Need fueling suggestions

I’ve been racing and riding for a few years now. But never fueled “properly”. This was never an issue for me but after listening to the podcast and doing some research I’ve started to try to fuel more appropriately.

Ever since I started ingesting gels and blocks on the bike I feel sick every time.

Today I had a 4 hr endurance xc race. I ran two packs of beta fuel in my bladder and plain water bottle on the bike. Laps were about 35 minutes long so I decided to pop a gel on the long gradual climb approaching the finish area, each lap. I don’t remember exactly but I think I did a gel one lap and blocks the next and alternated that way. All while sipping on my beta fuel throughout the lap. Rinsing gels and blocks with plain water.

I was sitting in second place and the legs were having a good day. About 2.5-3 hours in I start to hit a wall. Sick feeling to my stomach and really no energy. I was averaging over 13 mph for the first 4 laps but it quickly dropped to 12 for the 5&6th laps. I actually ended up pulling out of the race a lap early because I was no longer in contention and didn’t see a reason to keep torturing myself.

Is it possible that I had a sugar crash? Am I over fueling? I used to use honey stinger packets and didn’t have this issues but did use them as frequently. And I’m def still experimenting with brutal fuel.

It just seems all this sugar is having an adverse affect on my.

I would love any advice you could give!

Regard fueling suggestions, you may try rice cake, 1 per hour after the first hour.

There is a recipe I found on youtube.

On your syntomps… Srry I can’t help


Thanks. Just another after thought. I’m kind of thinking it wasn’t so much a crash but more so just the fact my stomach gets nauseated and I can’t continue to push on. If that makes sense.

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Try Tailwind. It’s easy on the stomach.


So when you say it has “never been an issue” for you, what exactly do you mean? You were finishing your rides / races strong without supposed “proper” fueling? Or just that you never had any GI problems? (Or both?)

My initial reaction is that you were overfueling with stuff you weren’t used to and because you were going hard, you stomach shut down because all your blood ws going to your muscles and diverted from your stomach.

I know I am in the minority on the board / TR users, but I think their fueling recommendations (90g / hour) is too much for many people…it certainly is for me. When I was doing Ironman racing / training, I would take one food item / hour (gel, waffle, pack of blocks, etc ) and sip on a sports drink throughout and that was more than enough fueling for me…it ws probably in the 30-40g / hour range.

But if what you were doing before was “never a problem”, then why change it? Sure, it never hurts to experiment and see if upping your calories improves performance (and I have worked to increase my intake over the last 1 1/2 years since I started w/ TR) but no way in hell I could process 90g / hour. I know from experience that less than that shuts my stomach down and my performance crashes.


I guess when I say it was never a problem, I mean I never really fueled my races. When I raced cat 2 it was only two laps. So like 1-1:20 in length. I just carried water on board and grab a fresh bottle of water for the second lap. It’s been since 2019 since I’ve been able to race but I def wasn’t as fit Back then but I can remember turning myself inside out to hold a wheel. Now, my races are longer. Cat 1 so about 1.5-2 hrs in length. And I’m also dabbling in some endurance, like today. But I can’t go deep when I’m fueling with gu gels. For whatever reason.

My main reason for doing the endurance races is because I’m doing the Wilmington whiteface 100k in June, so that’s why I rode with a bladder today, I’m trying to simulate how I will fuel for that race. So today was just a glorified training ride and I learned a valuable lesson.

I really have to figure out my intake I guess in order to know what I took in today

So I did 160 grams of carbs via beta fuel, and 110 from gel and blocks. This is over the course of 3hr45minutes.

I drank one bottle of plain water as well.

So you were ~70g / hour but coming from a background of not fueling much. I think you just overdid it. You have to train your stomach to get to that level of ingestion (and some, like me, will never get there).

Try something like 30-40g first and see how that goes and work your way up.


I’m same as you, typically race XC 1.5-2 hour races but also do a few XCM 3-4 hour and MTB 100s 8-12 hour. For me, the fueling strategy for 1-2 hours is not the same as 3+ hours. For all durations though, I use liquid fuel ONLY. I’ve tried gels and blocks before but they always upset my stomach. Caffeine also upsets my stomach so I avoid that as well.

For XC races up to 2-2.5 hours I can handle 100+ grams of carbs an hour of GU Roctane (grape). That is right at the the limit and I can tell as I near 2 hours my stomach is starting to let me know I’m at max capacity of carbs. I’ve tested this all through SSBHV and ShortPBHV. I used to do 60g but have slowly increased that over months.

When I go 3+ hours I drop back to 90g an hour. I recently did a 2 lap FKT attempt on a local trail that lasted 3:19:18 and 90g an hour was perfect. I had plenty of energy right to the end. Which actually surprised me as I should have gone harder, earlier because I thought I had too much energy at the end.


Have you tried drinking more water? Possible you need to consume more water for the carbs your eating.


I will def do that. This Thursday I have a longer road ride planned. Going to shoot for 30-40g/hr

Very possible. Although I talked to another racer that basically did the same amount of carbs and did zero water. But everyone is very different so I guess it’s not okay to compare

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This happens to an even greater extent with stochastic efforts. ie. higher normalized power than average power by a wide margin.

Acid shuttles into the gut at a higher rate with frequent punches over threshold. That’ll give you the nauseated feeling at lower fueling rates than typically recommended.

Yup. Start here and move to 50-60 for this particular effort level and punchiness, and move up from there.

Definitely this!


Resurrection of an XCM fueling thread.

Perfect having Dr Alex already chiming in here, but I’m really keen to hear thoughts from anyone with experience.

For my XCM racing, I typically carry a bladder of 1.5 or 2L of water with 180 or 240g CHO, and try to finish that within 3hrs and swap for a full replacement of the same. I top up with a gel every 30min so that it works out right around 100g/hr. I always have to stop for a pee early in the first half, and if it’s not hot/I’m not going extra hard, I have to stop multiple times.

I’m looking at options of using a large drink bottle (950mL) with say 100g CHO and supplementing with gels.

How much water do other racers typically consume per hour for a 4-6hr race? Assuming aiming for ~100g/hr.

I’m slightly nervous to reduce water, as I’ve been battling gut rot in training. Though I’m going to try some different carb powder options. If I can drop the weight and need to stop it would be good.

I use GU Roctane (Grape) at 90-100g an hour in 24oz bottles. I do this for all my MTB 100s, so 8-12 hours. Depending on the temperature and my gut at the time, I may take a few big drinks of plain water at aid stations as needed.

It should be noted, I’ve trained extensively using these amounts on all my workouts/rides/races. I was at 90g an hour for a couple years and just recently pushed that to 100-105g. For under 2 hours (XCO) I use 120g hour.

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