To Carb at 80-100gr or not

Sounds like it would be quiet effective then! We all know training with unlimited carbs is the ‘most optimal’ studies before I was born were showing that. But training ‘optimally’ may not always be beneficial, and maybe not giving your body the easiest possible scenario when you aren’t asking maximally from it is something for you to think about ?
Surely if it’s harder for your body to utilise it is is limited to specific intensity, then increasing this capacity would be beneficial??

I never said anything about weight management, and consuming 100g/hr on the bike doesn’t make you any less likely to eat poor food after your ride than eating 30g/hr and drinking 20g/hr. My whole point is that it is not fueling poorly and sufficient that you don’t overindulge after a ride. When your body doesn’t require such high carb on the bike, it is not bad to eat 40-60g/hr.

Why would you want to use up your glycogen stores faster than you need to at any given intensity? Why burn up a limited resource faster than you need to? When there is another source of energy you can also utilise and is effectively limitless in terms of exercise you might undertake.

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No, it is not true that training sub-optimally is more effective.

And as I said, many folks here agree that if you come off the bike with less of a calorie and glycogen deficit, you ARE less likely to binge eat to replace those calories and the quality of the food you crave is better.


Because, as I said, glucose and fat ox are not equal. Glucose is a better fuel. If you can replace it and continue to use the better fuel, you should. It’s like having a solar backup for a gasoline generator. You are definitely not going to get the horsepower from the solar cell even though the sun’s power is unlimited. So, why not put a gas can next to the generator and keep it topped off. There’s literally no benefit to not doing so while you can.


I think you’re onto it here.

The OP’s basic information suggest a metabolic basal rate of approx. 2,000calories a day. Then add in the workout he mentioned of 1,100 calories, and the total calories needed to maintain his current weight is about 3100 calories.

With that in mind, I seriously doubt that 80gr/hr4.5cal/gr1.5hr = 540 calories is the cause of his weight increase!

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Are you saying that glucose causes global warming?



80 grams isn’t crazy, and scientists and researchers aren’t exactly people I’d call crazy. You make it sound like 80g an hour is the same as drinking a bottle of whiskey and two tablespoons of mercury every hour you ride.


Can you post some of them that don’t also include weight gain?

Caloric balance is the issue.

When you go from eating enough daily to offset your training kcal burn, while consuming little on the bike, to all of a sudden consuming 300-500kcal per hour on the bike, it’s very easy to end up in a kcal surplus.

I’m glad you got blood tests done. And I’m glad you posted here. Hope I can help a bit.

Did your weight range increase during this high-carb fueling test period? If yes, target reducing that, while also backing off the intra-carb fueling for now. Time is of the essence in getting blood sugar under control, so take it seriously. Beta cell death is not your friend.

Distantly secondary: Did your macronutrient composition shift at all when consuming more carbs on bike? Guessing yes, slightly, with reduced fiber and protein intake.


  1. Reduce intra-workout fueling until your a1c and fasting glucose are acceptable by your doctor.
  2. Consume fewer kcal daily. Do so consistently, until you’ve reduced weight to at or slightly below your prior optimal racing weights listed.
  3. Consume no sugar off the bike, ever. If you decide to not listen to that recommendation, just do it infrequently. :wink:
  4. Consume more protein.
  5. Consume more fiber.
  6. Consume less saturated fat, and maybe less fat in general, to help keep kcal lower while you seek a bit of weight loss.
  7. Veggies are low kcal, high fiber, super healthy for 100’s of known and unknown reasons, but most of all, when seeking weight loss, they make a great filler for a hungry stomach. Consume plenty.
  8. Do all of the above until you achieve acceptable a1c, fasting glucose, triglycerides, and body weight. If you decide to increase intra-workout fueling again in the future, don’t get down in the weeds about sugar choices. Focus on just offsetting the sugar consumption on the bike with reduced kcal intake elsewhere in the diet.
  9. If hungry, and struggling to maintain weight, it’s perfectly acceptable to not fuel as much, and just eat more solid food off the bike, rather than fueling “optimally.” “Optimal” performance fueling is only optimal if you’re not gaining weight, and your blood panel looks good. Otherwise performance will absolutely be better with less fuel because blood panel results and body weight will be better.

:wave: PhD in Sport Phys here! Specializing in endurance nutrition, cat 3 cyclist, married to registered dietitian specializing in weight management in exercising population, pro cyclist & elite age group triathlete —> “crazy recommendation from random ppl” :smirk:

Here’s 26 more PhD’s because you’re right, you shouldn’t listen to just one guy on the web, so I admire you there.

I’ll see them and raise them to 120g/hr and probably higher for events in the 3-5hr range, especially in cooler climates.





I don’t recall post by post or person by person, BUT I know you post on slowtwitch and that is one of the places where I’ve read people having issues over the years - I don’t have a direct source to cite though, other than handle “xxxxxxx” said so and so online. If you’re looking for studies or anything like that, sorry to disappoint - plenty of folks that do things like gain weight during marathon training because they think they need to do some certain protocol though. Best of luck in your search - it’s out there.

Thank you fir your wise advice. I am cutting a great deal in every area. Every other part of my blood work was “exceptional”.

I am going to kick this stuff out ASAP and haven’t wasted a minute.




You weren’t responding to me here, so this isn’t me doing a “gotcha” but just using it to strengthen my point above.

The study said to attenuate calorie deficit, marathon runners are reccomended to consume 30-50g carbs an hour. (paraphrased)

Seems like my points above where I said if you aren’t asking your body to perform maximally, then 40-60g/hour is quite reasonable!
Will be much healthier and better for your teeth than regular sugar consumption, as you can actually eat solids consistently at that consumption.

I note in the study above different recommendations for racing and training.

This is probably the seminal paper on nutrional periodization from Asker Jeukendrup

Which of these methods should be used depends on the specific goals of the individual and there are no methods that will address all needs. Therefore, appropriate practical application lies in the optimal combination of different nutritional training methods. In the years to come, we will undoubtedly begin to obtain a better understanding of the molecular bases for training adaptations and find ways to better incorporate and integrate periodized nutrition into training methods.

Is your argument here that 60g per hr is totally reasonable and 80 is outrageously high?

By the way, whether you’re consuming liquid carbs or solid carbs, it’s all sugar.


I think youre getting good advice here (that is, lower it as your doc suggested).

I think 80g carb per hour is pretty intense for an amateur athlete / hobbyist. I am pretty passionate about cycling, but I dont follow a lot of the advice you see in the popular cycling media / sources. I think much of it is trickled down from pro level athletes programs, but not applicable for hobbyists. It might work for amateurs too, but these actions have consequences that probably do not balance out.

I don’t doubt there is some science study showing a statistically significant effect on more carbs relative to less carbs on some performance metrics, but it is simply not worth the while to get that benefit at the cost of your general health. However, if you were getting 6 figures + to ride your bike (pro level), then sure you could go do it for a decade or so.

Total anecdote here, but one with a pretty large number of people, and you’ll have to take me at my word (so not worth very much):
I have worked with several hundred folks 1:1 as a diet coach, maybe 5% of which had >4W/kg 20min power, and have prescribed anywhere from 50-120g per hour for 90+ minute sessions during effective weight loss diets.

Cool. That’s kind of what I was thinking. All those posts that I have seen has involved weight gain.

I suspect I ought to be more clear when recommending increased intra-workout fueling, that there needs to be a concomitant reduction in kcal consumption outside of training, though usually slightly less than the increase on the bike due to increased kcal burn as a result of better fueling, as well as probably higher post-exercise metabolic rate due to increased cellular adaptations.

Thank you for bringing to the forefront of my attention. I’ll consider this when posting in the future.

I have a 3.1 W/kg and drink 20-40% more carbs per hour than he does.

You’re totally right.

Thankfully, neither was that the audience of that paper I cited.

Nor was it the reason that I mentioned my wife was a higher level cyclist.

I mentioned her athleticism to clarify that “random ppl” ≠ “sport scientists with very relevant sporting experience.”

For context to all reading here, the average W/kg of my clients is probably 2.4W/kg, if I had to guess. Probably 50-60% female, 40-50% male. They all lose weight and improve blood panel results with higher carb fueling strategies. In fact, I use a higher carb fueling strategy specifically as a means to weight loss in most folks because it controls hunger for a lot of folks since hypoglycemia during and post-exercise is a powerful stimulant of hunger.


Would you mind explaining this line of thinking, I’m not an expert but I don’t follow. If an amateur athlete is doing 1 hour of high intensity, you will still be in the hole for calories even after consuming 80g of carbs. Why would that be intense? Unless you’re referring to OP weight gain. Sorry I may have missed part of the convo

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