How & Why To Fuel On Your Road Bike

How & Why To Fuel On Your Road Bike


(whoosh) – On-the-bike fueling still seems to be somewhat of a myth to many riders. I know plenty of guys at home that ride their bikes almost daily, but
no longer than ninety minutes, as their performances start to suffer, and they head for home. – Yeah, I have made that mistake, but the reason being is that they go out, and don’t eat on the bike. They expect a bottle of water to last them over quite challenging terrain, without topping up their energy levels. – And I can’t quite understand why anyone’s still doing this, in a day and age where we’ve got so much easier access to nutritional advice. You wouldn’t run your car
on empty, for example, so why do it to your body? – No, exactly, I reckon it’s time for us to delve a little deeper
into this murky world. – Does that mean we get to eat? – Think so, I like the idea of that. (upbeat modern pop) – The human body can typically store around 90 minutes of glycogen. And whilst this figure is
slightly open to debate, and depends on the individual, it’s a great reference point
to plan your fueling to. – Yet, despite knowing we
have that much energy to use, it’s not necessarily a good idea to go into a hard 90
minutes, because you will see some lack in performance. – You can expect to feel well-fueled for the first forty to sixty minutes, but after this, unless you
top up your glycogen stores with some form of carbohydrate, you will expect to see a decline in the intensity that you can maintain. – Yet despite knowing we
have that much energy to use, it’s not necessarily a good idea to go out and do a hard 90 minutes, because you will experience
some lack in performance. – So from our forty minute point onwards, you want to be regularly
topping up your tank to prevent any drop in your
intensity on your bike. – Yes, we recommend something small, maybe every twenty minutes;
you can either have a gel, which is specifically
designed to help this, or you can be a bit adventurous, and go for a sandwich, a banana,
I used to love flapjacks. – Ah, honey sandwiches were the best! – Ooh, so good. – And you can be really creative, too, create foods with simple carbohydrates for those shorter, more intense efforts, but make something more complex, maybe with a bit of
protein and fiber in there, for those longer rides. – Yeah, we’re not talking
big full-on meals every hour, we’re talking little
snacks which is easier for you to digest, and is more comfortable when riding on your bike. – Did you enjoy that, mate? – I love it. – Yeah. – It’s really really good. – I’ve got a tad bit of
time until my next bar. – Hup! Hup! Come on, mate! Push-push-push-push-push! Niiiiiiice. So now, we’re talking
about improved performance. (bluesy interlude) – Right on, mate, solid effort there. – D’you know what? As hard as those efforts
are, eating the right foods, at the right time, will
provide your body with a good steady stream of energy
straight into your muscles, and without this, well, we
won’t be able to sustain exercise very long, and
inevitably, we’ll get hypoglycemia. – Yes, and cyclists call that the Bonk. And what do runners call it? Oh, yeah, hitting the wall. – Yeah, that’s not a lot of fun, is it? I’m sure we’ve all experienced it, and none of us would ever
want to go there again. (vocal flourish) Not only will you lose performance, but it also weakens your immune system, giving you a bigger chance of getting ill, and we don’t want that, do we Chris? – No, not at all. By effectively fueling
yourself, you’ll be able to ride harder for longer, and
you’ll increase your fitness by building muscle mass,
you’ll be looking after your immune system, and you’ll just be a much healthier bike-rider. – Yes, you’ll be able
to go longer, harder, and stretch those fitness levels. Should we push on? – Yeah, let’s go and- – Let’s do it. – Well, eat or train? Or- – [Both] Both! – Regular topping up of your
fuel tank while on the bike will help lift your
metabolism off the bike. A high metabolism is linked
to the ability to lose weight, or maintain a healthier weight. If we were to limit our
intake on longer bike rides, we would effectively be placing our bodies into their instinctive starvation modes. Think caveman. There is a reason the human
race has survived this long, but by doing this, the
body will then store much of the next meal it
receives as fat, that is, once it’s replaced its
own glycogen stores. It’s quite rare that this
would be advantageous to any of us, so avoid
awakening your inner caveman, and keep feeding at regular
intervals throughout the day. – Yes, what you wanna do is
graze throughout your ride, this feeds your metabolism and
in turn lets you train harder and perform at a much higher level, and we both wanna do that, don’t we Chris? – Yeah, well, I especially
want to eat, to be honest. – Yeah, and I wanna
perform higher levels, so. – Well, it’s best of both worlds to me. – Agreed. – By regularly eating on
and even off the bike, we help our bodies
regulate its energy needs much more effectively, This has an effect on
all aspects of our lives, not just on the bike. One of the bonuses of good
fueling is good sleep, and recovery. Our body won’t be working
as hard to compensate for poor nutrition,
meaning it can focus on doing the important things well. And who doesn’t like a good sleep, anyway? – Remember that time you
PB’d going up that mountain? Well, chances are you were well-fueled. – Yeah, you wouldn’t
drive your car on empty, as we said before, so
don’t do it to your body. You’ve only got one, so look after it. – Yes, and don’t forget to check out some nutrition videos, just down here. – Thumbs-up and subscribe to the channel!