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    FordRN's Avatar
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    What Was It About Today's Ride That Sent Me Over The Edge?

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    I need help. I went on a bike ride today for 50 miles. I have been riding about 30 to 45 miles without any difficulty of having horrible carb cravings. Many times, I leave so early in the morning that I don't eat before my ride. I usually take a bottle of gatorade, or Accelerade, a bottle of water, and some shot blocks. I drink the gatorade (or Accelerade) for the 1st hour, than after about 20 miles or so, I will eat 3 shotblocks (about 25 grams of carbs). That is usually sufficient, fuels me well, and like I said, I finish the ride without being overly hungry or craving carbs.

    Today, I rode a little later, so I ate a breakfast of 3 eggs with salsa, and 2 slices of beef bacon. I rode with a different group, and I think I may have rode a little harder than what I have been riding, with quite a few hills. I drank my bottle of gatorade throughout the ride. At mile 22, I ate a Lara Bar (Cashew cookie) which is made up of cashews and dates, and drank water. I did not fuel with shotblocks.

    After the ride, I was STARVING! I came home, ate 2 pieces of chicken, squash, and swiss chard. I was still craving carbs like crazy so I ate some nuts. Than I drank some milk (raw). I was still craving carbs. I ate a handful of cereal (in my house for my kids). I just ate some ice cream.

    So, what did I do wrong? I have been so good, not craving carbs, not craving sugar, eating till I'm satisfied, but not full. What was it about today's ride that sent me over the edge? Any clues? I would so appreciate your input and advice. Thanks!

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    Alex Good's Avatar
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    I would think that eating pure sugar (shot bloks) would keep you from going through the withdrawal phase which gets rid of carb cravings. You've been feeding your addiction this entire time.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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    No, I asked Mark about this at Primal Con. He said that during an endurance event, this is the one time you can feed your body pure sugar, because the muscles are uptaking it as fast as you feed it. There is no insulin response when you are doing an endurance event, because muscles can uptake the glucose without insulin. This is why it is so important for diabetics to workout. In the Paleo Diet for Athletes, Loren Cordain advises drinking Accelerade and eating GUU Gels, etc. for this very reason. Your muscles need the glucose so that you don't use up all your glycogen stores and bonk.
    That said, I have NOT been craving carbs at all, except for today after this 50 mile ride that was a little more intense than usual. I am thinking it was the Lara Bar that I ate, that did not provide the instant fuel because it had to be digested first. The shotblocks and the gatorade go through my system quickly, allowing the muscles to uptake the glucose as fast as it enters the blood stream. This is how I have learned to train. I use to not fuel properly at all during the event, so that when the event was over, I craved carbs and sugar all day long. Since I have learned to fuel properly at intervals, I haven't had that problem......except for today. And today I ate a Lara Bar, instead of doing shotblocks. So, maybe that was the issue. Don't know.

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    probably more to do with the intensity being slightly above what you were used to rather than the detail of what you ate. How much higher was your heartrate? Would be interesting to know how much of your ride was outside your normal HR zone.

    (i get exactly the same after a harder-than-normal ride, I keep some high protein recovery drinks in the cupboard just in case I get home and want to empty the fridge!)

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    I read the article on Ketogenic Diets and Physical Performance. I am going to try staying in the Ketogenic zone while I work out to see if my body responds differently. I think I am overly sensitive to sugar in any form. I am the person that can be off of sugar for six months, take a bite of sugar, and I am back craving it. I think possibly the intensity of the ride plus eating the Lara Bar, that was all natural, but full of carbs, is what sent me over the edge, back to craving carbs. My husband can eat dried fruit without a problem, but I have to stay away from it. I stay away from fruit of any kind on most occasions for the very reason that it's too many carbs for my body. It just sends me back into that mode of wanting more carbs. I think when I fuel with Accelerade or shotblocks, the fuel is so instant, that I don't really have to deal with it, because my body uses the glucose as soon as it comes into my bloodstream. But the Lara Bar had to be digested, the glucose was available later, rather than sooner, and probably not at the point where I was still riding. But, I am going to try training ketogenically and see if that makes a difference.
    Thank you everyone for your input!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FordRN View Post
    I read the article on Ketogenic Diets and Physical Performance. I am going to try staying in the Ketogenic zone while I work out to see if my body responds differently.
    http://www.med.upenn.edu/timm/docume...8-9Lazar-1.pdf
    β-HYDROXYBUTYRATE: THE MOST EFFICIENT FUEL Veech and colleagues discovered that administering β-hydroxybutyrate to the perfused rat heart in place of glucose increased work output but decreased oxygen consumption (35).
    Quote Originally Posted by FordRN View Post
    I think when I fuel with Accelerade or shotblocks, the fuel is so instant, that I don't really have to deal with it, because my body uses the glucose as soon as it comes into my bloodstream.
    The sugar will raise your insulin, which inhibits the body from burning fat. As the gnolls.org article points out, those energy drinks will also make you weak.
    Last edited by js290; 08-08-2011 at 09:43 AM.

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    Yes, I just re-read that, thanks! My body just needs to re-adjust to fueling without the glucose. I love to bike ride, I have been following Loren Cordain's book, Paleo Diet for Athletes, but he recommends fueling with Accelerade (the only sports drink with protein). However, I am willing to give the no fueling thing a try. What would I fuel with on a long bike ride? Most of my rides are currently 30 to 45 miles, which I don't really need to fuel for those. But fall is coming and I know I will be riding a lot more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FordRN View Post
    What would I fuel with on a long bike ride?
    Try eating well the days leading up to the ride. Use the old knowledge of exercising on an empty stomach. If it's a morning ride, maybe take an L-carnitine supplement, jump on the bike and go. If it's an afternoon ride, maybe have a big fat (and protein) breakfast and skip lunch.

    The trick really is to become keto adapted, which may take 2-4 weeks. Most healthy people should have enough fat stores to use for at least a marathon. Aside from the uphill sprints, you should be using muscles capable of burning fat for fuel. Put your body in a hormonal state where it can access those fat stores, i.e. low insulin.

    If you have to up your carb intake to feel like you're performing, then chances are you're not fully keto adapted. I'd recommend increasing the good fats. I tend to agree with Dr. Rosedale when he suggests lowering saturated fats when you're trying to lose your own, but for endurance performance, my guess would be to increase it as much as your digestive system can tolerate.

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    Thanks for the advice. So, do I really not need to eat at all when I'm riding.....i.e. Do I just drink water? That is what I'm bringing for today's ride but it's only 45 miles. Once I'm keto adapted, will I stop feeling that gnawing hunger after I ride, because I will not be inducing the insulin response? The last week (except for Saturday), my fat intake has been the majority of my calories. I've been keeping my carbs to around 50 grams/day, and that is eating vegetables. To remain keto adapted, do I have to maintain a carb intake that low all the time?

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