1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Any ‘Roadie’ cyclists on here?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Bigonabianchi, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. Bigonabianchi

    Bigonabianchi · Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    How do you fuel your rides properly with diabetes?

    I’m newly diagnosed as ‘pre diabetic’ and keen to ensure it doesn’t get worse. Cycling is a huge part of my life ( completed trans America bike race 2019 for example) and I want to keep riding at that level. Exercise I’m told is also key to managing blood sugar levels . But to cycle long distances I need to take on energy . Most gels , energy drink powders etc are glucose based so what can I eat to fuel the ride that won’t hike my blood sugar ?

    At the moment I’m on porridge and peanut butter , which is ok but I’m a lot weaker on the bike and my mileage has dropped substantially since the Trans Am ride. Riding has become like riding into a strong headwind no matter even if the wind is behind me ( yes it did happen once lol!)

    Any input from riders very much appreciated .

    Ride safe :)
     
  2. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

    Messages:
    17,957
    Likes Received:
    12,039
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Not rider or excessive exerciser but you do carry around a large stock of energy in your stored body fat.. once you are fat adapted you will have access to these energy stores so carbs become unnecessary.
    It does however take time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    Trophy Points:
    198
    • Like Like x 1
  4. TeddyTottie

    TeddyTottie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    221
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Yep as others have said, nutritional ketosis is the key - stop using carbs as fuel and switch to using fats - your body has a more stored fat than you could ever need for a bike ride. Even a Trans Am!

    Eating low carb with sort out your pre-diabetes too. But you have to commit to it and dump the carb pre-loading and suffer through the adaptation phase to reach the happy place, so don’t be discouraged
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,011
    Likes Received:
    2,582
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Lookup Prof Tim Noakes. Amongst other things he is a runner. Going low carb improved his performance.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,100
    Likes Received:
    18,636
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Not a rider but a long distance walker (15 - 20 miles+). Mostly do that fasted (just take on water and zero carb electrolytes). If you need sustenance as you go, something like nuts or a piece of cheese will do the job. No need to carb load.

    As well as Dr Noakes, check out Dr Ian Lake - he’s type 1, but I think you’ll find his stuff interesting .

    And this was an interesting recent experiment: https://www.dietdoctor.com/uk-team-completes-a-100-mile-five-day-run-with-no-food
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,696
    Likes Received:
    2,144
    Trophy Points:
    198
    As others have said, if you adapt to being fuelled by ketones then you can ride long distances without having to worry about food.

    I am not a high performance cyclist but I can do 50 miles at a gentle pace on just coffee, cream and butter before I set out.

    It is an interesting experience to ride with carbohydrate dependent cyclists.
    I have found that at the 10 mile point I am just getting into the swing of things when the carb kings start looking for coffee and cake to refuel. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,255
    Likes Received:
    2,591
    Trophy Points:
    198
    My oh is a keen road cyclist. He’s spent most of his adult life doing fasted rides, at least weekly in the realm of 80-120km as well as daily rides in the region of 60km. He’s a total carb addict and not diabetic. My point is that he manages to hit ketosis, fat adaptation and fuelled by ketones because of these fasted rides. He bonks far less often then many of his regular cycle buddies. Fat adaptation is key both to your riding and diabetes, but it will take some time to adapt where the going will be slower and tougher.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Bigonabianchi

    Bigonabianchi · Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thank all :) I did play about with the ketone thing but never felt to well so gave up. With this pre diabetic thing now it sounds like the way to go, I just didn’t know how it fitted in with a diabetic diet ( it’s all very new to me still). When I tried it before I found it tough to keep pace on group rides as other riders were full of high energy rocket fuel and caffeine , but as mentioned above , I could out distance them. Accelerating was laughable at times , got dropped a lot quicker and felt queasy after efforts . Trans Am was different , riding alone unsupported it was all about staying on the bike for as long as possible each day, not speed on the bike .

    How does caffeine sit with blood sugar levels and staying in ketosis? ( I’ve got some googling to do me thinks).

    It’s good to know that this blubber I’ve gained since getting back from America will get me back across at least twice without a single gas station honey bun ..result lol!
     
    #9 Bigonabianchi, Mar 24, 2021 at 8:34 AM
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
  10. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Messages:
    8,494
    Likes Received:
    5,129
    Trophy Points:
    198
    That is what I found - the sprinters were off like rockets and I just felt that I was sauntering along no problem. I'd pass a few who'd broken their bikes in their enthusiasm, or fallen off, but having checked that they were OK I kept going.
    Usually the route took until lunch time and ended at a pub with a restaurant. I would check in, and then set off back along the same route. Everyone else was picked up in a van or car with bike rack, after they had eaten.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Bittern

    Bittern Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    114
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Have a look at this: The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance By Jeff S Volek nd Stephen D Phinney. Its an interesting book aimed at high athletic performance whilst remaining in ketosis. I have a tour around France by bike planned for when Covid allows. It will not be fast but it will long, a marathon not a sprint, I am too old for sprints.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,696
    Likes Received:
    2,144
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I have come across some slightly different takes on cycling in ketosis.
    At least one person has said that they tried it but gave up because the transition during the ride was too hard.
    It turned out that the strategy was not to eat low carbohydrate for nutritional ketosis, but to eat carbohydrate rich foods, then cycle fasted and transition into ketosis part way along the ride.
    I assume around the point that a "bonk" was due from lack of bodily glucose reserves.

    Point being that there are at least two approaches to cycling fasted and relying on ketosis for energy, and endless scope for misunderstandings.
     
  13. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,255
    Likes Received:
    2,591
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Indeed. I can confirm there is no way my OH eats low carb and devotes most non cycling hours to restocking his carb stores. The endurance, fasted, rides are the only way he could ever reach ketosis. He has however done this for many decades so cannot remember any transition to this way of cycling.
    One of his regular ride buddies tried going low carb after being diagnosed prediabetic and couldn’t cope with the transitional period waiting on adaptation. No idea what his fasting regime is or isn’t though.
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook