Moveable Feast Staff (from L-R) Isabel Betancourt, Sue Elias, & Alisha Thompson.
Just over two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining the Moveable Beasts Team and all our 2021 Ride for the Feast participants in completing a century ride on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It was a beautiful (albeit windy) spring day. As a Community Dietitian here at Moveable Feast, it was incredibly exciting and heartwarming to meet so many of the people making a positive impact on those we serve.
Despite my most ambitious intentions six months prior to the event, I decided to change from the century ride to the 30 mile ride, as I confess that I did not train for the longer distance like I had hoped. With that said, I was ready to cruise through the event and just have fun! As an avid exerciser and registered dietitian, what could possibly go wrong? Well, it turns out, a lot! I woke up with absolutely NO appetite, forced myself to drink some water and crossed my over-confident fingers that I would make it through on half a banana (spoiler alert: I totally bonked). With that being said, here are some hard-learned tips to get you through your next endurance event!
- Race day is not the day to try new things. Resist the temptation to show up in untested sparkly new outfits or with novelty snacks. Stick to what you know.
- Hydrate the day before! Set alarms and reminders, you really want to start the race well hydrated. Pro tip: avoid alcohol the day before.
- Day-of hydration goal: At least 16 oz (or 2 cups) of fluids every hour; preferably low-carb sports drinks to help replace electrolytes.
- Pro Tip: You can also have a juice and water mixed drink if you don’t like the taste of sports drinks (like me), but make sure the snacks you’re eating have electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium).
- Two things to consider for carb needs are (1) volume and (2) intensity. In other words, the longer and the faster you ride/run/walk, the more carbs you need.
- Pro Tip: Find carb sources with different types of sugars, it can help with gut absorption. Review the ingredient lists of your gels/blocks/bars.
- Keep in mind most “whole foods” already have different types of sugars. Bananas naturally have fructose, glucose, sucrose and maltose.
- Pro Tip: Most of us only digest about 1 g of carbs/minute, so more is not always best. Eating too many carbs can leave you nauseous, bloated or with stomach cramps.
- Banana (1 medium=27g carbs)
- Medjool Dates (2 pitted= 30-35g carbs). *High in potassium and other minerals! Highly recommended snack.
- Sweetened Apple sauce pouch (22g carbs). Unsweetened it’s only about 12-15g of carbs.
- Waffle or pancake (1 homemade=25-30g carbs)
- Folded with 2 tablespoons of jam or maple syrup can bump the carbs to 45-60g (FYI, syrup gets a little messy)
- Two cookies sandwiched with peanut butter is by far the BEST snack I’ve had. Here’s my favorite recipe: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/soft-chewy-oatmeal-raisin-cookies/
There are a lot of great tips also referenced in this article from Bicycling Magazine if you’re looking for specific information for cycling activities. I look forward to meeting many of you next year at Ride for the Feast 2022!