Editor's note: Feed founder Bryan has been on a mission to reduce added sugar from his diet. You can read his first post here. After two months of "sugar-free" Bryan is taking it to his long bike rides. Read on to find out how it is working out!
In my previous blog post, I wrote about how I’m trying to remove all added sugar from my diet. As an endurance athlete that can be really tough to do, but I’m still eating fruit, honey, maple syrup. Last weekend I decided to take it one step further and do a long mountain bike ride with limited sugar and carbohydrate intake.
The ride: Approximately 5 hours, 35 miles and 4-5,000 feet of climbing on single track and fire roads in Crested Butte (elevation 9,000-11,000 feet).
Before: for breakfast I had steel cut oats with maple syrup, flax seeds, cinnamon and walnuts. And bacon. I can’t say how much bacon, but there was bacon.
During: I ate 2 x Justin’s Maple Almond Butter single servings, along with 1 x Hazelnut and 1 x Pecan Gather Bar. I carried 100 ounces of plain water in my camelbak and supplemented with 4 x Klean Athlete Electrolyte Capsules. I was out of water at 4 hours in, so I drank around 25 ounces per hour. My strategy was to eat 1 almond butter single serve 1 hour into the ride, followed by 1 Gather bar 30-45 minutes later. 2.5 hours in the ride, I ate my second almond butter single serving, and finished things off the second Gather Bar at around 60 minutes left to ride.
Towards the end of the ride, I was surprised by how good I felt despite the change in the type of food I normally eat. I felt “normal” throughout the ride…not really good, and not bonked either. It is important for me to mention that my ride was entirely based on “feel”. I don’t ride with a power meter, and have no idea if I went fast or slow or something in between.
After: although I felt good during the ride, I had no trouble eating a 2000 calorie burrito from Teocale Tamale 30 minutes after the ride. Given how quickly I ate the massive burrito, and that I could have kept eating, I do think I was running a solid calorie deficit during the ride. Despite my perceived calorie deficit, I did recover well and was ready to ride again the next morning.
It is important to point out that one ride doesn’t mean this will work all of the time. I’m going to keep testing lower carbohydrate foods during long rides and workouts to see how performance is affected. If you have any questions, or stories that you’d like to share, add them in the comments below. I look forward to hearing if this has worked for anyone else out there!
Buy the Low Sugar Ride Pack HERE.