Nutrition on long training rides

Yesterday, I did a 5hr+ ride. Started with 2 950ml bottles with carb drink and a couple of gels which was enough but I would have preferend one of the bottles with just water to be able to adjust hydration without taking up more carbs. However if I do that, I would have to carry spare carb powder and refill on the way which takes up a lot of space in the jersey pocket.
What are your strategies on long training rides regarding to nutrition when there is no feed stations on the road? Do you carry extra bags on the bike?


Bigger saddle bag. I carry pre-measured bags of drink powder. Pockets are reserved for things that need to be accessed and can be used by themselves bars, gels, phone etc.

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What type to bags do you use for the pre-measured carb powder? Normal ziploc bags? That’s a strategy I also thought abbout but habe not tried yet. I have to do that when I have optimised the contents of my saddle bag.

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Either ziplock or small sandwich bags. They are very difficult to keep clean after they have had drink powder in them, they are generally sticky. The smaller and thinner the better if they are Hoi to be single use.

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I’ve just ridden for 14hrs, 300km. I know it’s a bit different, and every athlete is different. But I just used electrolytes tablets in bottles and carried a pizza in ziplock bags for fuel inside a small frame bag. I also carried six gels and a bags of sour sweets. I did have fuel 4 stations to refill bottles, and at the third station they allowed you to drop a extra feed bag, which I had 8 small rolls with saviour filling, as I knew I would be over sweeter stuff by then. It worked well for me, I knew I few people who’s stomachs blew to pieces because of drinking crab mix all day.
Obviously this is a very personal thing, how you fuel longer rides and takes a few to work out what works for you. I’d definitely recommend a mix of foods and hydration as you will get board of drinking the same thing, and even get to the point of not wanting to eat or drink the same thing. Outside events garages are my go to for fuel/hydration stops, normally involves coke, iced coffee, chocolate milk and hot food if they have it. Salty crops are a winner for me too. This is clearly not an advanced method, but one I’ve worked out works well for me. Another example is Ed Clancy, the greatest team pursuiter of all time, use to drink coke during track sessions by the litre, as he found that was the best thing that worked for him.

Hope that helps.

Happy riding

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Super interesting!!

I’m also a coke man, but it is more the carrot that I chase, so not really applicable to the OP question.

Those handlebar bags are getting popular - I think it is from gravel. Maybe that?

So I aim to consume 90g carbs per hour on a long ride
I did the Dragon yesterday - 296km with 4200m climbing - and fuelled thus
Breakfast - porridge in the morning and a flapjack
I had two water bottles - one for water and the other had my main fuel for the day
60g maltodextrin -30g fructose - add water and blend until smooth.
I had ten hours worth in the bottle - with breakfast fuelling the first hour and then some snacks at feed stations.

Hi Ewan, I understood that you had one bottle made up for the whole day. How do you get any water in a bottle with 900g of carbs in it?

It’s a big bottle - one of the GCN 950ml ones.

900g, does that even dissolve? There must be hardly any water in it.

WHAT!! I am most interested in this. Genius if we are understanding this correct

One cool thread. Guess I am the odd one out. This Saturday, easy 105 miles (about 170km), around 7:15 in the saddle. One 550ml bottle, one 750ml. Electrolyte drink in both. One extra pouch of electolyte powder, 4 gels. First gas station stop … double espresso. 2nd stop … double espresso and some lemon pound cake. Had an upset stomach, so went low on coffee along the ride. Got rained out for about 1 1/2 hours, snow cover at the highest point (the real climb of the day was closed off due to snow), so not too hot or too cold. Came back with 2 gels and the bottles almost empty, no refills along the way.

Got an Apidura 2.4L frame bag. Mostly used for extra clothing, I hate do descent in close to freezing temperatures without thermal gloves. Really essential this season here in Colorado as the weather is flat out crazy. When it’s sufficiently warm and/or there is no rain/snow/thunderstorm expected, then no extra bag.

On longer (9 hour) or hotter rides, typically there is 2x 750ml, with one or two refills, if I do not forget. Never had been a problem until temperature reaches 100F outdoors (38C). Then you are drinking all the time anyway. Typically I lay out my rides to have a known gas station at least every 60 miles (or grocery store like thingy).

Have given up on planning longer rides along hydration/nutrition. Some days you are hungry, often not. So just make sure you know the gas stations and what they sell, and what works for you. Take the expected minimum with you and improvise.

Lastly, the thought of this big bowl of pasta and the tiramisu afterwards is a good motivator for those last 2 hours of a grueling ride.

Not sure coach will agree with my strategy there :wink:

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@Ewan I got to try this dual setup. Actually chatted about exactly this idea with somebody else on Friday. Just did not want to try out something new on the weekend (and possibly ruining a long ride).

So 100g carbs for the standard 7 scoop dose. Some clever athlete had the idea of using more (of course), blend it first, then freeze the bottle over night and use the thawing process for natural dosing.

The other thing I had not tried yet (but acquired):

The nicer part is no cane sugar, and as bonus caffein. And since I do consider myself fully evil, then trying to put 2 doses into one 750ml bottle seems a perfectly logical idea.

The play would be that I barely drink anyway, so I can afford blowing a 750 ml bottle on that ?

Perhaps it’s just easier to mix your own stuff, maltodextrin + fructose, and then add some tasting substance ?

Cheaper to do it yourself I usually find and you can also experiment with what works better for you. On Sunday I did 60g maltodextrin and 20g fructose as I do find the 30g version a bit too sweet.

Tbh it tastes fine as is but you can always add some squash to it if you like :+1::woman_shrugging:

I have found that it tastes fine as is too.

The issue with freezing is that the concentration is not the same all the way through. That means what you drink first will be the most concentrated and it will get weaker as more melts.

Good info here everyone. Thanks

Super interesting answers. I should try an extra bag or teach myself that refuelling stops are not a sign of weakness or “make it two sessions”. (I still have this “loose bolt” from the times with the Polar S-Series watch that automatically ended the ride if you stopped for more than a few minutes.)

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Like @Ewan I mix my own and you do need to train yourself to find just what ratio and amount of carbs per hour you can handle.

I often used to do 750ml bottle Fructose 50g, Maltodextrin 100g and then electrolytes/salt. I started lower and built up to this. I’ve also tried 70-100 ratio as well given I’ve read some info suggesting that the 2:1 ratio can be brought closer to 1:1.

I also tend to have a bottle of mix and a bottle of water. On longer rides I would increase the amount of mix so could grab a quick sip and then a slurp of just water to dilute it. That way I wouldn’t always need to worry about refilling the mix bottle.


Thanks for this @kevstorr. It seems like an explorative journey that we all have to go on.

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I think we were talking about this the other day @Duke68 :slight_smile: