The dark side: Endurance food revisited
|March 3, 2014||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
I’m not in the mood for a serious post today, so I thought it might be fun to share with you the other side of endurance ride food.
You know – the stuff that I thought was a good idea that was absolutely positively NOT a good idea.
Why should I devote a whole post to this? Because maybe one of these things will work for YOU….or maybe not. Sometimes you don’t know until you try it! And sometimes you try it and it goes so horribly, good luck EVER consuming that food product again.
Gummy bears. Anything that is a gummy candy. I grabbed a handful of gummy bears late in a marathon when what I SHOULD have grabbed was something salty. It probably wasn’t the gummy bear’s fault that I immediately felt AWFUL – the first time I’ve ever eaten something that disagreed with me on a run – but they are now guilty by association.
Lemon-lime flavored sports drink. Lemon-lime gatorade is ALL the used to serve at aid stations when running. So that’s what I trained with. Day in and day out. Long run after long run. I can’t stand the stuff now.
Red bull . Grabbed a can of this half way through a long running race and accidentally grabbed the “women’s version” which was the calorie free. It was so awful I nearly projectile vomited it right then and there. Now just the sight of the red bull brand during an athletic event makes me nauseous.
Instant Mac and cheese packets. This used to be a go to staple for me for both backpacking AND endurance riding. Two packets of mac and cheese +/- a tuna packet. YUM. About the time I was having gluten problems but I didn’t KNOW it was gluten I rode a hundred and had this for dinner. A combination of under cooking it, combined with it being too watery, combined with how it made my stomach feel = end of the mac and cheese era for Mel.
Jerky. I really like jerky at all other times but get me on a horse I’ve NEVER been able to bring myself to chew it. Just putting a chunk in my mouth makes me nauseous. 🙁 I really want jerky to work and keep trying it, but it just won’t go down.
Most energy bars (powerbars, cliff bars etc.) – I find most of these either have certain off flavor profiles when they get warm, OR they are way too much to chew – especially when cold. Luna bars are probably the exception but I give them a neutral rating at best.
Slimfast or similar meal shakes – These worked for me for a while. Until they didn’t. I mentioned in my last post on food that I tried only real food for a while, and then I tried mostly “formulated” food. This was my attempt to basically eat human “kibble” during a ride. I can’t remember exactly what put me off of them, but there’s a definitely feeling in my brain that I don’t want to ever have one again….so I’m not inclined to. What worked better was to add back in more real food, including chocolate milk and not rely on something like this as my main source of calories.
Macaroni salad – this actually worked very well for me until I made the connection with gluten and nixed this along with other gluten containing foods :(. Just not worth the risk during a ride! If I could find a good minature shell pasta that was gluten free I’d be willing to try it again. However, I can flavor an egg salad to mimic this pretty closely.
Packets of anything in tear off foil – I can’t get them open. When I do get them open I always get the stuff on my nose because of residue in the top part that dangles as you try and suck on the packet. The edges of the foil cut my mouth. The packet always stays a little messy as you stuff it in your saddle bag. It’s a lot of work for not that much gain.
Gu’s – Looking back I realize that the old mantras of “Gu stomach” post run and “once you start refueling with them you can’t stop” were true for me because I seem to be very sensitive to the boluses of sugar carbs. Through some trial and error I knew I needed to start eating them before I reached the 3 hour mark in athletic activity (or I would crash), and then I had eat at least one every 40-60 min from then on out (or I would crash), and I could expect to feel like total crap the rest of the day afterwards. At the time I thought it was the price to pay of doing endurance activity, but now I realize that I can manage my food differently and eating Gu’s puts me too close to the edge that blood sugar cycle.
Instant oatmeal – This worked so well for me for so long!!!! Even Farley liked it and we would share it. And then…..oats started to give me the same issues wheat but even worse :(. I haven’t gotten brave enough try it at a ride since having some unpleasant experiences at home with it.
Yogurt – Eh. It’s never quite hit the spot. And after enough “eh” experiences with it during rides has morphed into a self -fulfilling prophesy since now it NEVER sounds good.
Fresh fruit like melons (does NOT include bananas!) – Had a container of fresh cut up melon at a ride. Ate the fruit, not realizing it was expired. Was tired and “out” of it enough that I thought the weird sparkly sour taste was my compromised taste buds….until my crew member grabbed it in horror and was like – oh my gosh can you not taste that these are ROTTEN. Another food ruined for me forever.
I seriously think Gatorade is on more people’s Made Me Barf (Or Want To) list than Helped Me Refuel list. Just a theory!
Mmmm mac n cheese and instant oatmeal! Much love.
I used to love jerky…and I literally don’t like it anymore coz a really tough batch made my jaw ache eating it on a ride one time and that was enough of a bad connotation for me, LOL.
Do your horses like instant oatmeal too???? It was my favorite pre ride ritual – Farley and I sharing a bowel of flavored instant oatmeal. 🙂
I like Gatorade, albeit I get the powder and mix my own half-strength. I keep trying other powders, but thus far I always go back in the end.
Gummy watermelon sours are my very favorite it’s-hot-and-I’m-sweating-my-life-away snack. I don’t know that they actually do anything useful for me but wow, they make me feel better every time.
I have heard so many stories about Gu stomach that I’m terrified of the stuff.
It wasn’t rotten, it was ~*fermented*~ and now that you’ve learned how to ferment, you should just eat any fruit any time you see it. 😉
I don’t understand the applesauce squeezies. I’ve never in my life enjoyed eating applesauce and the last thing I want to do is try to gulp it down while posting.
I like the applesauce!!!! And I love the packets with the the twist off tops. Althought, make that past tense…..Too bad they TOTALLY screw with my blood sugar to the point where I now can’t look at applesauce without wanting to vomit. Same for rice crispie treats *sigh*. I OD’ed on them and finally made the connection between carbs and blood sugar spikes and I can’t imagine EVER eating a rice crispie again.
It’s funny. If something makes you sick enough times you don’t even miss it no matter how much you used to like it. Bread? cake? I have absolutely no desire to find a GF sub. I’m unfortunately almost there with cookies – alhtough your GF snickerdoodles are the exception. I still want my pasta salad at RC though – probably because pasta hasn’t made me sick yet :).
I think Barilla makes small shell gluten free pasta? I was using them before deciding to just have veggie substitutes, but might pick some up for a ride in a few weeks. My diet has changed so much since my last ride that I’m having to rethink my cooler :/ Gu stomach and gatorade stomach are pretty similar in my experience – blegh
Jill over on rider fit gave me some good brand recommendations. In general I try to stay away from the “magically GF” food – I don’t want my life filled with processed substitutes and most of the time I don’t miss those things – but pasta salad goes down so well at endurance rides so and I’m inclined to try it!!!!!
I was really happy when I found vitalyte because it’s so less sweet and sugary than most of the stuff out there when I feel like I really need an electrolyte drink – which I have to admit isn’t all that often. I find drinking water on the trail works for me better most of the time. I had actually forgotten until you mentioned it how awful Gatorade is for how I feel – not just the taste etc. Hadn’t considered it was doing the same thing as the GU, but it makes sense.
Sparkly melons sound so magical! Although me wonders if you would have ever realized it…. 😛