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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read a post about this a few months ago, and most people seemed to recommend drinking Muscle Milk before a ride. I've been doing this, and while I do feel like I'm getting better, I still tank on longer rides with lots of climbing. I take a Power Bar energy gel during a ride, but it's pretty much only caffeine and electrolytes.

Does anyone have any suggestions for things to eat/drink before or during a ride to give muscles a lot more energy? I started cramping at the end of the ride today, even though I had plenty of water.
 

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Perpetuem by Hammer Nutritrion is great durring long rides (multiple hours). Before the ride its good to eat lots and lots of good healthy carbs upto an hour before. I like to eat Oatmeal with frozen veggies and a couple of hard boiled eggs.
 

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BikerBert sponsored a fantastic seminar in his studio Saturday by Stacy Sims on some of these issues. Some of her high order points were -
  • Keep your nutrition separate from your hydration
  • Avoid gels, small round potatoes are a good food source
  • Sodium Citrate is better electrolyte than sodium chloride, Nuun is good source
  • Don't bother with protein during an event, but have a bunch within 30 min afterwards
  • Most sunscreen blocks pores, therefore diminishing ability to sweat and cool
 

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Avoid Muscule Milk. For a protien supplement, it is way too high in fat calories. :eekster:
There are much better protien supplements on the market.

For pre-ride, Arnge Crush. This is a pre-work out supplement similar to N.O. X-Plode or Cytosport Fast Twitch. It is a Nitric-Oxide booster with other helpful nutrients. Unlike the other two products though, it has an eight hour time release formula, unlike the typical two hour. I mix a bottle of this and drink it right before a ride. Taking Arnge Crush exploded my speed and cardio last summer.

During a ride - pickle juice is the miracle drug for cramps:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, so no more Muscle Milk. Arnge Crush looks a little sketchy, do many people take it? I hesitate when something mainly shows up on bodybuilding forums, and no where else :).

Oatmeal is a good idea, I've been eating cereal and the milk isn't helping at all.
 

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alamere said:
BikerBert sponsored a fantastic seminar in his studio Saturday by Stacy Sims on some of these issues. Some of her high order points were -
  • Most sunscreen blocks pores, therefore diminishing ability to sweat and cool
Hmmm... I guess I'll have to suffer the consequences with my "diminished ability to sweat" as I'd rather not diminish my ability to live a long heallthy life free from / reduced risk of SKIN CANCER (too many relatives in the grave prmaturely because of skin cancer / related cancers).

WTF? Is the suggestion to forgoe sunscreen in exchange for what (in a percentage please)? A nominal performance gain? I still seem to sweat just fine w/ sunblock on....

Sorry, but at elevations from 6k feet to above 12k feet here in the rockies, you're nuts to be outside for more than a couple of minutes without protection.
 

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glenzx said:
Hmmm... I guess I'll have to suffer the consequences with my "diminished ability to sweat" as I'd rather not diminish my ability to live a long heallthy life free from / reduced risk of SKIN CANCER (too many relatives in the grave prmaturely because of skin cancer / related cancers).

WTF? Is the suggestion to forgoe sunscreen in exchange for what (in a percentage please)? A nominal performance gain? I still seem to sweat just fine w/ sunblock on....

Sorry, but at elevations from 6k feet to above 12k feet here in the rockies, you're nuts to be outside for more than a couple of minutes without protection.
Try a thin, white, tight, long sleeve shirt made of some performance material.
 

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TLL mentioned beef jerky, and I'll second this- it's gotten me out of several jams. Also, a variation of a peanut butter/jelly sammitch works wonders.

I've found that I need 2 breakfasts before a big ride (or any ride at altitude). I'll have a bowl of cereal at home, then a sandwich or a bunch of fruit an hour or so before the ride. I can't have too much caffeine (i.e. gels w/ caffeine), as that depletes my energy stores. One cuppa joe when I get up in the a.m. is all I'm used to.

fp
 

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ForbiddenBeat said:
Ok, so no more Muscle Milk. Arnge Crush looks a little sketchy, do many people take it? I hesitate when something mainly shows up on bodybuilding forums, and no where else :).
I came across it at a body building nutrition store myself. Cycling is not that much different than weight lifting. We just do thousands of really light reps.;)
I am not sure it has broken out of the body building world. Still a new product.
Nothing really sketchy about it. A bunch of caffiene, L-Argynine, Kre-Alkylin (like Creatine), and Ginko.
The L-Argynine releases Nitric Oxide in the body. This dialates the blood vessels, dramatically increasing blood flow. Increased blood flow means more oxygen getting to the muscules, less fatigue, less cramping, faster recovery time.
 

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Stacy wasn't recommending not using sunscreen, she recommended that based on the studies they have done at Stanford, a sunscreen that allows your skin to dissipate heat is the best solution for UV protection.

She said Neutragena makes one that provides protection, and still allows your skin to breathe:
http://www.neutrogena.com/ProductsDetails_214.asp?lProductLineID=15

She's got a PhD Environment Exercise Physiology specializing in heat/elevation acclimation so she's a trusted source. If anyone has any questions about this, she said they can send them to her at [email protected].

She's helped me quite a bit with my cramping issues, as well as worked with guys who take that three week tour of France each summer.
 

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What works for me is cutting out animal based proteins and fat (beef, chicken, pig, fish, milk, cheese...) and going with an almost vegan diet. I've long felt that those items slowed me down and made me feel like sh!t. Ever since I stopped eating them regularly, I never have that bonky sluggish feel anymore. I'm not faster by any means, but I feel better.

Mornings usually start with:
PBJ or cereal with soy milk (I'm actually starting to like it a lot)
Drink a bottle of water on the way to the ride (this has been a huge benefit alone)

On long rides, real food is the only thing that keeps me going. So I'll pack some trail mix, dried Mangoes/fruit, sandwich, Payday bar. Normal sports bars all seem to taste chemically and horrible IMO, even Clif bars.

For hydration just water and a bottle of GatoMax (Gatorade and CytoMax powder mix).


I use that sunscreen bikerbert linked to. I have found it to be pretty good for a sports sunscreen. Coppertone makes another one I like.

As for cramping, I tend to thing it's got something to do with genetics. In the 33 years I've been playing sports, I have never cramped, or even felt close to it. Even in endurance events, and I do nothing special to avoid it. Others seem to cramp pretty easy, even though they are doing "recommended" things to help prevent it.



-note, I am not a scientist or trainer. This is all based on personal experience and paying attention to stuff and things and how it affects me. YMMV
 

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I haven't tried lots of things so I can't say that it's the best, but the following combination worked for me on a couple of longish rides:

- dried apricots
- almonds
- peanut butter filled pretzels (from Trader Joe's)
- energy drink

I've quit energy drinks since then, and prepare my own. As found on another thread, in a water bottle:

- 2-3 table spoon sugar
- 1/4 tea spoon salt (or maybe half that amount)
- 3-4 table spoon lemon juice

Hot water first to stir sugar and salt. 1/4 tea spoon of salt makes it too salty, so I'll try less next time.

Ali
 

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My wife makes me what I call "power cookies" that I eat before a ride and usually bring a few with me to eat during a ride. They're a type of modifed oatmeal cookie, made with whole wheat, nuts, some kind of dried fruit, and about 1/4 of the sugar of a standard oatmeal cookie. Mega healthy and very tasty.

I stay away from most of the gels, with the exception of the clif dbl expresso shot. It's the only one that doesn't taste like diabetes, I actually like it, and it also has a little caffeine kick. I'll usually bring one along on a long ride but that's about it for any of the commercially made carb concoctions.

For hydration I fill my camelbak with Gatorade Endurance. I sweat a lot, more than average, and lose a lot of salt. The endurance formula has extra sodium which I really need. Its pretty much the only thing that keeps me from cramping up during a long ride.

Beef/Turkey jerkey is always good for protein. Lately though, I've been eating these Ostrim sticks. They're like a slimjim type of meatstick but made with ostrich meat. They're something like 96% fat free and only have 80 or so calories, plus they're pretty tasty.

Other than that I usually have some combo of dried fruit, trail mix, etc. I also bring along some of those little rice crackers wrapped in seaweed that you can get at Trader Joes. They're pretty tasty and are the only salty snack (chips, crackers,etc) that hold up well and don't turn to crumbs in my pack.

I gotta try bringing some of those little potatoes next time. I can't believe I never thought of bringing them on a ride before. Back when I was rockclimbing they were a staple.
 

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Bananas before and PBJ during. I don't like putting sport drink in my camelbak. Sometimes I'll carry a bottle of gatorade and hide it on a part of the trail I know I'll be passing again later in the ride. (some people do this with beer...)
 

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some thoughts on fueling

Buy the book "eating for Endurance" by Ellen Coleman - it is the best book in its class and a bible for endurance fueling. Basically, in events over a couple hours you need to take in 250 or so calories, 24-38 oz of fluid and 45-60g of carbs. You can mix and match how you get these as long as you get em in. The body is hard pressed to process more than this, obviously depending on exertion. Stock up on solid foods during low intensity times like long downhills and use gels or easily digestable stuff on hills/ hi exertion. Set a timer to eat/drink every 20 mins. You'll likely need anywhere between 350-1000 mg of sodium as well and this is quite variable(heat. humidity, exertion). Electrolytes (sodium being the big player) is like oil in the engine - not enough in and you cramp up and grind to a halt. That's the distilled and condensed experience of 2 half ironmans, the quad dipsea trail run and Durango 100 mtb. Have fun and ride far!
 

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Seriously, red potatoes? They have to be cooked, right? Do they turn to mashed potatoes by the time you eat them? (mmmmhh... I'd add some garlic :) )
 

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For Club rides up to 3hrs pedaling time in mild SC temps - a large water bottle of water add a small bottle of water for the summer. 1 chocolate brownie clif bar and 2 hammer gels just in case, (usually given to someone else who needs them more than me). I have a brekkie of either red potatoes w/ Onion, and Egg Beaters, 1 large cup of Verve roasted Sumatra or Sidamo or Steel cut oats with Honey, Raisins and soy milk, or Joes O's w/ Soy milk. A good sized lo fat brekkie meal at least an hour before is key.

Longer 4+ hrs pedaling time / Hotter rides -1 large water bottle of water and a standard water bottle of sport drink, either Heed or Clif stuff, 2 clif bars, 2 gels, and 10 endurolytes.

Longer still, 6-10hrs pedaling time - 70 -100 oz water in camelbak, large waterbottle with thick mix of Perpetuem or Sustained energy flavored with Rasberry hammer gel, 20+ endurolytes, 2 clif bars, 4 gels caffienated, and real food pbj / tortillas, jerky, Red spuds cooked in salted water. Sometimes I don't want to eat sweet stuff, so the savory really comes in handy. At this level of calorie defecit, ANY food to replace calories. And a Pur Hiker Water filter if there's water available, if not, then I overload with water, and additonal hammer powder. LIP BALM. Usually at this level I'm giving my food up to others, adventure racing has taught me a lot about endurance fueling it seems.

For HOT / EXPOSED conditions I'll tend to wear a RailRiders Eco Mesh shirt - White.

http://www.railriders.com/men-eco-mesh-shirt-p-963.html?cPath=90_96&osCsid=nv3rfvkjdtdf81ge0foe6lhgb7

I've rocked these shirts for desert / High Sierra Summer trips for 5 yrs now - don't use sunscreen except on the face. I have a bandanna lawrence of arabia rig to shade the back of my neck.... I don't care how goofy I look, at 10-24+ hrs in the boonies, it's all about staying alive / functional.
 
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