“Eat When You Are Not Hungry”

Grayson eating a peachDo you ride to eat or eat to ride? Either way, you’ll surely agree that eating and cycling go well together. In fact, it’s hard to do one without the other (ok, not really, but you get the point).

There’s a key strategy to apply to your eating, and it’s important for both long rides and short rides with any significant level of intensity. The mantra I picked up somewhere along the way is “Eat when you are not hungry.” Essentially, that means if you start to feel hungry it’s already game over. You’ll never catch up.

You’ve got to be sure to take in enough fuel for whatever sort of ride you plan for the day. And you do need to plan ahead. In fact, it’s best to take in the bulk of your carbs about two hours before your event. Then be sure to take enough quickly digestible fuel (sports drinks, gels and the like) along for your ride. You’ll need to figure out what works best for you, but a good rule of thumb is one energy bar, gel packet or whatever about every hour.

And don’t forget to stay hydrated! A good rule of thumb here is to drink a bottle an hour, alternating between sports drink and just plain water.

Photo Credit: Bruce Tuten

2 thoughts on ““Eat When You Are Not Hungry”

  1. In my humble opinion, keeping up with hydration is more important and “game over” if you fall behind. Eating impacts hydration. If you only ate and didn’t drink you would become dehydrated faster than if you did both. Either way, you will never catch up with hydration once you start losing water via sweating and through breathing. Case in point– approximately 94 miles traveled on the bike yesterday, over very challenging terrain (iced over rail trail), but I had only one PowerBar. I wasn’t hungry until I got off of the bike–had filet mignon and a baked potato. Yum! Then cereal. Then fruit cocktail. Then a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich. And, a bout 5 glasses of whole milk. LOL!

    • Hey, Isaias – You’re getting ahead of me and my future post “Drink When You Are Not Thirsty!” 🙂 You are absolutely right that hydration is key, and I didn’t mean to imply that it wasn’t important by leaving it out of this post – it’s so critical it’s getting its own post.

      That’s an impressive outing you had yesterday!


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