To Carb at 80-100gr or not

I am writing this because my recent blood work came back with some disheartening news after getting to 80gr of carbs.

After obtaining the ability to consume 80grams of carbs per hour using Malodextrin and Fructose (homemade) my trigylcerides went way up as well as my fasting sugar. I was at first pretty angry…but some observations:

  1. I started to develop a beer gut without hardly ever drinking beer.
  2. After about 3 months my rides where sluggish on those carbs.
  3. My motivation and mental focus dropped on all of the carbs.

Now I did use the suggested formula Amber laid out on the podcast. And I follow the coaches suggestions pretty well with good success.

After 21 years of riding I am know for now I am a very good steady state power athlete. I can grind people into the chip and seal farm roads as well as smooth-a- glass roads of the western US.

I am now reducing my carbs over the next 4 months to see if the Triglycerides will come down. My doctor also thinks this will happen as well. We had a 40 min discussion on this yesterday.


Amber and Coaches and Forum Nutrition people:

  1. Am I counting calories for the work out or carbs?
    For instance if my TR workout says Kj= 1,105 is this calories needed?
  2. INTENSITY must have an impact…Sweet Spot and above for an hour workout Like Tray Mountain -2…carbs or water?
  3. After watching Couch to Crit Episode 3, the nutritionist was advising pure carbs in the form of gels etc…he also says key workouts. SO not every workout?

I do not want to put my health at risk and also will not give up cycling. Let’s try to clarify this. Jonathan Lee and Nate can do 80grams but is that on a certain intensity? Or is it that are young and can process that in their metabolism?

Love to hear Chad’s take or Pete, since Chad is a master near my age and Pete is a nutritionist?

I think alot of us need real clarification on this, especially those who have a family and are masters athletes with different skill sets. I am a steady state while some friends are light weight climbing style bodies.

206lbs. 2.8w/kg 5ft 11’ Ride best at 198-205. Can ride hours on end…



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Are you fueling the same amount for all types of rides?

You state you your carbs to 80g/hr; what was your starting point? You are adding extra calories on the bike, so did you cut back these calories off the bike to keep you overall calorie intake the same? This could explain some fat gain.

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Yikes. I’m just going to say this explicitly…80 grams of carbs/hr means HOURS OF RIDING. Not hours of the day.

That sounds like about an hour and a half of threshold type work. I don’t think you need to take any food for a workout like that. If I do it’s usually a 20g gel at or around the halfway point.

The 90 minute point is the do/don’t breakover for me. If the ride is going to be a couple hours or more then I’ll make sure to take down ~30g of carbs every 20 minutes.

I definitely don’t think you need to throw fructose into the mix if you’re doing just 3 hour rides or less.

If malto/fructose/dextrose are causing health problems for you, consider a starch-based carb source like UCAN or waxy maize.

To summarize…

1.) >20g (or none!) carbs is fine for workouts lasting 90 minutes or less.
2.) No fructose if fine for workouts lasting 3 hours or less
3.) If you don’t want malto/fructose/dextrose consider a starch like UCAN or waxy maize.

Just some things to think about…

Why would you expect this to lead to significantly different results if the calories are the same?


So many more questions need to be answered.
For example, how many Calories do you eat on average every day?
Are you eating three meals a day with snacks?
Are you getting good amount of protein, healthy amount of fats and carbs?
You could just be eating way over your calorie goal for each day which is causing that gain in weight.If you’re eating sufficient amount of calories, then fueling workouts; in my opinion that Is just an extra bonus to give you the power for that work out. A lot of people have different views on fueling workouts but if your daily calorie intake is on point you shouldn’t be gaining weight like you said. I normally have a daily goal of calories my baseline maintenance. i usually eat back roughly half the exercise calories, sometimes more if it’s a long day on the bike and if my body feels under nourished.
So for example if a TrainerRoad sweet spot work out estimates the burned kilojoules 1200, I would add roughly 600 cal to my daily caloric intake. Those extra calories will mostly be from carb sources. If you have the money and insurance to do so, finding a certified dietitian can you do a lot of help in my opinion.


Thanks. Yes, 80grams on rides only-- not off the bike.

I just started looking at UCAN.

Thank you for your review of this thread.


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No, but I am now really analyzing this thoroughly hence the thread. Thank you for your response.


80gr of carbs is insane guys. Amazin how these experts (TR or otherwise) steer people like you into health issues with excess carb consumption.

Put the work in, train consistently, eat clean, and the rest will come. You are allowed to carbo-load if it makes you feel better.

I pop a gel here and there on my long rides and eat an energy bar, and I have never ever bonked in my life. The only thing I pay attention is my hydration which I get lazy especially in the winter.

Seriously stop trying to imitate pros in nutrition. Do I need to say they train and race on whole another level and universe. Sh*t this is so infuriating.

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  • The KJ recorded is based on power via your power data source, and counts the power through that device only. A simple comparison used is that KJ = Cals. There is more to it than that, but it is a common association that “gets you close”, with the exceptions noted.

    • It does not account for energy consumption you may experience in varied conditions (temp/humidity) or physical demands outside of power production (upper body in MTB vs Gravel vs Road vs Trainer).
  • Per above, the actual power device and the accuracy of it should not be ignored.

    • If you are using something like VirtualPower, which is a power estimate subject to error via a number of factors, you better take that data with a large grain of salt.
    • If your data comes from a true power data source, and is properly calibrated/zero offset, you can trust it a bit more. But keep in mind the comments on non-power energy consumption above.
  • I’ve seen mixed comments about how people handle fueling for “easy” vs “hard” workouts. Generally speaking, the energy consumption per time unit will be lower for “easy” workouts compared to “hard” workouts. As such, I think consideration of when and how much to fuel within a workout is appropriate vs applying a single rule to cover all workouts.
  • See above, I think selective fueling (type and amount) is VERY appropriate vs one method for all workouts.

Not mentioned by anyone yet, is the real important consideration of the WHOLE fueling picture. You MUST consider your fueling with respect to what you are eating (or not eating) BEFORE, DURING & AFTER the workout.

  • You don’t mention anything outside of the workout, so it is important to think about your habits before and after the workout. If you just start adding bunches of calories within a workout while not adapting what you are doing before and after, you may well be adding too much to your intake.

I am far from a nutrition expert, but I know that you have to look at a larger picture than the small one we often use.


Good luck, Jim! Your training is very consistent…so there has to be some dietary knob to turn that will get your blood work back on track.

Thanks1 I am adjusting everything even more now. I switched from SIS GO 35g to Scratch 20g of carbs in their drink mix. I have isotonic gels but now am not sure of I should even start them. I do not want to fear food, but after my test result, the next two days I dropped all sugar and stuck with recipes from the racing weight cookbook and definitely went through some sugar withdrawals.

I rode for a big week on vacation in Colrado and adjusted there and could ride better up the climbs overall on less carbs per hour and still finished strong without the need to eat the pantry.

Thank You


isocaloric substitution of sucrose or fructose with starch is associated with lower TG & fasting glucose.

If you’re infuriated by a stranger’s macronutrient consumption you might need to chill out, dude.


But is that true during exercise? Insulin response is already blunted during carbohydrate consumption on the bike


I eat 90-100 grams of carbs per hour on a hard workouts and have lost weight this way. It makes me feel way better than if I didn’t “fuel the ride” What works for you doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone. What works for me won’t work for everyone also.


There is a study out there that’s looked at energy consumption over periods of 24 hours or longer. They found unless the exercise was a big proportion of the day its didn’t increase the overall energy use over 24 hours. In other words someone does their workout then if fairly idle afterwards. Without workout they are more active during day and energy use balances out.

So just sounds like you are taking on more calories than necessary,

I say yes. Only anecdotal data to support. Let’s mobilize the grad students! :smiley:

I’m totally down to volunteer for this study. Strictly in the name of science, of course. I’m quite certain such a study won’t be effective without full metabolic testing and perhaps a couple muscle biops.

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I would have to disagree that burning 1000 calories in a workout could be offset by being sedentary the rest of the day, much less 1500 or 2000 or more for longer workouts.

But just say that is true, this does not mean that he should cut out the carbs on the bike. Those are probably the more valuable calories because he’ll use them right away. If he’s still taking in more calories than necessary, he should keep the carbs on the bike and cut the calories elsewhere during the day.


wouldn’t that depend on the intensity and duration?