Food/Drink and Cramping

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Mark0
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Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby Mark0 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:01 am

I have a few questions I am new to Cycling and have been riding about 26ks in an hour every few days, today i did 30k in about 1.10 for the first time, I have a few hills at the start and end of my ride other then that not to bad.

Questions are:
1 - What do you guys eat or drink before your ride in the morning, currently I eat nothing and drink a cup of water and leave for my ride, I take a water bottle on the bike also, do many of you ensure you eat before you go ? I am just currently eating when I get back.
I do have to watch my carb intake so no large quantities of that before or after a ride.

2 - A few times now as i get past half way probably 3/4 into my ride i feel my calves I dont have a cramp but I know if I pushed as hard as I could say up a hill or sprinting i will get a cramp, do you guys find this goes away the more you ride, physically I am ok at that point just calves.
I do often have a similar problem when soccer season starts each year first 2-3 games I cramp up at 60 minute mark, but then as training and season really gets into the swing they go away, I am expecting cycling is the same.

Thanks

g-boaf
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby g-boaf » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:23 am

If I know I'm doing 40-50km and will get something to eat at that point, then I won't eat before the ride - just have a coffee because I'm addicted to coffee.

I fill up a bidon with water and two scoops of Skratch Labs or Torq powder and that generally gets me through 130km on a moderately warm day, and I might eat a sandwich during the ride, or if I'm not stopping, a couple of Clif Bars.

If it is really hot 35°C or more, then I make provisions to drink more. (powder in a second bidon, refill the first bidon as needed).

The cramping is probably something related either to the fit / position on the bike not being quite right, or just something that will eventually go away as you build strength and adapt to riding more/faster. Cleat position can sometimes be a factor too.

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grimbo
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby grimbo » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:32 pm

Doing a decent amount of physical exercise without eating first doesn't work for me - I lose focus and run out of energy, and even feel nauseous. So I usually eat a slow-burning brekkie like muesli and top up with a banana half way in the ride.

However, I know people who are the opposite - can't exercise with food in their stomach.

I would say try different approaches, see what works for you.

I also pop a hydration tablet in my water (Hydralyte) - that and the banana seem to keep cramps at bay.
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Mububban
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby Mububban » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:29 pm

Everyone is different but I've heard not eating and exercising in the mornings is a great way to burn fat (not sure if that's relevant). And one hour is short enough not to require pre-ride fuelling.

Hydration is very individual though, how much do you sweat in your hour? Some people sweat heaps standing still and some hardly sweat at all.
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Calvin27
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby Calvin27 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:53 pm

Mark0 wrote:
2 - A few times now as i get past half way probably 3/4 into my ride i feel my calves I dont have a cramp but I know if I pushed as hard as I could say up a hill or sprinting i will get a cramp, do you guys find this goes away the more you ride, physically I am ok at that point just calves.


If you are pushing max efforts, then it's quite common. I can ride moderate distances (max I've done is 210km) but the intensity is what gets me. Doesn't matter if it is a flat stretch liek beach road. If i am getting pushed I can't last long before calf cramps. For reference I basicalyl cramp each and everytime I do a yarra boulevard ride (15kms?) - that's because it's always a short ride and I max effort it. In contrast longer climbs like 1/3, 3/4 or full crucufix (70km with 2,3 or 4 climbs) I tend to do better because I pace it a little slower.
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Baalzamon
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:37 am

Maybe add an electrolyte to your drink and have some before you go. And yes there are sugar free varieties out there. Vega on http://au.iherb.com Are you doing a lchf diet/lifestyle or something similar?
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Mark0
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby Mark0 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:11 pm

Baalzamon wrote:Maybe add an electrolyte to your drink and have some before you go. And yes there are sugar free varieties out there. Vega on http://au.iherb.com Are you doing a lchf diet/lifestyle or something similar?


Yes thanks, maybe a Poweraid Zero - has no sugar in it, ill check out the site you have given me to and yes I am on Low Carb eating plan (not as low as LCHF).

Mark0
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby Mark0 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:14 pm

Thanks for all the replies I will get a bit more electolytes into me and see how I go.

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bychosis
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby bychosis » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:22 pm

I need to eat before I get going in the morning, especially for riding.

As for cramping, I get cramps. Most often when I'm pushing beyond what is my normal distance/time riding. I've tried all sorts of things and two things (other than more training) seem to help, ensuring I'm well pre-hydrated and magnesium supplements. The two things help reduce cramping, but I've not been able to make it go away for long rides, only for my regular ride length, which indicates my body can cope with what I've trained it for, but will cramp above that.
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Baalzamon
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:44 pm

Mark0 wrote:
Baalzamon wrote:Maybe add an electrolyte to your drink and have some before you go. And yes there are sugar free varieties out there. Vega on http://au.iherb.com Are you doing a lchf diet/lifestyle or something similar?


Yes thanks, maybe a Poweraid Zero - has no sugar in it, ill check out the site you have given me to and yes I am on Low Carb eating plan (not as low as LCHF).


Poweraid zero is a poor electrolyte. Barely any sodium or magnesium and no potassium.
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rapunzel
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby rapunzel » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:03 pm


madmacca
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby madmacca » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:46 am

Mububban wrote:Everyone is different but I've heard not eating and exercising in the mornings is a great way to burn fat (not sure if that's relevant). And one hour is short enough not to require pre-ride fuelling.


No, burning fat is all about the overall balance between calories burned and calories consumed over the entire 24 hour day - the timing of meals and exercise is largely irrelevant to weight loss. Most of the fat loss is actually going to come gradually over the course of the rest of the day, rather than during the ride itself.

And because the body can only convert fat to energy very slowly, not eating before a morning workout is a recipe for a poor workout that burns less calories and fat overall, as you may not have enough carb reserves to power more intense efforts (although I agree that a relatively flat 1 hour ride is unlikely to require pre-fueling)

This doesn't mean you have to sit down to a full breakfast before a ride - I'll often have a glass of orange juice (that I would have had with breakfast anyway) before heading out the door, as a means of getting in some liquids and some easy-to-digest carbs.

stevenaaus
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby stevenaaus » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:52 pm

I've had a few cramps on my bigger rides. In my case it's probably conditioning, as
I never train for as far as my event rides are. And, reading here, maybe i should prehydrate more.

I bought some Crampeze Night Cramp tablets for my next ride (gonna up my Toowoomba Range ride distance to 112km). - They were the only magnesium tabs i could get as a small pack.

Does anyone have an idea of the dosage i should use. I'll probably take a couple of tablets each day for a few days before hand.
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Abby
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby Abby » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:15 pm

I use the Voost Isotonic tablets (although I make a weaker mix than they suggest on the tube), or the SiS tablets.

Both have a full range of electrolytes (inc magnesium), have very little sugar per serve (I don't want energy from it, just the electrolytes), and are easily purchased at Coles. I usually stock up when they go on special... :-)

big booty
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby big booty » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:15 pm

If you are riding for about an hour in the morning I don't think there is any big need to eat before the ride. You will have topped up your glycogen stores overnight. If you are cramping up I would eat a handful of pumpkin seeds (good for magnesium) and put some lite salt (potassium salt marketed as a "light" salt alternative. You can just buy some from supermarkets, real cheap) into my water bottle. Most electrolytes are just crap in my opinion. Nothing more than sugar water with some salt added.

clint66
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Re: Food/Drink and Cramping

Postby clint66 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:22 pm

I'd been cramping a bit on longer rides. Over summer I had been training for the 5 dams challenge here in Perth (240km hills ride). My training rides were 120-140km hills rides over summer. So yes a bit hotter, but I was always cramping about 80kms in. I'd been reading this and other threads elsewhere, I even went and bought some pickled onions. I did find the pickle juice worked for me. But it was unpleasant and a little difficult to carry on the bike (I did decant it into a small bottle).

I ended up buying some salt tablets on the recommendation of a tri-athlete I was talking to. Thinking that it was really the salty brine in the pickle juice that was the magical ingredient.

I did the 5 dams on Sunday, it was a long hot day, the last 80kms of it were above 34 by my computer. I was drinking electrolytes at all the water stops and I took about 16 salt tablets throughout the day. It worked. No cramps, the legs felt fatigued but I didn't get any cramps. Also I didn't think the electrolyte intake was anything more than what I would usually drink. So I put it down to the salt tablets.

No cramps the next day either. I would often get cramps in my calves at night after the long hills rides, but nothing on Sunday night. Other than just general soreness.

I just got them from a health food shop, $11 for 100 tabs. Just chew them and drink some water.

Perhaps not a well balanced experiment from a scientific point, but it is a starting point for me, so I will stick with the salt tablets for a while and see.

I should add, I do regularly take magnesium powder throughout the week.

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