Intermittent Fasting, Lab Testing, Why Sweetspot is Hard & More – Ask a Cycling a Coach 194


@ambermalika In regards to eating a gel right before a workout and 20 minutes in. It kind of contradicts what I heard here:

Where he says, If you have fueled glycogen properly any excess high Gi glycogen (a gel) right before a workout causes your body to start producing insulin resulting in “rebound hypoglycemia”. “High Gi right before you train has nowhere to go.” Blood sugar gets too high and your body flushes the blood sugar out of your system and you feel tired.

See 12 min mark in podcast.

They go on to say the only reason to eat within the first 45 min of a ride is if there is some intensity. Rebound hypoglycemia is kept at bay by an enzyme called Catacallamines (sp?) produced by the intense efforts.


I have been using carbo pro for close to 7 years, adding 2-3 scoops to 1 scoop gatorade without one GI issue. A $35 tub of carbo pro will last me about 2 months, and the large tub of gatorade will last about twice as long. Gels were getting sooo expensive!


Sleep is priority, so don’t skip that. Eat more if you are struggling with workouts. Eat during warmups if you can. If everything is going well, don’t change anything.


So much science. So many choices. I will try one of everything and see how it goes :blush:. I tend to eat bites of GoMacro bars on the trainer during long sessions, but hell, chewing those makes it hard to breathe! Looking for something more efficient.


Great index function.
Thanks Ian - really, really useful.


Did I hear it right in this ep that @Jonathan used to play ice hockey?


Once again, @ambermalika, you crushed it. I have really enjoyed the last 2 podcasts with you. Since you live on the other side of the country, you really should have your own podcast as soon as possible. Maybe call it the Ask a Cycling Pro podcast, presented by TrainerRoad. @Nate I’m sure will be interested.

On another note, I have been struggling with long sustained threshold efforts, but after this podcast, I destroyed Darwin. Thanks for your insight.


This. SIS gels are a game changer.


I’m no expert here. But this ‘rebound hypoglycemia’ would only take place if you had followed their protocol beforehand. My take on this is that if you are fully ‘fuelled’ the gel serves no purpose, but if like me you do much of your training in the evening before an evening meal - and sometime since lunch - you need some form of carbs/glucose to deal with high-intensity workouts. This is especially the case in sweet spot or VO2 Max workouts. Here I take on board some fuel and fluids an hour before my workout and often this is some cereal / kids left over pasta (!!) or toast. But if I still need a pick me up, or if doing a hour+ I think a gel is a useful means of ensuring I complete the session as I intended and am capable of if properly fuelled.
My guess is that this is what @ambermalika and @Nate are suggesting in their comments.


is it worth eating during shorter 60-90 minute sweetspot workouts if you’ve eaten a decently sized CHO meal 2-3 hours before the workout?


Yet another great episode. I enjoyed the part about multiple races in one day. I’m heading out to the 24 hours in the old pueblo so between lap recovery will be key. As I’m racing as a solo (stupid) I’m planning for a few brakes between sets of laps. Other than rest and ensuring proper carbs, any other tips?

I’ll look for the Trainer Road crew around 24 hour town!


Why not just make your own? A lot cheaper and super easy to do.

The recipe is really simple, it has two ingredients , and takes 5 minutes :

  • 1 part fructose
  • 2 parts maltodextrin
  • Some water (the amount is up to you depending on how thick you want the gel)

In this example I used:

  • 200 grams fructose
  • 400 grams maltodextrin
  • 400 ml water

The process

  1. Heat the water to just below boiling
  2. Stir in all the sugar
  3. Mix
  4. Pour into bottles
  5. If you want: add flavoring
  6. Also optional: add other stuff like caffeine


So many reasons . . . principal among them is laziness :wink:


I’m also lazy that’s why the recipe is 5 mins not 10 hrs. :joy:


Love watching Punisher… Only watch on the trainer but we need to find a way to sync the action scenes with the intervals… Nothing worse than a over under interval combined with a dialog scene


What product are you using @Nate to get this ratio and the carbs?


Awesome podcasts fellas, especially loved the recent ones with @ambermalika! I was a TR user several years ago when first getting into indoor training and am considering mumping back on TR because of these great poddi’s.

I’m a Cat 2 roadie and have felt like I have plateaued on a few levels, FTP wise, weight reduction wise and performance race results wise. I’ve been racing at about 143-145 lbs for the last 5 seasons, eating healthy but not limiting my portions at all and really over eating quite often. I feel like a good race weight would be about 135-137lbs and achievable without power loss. I have an FTP of 280-300w which puts me in the 4.5w/kg range. I’ve been experimenting with IF and time restricted eating for several months now to try and break the weight plateau and I feel like for offseason and zone 1/2 endurance rides its a great weight management technique but the biggest upside long term is the general health benefits of giving your gut a break, autaphagy (breaking down of less desirable cells), increased growth hormone and insulin sensitivity.

This graph is a good illustration of the relationship between insulin and energy use systems.
Autophagy-Fasting-Chart.pdf (722.1 KB)

As a competitive cyclist, I feel I’m always eating to fuel, giving it a break has to be good once in a while. One of the comments by @Nate and @Jonathan was about being grumpy and having low energy, in my experience once your body adapts to IF, your body starts using fats as energy so you don’t feel hungry or H’angry and you don’t have low energy because your body becomes efficient at using fats for fuel. It’s those first few days of your body transitioning from being a sugar user to a fat user that is tough.

I think IF is more beneficial than just “calorie watching” in reducing fat because of the insulin science. From what I’ve experienced and the information I’ve watched, if you fast, after about 10 hours when you have very little insulin in your body, your body then is able to switch to using fat stores. So if you fast for 18 hours a day, then for 8 hours of that day your body is using fat to fuel your activity. If you eat the same amount of calories but take them in over the entire day, your insulin levels never decay enough and you always have a little bit of sugar to fuel your activity and therefore your body doesn’t need to go to your fat stores. So you’re not losing fat in this case.

I do agree with fuelling for performance so for any workouts other than endurance rides, to get the most out of you training it make sense to fuel. From what I’ve read, the benefits of IF still present themselves by even doing it a few times a week, on rest days or on low intensity days.

The other thing I’ve noticed too is that I’m not eating significantly less calories or eating significantly differently, I’m just eating everything within a 6 hour period. What it has cut out is the needles snacking between dinner and going to bed which I figure is about 500 calories.

During the race season I may only IF once or twice a week to give my gut a break to keep fuelled for training and racing.


@ambermalika Regarding nutrition and multiple races. I race Cross and do 2 races per day. The first one is 30 minutes (Masters race) followed by a one hour break before the next race (1/2/3’s) which is 45 minutes. I typically had oatmeal and berries for breakfast about 3 hours before the first race. Then right before the first race I would have a gel. After the race I would have a banana, hydrate, pre-ride 1-2 laps (a lot of our courses make additions for the 1/2/3 races) and then would have a few chews before the second race. After the second race I would have a Tailwinds recovery shake. Would you recommend a recovery shake after both races? The shake you make is considerably less calories than the Tailwinds but time for digestion is minimal. I tend to get Cross gut if I eat too much which is why I was just sticking with light fuel and lots of water/sports drink. Thanks for any feedback!


No offense intended to you, but I see this thrown out there in relation to IF, and it just isn’t factual. It’s something that is theorized, and based on what Ive seen, hasn’t been observed in anything beyond bacteria. As someone from a research background, I cringe at the pseudo-science presented as factual when it comes to dietary stuff like this.


The advice to pop a shot is coming from a pro, a pro I assume is on top of their nutrition and fueling. I don’t assume she was cramming to make up for improper fueling right before the race. The one thing I’m wondering is if rebound hypoglycemia is that big of deal. It exists but maybe the impact it has is slim to none. I say that because, tired on the start line?? There’s too many nerves and distractions to feel tired. They also mention that the only reason to pop a gel right before a workout is if there is some “intensity” in the first hour… there’s always some intensity. And what do they mean by intensity?