Food to eat


Well-Known Member
Looking at doing my first 100 miler in 4 weeks - The TT

What advice do people have for eating prior to the event - day before & morning of.

What seems to work during the event - how much, how often etc.

I am pretty newish to this and appreciate regular eating is important (I've suffered a couple of times in the last few months in the latter part of my commute), but haven't really had any specific advice eg. eat x for y hours then try z etc.

I know everyone is different, but generalist advice would be appreciated.



Obviously everyone is different but most would go for something like:
Evening before - pasta
Morning (breakfast) - porridge/meusli or other oat-based cereal
During ride
- drink every 15-20 mins, a mouthful or 2 at a time. Personally, I have 1 bottle water, then 1 bottle electrolyte/energy mix; next bottle water, then recovery drink; water and electrolyte/energy mix and so on. I carry 2x750ml bottles, which each last 1hr+, so I usually have some 'reserve'. Most of my longer rides are audax, when control stops are often at cafes, so refilling bottles is easy
- eat every hour or so; what to eat is fairly personal. Flapjacks and fruit loaf are audax favourites; I often carry a couple of rolls with peanut butter (and another, secret ingredient :smile:). Many people use energy bars and gels, which are probably lighter and easier to pack but I prefer the variety of the other things

It is important to drink before you are thirsty and eat before you are hungry :biggrin:.

It is also good to try the various products/combinations you are considering before the event itself. 30 miles into a 100 mile event is not a good time to discover that product X makes you feel nauseous :smile: !



Chandler's Ford
A lot depends on frequency of feed stations/cafes or whatever.
2 x 750ml is a lot of weight to carry.
I've only done one 100 mile event and didnt need to finish a single 600ml bottle because I had loads of tea at controls


The day before a very long ride, drink plenty of water and get well hydrated. Also have a good drink prior to the ride. How much fluid to take on the ride, can be a bit of a gamble, if the feed stations if any are well spread out you may get by with one water bottle, but if its well into the ride, once again you may get by with one if its a cool day, but if its very hot, then you need two and still a chance you may run out. Today I made 60 miles on one bottle, then the sun came out and for the last 60 miles I sweated buckets and had to buy a couple of litres in 500 mil bottles to carry, top up with and supplement my remaining bottle.

Eating during a long ride, sometimes I find that my taste buds and stomach can take a disliking to solid foods around the 70 mile mark and I then have to rely on my energy drinks and gels. A couple of months ago on a long ride, I stopped for a resupply when I was struggling and my usual solid food was making me gag, I tried a Mars bar, it tasted shite and took me if I recall about 3 quarters of an hour to nibble it away without chucking up. Oddly enough I read about this intolerance to solid food in a magazine the same month, yet till then I could eat solids throughout a ride, strange.


New Member
Evening before a big race usually involves a visit to an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant in Bristol, good way to choose your own level of carb intake and fun to boot.

For the ride, I usually take a mixture of sports bars, flapjacks and maybe one or two fig rolls. However, the Forest of Dean Spring Classic people supplied loads of mini sausage rolls at the final food stop - not sure of the nutritional value but they tasted fantastic at the time!


day before..lots of carbs for lunch (usually a load of bagels)
evening before...lots of carbs (usually a triple helping of rice or pasta)
morning...usual museli for breakfast + a bottle of lucazade sport 1 hour before go

During...water or squash with electrolyte powder in it. Eat squares of home made flapjack
If energy starts to flag stop and mix up some recovery drink, down in one and carry on. Please note the very limited use of energy/recovery drink.

I've had trouble with "energy drinks" during rides. And this isn't an uncommon problem.
What I mean by an energy drink is a Hypertonic with a lot of long chain polymer glucose in it. Isotonic drinks seem much better. The problems are stomach related and seem to be that people overload their digestive system. One way of looking at it is that the energy drinks "use up" available water and so effectively dehydrate you. Hypertonic drinks are supposed to deliver more carbs without overloading your system but without being very careful they still can.

I have found (YMMV) that it is far more important to keep a good supply of electrolytes going in and this is much less likely to lead to stomach problems


New Member

I tried to make my own. Cold black coffee, lots of glucose powder, pinch of salt, Starbucks caramel syrup and a shot of vanilla extract.

Not bad, but too much faffing for only 65 miles.


Senior Member
I came across this which might be useful for pre ride hydration:

Muscles are 75% water. A loss of only 3% of this water causes a 10% drop in strength and an 8% loss of speed. During athletic performance thirst sensors are inhibited so it is easy to become dehydrated. This leads to an increase in body temperature and energy is diverted away from the muscles to cool the body down.

It is important to hydrate in advance by drinking a glass of water every 15 min for one to four hours (depending on the length of the event).

Eating plenty of carbs also helps to store water as each unit of carb, stored as glycogen, is bound with 9 units of water. As the glycogen is liberated to provide energy for the muscles, so too is the water.
That Nuun stuff is quite handy if you can top up with water at some point. Then you can just carry a tube of the tablets to mix up as and when required.
Mind you this is electrolyte replacement only, there's no carbs in it, so you'll need something for that too.


Biscuit said:
That Nuun stuff is quite handy if you can top up with water at some point. Then you can just carry a tube of the tablets to mix up as and when required.
Mind you this is electrolyte replacement only, there's no carbs in it, so you'll need something for that too.
+1 for the Nuun tabs - not sickly sweet like others. :biggrin:
Top Bottom