Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fuel and Fluids

An understanding and application of the basics of eating and drinking before, during and after exercise will greatly help your preparation and ride experience. Riders sometimes don't realize the importance of before and after, and tend to only think in terms of during ride itself.

Here are some of the basics: Some further references are provided later.)
Hydration: (Critical to both cooling as well as nutrient transport)

  • drink often and in small amounts - before you get thirsty
  • drink before, during and after extended exercise
  • too much is as bad as too little (your body can only absorb at a certain rate)

Electrolytes: (As important, though often forgotten piece of the puzzle.)

  • don't rely on sodium (salt) only
  • use electrolyte supplements &/or 'sports drinks'

Fuel: (Provides the calories to keep you going.)

  • avoid simple sugars (They provide fast acting but very short lived impact.)
  • complex carbohydrates provide a sustained energy source
  • use protein supplements

There are LOTS of specialist products available - 'energy bars', gels, power / water mixes

With respect to the above, practice drinking and eating during training rides - don't leave it to the actual event. That way you will get to know what is best for you personally. Experiment a little with different products.

Check out this fueling handbook.


Andy said...

How far apart are water stations during the ride? How much water/fluids do you suggest carrying with us on the ride?

Miguel said...

andy, the first day there are 7 stops and I think a similar amount the second day. They are roughly 10 miles apart buyt some stretches are longer. I like to ride with 2 large bottles. If the weather is forcasted to be really hot, I might consider more.