Too much sugar. Watch out for chugging down energy gels and bars when you ride. Most of the time its not necessary. Your muscles store about 1800+ calories of glycogen. If you are riding 90 minutes or less, there is no need for calorie ingestion via gels, bars and solids. The insulin spike and sugar hit is not worth it and it will not help performance. Train your body to burn fat! This is the preferred source of fuel for the body.
I rarely use electrolyte replacement for anything less than 75 minutes. I have trained this way. I have compared data - no power (watt) loss. Its what you do before and after the ride that counts. Stay hydrated for sure, but this is a constant mechanism. Sucking down sugary replacement drinks is not the answer. If you go out for 2-3 hours then you will need an electrolyte replacement fuel, but "F" the sugar and just makes sure you are getting some sodkum, potassium, magnesium, chloride and calcium. Outside of 4+ hours then you will need to get some calories in a non-liquid form. But, again, watch out for going after sugar! Go with a quick-emptying (from your gut) complex mixture that has some amino acids to preserve tissue (also helps with keeping inflammation down). If you are doing a 12 or 24 hour event, then you may crave regular food but focus on getting some fat in there for released fuel. In my numerous 24 hour events, hydration has always been the key, specifically geting enough salt. Food is only to keep glycogen and blood sugar level. I focus on protein and fat, not a lot of bread, grain or energy bars.
The vicious cycle of training your body to rely on sugar for energy is a dilemma for many cyclists It hits them after...feeling tired, fatigued, hungry and low in libido. No bueno. Get in that essential fat, high quality protein and don't overeat! You want to reward yourself with keeping that metabolic furnace burning and accessng (learning) to go after fat. Go research a guy named Guy Petruzelli. Good story on this stuff...
It's less about what you do on the bike. It's more about what you stuff into your belly the other 20+ hours!
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