I really stink with figuring out this nutrition thing. I get the idea to do carbs prior to, and protean after. I can get the protein ok, meats, etc, but whats a good carb? I use the single pack Fig Newtons but…there’s always a but… good idea?

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@GEM Check out the Fuel for the Fire podcasts - there are 3 of them covering nutrition before, during and after training.


A good carb is one that you can tolerate that won’t cause additional issues. You might do great with bars, but gels will send you into a sugar spiral. Watch the videos, but be prepared to adjust. Just as an example, I cannot tolerate most simple sugar mixes or foods until I’m well underway and my stores are almost depleted. However, I can tolerate complex carbs before a ride. Example, toast with jam will crush me, porridge will boost me, with some sort of simple fiber fruit (prunes for example). I use SIS ‘gels’ at about 1/2 the ride to boost me back up with electrolytes.
What may work for you could be vastly different though. I know of riders who cannot tolerate the mouth feel of gels and will hurl if they consume one.


I’m fortunate in that I can eat just about anything at any time without serious repercussions. I find it best to eat any real meal a couple of hours before a ride or hard workout. Having oatmeal and some fruit an hour or so before works well for me. During a longer ride, I’ll typically bring a banana, two fig newtons, and gels, and consume them in that order starting 1/2 hr in and every 1/2 hr thereafter. I also put 100 cal of fruit juice in one water bottle and top it off water. With a lot of sweating, I add a level 1/8th teaspoon (or a little less) of table salt to that water bottle. Other bottle has plain water.

For really long road rides, I make do with what’s available at bodegas along the way, or if a sportive, whatever the aid stops have. Really long mtb rides, I’ll bring nuts, granola, etc…

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Unfortunately I just can’t get out for long rides at the moment, but I tend to mix it with an energy drink, banana, possible some dates, a bar and a gel. Obviously depends how long the ride is!

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