Here is my current fueling protocol for a big morning ride:
Big bowl of steel cut oats with lots of fixings. Chia, flax and pumpkin seeds, almond butter, pecans, banana, honey and cinnamon. Basically lots of carbs. I have this often even on non-riding days. I think it's important to eat similarly for rides as you do day to day. Giving the body food it's familiar with helps with everything from digestion to energy conversion.
I try to eat this at least 45 mins before my ride. I also have coffee, but don’t like having more than 1 cup before riding. I drink 2-4 cups on days I don’t ride. Too much caffeine before riding just doesn't make me feel good.
Pure maple syrup every 15 minutes on the dot. I set up fuel alerts on my bike computer and do not miss my fuel times. I’m using a HydraPak liquid flask and just squirting a bit of maple syrup into my mouth. I’ve had to be conscious to not fully open the nozzle, otherwise I end up taking in an unnecessary amount of calories. I aim for about 90 grams of carbs per hour, which equals 360 calories.
I have a 150 mL flask that holds a total of 500 calories (1 serving is 60 mL and 200 calories). I try to ration that so I can take 5 squirts that cover 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Now that I am riding outside, I also started using a 500 mL flask. I just took this from my ultra running vest. It’s pretty big, but worked well for me on my most recent ride. The somewhat rectangular shape fits well in my bike jersey pocket.
I have a few different meals I’ve been rotating through. One is a Greek yogurt bowl with basically all the same fixings as my oatmeal bowl. I've been doing the 2% Fage Greek yogurt, which has 17g protein, 5g carbs and 3.5g fat in 1 serving. I don't measure it out, but probably have 1.5 to 2 servings.
I also like to do ground beef patties with sweet potato mash. This is a simple meal that takes me less than 10 minutes to make. My smash burgers are just ground beef smashed into a searing hot pan seasoned with high quality salt. Sometimes ground pepper and garlic powder too. My sweet potato mash includes maple syrup, butter, pecans, salt and cinnamon. I wet the sweet potato, wrap it in a moist paper towel and microwave it for usually 6 or 7 minutes. Basically until it’s soft enough to mash. Then I just mash it up with all the fixings. It’s to die for and, unless you're still eating added sugar, will taste better than any holiday casserole you compare it to. Guaranteed!!
My main goal post-ride is to eat a lot. It’s a big change from my fasting days where I would feel best going a few hours without food after a ride. The body does an awesome job of adjusting to whatever routine you give it. Now that I eat a lot, my body tells me if I haven’t eaten enough. My goal is to not feel hungry at all for the remainder of the day after I fuel post-ride. That means that I'll eat something again a bit after my post-ride meal, not that I will just stuff my face post-ride and plan to not eat for the rest of the day. If I get hungry again after my post-ride fuel, I try to eat right away.
I generally aim for carbs:protein at a 3:1 ratio, but don’t measure anything and probably have a higher ratio of protein.
I didn't touch on hydration in here, but I hydrate a LOT after I ride. Not getting my hydration in check has been noticeably harmful to my recovery.
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