One reason to still target >40g/hr is that your gut will become more tolerant of the higher intakes at higher intensities and you’ll have more room for error where margins for error are typically thin (ie. harder efforts, races, dehydration, very high carb intake rates, etc).
Training the gut isn’t critical… but it is helpful. And it’s best done at lower intensities.
Always calculating tradeoffs though!
For me, sometimes ease of weight maintenance or loss is in favor of reducing fueling rate from my typical 100-130g/hr down to 60-80g/hr for longer very easy rides. For short very easy rides I’ll typically use Table of Intra-workout Carb Needs Per Hour of Training as my guide and err on the low side if I foresee hunger being an issue later.
If I had a race coming up in the next 1-2 months though, I’d be on the very high end of those recommendations without fail.
No, the other bigger reason is that there is enhancement of carbohydrate oxidation ability with chronic high-carb fueling. Peak exogenous carb oxidation rates are improved chronically. That’s part of what played into me saying
but I clearly failed to mention that rationale there. Kind of an important one!
Other benefits include probably higher glycogen storage than could otherwise be achieved over a training phase with high volumes of training. Muscle damage and fatigue tend to prevent max glycogen storage rates post-exercise, so getting it in when you can, if your performance is a primary focus, is probably a great idea.
I don’t race seriously. I don’t care if I have a 3.2 W/kg or 3.3W/kg FTP. If I did care, I’d already have a 4.5 W/kg FTP because I’d train more.
So, what I mention about doing myself, applies more to the crowd for whom performance is kind of important, but also body composition maintenance, and also life in general.
For purely performance: high-carb fueling is almost always the ideal. If I cared for my own performance, I’d probably be running loads of n=1 experiments trying to push into the 140-170g/hr range.
It’s not so much that I don’t need it. It’s more that I wonder if I should be using zone 2 workouts to give my teeth a break.
I also have a family history of type 2 diabetes and wonder how sustainable that kind of sugar intake is. I understand that training 6 days a week isn’t the same as eating a pint of ice cream 6 days a week, but I also understand that cyclists can still develop diabetes.
Ok, question for you regarding fueling zone 1/2 60-90 minute sessions. Do you really think there is a huge difference if you fueled a 60 minute zone 2 ride with say 100 grams of carbs IF at the end of the day your totals were the same? I struggle with this concept and people generally like to say if you fuel the ride it helps with recovery and you won’t be as hungry after the ride etc. and then there are those who start fueling these easy rides and gain weight (obviously they didn’t adjust their total overall calorie consumption) that’s all good and everything but let’s just assume you are going to take in the same amount by the end of the day regardless of the fuel you consume during the ride. Is there any difference to recovery? There just doesn’t seem to be a need to push zone 2 rides to the point that fueling during is necessary and if you complete the ride and recover the same before your next ride is it really optimal to fuel them? I think that it is dependent on a few factors such as body composition and overall threshold (there has to be a difference between a lean 130lb male burning 700 calories in a 60 minute zone 2 ride and a 20+% bf person burning around 400 ).
So, if you were designing an optimal routine for someone who does not need to lose body fat, is at or near their race weight, and willing and able to track all macros throughout the day, would you have them max out fuel during all bike sessions and fill in the test with real food off the bike?
Not for z1/2 <90min rides, probably not. Maybe very marginally out near 90min, hence the increasing recommendations in the above table as duration increases.
If by “push” you mean elevate the intensity sufficient to necessitate fueling, I agree.
Necessary ≠ Optimal, though.
If the Z2 ride is >90min, glycogen repletion is likely to be enhanced by fueling intra-workout to some degree.
Yes but there are probably competing factors working against such a discrepancy. Larger folks tend to burn ever so slightly more kcal per watt (barely), and less fit folks tend to burn much higher percentages of carbohydrate for their energy production.
Unless the person possessing 20% BF is pre-diabetic or type 2 diabetic, intra-carb consumption doesn’t need to be modulated (reduced from the tabular recommendations) simply because of body fat levels. Exception: if they’re legitimately doing <100W the entire time.
You’ll like my book. I make ~$12 when you buy it. If it’s not worth that to you, I’ll paypal you the full price. Answer: if there’s a race coming up in the next couple months, I’d program somewhere between the recommended and maximum amounts, always. If no race, and satiety and life-enjoyment was primary goal, then maybe near minimums if personally preferable to the rider.
Thanks for the thorough response! Your contributions to this forum are priceless in my opinion. I am definitely comfortable supporting you financially and will purchase a copy of your book. Any chance you do a one time 60 minute consultation for a fee? I know you aren’t taking new coaching clients right now but there might be a market for you to have a video call or something where someone could bounce some ideas off you and come up with some personal recommendations. I know I’d be interested if that were a possibility.