Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

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slarge
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Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by slarge » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:58 pm

So I got the impression that 15-20 energy bars, 2 jam sandwiches, a BLT sandwich and most of a portion of chips was too much for the BB300 at the weekend. And I think 7 litres of finest Welsh water.

Sean managed 300km on half a bottle of water and a sugar cube, not sure about Lars or Karl, but they don't seem to eat much either. Karl said he calculated that he'd need 7000 calories so took that (not sure what 7000 calories looks like, but it's probably 2 McDonalds burger and fries). Mike on the other hand gets a bit tetchy if he can't see his next meal.....

How do you plan your feeding and drinking for a big ride? Is it take everything and bring half back, or take a bit and starve, or do you plan to stock up on the way round? Feeding is a personal thing, but I'm interested to know how people plan / calculate / wing it.....

For what it's worth I finished with 2 spare bars (I thought it was 1, but found another in the bottom of a bag), and no water, and had a big breakfast courtesy of Stu and Dee on my return. And a couple more jam sandwiches, and a curry and a beer when I got home. Strangely my stomach has been quite well behaved today..

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Richard G
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by Richard G » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:19 pm

No real breakfast of note, then eating every 45 minutes with real food obtained at major stops.

Usually stop being able to eat after about 16 hours, though on last year's 300 I kept managing to force food in until about the 20 hour mark.

Edit - Oh, and "calorie need" isn't really that critical until you get into multi day stuff. You're better off carb loading and then topping up rather than trying to eat utterly massive amounts of calories on a single day event.

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by Thisisnotaspoon » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:58 pm

Not BB300 levels but my maths is:

700 calories an hour, divide by two to assume that half comes from body fat (carrying plenty of that) and thats how many carbs i need. 350calories is about 80g of carbs. Fat from food then doesnt count (probably a different story if youre skinny).

Seems to keep me going without bonking or getting to a stop and having the urge to eat my bodyweight in junk.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by ScotRoutes » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:10 pm

Genuinely no idea. To date it's been a question of carrying some food and topping up with whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it. Sometimes that dies mean eating when I'm not particularly hungry but because I know there's a long food-free stint coming up (e.g. night). I prefer to stop at cafes etc when I can so I'm necessarily limited by whatever they offer. I always finish with food in my pack. AFAIK I have never experienced this mythical "bonk".


On a couple of longer/harder rides I've noticed that my stomach just doesn't want to process much food, despite my brain insisting. I'm trying to learn to let my body dictate requirements, not be clever or over-think it.

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by sean_iow » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:34 pm

slarge wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:58 pm
Sean managed 300km on half a bottle of water and a sugar cube
I know I ate less than I would have normally, I just had no appetite. At one point I was biting off a bit of flapjack, chew until it broke up a bit, sip a bit of water to moisten it, chew, bit more water and I'd reach a consistency where I could just manage to swallow it. Thinking about what I ate it was probably more than I though but nowhere near enough. I defiantly didn't drink enough, I think I only drank a max of 3 litres of water for the ride plus a coffee. I normally get through 500ml/hour during the day and that probably drops to half that at night.

From memory I ate,

4 x gels
2 x salami bagels
2 x seven day croissants
1 x turkish delight
1 x milk choc bounty
1 x flapjack bar
1 x mini mars bar
1 x bueno choc bar
1 x bacon bap
small portion of chips
A handful of mints and midget gems

I can normally eat that much in a 12 hour ride and still be hungry. I can normally eat anything and everything as well, sweet, savory, hot, cold or combinations of them all. I once sat on the pavement outside Dornie Stores with a steak slice in one hand and a spoon in the other with a pot of custard. I was alternating bites of the slice with spoons of custard and washing it down with a pint of milk :lol:

I find that on the singlespeed, and especially on tarmac, I can tell from how steep the road looks whether I should be able to ride up it. If I can't then I know I'm low on energy. When I do ride with gears its less obvious as I can select a lower gear and just go slower. At the weekend I had no energy at all on some parts and would stop every 10 paces and rest. I knew I needed to eat but just wasn't at all hungry.
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by Lazarus » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:48 pm

AFAIK I have never experienced this mythical "bonk".
You have not, as there would be no doubt if you had, Why do you think its mythical to say that if you use calories at a high rate, without eating/replacing them, that you will eventually run out of energy ?

All it shows is you fuel adequately.when you ride [ or dont push hard enough :wink: ]

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by ScotRoutes » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:06 pm

Mythical for me.

Folk who describe "the bonk" are maybe just over-dramatising it? Of course I've experienced fatigue and it's been helped by eating, just not in the way I've seen it described.


I think you got the last bit right though :lol:

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Richard G
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by Richard G » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:16 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:06 pm
Mythical for me.

Folk who describe "the bonk" are maybe just over-dramatising it? Of course I've experienced fatigue and it's been helped by eating, just not in the way I've seen it described.
No, there's no overdramatising it. I've had it happen twice and both times it essentially cut my speed almost down to nothing. I went from powering along to barely crawling along even on the flats. I knew just how slowly I was going because on one occasion my riding partner (who I normally wait half an hour for at the top of hills) was having to wait for me instead.

It's definitely not "just fatigue".

Edit - It actually reminded me of what it was like at extreme altitude. Even stuff that would normally be comically easy becomes ridiculously hard... and no matter how hard you try, you just can't outwork it.
Last edited by Richard G on Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by sean_iow » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:17 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:06 pm
Folk who describe "the bonk" are maybe just over-dramatising it?
I've seen it for real. On an off road charity ride, only 50 odd miles, one of the local roadie team (who's more a sprinter than distance rider) went from riding along chatting to stopping and sitting down in less than a minute. We had to force a gel down him and then he bailed home on the road.

I've been to the point where I have to get off and walk (shuffle) whist eating to get my energy levels back up as I couldn't pedal anymore.
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by whitestone » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:35 pm

I've had it happen to me in long fell races - one minute you are going along quite happily then it's as if someone's unplugged the batteries and the group you were with just disappear into the distance.

The 'bonk' is running out of stored glycogen, marathon runners call it "hitting the wall", the body can only replenish those stores quite slowly so once it happens that's it you can't just take a gel or whatever and get going again.
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by ScotRoutes » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:39 pm

Yeah, that's the bit I've never experienced.

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by PaulB2 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:01 pm

The faster I go, the less I remember to eat and drink unfortunately. On a social ride I'll be pretty much munching continuously whereas if I'm trying to get somewhere in a time limit I've a tendency to forget to have anything until it's too late.

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by benp1 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:27 pm

Amazingly, I bonked on the commute home once!

Had done a big kettlebells session at lunchtime and not eaten properly. Started sweating profusely, then got cold, then got really really slow. Was struggling to match people walking quickly up the hill. Stopped at a convenience shop and ate a snickers duo, was fine shortly after that and carried on home. Very strange experience!

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by Thisisnotaspoon » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:28 pm

Done it a few times, one resulted in me questioning why i was being heckled as i climbed up sandsend riding north from whitby. After a while i realised i was shouting at myself. I was about 80 miles into a ride and had only eaten a couple of bags of jelly babies all day (and was unfit having not ridden for months, and it was a hilly ride).

Other times just got off the bike and been unable to stand. Just had to eat whatever was to hand and wait an hour to absorb it.

Its not the same as going out with a fast group and just not being able to keep up after an hour or two and dropping back on the hills once you've burnt all your matches.

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by htrider » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:24 pm

I seem to be doing OK by eating what I'd normally eat in a day (at the same times) plus a bit; with a couple of snickers bars in between.

I bonk ( :mrgreen: ) on commutes quite often usually due to drinking too much tea at work and therefore being a bit dehydrated. I have plenty of energy on board but dehydrating seems to stop the 'system' from processing it hence rapid drop in blood sugar, shortly followed by legs refusing to behave and a total dizzy head, zero energy crash. Usually sorted by a snickers but if I feel the beginnings of one coming on then a massive reduction in pace for a bit will generally stave it off.

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by sean_iow » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:32 pm

I've just added up the calories of the food I ate on the BB300, it actually came to 3680 kcal, there were a few things I only remembered I'd eaten when I was going through the cupboard looking up the nutritional info for bars etc.

Looking back in my notebook :geek: I did a couple of centuries in the summer on an unladen bike and I ate 3500 kcal on each of them. They were local and had about 10000ft of climbing and took 12 hours on a sunny day.

The BB300 was good weather wise for Wales on October but not overly warm so 3680 kcal for 200 miles (I rode to the start)and 27000ft of climbing over 28 hours is nowhere near enough to power my legs.

Out of interest, strava says I burnt 12000kcal :lol: Even if it's only 50% of that I still needed to eat twice what I did.
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slarge
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by slarge » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:13 pm

Strava said I burnt 11000 or 12000 calories this event - I don't think you could that without eating solid lard...... I probably read somewhere that 1lb of body fat is about 6000calories, so if you did the whole event without eating anything you'd lose 2lb. Does that sound right?

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by sean_iow » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:13 pm

I can't say if I normally loose weight on an event as I usually drive home the day after so get a day to feed myself up again but I might.

On the SD300 I rode home so didn't get to eat non-stop and I was 3.5lb less than when I weighed myself 5 days before. I drunk plenty so not all would have been dehydration.

I think Karl's 7000kcal is probably about right for 300km in 24 hrs, I wouldn't want to try and eat more.

As for feeding strategy, if it's a single day ride against the clock I won't consider any shops more than about 200m off route. I will go to a chippy or fast food outlet if close enough but not a cafe as it usually takes too long to get served. On a multi-day event I'll eat real food at cafes and pubs if I pass them at the right time, over several days I don't have the reserves to skimp on food. Having said that, on the 2018 HT550 I was out of sink with opening times for several days and only got cold food. Nothing beats 2 packets of crisps and a cup of tea for dinner after Fisherfield and the Postmans Path :lol:
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by Ian » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:11 pm

When I did my two Everesting rides, I worked out I consumed 9000 kcal’s per attempt so 1 kcal per metre ascended.
I haven’t worked out what I ate on the BB200, but it probably falls into the not enough category.

On the bonk; only ever happened badly once, while on the way back from a long ride at Uni. Staggered into a garage to beg for food as I had no money, was sent away empty handed, fell asleep on the verge down the road for 2 hours, and was awoken by the sight and sound of race pigeons flying over my head, which a guy was releasing out of the back of his car. Very surreal experience. Eventually made it home very slowly with zero power in my legs.

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by RIP » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:43 pm

I'm the same as 'Routes. I eat nice food and drink pleasant liquids and expend energy. Life's too short to get hung up about the details and figures. Occasionally feel "bonky" (fnar) but, like Ben, stuff my face with a chocolate bar or two and I'm off again after half an hour or so.
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:55 pm

Bonking ... once properly and very close a few times. I think what's horrible about it, is the fact that you can't quite figure out what's happened and are pretty much helpless.

Food intake ... probably less than I should but whether that's the same as less than I need, I don't know. I do seem to be able to survive on not much and certainly much less than many.
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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by larsmars » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:53 pm

@Steve - I am glad you started this thread. I have always had trouble eating in endurance events, particularly as time goes on, so I am keen to learn from others and have a bit more of a nutrition plan next time. 

I like Karl's 7k cal plan. I've never actually done a calorie counted nutrition plan and perhaps it's time I start. It would have saved me carrying extra food out of fear of running out. Around 60-90g carb/h seems to be the nominal suggested amount for longer endurance events. I finished with loads of snacks in my frame bag. Not really any plan at all.

Here's what I ate during the BB300 2019:
  • 3 x small cheese and salami sandwichs
  • 4 x small veg & parmesean muffins (homemade)
  • 3 x small snack bars (chocolate and peanut)
  • 1 x large cod and chips
  • 1 x battered sausage 
  • 1 x 500mL lucozade 
  • 2 x 500mL coke
  • 1 x large tuna?! (I know) and cucumber baguette
  • 1 x 500mL Monster
  • ~7 x litres of water with 1 x SIS electrolyte tablet per litre
  • 1 x SIS gel
I have no idea how many calories this is, but £$%& me this seems like a lot! On writing this list, I realised I ate more than I thought I did. Maybe I've actually been eating too much and just making myself ill? Some advice on carb loading suggests this can happen.

Dr Google says (any sports nutritionists out there please correct me), the GI tract tends to shut down during periods of extended / intense exercise, because all the blood is flowing to the muscles. I've always assumed this is why I have difficulty eating even when I've not taken any calories for hours and hours. Before midnight my stomach was okay, but after that every bite was a massive chore. Like Sean described, I was over chewing and washing down every bit.

After an ITT, I always crave salty broth for a day or so. I've heard a few ultra runners suggest ginger can help with settling an upset GI tract and reduce nausea. I might try taking some crystallised ginger next time. This journal article discusses some typical nutrition related side effects for ultra endurance athletes. Definitely seems to have some good clues worth investigating further.

A few things I've learnt the hard way which have helped me, some of which should have been obvious really.
  • Eat before it's too late. I always failed to replenish early whilst I can still eat easily.
  • Variety helps. I need a balance of sweet vs savoury and I have trouble eating the same thing all day.
  • Eat smaller amounts more regularly. I followed this more closely this time, with the exception of the large cod and chips in Barmouth. Perhaps a timer on the GPS would help?
  • Add sugars/salts to water. I add 1 x tablet or spoonful of powder per litre. 
  • Avoid Ibuprofen, etc and do not take on too much caffeine. I've made this mistake many times. This time I took no painkillers and the only caffeine was from 2 x Cokes and 1 x Monsters, still quite a lot by some standards, but I am a heavy coffee drinker.
AFAIK I have never experienced this mythical "bonk".
Bonks are absolutely real. Your liver and muscles can only store about 500g of glycogen (~2,000 calories). In mild cases, this results in decreased power and general discomfort, weakness, dizzyness. I experience mild hypoglycemia on a regular basis, but replenishing normally gets me back to on track pretty quickly. In more extreme cases, you can get double vision, hallucinations, etc and it becomes more difficult to recover simply by replenishing the stores. Here's an amusing video of some runners 'hitting the wall'. 

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by lune ranger » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:29 pm

I absolutely hate the idea of running out of food. Being a massive geek i’ve written down the food i’ve carried, bought, eaten and not eaten on trips and ITT’s over the years. I use that to base what i’ll Carry for any given ride now taking into account available resupply. I’ll usually carry enough food from the start to make resupply a bonus rather than a necessity on sub 36hr rides.
I’m lucky in as much as I can eat pretty much anything at anytime and am able to view food simply as fuel when I need to. Boarding school and a military career are good for some things it would seem :-bd
I used to be all about the gels, powders and potions but have tended towards more natural foods recently.
Like Sean on rides of 24hr or so I avoid sitting down and ordering food from a time perspective but I do like to fill my belly at least once or twice - maybe s big feed from a shop or a takeaway. Other than that it’s little and often - I aim to eat a little every 30-40 min of the ride after the first hour.
I drink plain water with Elete electrolyte added in.
I’ll consume caffeine in gels or ShotBlocs but not too much these days. When I did an Everesting a few years ago I consumed so much caffeine in drinks that I thought I was going to have a fit when I finished :oops:

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by composite » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:36 pm

I always eat the biggest pizza I can fit in me the night before.

A big bowl of porridge for breakfast normally, but I have done a full English as well.

On the bike, I like to eat something every hour. Knowing that you are going to eat each hour makes planning quite easy cause you just have as many snacks as the time you think you will be riding. I think that Audaxing is easier in this regard as it's far easier to gauge that time than an unknown quantity like the BB200/300. Also, you pass through loads more villages and towns etc. which make resupply easier. You can rely on picking stuff up in a way that you just can't when off road in mid-Wales. I like to be quite fluid in what I might eat at any time though. Sometimes I just want fuel, other times I want something that is going to make me feel better in the head. I'll just pick from my snacks whatever I feel like at the time.

Generally, this will be a mixture of all sorts of stuff. I'll just list some of the things I have had on the menu in the past.

Whole Battenburg cakes, eat them like a chocolate bar.
Wraps with a thick layer of peanut butter rolled up.
Flapjack - homemade if possible.
Haribo
Nuts - got quite partial to marmite cashews
Bananas
Sausage rolls
Assorted sandwiches

I can also recommend this book.
Image
I have made all sorts of stuff from this and they have all been great. There was a time I used to bring the ride snacks for my group and try out these recipes. People weren't too sure at first but when they started tucking into what I was rocking they soon got into it. :grin:

edit: Just say no to science food. Gels and powders can get fuct. :wink:

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Re: Food and Drink intake - what's yours like?

Post by composite » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:52 pm

re. bonking.

I have only ever had one really bad experience of this.

I was really suffering at the end of a longer than intended when I left the house type ride. I tried to go into a shop to get something to eat, realised I had no money as I had come out without my wallet. Stumbled back out to just try to get home. About 15mins later I was not far from home and thought I'll pop in the shop to get some food... of course, realised I didn't have my wallet, stumbled out and got home.

It took me until about an hour later to realise I had just done the same thing twice in the space of 15mins...

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