Gluten intolerance

Hey everyone

I have a pretty serious gluten intolerance. The times I’ve had to resort to eating a bar containing gluten on a long ride it’s slowed me right down, almost like bonking.

I usually carry enough, but on a very long ride it can get tough. I’m reluctant to just eat more sugar (haribo or whatever I can find) when I stop to fill bottles, but that might be the only solution.

Anyway, I guess I’m looking for advice or confirmation that I’m correct - or if anyone is the same and has a solution that has worked for them.

Many thanks.

Scientist here- albeit non-medical.

As we’re all likely aware, there has recently been (and still exists) a non-scientific concern with eating gluten.

First of all, if you suspect you have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), or another serious medical issue, you should get diagnosed by your doctor so you can be treated appropriately. Celiac disease and NCGS can be serious and require management on a larger level that just what you eat while working out.

However, the idea that all humans have gluten sensitivities- that gluten is “bad for you”- is not scientifically supported. Foods are a complex mix of ingredients. Understanding which ingredient is causing which symptom is exceedingly difficult and requires a knowledgeable immunologist with laboratory equipment and kits to test for allergic reactions.

With that out of the way, I’d say this: if you’re not dealing with a more serious issue, it’s not actually important to know why you’re feeling bad with certain foods. The average rider should be able to find something that works by experimenting.

Personally, I can’t eat Cliff Bars on a bike. I have no idea why. I can eat them just fine in any other setting. Something about my digestive system just rejects them and I get gassy and bloated. For me, I found that ProBars work.

On the other hand, if you have other restrictions, you’ll have to be more picky. Mark Beaumont rode the NC500 powered significantly by glucose drink. I would bet it is because the human body is very very efficient at processing glucose- it’s what your muscles use so literally all your body has to do is absorb it into your bloodstream. Not an ideal way to live, but clearly a great way to get through 29 hours of nearly nonstop cycling!


Thank you! I appreciate this :slight_smile: