When To Eat While Cycling – Cycling Nutrition

– Most of us are aware of the need to eat when we’re doing longer bike rides. Try surviving on water alone, and even a seasoned pro
is likely to come unstuck. (mumbled talking with mouth full of food) But when exactly is the best time to eat? (more mumbling) (upbeat music) – You can break this down into two parts, terrain and timing. So let’s start with the latter. – Yeah, for any rides
at 60 minutes or less, you’re probably not going
to need to eat anything. Anything longer than that though, and you probably will do. So a good place to start
is about 30 minutes into your ride because just like hydration and drinking before you feel thirsty, it’s a good idea to start
eating before you feel hungry. – [Narrator] From there
it’s a matter of keeping up with regularity, depending on how much you can stomach at any one time. You may want to opt for
something small every 20 minutes. For something more
substantial, every hour or so. This is where practise and
experience will come into play. Finding out what works best for you. The recommendation is
to consume between half and whole gramme of
carbohydrates per kilogramme of body weight per hour of riding. So you’ll have to do a bit of number crunching before your ride. – Once you’ve decided on your strategy, it’s a good idea to set
yourself some kind of trigger, which is going to remind you to eat while you’re out on your bike. That could be something
as simple as the duration you’ve been riding, trying
to eat at regular intervals. Or after an alarm that
goes off on your phone at regular intervals. Or maybe something you’re
going to see on the side of the road very regularly
that you associate with eating, like a town sign. Having this trigger in place
should mean that you don’t forget to dip into your
pocket while you’re out. – Yeah, it’s really
important that you maintain that pattern throughout
your ride, often when you sense that the end is
near, it’s very very easy to forget, but the last
thing that you want to do is end up crawling to the finish line or to the end of your ride. (upbeat music) – The second consideration is terrain, because eating while cycling
isn’t without its hazards. Because if you want to
eat while you’re riding you’re going to have to take
one hand off the handlebars. Unless of course you want to stop. – [Narrator] So it’s
important to think carefully about where you’re going to eat. And there are a few
obvious places to avoid. First the technical descent
because going at high speed with one hand on the bar
is definitely not easy. Even on straight descents,
you should use extreme caution simply because of the high speed. Climbs too can make things difficult since you’re going to be going hard enough that you’ll struggle to breath
and eat at the same time. Another place to be
cautious is when you’re behind another rider or riders. Unless you know them
well, and you’re confident they won’t randomly break
or swerve without warning. So if you’re at a big sporting
or gran fondo or group ride, try to get some clear
space between yourself and the strangers around you before you start reaching into your pockets. – Crosswinds could also pose a problem in terms of handling your bike, especially if you’re
riding deep section rims like we are today. So it’s another thing
that you need to seriously consider before you take your
hands from the handlebars. – So the best place to
eat, and you’ve already guessed this by now, when
you’re on a bike ride is on a nice straight
descent road that either flat or every so slightly uphill. So whenever you get to a road that matches this description, give
yourself a mental reminder that now is a great time to fuel. – Before we finish with this video, we should also say that if
you are new to the sport and you’re just currently building up your bike handling confidence,
there really is no hard in occasionally stopping your ride at the side of the road in a safe place to do your eating before you carry on. I’ll just finish this video on my own. (mumbling) Right, if you have yet to subscribe to the Global Cycling Network, please do so by clicking on the globe. We’ve got two more videos right now which might also help you. First of all, in the
bottom corner down that way is how to drink on the bike. And in the bottom corner
in the other direction is how to improve your recovery. – Want a bit? – I thought you weren’t going to offer.

93 thoughts on “When To Eat While Cycling – Cycling Nutrition

  1. I'll tell you when you shouldn't, while speaking. Could have choked, fallen off your bike, tumble infront of a moving car, cause a series of collisions, cause an oil tanker to explode, or even worse..
    scrape your knee.

  2. other things to consider avoiding on a ride: artificial sweeteners and maltodextrin. a lot of people get upset stomachs after having them due to their sensitivity/allergies.

  3. Take your rubbish home with you
    don't drop empty gel wrappers Etc it docent look nice and gives a bad impression of us Cyclist !

  4. So if I'm out on a ride longer than 60 minutes, when I go to refuel myself (bar, gel, solid food, etc), must I consume the whole bar or the whole gel if I'm going at a moderate to high intensity effort? I would most likely get sick if I ate an entire energy bar or an entire gel 30 minutes into a long ride.

  5. Something like this (assuming that I leave after breakfast and remain full for two hours):
    50km, 1000m climbing nothing
    100km, 2000m climbing one energy bar and one banana
    150km, 3000m climbing two energy bars, one banana, one small sandwich, one small choco milk
    150km,5000m climbing, 4 energy bars, 2 bananas, one sandwich (cheese and ham), large chocolate milk

    During the first two hours I don't eat anything if I leave right after having breakfast. Then I would have half an energy bar or half a banana every 30', and drink every 15'.

  6. I usually don't eat anything in the first hour. But maybe I should, as you mentioned in the video. Then after that I try to eat something after every 30 – 40 mins. But at least I have enough room for my nutrition inside my velomobile 😀

  7. That's why when I ride I stop every time I pass a coffee shop that allows me to sit and stare at my trusty steed. I could be out all day but only ride about 15 miles, but then 7 cakes and 10 coffees help me round.

  8. just a suggestion but you guys should consider starting a podcast.not so much cycling news because thats in the GCN show. but you could interview people in a podcast style such as pro cyclists or team managers

  9. While bicycle touring, all these guidelines get tossed aside. I've ridden 3hrs without water or food, not good but doable.

  10. During the warmer months I cycle with an orthodontic frame holding my mouth open. The flies I eat along the way keep me going no problem.

  11. Don't forget that intensity plays a part in the grams per kilogram formula. I know when I'm puttering around at a slower speed I can go a long time without bonking. But when I'm racing, I will definately see a drop off in performance after an hour without something.

  12. Good info. LOVE the new kit too. Matt's national champion bands are brilliant as well.

    What this video misses is sports drink as a source of carbs too. Maybe a fueling while riding video that includes hydration and nutrition needs to be produced in the future.

  13. When i go out on training riders, I'll take 2x 1litre SiS electrolyte mixture, 2x 2 ryno power electrolyte capsules ans 2x 1 motivation capsules, I'll carry 2 gels and 2 65g SiS energy bars. I'll alternate every 30-40 minutes apart from the capsules. I'll take the first 2 electrolyte capsules and 1 of the motivation capsules at the start. After about 40 mins I,ll have a few mouthfuls of drink, 40 mins later I'll have half of an energy bar, 40 mins later a gel. Then when about half way I'll have another lot of the capsules, then drink, energy bar and gel. Keep alternating, that works for me and keeps me feeling fresh and energetic.

  14. If you do a lot of climbs back to back like i tend to do you should stop at the top of a climb and eat so that you have time to digest it before you are heading back up the climb

  15. I'd like a video – how to change gear 🤔 durianrider tells me spinning is winning but my friends leave me for dead – any help gcn 🙏 would be appreciated 🤗

  16. You say to start eating at 30 minutes in, but how long does it generally take for those carbs to kick in? #TorqueBack
    (or answer in the comments)

  17. If you have Shimano Di2 gears then having the climbing satellite shifter on the top of the handlebars is useful to change gear when eating.

  18. I was always told to eat on a hard climb to break the other riders around you. That way all the other riders around you thought it was easy enough for you to eat. I think when I did it just made all the other riders have more confident…

  19. Toughest thing for me is chewing at a high cadence. I tend to look like Lasty topping a hill, when I am eating on my bike.

  20. If it is windy, and you really wan't to fuel up, keep your hand on the side of the handlebar opposite of where the wind is coming from. So if the wind comes from the right, keep your left hand on the bars, and vice versa. I find it easier to keep my balance this way.

  21. don't eat- liquids work best; they don't clog your guts, allowing for speedier delivery of carbo/hydration when necessary; they dont impair your breathing as solid food can ( not to mention choking on crunchy bits ). Ive done 14-16 hour steady rides liquid only- my only problem was sub-zero conditions, but I dont ride in that nearly as much as I used to.

  22. In the only two sporteth events that I've done I've dropped a banana peel (accidentally) one of the times was on a very steep decent just before a sharp corner and the other one was when I was at the front of a large bunch. I don't think anyone got hurt though. Is this a crime against cycling?

  23. Surely the data from a power meter could provide the adequate timing of when your energy is waning and you require a top up.

  24. If you're in a bunch you've gotta be ready for an attack – I got caught out, had a mouth full of a small banana muffin, someone threw a grenade and attacked, I had change gears and put some effort in, so shoved the rest in mouth and nearly choked. After the race I blew my nose – and out come some of it! Gross!

  25. According to your formula I need to eat 35g of carb minimum each hour. I never eat that much on the bike, it is ridiculous amount of bars. And I dont do gel.

  26. I wouldn't follow the advice with 1g carbs/kg when trying to lose weight. For an 80kg bloke, you'll be burning around 500 cals in 1h but eating 320 cals (80g*4cals/g carb)…so the gain won't be that high. You'll still burn more, but slower I guess…

  27. I personally eat something once every hour. I take a drink every 15 minutes. I have an alarm set-up on my Garmin set for 15 minutes intervals. Using this method means I haven't had the Bonk in 20 years!

  28. 2:33 Did I just see him accidentally drop litter? I hope someone I the team went back to pick that up. Naughty naughty!

  29. I think they should start eating sushi and small serving of tempura while on the road ..high in carbohydrates and protein

  30. Hi guys, just wonder if you or anyone for that matter can help me.. a group of us are currently planning to cycle from Eastern Europe to south of the UK, I’ve seen previous clips of you guys eating snacks such as flap jacks & using the gels. This event is not a race, but with the distance in mind, would you recommend using just snacks, or just gels or both for the events?

    Cheers guys 🚴🏼‍♂️

  31. Let me get this straight. @1:14

    I am about 195 lbs which is roughly 88 kg.
    Recommended Minimum: 88 kg * .5 = 44 g of carbs per hour
    Recommended Maximum: 88 kg * 1 = 88 g of carbs per hour

    A crunchy nature valley package (both bars) is 29 g of carbs.
    Recommended Minimum # of Nature Valley Bars: 44 g / 29 g ~= 1.5 Nature Valley Packages(3 bars) per hour
    Recommended Maximum # of Nature Valley Bars: 88 g / 29g ~= 3 Nature Valley Packages(6 bars) per hour

    A GU Salted Watermelon Gel is 23 g of carbs.
    Recommended Minimum # of Gel: 44 g / 23 g ~= 1.9 Gels per hour
    Recommended Maximum # of Gel: 88 g / 23g ~= 3.8 Gels per hour

    If I take a 3 hour ride then the recommendation is to take somewhere between 9-18 Nature Valley Bars or 6-12 Gels? I hope I messed something up because that seems kind of mental. I maybe take one or two bars on a longer ride.

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