just “sugar” on an ingredient list means sucrose (1:1 fructose to glucose). If the next ingredient is “glucose-fructose syrup” and you’re in the EU or UK it can be up to 50% fructose but apparently is usually 20-30%. So that’s going to be a substantial amount of fructose. I’d definitely switch to a more glucose-based source and see what happens.

It isn’t “real” weight gain (muscle or fat mass) or you wouldn’t lose it in a few days.

20–30 hours per week is a massive amount of volume, pro-level.

You wrote a lot about weight, but you did not include one important bit: have you gained weight in muscle or was it fat gain? You did not mention it anywhere, and if this is true, then you basically have no idea whether the weight gain is “good” or “bad”. If you only monitor weight, but not body fat percentage, then this is almost useless for someone who trains 20–30 hours per week.

Secondly, you compare yourself on days during training and rest days. Some weight gain on these days is completely expected, your body tries to replenish its glycogen stores, which means you are increasing body mass and water weight on those days. During very hard rides I can lose 1.5 kg easily. And then if I replenish, I will gain them right back — as it should be.

Curiously, you judge your body “health” by looks. IMHO you should be worried about performance, not looks. Yes, you will be “bigger” when e. g. you have replenished your carb stores and retain a lot of water with it. But that’s not an indication you are fatter.

If I were you, I’d do the following:

  • Stop looking at your weight, start looking at your body composition. For someone who does the amount of volume you do, body weight is a useless metric without context.
  • Optimize your food intake for performance, not weight.
  • Feeling sluggish during phases of training is completely normal, that’s long-term progressive overload at work. You should be feeling tired during later parts of the season — not overly tired, but some fatigue is normal. Should you feel more fatigue than what you are comfortable with, then have a rest week where you either completely stop training or cut volume by at least 50 %. Again, you are doing massive volume, and you might be pushing against what you are able to recover from.
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Are you tracking your kcal output and food intake using a macronutrient calculator? My guess is your body is struggling to tolerate all of the food and training and you’re getting bloated as a result. 3 kilos of water weight is quite a bit to drop on your off days. I’d love to see your food and training diary to give you better feedback. As others have said it could be a result of your on the bike nutrition source.


Do you change much salt intake?

That’s >5% of body weight which is a lot. How much time is between those measurements?

I am no where near your volume…somewhere 12-15 per week and I am trying to get my nutrition right at the moment. Feel bloated during the day and my finding is that I struggle with the protein intake. I am at about 1.8/kg at the moment. And my belly is working super hard to get this all sorted (Farting is a big topic…).
So what is your protein intake and do you measure it?
Secondly I gain weight in muscles during my training blocks - so the comment above to look for fat percentage vs muscle percentage will tell you if you are going in the right direction. With that volume you should gain muscle as normally your intake should be taken by the training and transformed in glycogen used for performance…
Finally, more a question: loosing 3 kg a day while not training from my perspective can only have two reasons: your intake is massively lower (water and food) or you empty all your colon. Emptying your colon normally requires help by drinking salt which I think you are not doing (if you do a fasting diet you empty your colon in the first day and you loose immediately 2-3 kg).
Last thing come to mind: Are you weighing at comparable times? So not after a ride and then before eating or vs versa?
Just some thoughts

Thanks everyone for your time!
As a comment: I don’t care much on ‘‘how I look’’. Is just a note about the whole situation
My main issue is the ‘‘stomach upset’’ feeling I have. Wich is not so bad but I don’t like it. When less training brings me less food everything sattles down. My body weight, my stomach ecc ecc
I was wondering if is something I eat or just the big inflammation on the body from big training blocks. My diet doesn’t change much from day to day, I just increase hugely the amount of food I eat. From rest day to a 3700kj ride there’s a big spread
I eat (just from high-level source) more than 2g/kg of protein per day. I do cereal with fat-free greek yogurt. Two tubs of half kg and I am around 100g just from that

If it’s water weight, that’s nbd. If it’s fat or muscle, it is not healthy to have such wild fluctuations. I think OP is just having big swings in water retention

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