Coach Hughes: Nutrition for Endurance
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Intelligent Cycling Training—Nutrition

Nutrition for 100K and Beyond

What to eat before, during and after a bike ride.

No matter how hard you try if you don’t fuel properly you won’t get very far either in training or in rides. You may:

  1. Hit the wall with dead legs.
  2. Bonk with a fuzzy depressed brain.
This article will teach you proper sports nutrition for endurance cycling.

by John Hughes
© John Hughes 2011, All Rights Reserved

John Hughes is the author of Distance Cycling and many articles on training, nutrition, psychology and medical issues for RoadBikeRider.com. He is a veteran of Paris-Brest-Paris ’79, ’87, ’91, ’95, ’99, Boston-Montreal-Boston ’92 (course record), Rocky Mountain 1200 ’04, Furnace Creek 508 ’89 (course record) and ’93 (first place) and the Race Across America ’96.

We all know the basic point: when cycling we are using energy and we need to replace the energy. However, energy needs vary by individual and type of riding and not all fuels are equally effective. This article will teach you:

  1. Personal Energy Need: how to estimate how many calories you are burning per hour at different speeds.
  2. Types of Fuel: how carbohydrates, fat and protein contribute to your energy needs.
  3. Training Implications: what are the training implications of your personal enegy needs, your cycling goals and the types of fuel.
  4. What to Eat: what you should eat including quantity per hour, types of fuel, complex vs. simple carbohydrates, sports products vs. grocery store food and sample foods.
  5. Hydration: how much to drink both to avoid dehydration and to avoid hyponytremia, diluting your blood sodium.
  6. Electrolytes: what you need and a comparison of sources.
  7. Experiment of One: we are each an experiment of one, how to test and refine your nutrition.
  8. Before and After Events: what to eat pre-event for strong performance and post-event for optimum recovery.
  9. 24-Hour and Beyond how to maintain energy over a 24-hour or longer event.
  10. Myths: common popular myths about sports nutrition.
  11. Resources: books and articles for further reading.

For more information see: