Converting Food into Energy

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by Tetedelacourse, 13 Jun 2008.

  1. Tetedelacourse

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    I need some basic explanations about what's best to eat for energy on the bike. I mainly commute, around 1.5hours per day (45 mins each way).

    My limited understanding is that foods high in carbohydrate content release energy slowly, whereas foods high in sugar release more energy in bursts.

    So given that I cycle for 45 mins at 7am and same at 4pm, what and when should I be eating?

    I don't have anything to eat until I get into work when I have a frusli bar, and I have a bit of soreen and a banana before hometime, but is this sensible?

    In between times I have a light lunch and fruit, and then a usual meal at night. I know I overeat right now but I'm interested in getting the bits right that should support my time on the bike.

    Also, carbs - pasta, potatoes, nuts, bread? That right? If so, why is pasta better than bread? Virtually the same stuff goes into it, no?

  2. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    ok tete, here goes...............

    a 45 minute cycle to work (I'm assuming your not using it as training?) you should be fine with just a glug of water to get you on your way and then eating when you get into work

    Carbs are broken down into two seperate levels, fast releasing carbs and slow releasing carbs

    fast release are sugars, they get into the blood streem quicker but are quickly depleted, these will last a matter of minutes in terms of exercise.

    Slow releasing carbs are obsorbed slowly, giving you use of them over a longer time, the way carbs are cooked (potatoes, rice, pasta) can give you longer releasing carbs, if you slightly undercook these items they take longer for the body to process therefore keeping you fuller for longer. Over cook them and they do the opposite.

    (be warned that excess Carbs are converted in the body as fat)

    Leaving home at 7am a reasonable dinner the night before will give you enough energy to survive 45 minutes, also riding without eating burns fat as fuel for only so long, so try not to cycling for more than an hour without food or water. before you leave home, if you are feeling tired before getting onto the ride, try and take on a slow/fast carb mix, a flapjack or soreen should do the trick, try and regain energy on short rides rather than beforehand.

    Nuts are not a great source of Carbohydrate, supplying your body with protein and fats mainly.

    Bread is a good sourse of carbs, but the wheat in Bread makes it a negative as white bread is hard for the body to digest, (ever get that bloated feeling after eating sandwiches) a large percentage of the population cannot actually digest bread in this form, stick to wholemeal if you have to have bread.

    If you are exercising more than 8 hours a week you need to take on 2.5grams of carbs per pound of weight. anything under that and you should only aim for around 2.0grams

    Everything you eat has a carb percentage, but some are higher than others, the big boys in the carb's world are

    Potatoes: sweet potatoes
    Bread (but explained earlier)

    I hope this helps
  3. OP

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    Excellent Walker! That's given me food for thought (no pun intended).

    So it sounds like I'm eating sensibly at the minute in terms of what I do on my bike. Just need to cut out all the crisps etc and the booze at the weekend!

    Interesting what you say about wheat in bread (well, to me anyway!). the last few years I've found that a slice of toast in the morning gives me a dickie tummy. I've never been a big breakfaster - simply not hungry - and can easily make it to lunchtime with just a frusli or something similar. It's later on when I begin to munch that's the problem.

    Thanks again. Concise and to the point.
  4. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    I would avoid skipping breakfast though tete, and at least have something substatial.

    Alot of people, like yourself (my mrs included) try and skip Breakfast or at least have something small. if anything brekfast should be the biggest meal of the day, try having the fusili bar and banana at lunch and have a low sodium (salt) cereal for breakfast
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