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I started commuting 14mi each way and I'm tired all the time. What do you eat for breakfast for something like this? What do you eat just before leaving work?

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My go-to before rides is Oatmeal with banana. It's a slow release carb that is ideal for long rides and the banana will give you much needed potassium. It may not be enough though, so I'll have a few eggs topped with some avocado to give me "good" fats and protein. I also recommend Cliff Bars on the go.

sometimes i do this too

I never eat breakfast, regardless of whether I'm about to bike 5 miles or 25 miles.  Some days, I don't eat lunch until around 2:30pm.  I never get tired from lack of food. 

 

Agree that your body probably just needs to get conditioned to riding that much.

Wow, I've been trying to follow a 12 hour fast (water and black coffee are ok, though). They say that's pretty effective for weight control, but you're taking that idea to earth shattering levels. Not sure if I'll ever find the right regimen or balance, as it were. 

It's normal to fast for around 12 hours (say 8pm until 8am break fast).  The sweet spot for weight loss / control is 16+ hours.  Some people even fast for 24-hours twice per week.

 

Some light reading in the subject:

http://www.leangains.com/

16 hours? You're really pushing me, dude.

Thanks for the link. There was a really interesting special on PBS a few months ago about dieting, fasting, exercise and finding the right balance. Michael Mosley was the host. I believe he had type 2 diabetes as well as a genetic lineage of diet related problems. His experience was similar to that of Jim Fixx, the famous running author.

Cereal/pancakes for breakfast and about an hour ahead of time to be effective for the ride.

If the ride feels intense for you: I try to eat something within 20 to 40 mins after finishing the ride whether it's a small snack (granola bars and nuts/bananas) or a small meal (peanut butter and jelly). This replenishes the energy that's burned during the ride. It's important to ingest during this post ride time period (20 to 45 mins after you stop riding) because this is when the body is the most effective in recovery. Finishing the ride and going straight to work without eating anything until lunch time might be causing you to feel sluggish.

I try to stay away from coffee before a ride too. For me coffee gets me wired, and biking gets my blood pumping, so doing both at the same time surges my heart rate, causing me to feel less than optimal when the caffeine wears offs. I start to crash. If you're a big coffee drinker in the morning, try riding one day with only a half a cup or no coffee at all :0 and see how that feels for you. Some of my friends always drink coffee before hand with no problems so it differs for different people.

Within time,your body will build endurance and the intensity of the ride will decline. 

If I am up early enough I'll down 6 to 9 bananas in a smoothie. Either that or a 10-15 date smoothie. Sometimes I don't eat before I ride. I usually do a 20-25 mile training ride to work at a pretty fast pace. When I get to work I have a file cabinet full of clean clothes and another one full of some food like oatmeal, instant beans and rice, lentil packets. I also keep a few bunches of bananas and some apples and mangos on a shelf in my office. I will usually make a big batch of rice or some baked potatoes and keep it in the fridge for the week. I usually eat something every other hour when I am at work. 

Your diet sounds spot on to me. I'm trying to eat more nutritionally dense foods like beans and nuts and more fresh fruit. Thanks for the tips.

I just stumbled upon this article. Live long and prosper!

Last year, on the day before my screening colonoscopy, I bike commuted to work 12 mi each way. I had forgotten to have a clear diet that AM so I had one egg and toast in the AM but then got a call and they advised -eat nothing else that day. I had water only, getting dizzy near the end of the day I was worried about the ride home. About one mile in to the home commute I felt amazing and actually flew home. Once I got home I had to start the "flushing" sequence and weirdly I didn't even fell hungry until after the procedure the next day.

Here are a few important snacking tips:Snacking should have a purpose. Snacking can help you avoid overeating, speed up your metabolism, get a boost of balanced energy, and manage your weight, but it can also add unnecessary calories if you are not paying attention. Make sure your current snacking habits have a healthy purpose!  Plan ahead. Preparation is key to healthy eating. Packaging your snacks in advance by using reusable containers, zip-lock bags and foil wrap can ensure you eat a healthy snack.

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