Types of Carbs During Workouts


hahaha!! Have gummies or some fast-release carb on hand during the VO2 workouts and you will see the difference! Take a few between intervals and it has immediate effect- no joke. The brain recognizes carb availability the second you put it in your mouth, and that alone signals carb availability. Try it and let me know.


@Coach_Theia any recommendations on a sugar free alternative to gummies for a carb hit between intervals?


Would 100% fruit juice work?


what do you mean by sugar-free?


@Coach_Theia I actually meant to say free if processed sugars - my stomach can’t handle it, I also struggle with too much fructose :woman_facepalming:t3:


@Stefanie 100% fruit juice can help during workouts but you need to be a little careful. Most of the fruit juice (also depending on the fruit) is fructose, and when fructose is ingested at high rates (and it is not ingested with another carbohydrate), it is known to result in gastro-intestinal discomfort. During exercise, it is recommended to choose a carbohydrate that is rapidly absorbed (such as glucose, sucrose and maltodextrin), so it does not accumulate in the intestine. There is also some research indicating that menopausal women do not process fructose as effectively.

Overall, consuming the sugars I mentioned above during high intensity or prolonged exercise will get immediately absorbed/used by your muscles, provided it is not consumed in excess (typically 60g/hr). The effect is therefore different than consuming these same types of carbs when sitting at a desk and not spending much energy. So you don’t need to worry about them not being “healthy”.


What have you tried in the past? And is it stomach upset or intestine?

Have you tried maple syrup or a carb solution drink such as Skratch?


I seem to be okay with maple syrup. I use precision hydration in my water bottles but can’t tolerate more than a couple of bottles on a long ride before I start getting GI pain - this is usually followed a day or two later with an upset stomach


Got it. In that case you could use maple syrup for the 60-90 min intense workouts and for longer rides a mix of electrolytes and solid carbs you can tolerate- maybe baby potatoes, rice cakes, etc. I believe you have used a few things that worked in the past, correct?


Yeah I used baby potatoes for my last century ride and they worked really well. I also use Veloforte bars which are not too bad on my stomach if I don’t have too many/space them out with potatoes


I have currently been using almond butter sandwiches with bananas and roasted sweet potato slices. Dates the last hour and coconut water. I have terrible GI issues and don’t use bars or Gu


I like the almond butter with banana sandwich idea!!


Hmm, interesting ok. Processed sugars tend to upset my stomach too so I was hoping tart cherry juice might be good. I have never tried maple syrup before but the thought of it kind of makes me cringe because it tastes so very sweet and I am not used to eating overwhelmingly sweet things. How much maple syrup would we be talking about here? What about something like sweet potato “butter”? Basically sweet potato pureed with an apply to give it some thickness and a little cinnamon and nutmeg spice.


It does not have to be a lot of maple syrup for a 60-90 min workout- it can be 15-30 ml. There is evidence that even a mouth wash works by signalling the brain that more carb is on the way! Sweet potato is another slower-release carb, so for a short workout it probably won’t provide a benefit. But try the cherry juice and see! It might work well for you.


Maybe it’s time for an experiment! Compare and contrast. Not during the same workout of course. I will try one this week and the other next week and see what works better :slight_smile:


Great idea! Let us know!!


Me too! Has anyone figured out a clever way to take these foods on a bike ride outside?


I’ve found these reusable silicone pouches at Whole Foods. Like a reusable ziplock. Just store in a jersey pocket or bento bag. I just wrap a sandwich in foil and that works too.


Speaking of reusable pouches… I found these reusable baby food pouches that have a zipper at the bottom so it’s easy to fill and clean. Might give them a try!


Reusable sandwich bags with bicycles!!! https://www.amazon.com/Lunchskins-MP-BOAT-NAV-Reusable-Storage-Sandwich/dp/B01MQJ3W2O?SubscriptionId=AKIAJIYMMIJN7RU7KVJQ&tag=rvwtbrn-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B01N2GXA86&th=1