Author Topic: Touring Nutrition  (Read 4966 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline paddleboy17

Touring Nutrition
« on: July 14, 2009, 12:08:27 pm »
I have been doing overnight tours this summer in anticipation of a longer tour later this summer.  I have been touring for fifteen years, and have always done tours that were 2 - 7 days long.  I have a new problem that I hope someone else has found a solution to. 

I am 51 now, and on day two of a tour, my body has switched to "convert all food stores to glycogen" mode.  I am sure that I am slaughtering terms here. but my metabolism is in some other mode.  Food does not last too long in my system.  My historical pattern has been to eat breakfast, tear down camp, and then start riding.  I am often ready to eat again just as I am riding off. 

This has been a problem ever since my late 30's, but it seems to be getting worse.

A typical breakfast, is usually oatmeal or grits (corn meal).  And will be metabolized in 60 - 90 minutes.  I did some experiments on a tour I did this past weekend.  I added more protein to my diet.  Instead of just oatmeal for breakfast, I used protein enriched oatmeal, with a protein drink (whey based), and beef jerky.  This staved off depletion by an additional hour, but I would like to get more mileage out of a meal than that.

Does anyone else have this problem?  What do you do about it?
Danno

Offline waynemyer

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 276
  • More PITA than PITA. That's our motto!
Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 03:54:51 pm »
Add more fats?  Just a stab in the dark there.  I tend to deplete the carbs quickly too, unless I eat so many that I can't even ride comfortably.  In general, there is usually enough variation in my caloric profile that I am able to ride all day on two or three good meals.  Obviously, YMMV.
waynemyer.com
warmshowers.org  (user:waynemyer)

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 11:23:28 pm »
I have developed the same pattern and it really became evident on a 20 day tour from WA to CAL in 2005.  On about day 7 or so, I hit the wall all day long!  I immediately started eating almost ALL the time!  I kept food in my jersey pockets, stopped a lot to eat, and had large dinners of spaghetti with beef.  My partner and I continually ate pastries, cookies, chocolate bars, etc.  It took about 4 or 5 days, and then I was stronger again for the rest of the ride.  Since then, it seems I get hungrier as you describe, so I just always make sure I'm carrying food and start eating at the first sign of hunger, before weakness sets in. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 07:13:20 am »
Fats! I agree. It happened to me at about Day 14. Depending on how far and fast you ride, you are burning 4,000 to 5,000 calories/day. Try some sausage with that oatmeal and plan on a mid-morning booster. (Mine was a jelly doughnut.) If the greasy and gooey stuff tastes even better than usual, it is your body telling you what it needs. You will not gain weight until the ride ends and you keep eating like a horse <grin>.

Fred

Offline daikaregi

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 08:38:40 am »
Hi
I am on longterm rides. Last year I was  on the bike for 6 months, touring northern europe. Lost about 17 KG during the 6000 KM although I ate and ate and ate.
developed a pattern or graving for cheese and nuts that worked for me. was never a cheese eater but during that time, when i was in the wild, it was bread and cheese, cashews and peanuts and bananas until i hit the next shop serving hot food - then it was salad, noodles and chicken. It is amazing how your body exactly tells you what you need if you only listen. so perhaps you shouldnt worry about the balance of carbohydrates, fat or protein but just listen to your gravings.



Offline staehpj1

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 09:35:11 am »
It is amazing how your body exactly tells you what you need if you only listen. so perhaps you shouldnt worry about the balance of carbohydrates, fat or protein but just listen to your gravings.
+1
I found that on a long tour my body craves what it needs.  I just need to listen to it.  Sometimes it takes a few weeks for things to sort out though.  I lost weight for 2-3 weeks before my body adjusted on my longest tour.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 11:12:12 pm »
I forgot to mention, on my previously described WA to CAL tour, I ended up gaining 5 pounds, and the circumference of each thigh increased an inch.  So, one great thing about touring is you can eat all you want. 

Just last month, I went on Cycle Montana with ACA, had a great time, even on the snowstorm on Lost Trail Pass, and was able to eat all  I wanted, thanks to the wonderful cook!  Given that the tour was 6 days, I did not gain weight this time.  I will go on ACA supported tours again. Definitely.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline bogiesan

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2009, 01:08:05 am »
There is a distinct difference between satisfying your body's needs for nutrients and your mind's desires for, erm, something to eat. Everything changes when your body gets into a mode where you are placing huge demands on it.

There are two excellent books from ACA's store but I can only find one listed:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/store/index.cfm/product/315_29/the-cyclists-food-guide.cfm

Any of the dozens of backpacking recipe books will provide you with solid and satisfying suggestions. 

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline physioman1

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2010, 09:59:02 pm »
Adding protein is a good thing to slow down the metabolism as is adding fats of some sort.  What you may want to consider is something other than whey for the protein source as it does break down fairly quickly and is absorbed faster than a lot of other types of protein. Try casein proteins or egg proteins to slow down the absorbtion rates.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2010, 12:08:59 am »
You need to eat something at least every hour when riding. Fill your handlebar bag with snacks. Eat on the move.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 02:02:45 pm »
Paddleboy17's situation is mine. If I eat at camp in the morning, the first thing that enters my mind after hitting the road is eating another breakfast. Why is this? I don't know. Sometimes, I  don't eat properly on the road. However, if I can put away a large cafe breakfast, it will keep me happy for a while. My appetite was much bigger when I was much younger. Knocking down five or six big macs and more was nothing when I was cycling in my thirties. Now one does the trick.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 05:17:41 pm »
Paddleboy17's situation is mine. If I eat at camp in the morning, the first thing that enters my mind after hitting the road is eating another breakfast. Why is this? I don't know.

I was never satisified with camp breakfast while touring.  Started with oatmeal, added in Poptarts, sometimes cocoa.  Good for 10-15 miles at most.

I finally learned I needed a goodly carb load (like 2-3 pancakes), and some protein (eggs and/or sausage).  MacDonalds pancakes and sausage was usually good for 25-30 miles.  Lots of gas stations in Kansas had cheese, egg, and ham or bacon biscuits.  Never had one before, can hardly stomach the thought of one now, but that and a pint of milk was good for 20-25 miles.

Strangely enough, while I didn't crave food for 20 miles or so after mostly eggs at breakfast, I always seemed to make up, and more, for it at mid-morning.

Offline Macbeth

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2010, 07:50:08 am »
I have had the same issues before, but have got my daily meals pretty sorted and find it less of an issue....

 Breakfast I have some kind of muesli with a bunch of dried fruit and brown sugar. I find that the fruit and brown sugar don end up straight in your system, and you get a few more mles out of your breakfast. I do a lot of endurance racing too and this breakfast is awesome for hundred mile mountain bike epics.

 I would always find that after two or three days on the bike I'd get a huge craving for salami. So now I make sure I am always carrying around some nice aged peice of that delicious fatty sausage. Keeps for ages too. That, some nice bread and some cheese is a lunch that'll keep you going for hours.

 Generally a massive pasta eater for dinner.

 That and sacking on dried fruit, nuts and something sweet like cookies, jellies during the ride tends to kep me going, and I don't find I lose weight, even when I am pushing pretty hard.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2010, 01:15:19 pm »
Since I started this thread, I have finally worked out some things.

After my first day of touring, my metabolism is going to be "different".  So I allow myself to eat when I am hungry, as my body really means it--I am hungry because I need food.  So as has been suggested, I carry snacks, and I eat them.  Protein is no magic bullet, I try and eat regular food, just lots of it.

I have found that if I tear down camp and then eat breakfast, I can get a reasonable distance away from camp before I have to stop and eat.  No more embarasing hunger pains as I ride out of camp.

Oatmeal or grits are still the gold standard for breakfast.  Lunch is PB&J if I cannot buy a hot lunch.  Dinner is rice or pasta with canned or foil bagged meats.  Whenver possible, I add fruit and vegetables.

My nutritional needs on tour finally seem to be under control.
Danno

Offline cdavey

Re: Touring Nutrition
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 01:29:04 pm »
I have to concur with everybody. I have a sloppy metabolism and some sensitivity to low blood sugar. I have to eat breakfast or I am bonked from the get-go in the morning. I have always been able to eat a lot without it showing much and if it does I can take it off pretty easily -- really I have to eat a lot or I don't function well mentally or physically.

In non-touring life, regular meals are low meat, lots of vegetables, whole grains including homemade breads with fresh ground grain. Standard what-is-now-considered-healthy diet. I didn't train myself to eat this eat this way because it was supposed to be healthy for me. I did it because I realized I felt better when I did. You get the picture. But when I go on tour....

Breaskfast - Camp breakfast is never enough. I can't function. (In general camp meals never are enough no matter whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner.) Camp breakfast has to be followed by more. Typical breaskfast - eggs, bacon/sausage, toast, hash browns/pancakes, juice.
Lunch - Hamburger or similar, french fries
Dinner - pasta, pasta, pasta, and salad.
Snacks - often one in the morning. Certainly one in the afternoon. Gatorade or something similar in there for fluid and electrolytes.
In general -- LOTS of fats, carbs and a fair amount of protein.

I would never eat like this at home. I'd consider it a heart attack waiting to happen. But I have found it is what works for me touring. My body is telling me this is what it needs to be able to tour day after day.