what should i be eating?

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what should i be eating?

Postby scoulr05 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:07 am

im just getting into cycling and trainings going pretty well, but im starting to find myself really tired and drained, during and after riding and someone has told me its because im not eating the right foods. can anyone help with what i should be eating/drinking? any good advise would be much appreciated.
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by BNA » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:06 pm

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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby jules21 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:06 pm

about a banana per hour, as a very rough guide. much less than that and you'll hit the wall.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby Max » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:42 pm

+1 to the bananas. Also, I'd recommend at least 1 litre of water per hour. Maybe more, depending on conditions, but no less.

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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby twizzle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:47 pm

And the rest. :shock: Then again, depends if you are riding endurance or going hard.

Rule of thumb for competition is 1gm of carbs per Kg per hour - a Banana has like 20gm. Unfortunately, the digestive system is a bit limited in throughput anyway, so it's hard to process more than about 60 - 70gm/hour (going on memory here). Anyhow... carbs before the ride, energy drink during the ride, carbs soon after the ride.

Examples :

Race - I burnt ~ 3,500kj in a 50 minute race this morning and bonked approx one hour later despite intake of 1.5lt of gatorade (~1600kj) and two bananas (one before, one after).

Endurance - On Friday on a 2:45 ride I had ~ 1000kj before the ride, burn about 10,000kj in the ride and had 1.5lt of Gatorade (~1600Kj) and about another 500Kj in food bars along the way. Still felt good at the end.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby scoulr05 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:12 pm

thanks for advise guy's i'll give it a go. did any of you change your eating habbits such as watching what you ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner? and one for question, is gatorade ok to drink because i've been told there is to much salt in it, is this true? thanks again.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby jules21 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:51 pm

i don't understand Gatorade. apparently it helps the body absorb water more quickly. i've always wondered - wouldn't it just make sense to drink the water a bit earlier?
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby twizzle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:55 pm

scoulr05 wrote:thanks for advise guy's i'll give it a go. did any of you change your eating habbits such as watching what you ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner? and one for question, is gatorade ok to drink because i've been told there is to much salt in it, is this true? thanks again.


Re. diet - avoid saturated fats like the plague, minimise the other fats and make up the rest with carbs. Avoid fructose - goes straight to the liver and is converted to fat (I've been told...). Work out your daily metabolic needs (lots of online calculators), then try and guesstimate your energy usage on a ride and eat accordingly. I can cheat - my power meter measures energy consumed, so I know what I've used... roughly, as the efficiency of the human body varies.

Re. gatorade, If you are going out for less than an hour and just cruising - no need. But the harder/longer you go, the more salts you will lose, the more carbs you need and it basically fits the requirements. I don't race or train without it through summer, but I don't touch it in winter because I don't sweat much when it's below 10c.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby scoulr05 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:18 pm

thanks twizzle your like a wikipedia. :idea:
that helps alot. gotta go get my self a reciepe book and watch My Kitchen Rules. :P
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby steveoc » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:08 pm

Great video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM (Sugar - the bitter truth) .. and hour and a half well spent.

Covers in detail - the process of metabolising fructose, processed foods, talks about gatorade, types of cholesterol, the economics of junk food .. and many other related topics. Fair bit of biochemistry in the video, but it is all logically explained and easy to digest (sic). Highly recommended viewing - much better than the cr*p on TV at the moment.

Checkout 'The Engine 2 Diet' .. named after the fire engine number 2 in Austin Texas, and the food that it's crew has adopted. Now a book.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d--E13lhyNw

More links that draw on different sources, and come to similar conclusions on what to eat, and what not to eat (Warning - many many months worth of reading material follows below) :
http://www.ergo-log.com/index.html (Brilliant bio-hacking articles regularly updated - thanks TLL)
http://foodnsport.com/
http://www.thechinastudy.com/
http://www.notmilk.com/
http://www.vegsource.com/
http://www.30bananasaday.com/
http://paleodiet.com/

Another movie : (Simply Raw - curing diabetes in 30 days)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzdhBo4pbgE

And finally - the documentary 'Earthlings' - is now viewable on google video :
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1299802404123561313
(Viewer discretion advised - very sad and hard to watch, contains haunting graphic scenes that will disturb)

Have fun doing your own research ... the rabbit hole goes pretty deep on this one.

General conclusions:
- Anything that doesn't come wrapped in packaging, anything that your grandparents would recognise as food, and anything that did not have a face and a mother at some point before being killed for the benefit of your tastebuds.
- Everything your body needs can be found in natural food that comes straight out of the earth or falls from a tree. Simple !
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby steveoc » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:27 pm

Applying the above to on-the-bike work, this works for me :

- Eat 2-3kg of raw fruit every day leading up to a long ride.
- No meat, just simple carbs and lots of em. Fruit contains enough protein and unsaturated fats as is.
- No salt
- I skip the powerade/gatorade/endura .. and just go for clean water
- I take a small gladbag of various dried fruits on the ride - eat a small grab-full (about 30g worth) every 20 minutes. Dried fruit contains about 4 times the carbs of fresh fruit by mass, but you need to drink more water with it.
- Another small bag in the jersey pocket with fresh grapes, juicy dates, or other bits of fresh fruit that contain a good deal of water without getting your hands messy. (Flat white peaches - are good too, if you can find them). Easy to eat, and doesnt leave you thirsty.

Got me through RideLikeCrazy (100km) and MCCT (160km) this year at a good pace without any problems, and next day I felt fine - rode out to Willunga, watched stage 5, and climbed Willunga Hill a couple of times afterwards, and it was fun. Felt fine sunday as well - rode into town to watch the final day's racing, then up Gorge Road and did Fox Creek Rd again (OK - that bit hurt, but that is to be expected)

The year before that (on a 'standard' diet - meat, salt, fructose, milk, everything cooked to death and back again) - I bonked on every ride I did, suffered badly on every climb, and took a shortcut at the end of the MCCT just to survive. Id usually end up getting a bad cold and body aches after big rides as well, and definitely ended up confined to a tired sleep in the next few days afterwards.

Hope that helps.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby Aussiebullet » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:08 pm

twizzle wrote:
Re. diet - avoid saturated fats like the plague, minimise the other fats and make up the rest with carbs. Avoid fructose - goes straight to the liver and is converted to fat (I've been told...).


I would quite taking advice from the person who told you that, a large percentage of CHO in most fruit comes from fructose and l'm not going to avoid fruit just for that reason,
also most store bought sports drinks contain a varying percentage of fructose (will be on the label) and for a good reason that fructose follows a different parth once digested as it has its own transporter to the liver to be converted to glucose for fuel and like all macronutrients converted to glucose if the demand for fuel is not there and liver/muscle glycogen stores are full then and only then will it be converted to fat just like any food.

With that said l avoid any high GI food unless it's just before during or imediatly after strenuous activity.
I do make my own sports drinks and mix them at 2:1 ratio of dextrose/fructose but some people don't tolerate alot of fructose so one will need to see what works for them in training but l can tollerate a 280cal 50% frutose mixture per hour but havn't tried any more than this.
The reason l use fructose in sports drinks is there are numerous studies showing greater CHO absortion with combined glucose/fructose intake during endurance events preserving precious muscle glycogen stores, just need to search for "transportable carbohydrates fructose" over at PubMed and check out some cool studies
Hope l didn't ramble on too much :wink:
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby twizzle » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:19 pm

Aussiebullet wrote:
twizzle wrote:
Re. diet - avoid saturated fats like the plague, minimise the other fats and make up the rest with carbs. Avoid fructose - goes straight to the liver and is converted to fat (I've been told...).


I would quite taking advice from the person who told you that, a large percentage of CHO in most fruit comes from fructose and l'm not going to avoid fruit just for that reason,
also most store bought sports drinks contain a varying percentage of fructose (will be on the label) and for a good reason that fructose follows a different parth once digested as it has its own transporter to the liver to be converted to glucose for fuel and like all macronutrients converted to glucose if the demand for fuel is not there and liver/muscle glycogen stores are full then and only then will it be converted to fat just like any food.

With that said l avoid any high GI food unless it's just before during or imediatly after strenuous activity.
I do make my own sports drinks and mix them at 2:1 ratio of dextrose/fructose but some people don't tolerate alot of fructose so one will need to see what works for them in training but l can tollerate a 280cal 50% frutose mixture per hour but havn't tried any more than this.
The reason l use fructose in sports drinks is there are numerous studies showing greater CHO absortion with combined glucose/fructose intake during endurance events preserving precious muscle glycogen stores, just need to search for "transportable carbohydrates fructose" over at PubMed and check out some cool studies
Hope l didn't ramble on too much :wink:


Reda 'Health effects' here. Specifically "Liver Disease". Of course, it's not an authoritative source, but it certainly raises some questions.

And I started reading some of the paleo-diet stuff linked above... interesting.

Edit: fixed link.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby JV911 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:07 pm

scoulr05 wrote:can anyone help with what i should be eating/drinking?


kebabs, washed down with beer :)
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby steveoc » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:24 pm

Aussiebullet wrote:
twizzle wrote:
Re. diet - avoid saturated fats like the plague, minimise the other fats and make up the rest with carbs. Avoid fructose - goes straight to the liver and is converted to fat (I've been told...).


I would quite taking advice from the person who told you that, a large percentage of CHO in most fruit comes from fructose and l'm not going to avoid fruit just for that reason,
also most store bought sports drinks contain a varying percentage of fructose (will be on the label) and for a good reason that fructose follows a different parth once digested as it has its own transporter to the liver to be converted to glucose for fuel and like all macronutrients converted to glucose if the demand for fuel is not there and liver/muscle glycogen stores are full then and only then will it be converted to fat just like any food.

With that said l avoid any high GI food unless it's just before during or imediatly after strenuous activity.
I do make my own sports drinks and mix them at 2:1 ratio of dextrose/fructose but some people don't tolerate alot of fructose so one will need to see what works for them in training but l can tollerate a 280cal 50% frutose mixture per hour but havn't tried any more than this.
The reason l use fructose in sports drinks is there are numerous studies showing greater CHO absortion with combined glucose/fructose intake during endurance events preserving precious muscle glycogen stores, just need to search for "transportable carbohydrates fructose" over at PubMed and check out some cool studies
Hope l didn't ramble on too much :wink:


Good call that one, although twizzle has it right in the observation of how fructose is metabolized..

A little bit of fructose is a good thing :

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/76/5/911

Here is the metabolic pathway of fructose vs glucose
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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition wrote:Utilization of fructose and glucose in the liver. Hepatic fructose metabolism begins with phosphorylation by fructokinase (EC 2.7.1.4). Fructose carbon enters the glycolytic pathway at the triose phosphate level (dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate). Thus, fructose bypasses the major control point by which glucose carbon enters glycolysis (phosphofructokinase; EC 2.7.1.11), where glucose metabolism is limited by feedback inhibition by citrate and ATP. This allows fructose to serve as an unregulated source of both glycerol-3-phosphate and acetyl-CoA for hepatic lipogenesis. P, phosphate.


In english - fructose is very useful in that it acts as a catalyst for the conversion of glucose to glycogen ... as well as allowing the liver to create a fat for longer term storage in the form of VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein .. aka 'Good Cholesterol' .. a useful small bundle protein and fat that flows nicely in the bloodstream)

So yes - in the liver, glucose creates glycogen, and fructose creates fat. BUT - its 'good' fat, and it assist glucose to be converted to glycogen.

The critical thing with fructose appears to be the ratio of fructose to glucose - when ingested in around a 1 to 10 ratio, the whole system works as per the original design document. (see the section on fructose metabolism in the above link, and the references 26 and 27 to studies that show this figure)

When that ratio is wrong - excessive volumes of fructose appear to kick off the generation of HDL - High Density Lipoprotein, aka 'BAD Cholesterol'.

Small concentrations of fructose occur naturally in fruits along with glucose - all in the correct ratio - and packaged with fiber and other nutrients.

Fructose as a food additive occurs in the most profitable ratio, and without all the other nutrients and safe guards that are present in real food. This would be like observing with a car engine that injecting a little water into the 14:1 air to fuel mixture seems to be beneficial ... so, hell - lets just pour a bucket of water down the carb and make it really fly !!! Ummm ... no, it doesn't work that way, in fact the excess water in the cylinders will likely wreck the motor.

The problem with fructose is the excess, unchecked amount that gets pumped into the food for no other reason than to make junk taste edible, and its the cheapest way to do it. Bad idea.

That is my limited understanding of the above articles anyway ... fascinating stuff, and its a hotly debated topic at the moment in nutrition studies.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby Aussiebullet » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:27 pm

Like l said if we avoid fructose then we eat pretty much ZERO fruit so l wouldn't advise anyone of that, and most athletes that buy sports drinks would need to chuck them in the garbage due to fructose content and that would be their decision but they will need to replace it with some other source of CHO namely glucose or starchy foods, my choice would be a banana and water but the banana is out because of the high fructose content? Dates are another favourite of mine for training but l guess their out too because of the fructose content?
As an endurance athlete l have to say we are fit but not necessarily the most healthiest of individuals, for me as an example pushing up my HR to rediculous levels and turning myself inside out for hours on end at times being on the edge of dehydration the getting home and shooting for an insulin spike by consuming 1-1.5gm CHO imeditely after getting off the bike and to do this month after month year after year in both training and racing it is no wonder endurance athletes on avg don't have a great track record for living a long and prosperous life.

I know that l left the relms of being as healthy as I could be when l took up being an enduro junkie but that's the path l chose although l would venture to say l try to eat as best/heathy as possible, but how far each of us take it is going to be up for debate.
I definitely agree with you about avoiding fructose or any other refined simple carbs like table sugar or HFCS used in softdrinks icecreams and cakes etc but in training l fall victim to the dark side on a weekly basis and the question of which is the better evil? Gels, sports drinks, fruit/steamed potatoes, sandwiches with honey & or penuttbutter, or energy bars? Well l'll take a banana 1st time every time but that is almost always never calorie dense enough so sports drinks are often part of my fueling strategy.
l don't subscribe to the palio diet l just eat lean and clean when not training, e.g. lean meat/fish, fresh fruit & veg, nuts, wholegrains/cerials and low fat dairy.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby nimm » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:34 pm

The problem is specifically sweetened things (including fructose) in refined form that's immediately passed into the bloodstream and in which case the liver has to metabolise. Naturally occuring fructose, such as that in fruit, always comes with fibre and other things which slow digestion (versus drinking sweet water/fizzy drinks/fruit drinks) and then bacteria and other processes come into play reducing the fructose the body ends up absorbing.

Also, in endurance exercise situations fructose actually helps (according to that Sugar video, but doesn't go into details). Something along the lines of producing glycogen faster than glucose. BUT this is in cases where the body is in deficit.

The fact is it was rare to come across refined sweeteners (sucrose, glucose, fructose, etc...) naturally. It's only since industrial agriculture that everything is sweetened. For those that don't watch the video the premise is simply that glucose is the fuel of life and the body's insulin response is what tells the brain whether you've eaten enough (with around a ~20min delay). Fructose, when metabolized by the liver, messes up the processes and ends up producing insulin resistance and you end up MORE hungry. The biggest take away is simply don't drink fizzy drinks and fruit juice. Drink water and EAT fruit. The number of fizzy drinks/fruit drinks a person eats a day is a big indicator of whether they will end up obese.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby scoulr05 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:03 pm

this subject goes very deep and scientific i think. alot of research and youtube watching to be done on my behalf i think. thank you everyone that has and will probably continue to contribute answers for me. its alot to take in but i'll get there. :D
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby twizzle » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:54 am

Noooooooooooo! Everything I thought I understood is wrong. :(

Watched about 35 minutes of the ''Sugar" vid last night, then had to get some sleep.

But, fresh fruit and lean meat looks like the safe option. I'm really pissed with Gatorade - I thought the carbs came from maltodextrin, not sugar.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby Aussiebullet » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:56 am

It's ok twizzle we're all on a level playing feild and considering we are athletes we tend to follow slightly diff rules then our sedentary or mildly active counter parts so a few sins each week around our training scheduel's can easily be countered by the large volumes of fruit's and veg we're eating on a daily basis (we are eating the majority of our cal requirements from this food group.... right people? :D ) and the vitamins, minerals and antioxidents they contain should more than compensate for a little sugar here and there.

You can just buy mulidextron from the brewing sec in the supermaket and add your own electrolytes depending on what you need, l just mix some pink rock salt or table salt if thats all l have handy in my dextrose, and on really hard or long or hot training sessions or races especially l'm using big doses of caff l'll take magnesium capsules to combat cramp, l would always get cramp in really hard 2.5 - 4hr races especially long handicap races where your on the rivet from the gun but mag has cancelled that out for good but if l push it too far in training without mag then l'm guaranteed to cramp.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby tripstobaltimore » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:48 am

twizzle wrote:Noooooooooooo! Everything I thought I understood is wrong. :(

Watched about 35 minutes of the ''Sugar" vid last night, then had to get some sleep.

But, fresh fruit and lean meat looks like the safe option. I'm really pissed with Gatorade - I thought the carbs came from maltodextrin, not sugar.


you should look at hammer heed, apparently all of its carbs come from longer chained carbs - slower to digest and therefore longer energy release, no energy spikes. Or so I'm told.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby Ant. » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:25 am

twizzle wrote:Noooooooooooo! Everything I thought I understood is wrong. :(

Watched about 35 minutes of the ''Sugar" vid last night, then had to get some sleep.

But, fresh fruit and lean meat looks like the safe option. I'm really pissed with Gatorade - I thought the carbs came from maltodextrin, not sugar.

What's wrong with sugar whilst training? With equal calories, it's surely better for training energy as oppose to something with proten/fat in (like a nutella sandwich)

Unless you're casually sipping on gatorade for giggles throughout the day (I do, coke too, but I'm doing ~2000kcal per day, 6days per week on my bike), then is there a problem? As they say, the most researched sports drink there is.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby JV911 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:58 am

steveoc wrote:Eat 2-3kg of raw fruit every


2-3kg?

that's the equivalent of 20-30 bananas :shock:
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby twizzle » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:07 pm

Ant. wrote:
twizzle wrote:Noooooooooooo! Everything I thought I understood is wrong. :(

Watched about 35 minutes of the ''Sugar" vid last night, then had to get some sleep.

But, fresh fruit and lean meat looks like the safe option. I'm really pissed with Gatorade - I thought the carbs came from maltodextrin, not sugar.

What's wrong with sugar whilst training? With equal calories, it's surely better for training energy as oppose to something with proten/fat in (like a nutella sandwich)

Unless you're casually sipping on gatorade for giggles throughout the day (I do, coke too, but I'm doing ~2000kcal per day, 6days per week on my bike), then is there a problem? As they say, the most researched sports drink there is.


Sugar is 50/50 glucose/fructose, the pre-mix stuff is reportedly made with corn syrup so 45/55 glucose/frustose. Maltodextrin is mainly glucose. I guess it doesn't make a whole lot of difference during strenuous exercise, but I still prefer to avoid sugar loading.

~ 2000kcal/day? :shock: I average about 1000. Must... ride... harder... no - bugger that, I'm already doing enough k's. :) Within my limited time that is.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby Ant. » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:43 pm

twizzle wrote:
Ant. wrote:
twizzle wrote:Noooooooooooo! Everything I thought I understood is wrong. :(

Watched about 35 minutes of the ''Sugar" vid last night, then had to get some sleep.

But, fresh fruit and lean meat looks like the safe option. I'm really pissed with Gatorade - I thought the carbs came from maltodextrin, not sugar.

What's wrong with sugar whilst training? With equal calories, it's surely better for training energy as oppose to something with proten/fat in (like a nutella sandwich)

Unless you're casually sipping on gatorade for giggles throughout the day (I do, coke too, but I'm doing ~2000kcal per day, 6days per week on my bike), then is there a problem? As they say, the most researched sports drink there is.


Sugar is 50/50 glucose/fructose, the pre-mix stuff is reportedly made with corn syrup so 45/55 glucose/frustose. Maltodextrin is mainly glucose. I guess it doesn't make a whole lot of difference during strenuous exercise, but I still prefer to avoid sugar loading.

~ 2000kcal/day? :shock: I average about 1000. Must... ride... harder... no - bugger that, I'm already doing enough k's. :) Within my limited time that is.

You're almost right, but rookie error. Sugar is 100% sucrose, which is a disaccharide that gets digested down; 1 part sucrose => 1 part glucose plus 1 part fructose, and the liver is a fructose fiend! It hogs it all for itself and doesn't let it out into the bloodstream (okay, trace amounts if you go nuts ingesting fructose) (which is why gram for gram, sucrose has a lower GI than glucose) and the fructose in the liver gets synthesised to glycogen. Glycogen is created preferentially to fat, until glycogen stores are full...

I think the idea is the glucose gets released into the bloodstream and goes into the working muscles (as exercising muscle does not need insulin to uptake glucose) and fructose goes to the liver, and during prolonged exercise, the liver breaks down it's stored glycogen to release glucose into the bloodstream to feed the muscles/brain/et al. So sucrose, broken down, or glucose+fructose, fuels the exercising muscles directly and the liver (which in turn keeps the muscles' glucose supply maintained), like a 2 pronged attack. Sounds okay in theory, as far as practice goes, well it works very well for me. Whether pure glucose has a disadvantage or not, I don't know, nor care really.
I can foresee a performance problem with only ingesting fructose though, from a training perspective however.
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Re: what should i be eating?

Postby twizzle » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:14 pm

Which rookie error? I was trying to keep it simple with sugar = 50/50 glucose/fructose, I knew about the disaccharide enzymes. Or are you talking about the preferential glycogen part?
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JensonUSA Competitive Cyclist