Pre Ride Fuel - What's your go to?

My team jokes at work that I need a “swear bucket.” Is that a bad thing?

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last time I did FF, I slammed a gel just before start. I think it was key to getting me to where I am now. Currently, I am working on sweat and electrolyte balance as I think this is key to the cramps in my calves aside from me trying to curl my toes around my pedals.

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Wow, thanks for the link. I will try making a batch tomorrow.

As for my pre ride nutrition: I usually prefer to exercise early in the morning and in a fasted state.

I eat only before/during exceptionally hard or long (over 1h) sessions.
Pre workout I swear by banana and oatmeal in soy milk, and sometimes a few dates or nuts.
During the session I rely on energy gels and isotonic drinks. I know I could go a more natural route but I actually enjoy it this way. Plus: It‘s just so easy.

Post workout I pull out all the stops. I like to fuel up with a proper mix of carbs/protein/fat and cook with plenty of natural ingredients (Sweet Potatoes, Chicken, Avocado with Lemon, Beans and Broccoli, topped with a few seeds, is one of my go-to staples).

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Hard outdoor rides, I mix a smoothie up with a banana, scoop of protein powder, scoop of beta alanine, double espresso, fill with almond milk. Blend it the night before and have it as soon as I wake up for a ride in about an hour. Sometimes mix in a little sea salt, some tumeric, ginger and/or cinnamon. If I have more time I like to make oatmeal with an egg and almond milk.

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Hi same schedule as you. If an intense session on the trainer, I’ve had trouble with bowls of cereal or oatmeal. I’ll typically drink some orange juice and coffee, or if I don’t have time to brew coffee (slept too long) I’ll slam a Red Bull during the warmup in the bike. Sugar, caffeine, go!

For longer road rides, the oatmeal and cereal recommendations above are great.

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I love reading everyone’s pre and post workout food choices. It really goes to show that people are so different in this way, and while getting ideas from others can be helpful, they don’t always work well for you as an individual. In the end, it always comes back to experimenting and finding what works best for YOU!

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How many people do you see in coaching / elsewhere that use ore workout ‘mixes’ @Coach.Suzie.S ?
I use them occasionally. They’re often high caffeine, some classic protein supplementation and so on.

@Sir_Martin,
Workout mixes can vary as much or more than people’s food choices! There are so many out there- with or without caffeine, different forms and concentrations of sugars, amino acids (maybe) and electrolytes, flavors, etc. I think the majority of athletes I know use some kind of mix if their session is over an hour in duration. It just takes time to experiment with different brands and find what you like. And people use different mixes for different purposes: long duration but low intensity, maybe something with amino acids to delay fatigue/catabolism. Short but intense- a mix with carbohydrates and electrolytes or caffeine for quick burning energy. Another thing is different theories…some people believe “fluid in your bottles, food in your pockets”- meaning your bottles shouldn’t be your calorie source, you should be eating food for that, and relying on your bottles to simply replace your fluid/electrolyte loss. But some people can’t tolerate eating solid food while riding so they have to use a mix that contains calories/carbs for their energy source as well as fluid. And then there’s the difference between training fuel strategy and racing fuel strategy, as some people do things differently there as well.
There are some recipes out there for making your own electrolyte drinks in order to avoid buying the pre-made mixes, but that again takes individual testing.
It all comes back to what YOU as an individual can tolerate, have tested and prefer!

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@Sir_Martin @Coach.Suzie.S

All about the tingling feeling of the caffeine and theanine. Nothing feels better than blasting a 5 second sprint in Full Frontal hopped up on that mix

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Def got theanine in mine too, and citrulline. Tingling? Maybe I’ve caffeine desensitized over the years :frowning:

Depends on many things. Like the CSO, I’m often rushed and keep a solo cup on the trainer table with gels and chews - that’s a common pre-ride/warm-up fuel. But I like savory, too. Rice with cheese in the microwave? That’s a good start for a ride. Not much, but feels like you are fueling rather than eating dessert…

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nothing, a jeun, always

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During lockdown I’ve been hitting the turbo before breakfast, making good use of the time I used to spend driving into work. I have a cup of tea and then head out to the Pain Cave for up to an hour of quality suffering. This week I’ve ridden Revolver, Defender, Fight Club and GCN Endurance. After each of them I’ve been very ready for breakfast, which has been porridge topped with a banana - yum!

I thought Coach Susie’s post was interesting. I hadn’t heard of “fluid in your bottles, food in your pockets” before but that’s what works for me. When I got into MTBing in the early 2000s, I’d start rides with 2 to 3 litres of energy drink in my Camelback - end result was stomach cramps at some point that day.

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I thought @Coach.Suzie.S was super interesting and informative. I have found over time that caffeine gels are great but not necessarily my friend as they keep my HR pinned and if it closes to LTHR with the caffeine in the system it doesn’t come down as quickly were as if I have the single cup of coffee for brain and attitude prior to a ride my HR stays much more flexible. Another theory I have been testing is the long standing “fluid in bottles, food in pockets” which I have adhered to myself but that does not work for everyone. I have found I do much better with calories in my bottles and am possibly looking for a mix that may support a bit of protein for a longer burn. if anyone has any suggestions they would be most welcomed.
I also make my own mix that I have experimented with. Usually I start with some kind of flavor powder bought at the grocery store. Examine the nutrition table and then add my extras in from there typically just table salt but sometimes an extra scoop of sugar helps. Does anyone else make homemade sticky bottles?

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Indeed, even the most scientifically sound nutrition advice doesn’t work for everyone, so trial and error is key. You can’t force yourself to eat/chew your calories if having that lump of food in your stomach leads to a performance decline. And you might find a nutrition strategy that works for a while, then for no apparent reason, doesn’t anymore, which can be frustrating, but does happen. So then you’re back to the drawing board…And of course caffeine throws another wrench into the whole situation. While it can be great for lowering RPE and making you feel human again when tired, it can have a negative impact on HR. So that also takes trial and error to find out how much and when it gives you a performance benefit vs. being detrimental. As a general rule of thumb, following the scientific recommendation is a good place to start. Evaluate how you felt and adjust from there!

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The other thing about caffeine … (which is quite heavy if I use a pre workout mix) … I sometimes think (like sugar) there is a price to pay later with a ‘low’. No metric evidence for this but when I’ve had a lot on a hard ride I can go all the way in to catatonia when I finish.

Before AVDP this morning I had a smoothie. Almond Milk, ice, spinach, cream cheese, peanut butter, strawberries, blackberries, full fat yoghurt and full fat double cream.
It did the trick because I nailed it
:clap::+1:

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That is some smoothie … photo next time.

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I’ve toyed around with various food combinations and amount of time before riding for quite a while. I seem to have zero’d in on a good peanut butter with banana sandwich about an hour before the workout followed by a 16 ounces Muscle Milk shake made with dark roast ice coffee around 30 minutes before the ride. I usually have an electrolyte/carb drink in a bottle, along with my water during the ride and alternate sips throughout.

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If it’s a morning suf session then I wake and go just keep hydrated. Before riding in the real world, omelette and toast about an hour before I ride. Then it’s a combination of gels and homemade flapjacks.

After suf… breakfast in what ever form I can get it with a protein shake. After a ride, protein shake, coffee… then simply eat!

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