Energy for the job - aka Nutrition for Performance - what works for you?

We all know by now (I hope) that carb is king for performance in high intensity workouts, hard/long rides, and races. I thought I’d start a thread for everyone to share their “go-to” pre/during/post food/hydration. If you feel so inclined, please share what works for you every time - tried and proven, over and over.

This is very important, because everyone is different. The goal here is to show everyone how what works for one person might not work for another. I am not after the science of sports nutrition here. I am after real-life stories and results!! So please contribute.

Here’s mine. I do my workouts 1-2hs after waking up. My workouts are hard, 1.5 hs long. Weekends are longer so I’d add food for the “during”.


1 SiS bake
1 medium bowl of cereal with almond milk (1.5 cups)
1 caffeine gel

Yes, straight up processed carbs with almost zero fiber and no fat for super quick absorption. That’s my jet fuel. I eat unprocessed foods all the other hours of the day, but workout time is another story.
These are about 90g of carbs total.


2 bottles with Skratch
1 scoop of BCAAs/EAAs in one of the bottles because I don’t eat protein before the ride

immediately after

2 packets of oatmeal
1 tbsp of maple syrup
1 scoop (about 20g) of whey protein

That’s about 90g of carbs and 20-30g of protein


This topic fascinates me every time because what works for one person is a total mess for another.

Pre ride if I’m riding in the morning
something with carbs- leftover pasta, overnight oatmeal with fruit, granola bar

On rides under 5 hours
Every hour
1 bottle Vitalyte with a little BCAA added in, 1 fig newton, something else to round it out (handful of jelly beans, raisins, orange, a bit of beef jerky). Depends on how I’m feeling, what my system wants, and what I can get at the local gas station.
Not out of the question- anything potato- french fries, tater tots, Mc D’s hash browns.

Rides over 5 hours
Every hour
1 bottle of Perpetuem mixed to 400 calories per bottle with some electrolyte drops added in.

I’ve only done the above a few times on really long rides, but it worked fabulously on my double century- better than food for really long rides.

After ride/workout
Copycat of the SIS recovery powder with whey protein instead of soy. 1 scoop per hour of workout plus an additional scoop if I’m feeling really wiped, up to a max of about 3 scoops. Also add a scoop of straight whey protein. Mixed into water, milk, or a smoothie depending on what I have access to.

Recovery food- whatever sounds good, trying to get a good mix of carbs and protein.


On a regular day I’ll WO after work in which I have a banana and some maple syrup. This doesn’t always work but :woman_shrugging:t2:

My longer weekend rides I have steel cut oats, hemp milk and a banana.
On the bike I have chia seed protein waffle with natural peanut butter, all fruit jam and banana. Stop for coffee and have the waffle.
Tailwind in my bottles. I always have the salt tabs with me as well as the baby dried bananas. I have ginger ale GU blocks if needed and some fruit leather.
Some rides I’ll pack some quinoa with hemp milk, dates and banana in a bag and put it in my jersey pocket. It gets warmed up and yummy.

Post ride I do a shake with banana, Ladder protein, another fruit, and hemp milk.
Then I usually have some beans and rice.
If I feel I deserve it, a rice Krispy treat.

On :fire::sun_with_face: summer days, watermelon and the above.


I am not riding much these days (i ride mostly inside now) but before riding (either inside or outside) i eat eggs. I currently have a fried egg sandwich, but past versions of myself ate a lot of scrambled eggs or french toast.

During a ride outside, I eat reeses peanut butter cups, lara bars, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or banana bread. I like the premade small sandwiches found at some gas station stores and I think these sandwiches are perfect. When i can find chocolate milk, i drink that. Reeses and lara bars are my most common on-road foods. At home zwifting, i drink chocolate milk in between rides and will stop for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

If i am riding a long ride, i like to stop for something a little larger such as a sandwich, a piece of pizza, or a hot dog in the evening. I love hot dogs on a long ride. I haven’t done a long ride in a couple of years and have no idea what i would do now.

I drink water to thirst and add nothing to my bottles. I don’t have a particular after-riding eating habit. At home, i will have chocolate milk or a sandwich.

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I’m still learning what works for me but here’s the current lowdown:

Sub-90 min AM workouts - tea with non-dairy milk and a black coffee (I like to take my time in the morning…), banana/dates/maple syrup. If doing a hard workout, I take BCAA before tea.

Long rides: pre-workout- müsli with banana and oat/almond milk, tea/coffee
On the ride - dates/figs, Clif Bars, bakery goodies, black coffee, water with Nuun tablets after the first hour. I get very thirsty so I typically have 500-750 ml of fluid per hour. I think that’s actually too little for me.
Post-workout - whey protein shake + collagen within 30 mins, regular meal after stretching and shower.

I’d love any feedback on this!!


During the week I workout in the evenings starting between 6:30-7, so I don’t do anything particularly special but make sure I have a couple snacks during the day like carrots, dried fruits and nuts. I don’t have a special dinner, though if it is going to be an extra hard workout I will have extra rice or potatoes at dinner which usually happens an hour to an hour and 45 minutes before my workout. Sometimes I will have cereal or oatmeal for dinner.

Saturdays I ride early and always start the morning with overnight oatmeal–soymilk, hemp seeds, walnuts, molasses, peanut butter, dates and banana–and toast with homemade jam.

During the week I don’t have anything special during workouts, just water. On Saturday, my long ride day (indoors or out) I have a homemade sports drink (water, lemon or lime juice, salt, maple syrup) and also regular water. In addition I have ride snacks that vary depending on my mood. My favorites involve baked oatmeal, but I also love sweet potato energy balls and during the winter holidays, cranberry energy balls. If I am riding outdoors I will take a “lunch” with me in addition to the ride snacks I keep in my top tube bag. Lunch is usually peanut butter and banana rolled up in a whole wheat flour tortilla or cinnamon raisin pancakes sandwiched together with peanut butter.

After weeknight workouts I can’t eat much too close to bed at 9 (workouts are usually done by 8) so I have a glass of chocolate soy milk and if it was a really hard workout I will have toast or an apple with sunflower butter. Sometimes there is a treat like “nice cream,” chocolate tofu pudding, or kitchen sink cookies. Then breakfast the next morning is usually pancakes made with okara (the leftover soybean mash from when we make our soy milk which is high in protein) loaded up with fruit and nuts.

On Saturdays after my long ride, I like to make either a rice porridge or a chia pudding with fruit and nuts and seeds and a little protein powder. James has been home on Saturdays lately and he will cook up a vegan quesadilla that includes homemade nut cheese and interesting leftovers from the week–rice, beans, seitan, broccoli, kale, tofu, alfalfa sprouts (it varies accordingly).

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@Coach_Theia - can you please contact me? I need to set up a training for a triatholon I registered for. Do you have my number? Text me some availabilities please.

Regarding BCAAs:

This is in line with what we hear the most from doctors: that food is he best place to get all our nutrients from, and if we have a balanced diet, there is no need to supplement. This is true even for women our age.

I’ve changed my approach to BCAAs since. This was a suggestion from Dr Sims’ book. When I want protein, I just reach out to my trusty tub of whey protein. So far so good!

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The articles were very interesting. I’m a big “whole food” person. I am not a big supplement person. I only take Vit D and B-12. I do have protein shakes post long rides as they are quick and do the job. Thanks for the intel.

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