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The 1L/hour absorption rate is something I read from multiple sources even years before I started cycling. Just to show you I'm not just pulling this figure out of my arse: http://www.nols.edu/wmi/articles/archive/h
ydration.shtml This article mentions the 1L/hour figure but says that a few people can absorb as much as 1.25L/hour. Drinking water more quickly than you can absorb it can be counterproductive.
I explained my rational for not hitting electrolytes right away. I don't think my reasoning is "crazy" or even outside of mainstream exercise physiology.
"It's up to each individual to figure out what's best for them."
Yes! That takes work, experience, and documentation. You need to track it just like eating, so a log is the key to finding an answer. You can look a published stuff all day long but no two people are the same or have the same fitness level. Do your homework.
"People can not absorb more than about 1 liter of water/hour. If they drink more than that it just sits uncomfortably in their stomachs."
I don’t know where you came up with that. If a rider is doing a recovery or aerobic pace, then 1 bottle an hour is probably more than enough. If you’re doing hill work, hard tempos, threshold work, or indoor training - consuming 2 bottles (or more) an hour with food is easy to do with practice. With all the things that can limit performance, why make fueling one of them?
To me, purposely not consuming any electrolytes unless doing exercising more than 4 hours seems insane; but hey, that might work for you.
Here’s an article trainingpeaks.squarespace.com/posts/
11/7/25/how-to-nail-down-a-fueling-sR>trategy.html with some tips regarding “fueling”. Note the Estimated fluid loss rate formulate mid way down.
Joel Friel has written several books regarding distance cycling and has numerous chapters dedicated to fueling if you want even more detail.
It's up to each individual to figure out what's best for them.
People can not absorb more than about 1 liter of water/hour. If they drink more than that it just sits uncomfortably in their stomachs. If you are going hard in very hot weather it is common to sweat more than 1l/hour so you will dehydrate no mater how much you drink. The thing is that you want to avoid becoming dangerously dehydrated. Since we loose water faster than electrolytes when we are sweating profusely we can end up with a higher concentration of electrolytes instead of lower. In these cases electrolyte replacement is better done afterword rather than during the effort. I generally don't drink electrolyte replacement while exercising in any effort under 4 hours and even then I usually drink as much water as I do Gatorade/Powerade/whatever.
We do learn what sits well while riding over time. We also train our bodies. When I ran high school track our coach told us not to eat anything 3 hours before practice or meets. When I started riding my body didn't know how to digest food while exercising. The first few times I tried eating on long bike rides I almost threw up. Eventually my body learned that it had to send some blood to my stomach so I could digest food instead of sending all of it to my legs. Now I find that I start to hanker food an hour into a ride.
Weigh yourself nude before riding and then after. If you weigh less, you didn't drink or consume enough food. On a ride less than 1 hr, prob. not a big deal. Once you start riding over 1 hour, its hard if not impossible to perform at the same rate if you're fueling yourself correctly.
Gotta know your individual sweat rate, how much liquid to drink (varies w/ temp and terrain) and what type of food that will fuel you and not make your stomach upset.
One size does not fit all here, takes alot of experimentation and learning how your body reacts.
Check the Diet Dr. Pepper can for aspartame. I'm pretty sure it is in there. That is one of the worst chemicals. It's not just a sweetener but messes with your neuron receptors.
See this link and also check out my aspartame blog. That stuff totally messed me up.
I'm looking at caffeine usage. For every cup of coffee (8 oz) you should drink 16 oz of water. the coffee with dehydrate you.
The Tanita Scale repeats really well on weight. It's not real accurate on fat% or water % but it will give you a reference.
Caffeine and performance? Watch for caffeine in GU and Gels. Some have it and some don't. It can make your Heart Rate speed up and it can hurt you in really hot weather. Personally I wouldn't take in any caffeine 2 to 3 hours before a long hard effort in the heat.
The Tanita www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-e
You have probably nailed my biggest problem. While I drink a lot of water during exercise and try to hydrate well beforehand, I am not very good at drinking as much water as I should the rest of the day. Before joining Spark not quite 3 months ago I was horrible about drinking water. About a year ago I was totally addicted to Diet Dr Pepper. I've almost gotten away from that, only have one about once a week, but I'm still bad about drinking too much coffee.
My scale, although very reliable, only gives my weight. I've been thinking about looking into a new one that will give me more information. I can see where the water % could come in handy.
If it is to be it is up to me.
Do you have a scale that gives you the % of water in your body? They are not super accurate but will give you a basis. Check yourself every morning and track it. If you notice it drop 1 to 2 % increase your intake of fluids.
It takes the body a while to hydrate and de-hydrate. I take in about 200 ounces of liquid per day, give or take 50, that is still a lot.
Most of my riding is under 2 hours. I usually ride towards evening or at night so the heat is starting to break. I hydrate all day and after working in the heat.
That is what I do around my work schedule. I don't have the time or care to ride longer distances at this point. The body knows time not miles. I limit my time in the saddle (8 to 10 hours per week) as I rehab from my surgeries. Slowly I'm adding time. The most I will do is 10 to 12 hours per week and that will give me one 3 to 4 hour ride per week if I feel like it. Now if I do a longer ride I cut back the durations of the other rides. I'm in the rehab process and it took me some time to get a balance that I can recover from. I tend to get slower if I do a lot of longer rides. Time in the saddle provides endurance. Speed is about intensity and training in your HR zones.
In the past I did 12,000+ miles per season and many longer rides. I worked nights in 125 degree heat wearing a winter coat hooded helmet repairing machines in extreme environments. I would train between 10am and 2pm everyday in the heat of the day. I constantly drank fluid and this environment allowed me to adapt, after it kicked my butt. I have learned to accommodate the heat. I've also been in the hospital with an IV in my arm from work a few times, those lessons have taught me. Experience with your body will teach you.
This is a good thread and hopefully people can learn from others and the mistakes they have made.
Everybody is different, so it is important to work around your body and figure out what is best for you. I personally consumer 30oz of fluids per hour. On hot days where I sweat a lot I carry three bottles with me, two with water and one with GU2O. The night before I go for a ride in the hot weather I will fill the two water bottles half way and freeze them. Just before I ride I fill them up the rest of the way. This way I have cold water for an hour.
For the long rides, greater than an hour long I plan my ride past parks or public locations so I can fill up the bottles every hour.
I personally won't carry a hydration pack, because it actually makes me hotter, sweat more and places additional weight on my back, hands and shoulders.
I'm reading through these suggestions and I'm wondering about how much water I drink while riding. Yes, I understand it's a personal thing, but no matter what kind of exercise I am doing, I drink a LOT of water. On a 15 mile ride which takes me about an hour right now, I will easily drink 2 bottles of water. I have a 70 oz. hydrapak that I will fill to about half with ice and the rest with water. I can easily drink all of that and start in on one of the bottles. With the hydrapak, I take a few drinks every mile or so. It has yet to cause me any stomach problems. I do most of my rides on the weekend in the morning while the temp is still only about 90 degrees. On mornings during the week when I run, I will start drinking as soon as I wake up and go through a whole bottle within the hour before the run. Then I carry a bottle with me and will finish it off as well. My runs are done at 5 am when it's still dark and the temp is around the 80 degree mark. Is this amount of water excessive or am I just a fish?
If it is to be it is up to me.
Thank you everyone for the advice and a description of what yo are doing. Its helpful to hear, and gives me some ideas of what to try. SOunds like it will be some trial and error on my part, find what works for me.
Different people need different amounts of water.
On a hot day I go through about 20 oz. (just less than 1 bottle) oz every 25 miles or so.
One thing I make sure to do is hydrate BEFORE I leave on a ride.
I drink quite a bit of water for the hour before I leave.
I don't eat specifically for a ride, but I make sure to have eaten a meal within a couple of hours leaving.
Edited by: TOPAHI at: 7/31/2011 (00:14)
Riding a bike is FUN!
The treadmill is NOT!
Never argue with idiots... They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
I take a couple bottles of water...like to keep it simple!
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Eating and drinking for a good ride is personal, like everyone's been saying. You do want to keep in mind that you should drink BEFORE you're thirsty and eat BEFORE you're hungry. If you fail to drink enough, you're going to experience muscle cramps and general weariness. You can correct the situation, but it's difficult. It's much easier to prevent dehydration before it starts. Same for food. Bicycling magazine said in a recent article that a cyclist only needs to eat 20-30% of the total calories they will expend during the ride. Then it's also important to have a post-ride snack within 45 minutes or so. This snack should contain some protein, as someone else already mentioned. This starts the muscle repair process.
What you eat and drink is so personal. I'm just glad that bicycling is one sport where I actually CAN eat before and during the exercise without getting sick!
Congratulations on your great ride!
I usually can't eat that early in the morning either, unless I've been up for a while. This is a problem on triathlon race days. I get up so early and the last thing I want to do is eat, but know I will need something about 2 hours before hitting the race. I keep it very light.
On swimbikerun training days, when doing it early, I will have either a banana, handful of almonds or a Kashi bar (they are small and light). Usually with swimming, I don't have anything. I'm up at 4:40 AM for that one and just can't stomach anything.
Anything over two hours, I definately pop in some nutrition at the 1.5 mark. I'm about the same with you all with the water. I do not have a ton of it b/c that bothers my stomach, gives me cramps, etc. Once home....I'm drinking more.
Also....it's a good idea to have some protein and carbs within the first 30 min. of recovery when your muscles are most receptive to take it in and get that repair process off to a good start. That's what I keep reading, anyway. For me, I love a good quality Greek Yogurt with some fruit. Yummy! I eat it while I log in my miles.
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I usually ride about 2 hours or more. I bring one bottle of plain water, one bottle of an electrolyte replacement drink (Ultima Replacement) and a date. I only end up drinking both bottles if it is super hot like it has been. Otherwise I just drink one bottle on the ride and save the other for the drive home. If my plan is to ride more than 30 miles I'll eat a date at about 15 miles. Since I'm on the trail at 6am when it opens I don't typically eat breakfast before I ride. Too much food gives me stomach cramps. The most I can generally tolerate is a banana but I will most likely save that for my smoothie when I get home. But this is only what works for me. Like Barron said, you need to figure out what works for you.
A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse.
- Stephen Dolley Jr.
One rule of thumb I go by ....make it simple and fun..most of us here are weekend warriors..we won't be riding the Tour De France..bring two bottles of cold water,maybe one with propel powder mixed in.eat what works .. the more complicated everyone makes this the less fun you will have.jmho
Hold on! There are things you need to learn about yourself 1st. It's about you. SARACYCLE is sharing her personal experience. For me that wouldn't work. I agree with the protein, green veggies but not the white rice. That's just me. I would not eat peanut butter for breakfast, toast, or a banana. I would puke if I drank milk and coffee not to mention my stomach would explode after 5 miles as I don't tolerate lactose. This might work great for SARA, not me, the questions is what about you?
I never eat sports beans, hammer gel or bars on a ride. If you are not careful you will take in more calories than you burn and most are in the form of sugar. I'm the kind of person that stores so I don't need them. Other people do. What about you?
At 2 hours and 15 minutes going all out on no food you would have eaten up most of your glycogen stores. Learn about your HR! How hard are you working and are you near your anaerobic threshold?
Drink every 15 - 20 minutes is good in the heat. Eating? You need to learn about you. I usually don't eat at all with a ride under 2 hours. I will drink some kind of replacement drink but this is tricky too. What works for you? Often certain drinks can cause diarrhea and will suck the water out of your intestines. I've been the victim of it years ago.
If I do a longer ride, breakfast I'll eat some protein (fish) with egg whites, 1/2 onion, maybe a little cheese, and 1/2 cup of dried cereal, 32 to 48 oz of water. On a 3 hour ride I might eat an apple or something light.
For a 90 minute ride I rarely drink more than 1/2 bottle of water. If I know I'm going longer I drink more. If the ride is under 90 minutes I'm good. I hydrate before and after. It works for me but might not for you.
For a ride of 45 minutes I don't take water. This is the ride to the gym I make a few days a week. I hydrate before, go at a medium to fast pace depending on the day. A fast pace will keep my HR at 90% + for 2-5 mile intervals with a 5 min recovery before and after. On a good day my splits for 5 miles will be 12 to 12:30 sec, sometimes a little better with the wind. If I break 15 min into a strong head wind I'm happy. There are several climbs near the end so it slows me down and gets my HR way up, then I warm down on the city streets. Once at the gym I'll drink a lean body, or XXAP with no caffeine, and drink water between every set. Then I ride home at a slow pace about 15-16 mph average keeping my HR at 75% or less, takes about an 60 to 70 minutes to get home depending on conditions.
In the early season I'll ride at 12 to 14 mph and keep HR between 60 and 70%.
As the season goes on I'll increase my interval distance and intensity to 1 effort of 10 miles and 3 hard efforts on the 12-11-12% climbs. I have about 1 1/2 miles to recover. This is my gauge.
I do some club rides both slower and very fast group rides about once a week.
It took me a while to find the right combo of fluids for me to achieve hydration. The most I'll take is 1 bottle of water, 1 bottle 1/2 strength of Cytomax. I have used some powder supplements before and after such rides. I don't do well eating solid foods like power bars or gels. Before and after Super Foods Supreme, Fruit Fiber & Whey, Modern BCAA, Physicians Protein Complex, and L-Glutamine.
What has worked for me, given by a cycling trainer: eat protein (chicken/ fish), green veggie and white (stressed white) rice the night before the ride. In the morning, I eat my favorite breakfast which is natural peanut butter on whole wheat w/ 1/2 banana and a small glass of milk and my coffee. I drink water early before I ride and take a camel back filled with ice water and bottle of water. In my pack are sportsbeans- Jelly Belly, and a hammer gel or bar. Long rides, I'm going to need the hammer gel and or bar. Drink water every 15-20 minutes and have something to eat at least 30 minutes or so. I think there are recommendations on bicycling news websites. Do hydrate with liquids, even when you don't think you need them. I hope this has helped and most of all ENJOY cycling.
OK, so today I accomplished two new personal bests:
1) 30 miles on the bike
2) 2 hours 15 minutes on the bike.
About 1 1/2 hours I started to get some light stomach cramping.
I had one water bottle with water, the other with an electrolite drink.
Any suggestions on hydration?
Also, how much, if any food should I eat before a long ride?
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