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We're supporting a number of cycle events this year so thought it would be helpful to give you advice on how to use Active Root.To provide the advice and tips we’ve enlisted the help of experienced long distance cyclist and Active Root ambassador Toby Willis. Find out what Toby uses, how often and how to carry your Active Root as well as extra tips and an example 2 hour ride.
1. What Active Root should I use during? You should be consuming approximately 60g of carbs per hour while cycling. Or if you're able to absorb more an ideal amount is 1g of carb per kg of your body weight. Our Gel Mix (25g), Sports Drinks (33g) and Energy Chews (36g (6 chews)) can contribute to hitting the 60-80g. You need between 2-3 of these servings per hour if you were just using Active Root nutrition. (ElectroLite contains only 8g of carbs, so you'd need to drink this on top of 2x servings of Gel Mix). So this might be 2x servings of Gel Mix and 1x of ElectroLite, or 1x serving of Gel Mix and 1x serving of Sports Drink, etc.
2. When and how often should I drink and eat? You should aim to consume a small amount at regular, frequent intervals. So rather than stopping every couple of hours to eat a meal, you should try to have drink / gel / snack every 15-20 minutes. Eating before your body tells you to is a knack and something you get better with over time. You want to consume regularly and in small amounts so that you maintain a steady energy supply.
This is particularly true when riding on a hilly route where a long climb can be really tough if you haven't consumed any fuel in a while. Working muscles harder will inevitably use up energy supplies so it becomes ever more important to stay ahead of your body to keep the legs turning. Avoid depriving yourself of fuel for a long time then overloading with carbs in one go; it's inefficient and likely to lead to bloating and a sugar crash. Your body will struggle to digest the food during intense exercise and this is another reason that eating small amounts regularly is beneficial. It’s also another reason why drinking Active Root with its ginger infusion is good during such exercise and it’s helps with nausea.
3. How should I carry my active root nutrition? There are a few different options as to how to carry nutrition. We advise two large 750ml bottles with wide opening tops for easy refilling. I never leave home without a framebag which is handy for Gel Mix pouches, snacks and spares. It’s also where I keep my camera. The Gel Mix flask is particularly good for accessing whilst moving as it can be easily drank and put away again using one hand. Its reusable pouch is also great for the environment as you’re not producing as much waste.
4. Variety of nutrition is key
1) Take a variety of flavours of gels because if you're out for a number of hours, you're going to get bored of your favourite eventually. The thought of a different flavour will help you continue fueling.
2) Pack Active Root sachets - these are light to carry and ideal for mixing with water at drink stations.
3) Pre-open any bar wrappers so you can easily get them into your mouth while on the bike.
4) Take some 'real' food as you will get sick of sports drinks and gels. Include some treats to look forward to later on in the race. A flapjack will provide 20-40g of carbs and a banana 20g.
Active Root example for every 2hrs of riding
5. Example Active Root example for every 2hrs of riding I usually sip on a Soft Flask of Gel Mix, whilst also occasionally drinking Sports Drink, more often if it's hot. Then eat something more substantial every couple of hours. So in two hours i'd consume:- 4x servings of Gel Mix- 1x serving of Sports Drink (500ml) or ElectroLite+- a few Soreen bars / banana / nuts or pre-packed cheese sandwiches. Remember that we’re all different and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. This tips are a great starting point, but then you should refine them to suit your riding style and needs.