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My pre/intra/post-ride nutrition for a typical 100 mile ride.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I received an email asking about my pre-ride, intra-ride and post-ride nutrition/supplements for a 100 mile ride like the Horrible Hundred, which I did this past Sunday (see “Ride report: 2014 Horrible Hundred“). I thought I’d answer that excellent question in this morning’s blog.

Bananas and bikes: a match made in heaven.

Bananas and bikes: a match made in heaven.

I need to point out that my intra-ride nutrition will vary quite a lot depending on the conditions (course difficulty, pace, temperature and so on), but my pre-ride and post-ride routine doesn’t vary too much at all.

In the heat of the Florida summer I require more fluids, carbohydrates and electrolytes during the ride than I do during the cooler months. I’ll touch on that a bit towards the end of the article, but for now I’m going to focus on exactly what I consumed before, during and after the 2014 Horrible Hundred.

Note: for a detailed look at my supplement and indoor bike equipment shelves, check out this recent article.

4:30 AM / Breakfast: (1) cup (before cooking) Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats, (1) Large Banana, (3) cups strong black coffee, 40 ounces water, (1) Kirkland Daily Multi, (2) Kirkland Fish Oil, (2) Nature Made Triple Flex, (1) Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle

6:30 AM / Pre-ride: (1) Clif bar, (4) Sport Legs

7:30 AM / Ride Start: 50 ounces plain water, 25 ounces Gatorade, consumed while riding

8:30 AM / Mile 21: (1) GU energy gel

9:30 AM / Mile 44: (4) Sport Legs, (1) GU energy gel

10:30 AM / Mile 63: (1) Clif bar

11:30 AM / Mile 82: (4) Sport Legs, (1) SaltStick capsule, (1) GU energy gel

12:30 PM / Mile 102: Ride end, 25 ounces water, sipped during drive home

1:15 PM /Post-ride : Ultimate Recovery Smoothie

Of course the recovery process is not complete until I have my post-ride dinner, which is usually pizza and beer. Don’t argue, it’s science.

So, during the almost 5 hour / 102 mile / 5,200 feet elevation ride that’s a total caloric intake of 3 GU Gels, a Clif bar and 25 ounces of Gatorade, which amounts of about 720 calories. I find this to be sufficient for a ride of this type, provided that I’m not in a caloric deficit and have been eating at, or above, maintenance level in the days preceding the event. When I’m actively cutting body fat and in a caloric deficit, however, I require more intra-ride nutrition to avoid bonking.

I definitely perform best with a light load on my stomach, and that’s why I eat most of my pre-ride calories 2-3 hours in advance of the ride, and keep my intra-ride calories as low as possible. I’d rather have my blood shuttling oxygen to my muscles instead of working on digestion.

When it’s hot outside I consume roughly the same amount of gels and Clif bars, but I will consume more SaltStick capsules (about 1 per hour), Gatorade and water.

John Stone Fitness Comments

9 Responses to “My pre/intra/post-ride nutrition for a typical 100 mile ride.”
  1. I’ve experimented with carb loading in the days leading up to big rides, and I’ve never noticed any appreciable increase in performance. The only time I’ve seen benefit from carb loading is when I’m eating under maintenance, then it helps. When my nutrition is already on-point and at (or above) maintenance, I do just fine with my regular healthy diet.

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    • Another member asked me the same question when I posted my supplement shelf tour a short time ago. Here was my answer to him:

      “I decided to try MT for its supposed immune boosting effects and liver support. I usually don’t drink more than a couple time per week, but the liver is pretty important so I figured I’d give it go. Everything I’ve read about MT seems positive, and it’s inexpensive.”


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  2. John,

    Thanks for your input on your nutrition – it’s very helpful. Living in the Northeast, I’m planning to spend a lot of time on my Wahoo Kickr and use Trainerroad for a cycling program to expand on my base.

    My question involves weight training. I’ve been strength training for 20+ years and have recently gotten back into cycling in a big way. I don’t want to give up resistance training and would like to gain strength (maybe even size) while still riding about an hour each morning on the trainer.

    Would you recommend a program like Rippetoe/Starting Strength in addition to riding? Do you think it’s too much leg work with all the squatting? What would you recommend as a good weight training program that ties in nicely with cycling? Thanks as always!

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    • Pre- and post-ride no difference. For the actual TT I would tuck a single gel into the leg of my skinsuit, and I doubt I would need it. I’d carry a single bottle filled with water, unless it was very hot in which case I’d probably fill it with an electrolyte drink of some sort.

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