To Carb at 80-100gr or not

Just to show how i do it…
Kcal consumed overall for the day 3850
Burned overall for the day (including 1850 metabolic, activity for the day about 400-500 plus 2200 from the workout)
Plus i eat a lot of protein and veggys - so the gut needs also kcal

On the bike i went for 140g malto/maple and 2 gels in less then 3 hours!
Workout was good and i ate a porridge after with eggs.

Still a deficit over 500kcal over the day

The tdf riders also weigh an avg of 150 lbs.

And what? They also have near perfect cell metabolism. H

That chart is correct. I am 56 years old, and have a job at a desk. My weight stays the same. I consume 80 g/hr on my 3 hour plus training rides and races. I consume a bottle of 40 g one hour before the ride. Adjust intake on shorter rides. With short training rides, I just drink water. My blood panels are perfect every calendar year. Use Maurteen for mix. Seems to work.

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A related question: I assume that if I consume significant amounts of sugar on a long ride (15-20h) my pancreas will be in overdrive to make huge amounts insulin for hours on end. Does this put a strain on my pancreas and specifically is there a risk of type II diabetes from doing this? @Dr_Alex_Harrison what are your thoughts? When I measure out my drink mix before I ride, my head always nearly explodes, because I might be taking 600-700 g of sugar with me, even though in normal life I try to reduce sugar in my food.

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Thankfully, no. Very little insulin is made in pancreas during exercise.


Insulin sensitivity of muscle skyrockets 50-100x during exercise. GLUT4 transport of glucose from blood to muscle increases a couple orders of magnitude for very low circulating insulin levels.

Nope, no strain at all. No increased risk of T2D. If it did, I surely would have T2D already. Been chugging sugar during training for the last decade. My a1c was 4.9 last week.

Likewise! Mind blowing. Love physiology. Pretty neat stuff it does.


Dumb question but Does this recommendation include lunch? Ie if you ride 4hrs over lunch 10am till 2pm, do you have 4x100g on bike carb fuel in addition to lunch?

I assume the recommendation is independent to meals which you have to have anyway.

This article has a great breakdown of your question.

Thanks for that, interesting article. Looks like for the 4hr ride over lunch then the advice is approx 30g carb per hour during the ride itself and be well fuelled before and after the ride.

This makes more sense to me vs the 80g-100g carb recommendation, unless that also includes meals.

The 80g -100g recommendation is for a fairly hard training ride or race. You wouldn’t stop for lunch on such a ride. If you’re on a 4h ride with a lunch stop, you would likely eat less in the 2x 2h around lunch.

The best way to work it out is to look at the amount of kcal you burn during these rides, and then see if what you eat for lunch and on the bike adds up to that.

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yep, up to 100-110g for more intense stuff. Intense includes riding at/around LT1, too. Of course, depending on where one’s LT1 sits. For me at 270W or so, going out for 4 or more hours is metabolically quite demanding and needs appropriate fuelling. Noodling around for 3 or 4 hours in the lower endurance zone does rarely see more than 50 to 60g/h. And less if I have eaten plenty before.

One has to apply some common sense to these things. And above all, see how one reacts to these things and adjust accordingly. For me the ability to recover (over a block of training) is a key factor.

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Cheers. So in the blog’s example if the 4hr Endurance ride was switched to a 4hr harder effort, you would really manage to eat 100g carb per hour roughly on the ride? In addition to the pre ride breakfast and post ride snack, lunch and dinner in the blog?

I haven’t read the blog but my goal is “up to” 100-120g/h. “Up to” depends on how long after breakfast or lunch, training goal, character of training block and more. If for example shortly after breakfast I would usually have a bigger breakfast (best meal of the day!) and not aim for 100g during the first hour. Howver, the second and third hour could go up to even 150g. Really variable.
If training starts later after a significant meal I would start feeding race like early.

Interesting. Looks like I’ll have to rethink my own fuelling strategy. That seems very high.

My golden rule is Fuel the rides with 60-90grams of carbs per hour.

If I am riding early morning during “breakfast” i apply 60-90 gram per hour rule to that ride. Then I usually eat after a long ride regardless as a “recovery meal”. If you eat 60-90 grams of carbs for workouts just eat to your hunger levels the rest of the day.
I’m 6’3” I eat 60-90 grams of carbs per and usually eat 500-1000 calories after a morning workout and then eat 2 more meals the rest of the day and snack accordingly to how hungry I am. If I want to lose weight I stop snacking while not riding.

My daily average calories come out to 4200 a day and that’s my “maintenance”. Some days I snack more than others but so far it’s worked. If I want to lose weight I just watch what I eat the rest of the day and always stick to the “fuel 60-90g per hour rule”
What works for me won’t work for everyone

Long story short, fuel the rides and eat to hunger cues. Always eat with your family if you can!

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