Author Topic: Bike Commuter Breakfast  (Read 10665 times)

layzbones

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Bike Commuter Breakfast
« on: March 04, 2013, 07:45:41 AM »
Just wondering what all you guys who commute every morning do for breakfast.  Do you eat before you leave or eat when you get to work?  What kind of things do you eat? 

I currently blend up a big green smoothie and toss it in a Blender Bottle.  I chug it when I get to work, but with the cold weather it's not very fun downing a big icy beverage after biking in the cold.  Any other ideas or alternatives?  I try to avoid grains (semi-pseudo-paleo-ish) so oatmeal is no good (plus I just plain don't like it)...

Just curious to see what everyone else does!

galaxie

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 07:52:40 AM »
My favorite bike-day breakfast is to have a banana or some other fruit before biking, then an egg sandwich after I arrive.  We make the egg sandwiches ahead, and I microwave it when I get to work.  You could maybe have some eggs in non-sandwich form?

kendallf

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 08:00:12 AM »
I'm not actually riding in to work most days right now; I car pool in and ride home.  However, I ride a lot in the mornings for training rides, so I'm going to answer you anyway.  :-)

If you're eating paleo, IMO some combination of eggs (and bacon, in my case) are hard to beat.  Pre-ride is also a great time for any higher carb foods as fuel.  I will often eat 3 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, and a banana pre-ride.  If you read the 'Paleo Diet for Athletes' Cordain and Friel talk about a pre/post-ride window for carb intake, backed up by some studies that show carb utilization peaks in those periods.

jradc

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 08:03:50 AM »
I have a scrambled egg and a piece of toast every day. I fancy it up with spinach, onion, kielbasa and/or hot sauce depending on what's in the fridge and what's around. When I used to have cereal, I could never make it to lunch without feeling hungry but I don't have the problem with scrambled eggs.

layzbones

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 08:06:06 AM »
I'm not actually riding in to work most days right now; I car pool in and ride home.  However, I ride a lot in the mornings for training rides, so I'm going to answer you anyway.  :-)

If you're eating paleo, IMO some combination of eggs (and bacon, in my case) are hard to beat.  Pre-ride is also a great time for any higher carb foods as fuel.  I will often eat 3 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, and a banana pre-ride.  If you read the 'Paleo Diet for Athletes' Cordain and Friel talk about a pre/post-ride window for carb intake, backed up by some studies that show carb utilization peaks in those periods.

I <3 bacon and eggs - I need to work on my ability to nuke eggs when I get to work, I know it can be done I've just not tried.

My ride is only 15-20 minutes and I take it pretty easy, do you think that's enough activity to utilize pre/post carbs?  Maybe I should find a scenic route, any time on the bike is all smiles for me.

kendallf

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 08:31:28 AM »
I <3 bacon and eggs - I need to work on my ability to nuke eggs when I get to work, I know it can be done I've just not tried.

My ride is only 15-20 minutes and I take it pretty easy, do you think that's enough activity to utilize pre/post carbs?  Maybe I should find a scenic route, any time on the bike is all smiles for me.

That's probably not enough activity to worry about deviating from your low carb model, if that's what you're doing overall.  Basically, eat low carb, low processed food; supplement with carbs as minimally necessary to fuel your workouts.

One of my pet peeves is seeing people new to riding (and especially triathlon) who are told by well meaning but ignorant "coaches" that they need 1000 calories of sports drinks, GUs, and other crap while riding their bikes moderately for an hour.  Then they wonder why they can't lose weight when they're doing all this training...

layzbones

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 08:38:11 AM »
One of my pet peeves is seeing people new to riding (and especially triathlon) who are told by well meaning but ignorant "coaches" that they need 1000 calories of sports drinks, GUs, and other crap while riding their bikes moderately for an hour.  Then they wonder why they can't lose weight when they're doing all this training...

Haha yes - this cracks me up as well.  Some of the guys that I MTB with take on that mentality and go out on a 1-1.5hr ride with a full camel back, couple of Cliff bars and gatorade in a waterbottle.  I just stick with some fruit and a pack of peanut butter crackers.

atlantalee

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2013, 09:08:23 AM »
I'm a paleo eater as well.  I usually eat eggs scrambled with veggies before work.  If you've got a microwave, you could just make them ahead of time and heat up at the office.  I also like to keep a package of pre-cooked chicken sausages in the fridge at my office in case I don't have time to make breakfast at home.  Other options: trail mix, fruit, Lara bars.  Plenty of paleo options out there that require no cooking.

SMC

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 09:22:57 AM »
I eat oatmeal for breakfast.  Quick and easy to make, filling, and extremely cheap ($6 jumbo bag of oats lasts me months).  When I get to work I'll have a banana or two.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2013, 09:24:09 AM »
I wake up at 5:45 on commuting mornings, slam a premade protein shake followed by a glass of milk (sometimes a couple spoonfuls of olive oil if I'm feeling adventurous) and then head out to the morning 11 miles of my commute.  Once I get into work I eat about a cup to a cup and a half of oatmeal while reading my emails.  No way could I survive on a reduced carb diet . . . as it is, I find it very hard to keep weight on.  I'm sure that things will get a little easier when it's not regularly below -5.

Ottawa

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 09:25:13 AM »
Let's get all scientific on this one!  I propose to calculate your base calorie burn rate (driving).  To do this, calculate your base calorie burn in a 24 hour period (sleeping).  It is necessary to know your age, weight and height for this.  Enter those figures into a calculator here:

http://www.caloriesperhour.com/index_burn.php

For example:  I ended up with a BMR of 1776 (calories) and an RMR of 1716 (calories).  I personally chose the RMR rate as it is likely to be more accurate. 

So, taking 1716/24 = 71.5 calories per hour.  I sleep 8 hours, so, I would be expected to burn 572 calories doing this.   

You can then apply factors to estimate your burn rate doing other activities...for a sedentary lifestyle a factor of 1.2 (described as little or no excercise and a desk job) would suggest I burn 85.8 calories per hour in this state. 

Thus; if I want to compare biking to work vs commuting I can then estimate the extra calories burned biking.  It is estimated that I burn 290 calories in 25 minutes of biking (based on heart rate/gps data).  Based on the sedentary factor above - driving 25 minutes would consume 36 calories.  So, I need an extra 250 calories or so to fuel my morning commute. 

I don't tend to eat more unless I'm hungry (i.e. don't eat more just because your are bike commuting).  However, if you do need to eat more - you don't want to eat more than 250 calories worth (in my example) or you'll be overdoing it (and probably gaining weight). 

Here are some calorie values for common breakfast items:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/290693-list-of-breakfast-foods-with-calories/

My commute might then cost me 2 pieces of toast!?  Wanna lose weight?  Don't eat anything extra! 

anastrophe

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2013, 07:34:46 AM »
I eat before I leave because if I don't, I bonk before I get to work and then I'm useless all day.  My ride is 40 minutes and has a decent hill or two. Then I have a snack when I get to work. I don't worry about eating too much since I'm putting in pretty good mileage.

Before ride: eggs with veg, or oatmeal with milk
After ride: a piece of fruit and some nuts

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2013, 07:46:39 AM »
So, according to that calculator commuting to and from work adds an additional 1088 calories to my daily requirements of 1960 . . . bringing the total up to 3048 calories needed.  Why is it that I lose weight every time that I bike commute and eat less than 3800-4000 calories during the day?

Ottawa

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2013, 07:55:53 AM »
I think there is quite a bit of grey area in these types of calculations.  You'd probably have to go to a sleep lab to have measurements done on your base metabolism etc in order to tailor the whole calorie burn personally.  I don't find I lose weight, but then I don't really have weight to lose at 9% BF.  More importantly...I've been commuting, mountain biking and strength training a long time, so I suspect my diet has adjusted accordingly over this time as a result of my lifestyle and I automatically get the calories to maintain a steady state.  I have no idea how many calories I consume in a day...I should try to add it up some time!  I do know that I tend to eat more if I do something more dramatic like a 1500 calorie 3 hour hard core mountain bike ride...

A little interesting info here about the relationships between calories deficit and weight loss:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/346381-relationship-of-calories-to-weight-loss/

Jamesqf

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2013, 12:32:27 PM »
I telecommute these days, but back when I was doing serious rides to work (5-15 miles), I could never eat much of anything before riding.  If I do strenuous exercise within an hour or so of eating, whatever I ate wants to come back up. 

On the other hand, I never have much of an appetite right after exercise, so if I ate some fruit & a roll on getting to work, that would hold me fine until lunch.

BPA

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2013, 05:35:49 PM »
Interesting thread.  I feel sick if I don't eat before riding and am miserable if I eat too few carbs.  However, I do need to balance my carbs with protein, so for me egg and toast works best and second best is oatmeal with milk.

I have been walking to and from work for the last little while.  I am looking forward to being able to ride my bike again.  Within the next month it will happen.  I had been steadily losing weight last year until I stopped riding for winter.  Luckily, I've managed to maintain and not gain since stopping in mid-December.

I am way too chickenshit to ride in the winter.  :)

gooki

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2013, 11:11:09 PM »
Porridge or musli about 30 minutes before I ride.

Arbor33

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2013, 06:59:43 AM »
I know with Paleo it can sometimes feel like your breakfast choices are limited. Sometimes it helps to just think of your food consumption as eating X number of meals a day and use any acceptable food whenever you eat.

I generally stick to eggs or last nights left overs. Bare in mind, I'm riding about 2 miles so it's rather leisurely.

EngGirl

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2013, 08:56:12 AM »
My favourite cold weather trick is a warm smoothie - stick with me here. I usually heat up 1 cup of unsweetend soymilk, add 1 banana, 2 tbsp. ground flax, and 1 tbsp. pure coco powder, and blend until smooth. Turns out like hot chocolate of sorts. For me, it's all about the warmth and the moderate hit of protein from the soymilk. Liquid fuel. Then once I get to work, it's fruit and peanut butter for snack.

kudy

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2013, 10:31:53 AM »
On days I ride, I have a few bites of cold cereal & milk + a coffee before I head out.

When I get to work I am usually starving, so I eat a Cliff bar, a piece of fruit, or some small food item I've planned for the ~8am meal.

At about 9:30 or 10am I eat oatmeal with fresh fruit (even on days I don't ride).

I usually have an extra snack to eat before riding home as well.

ThatGuyFromCanada

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2013, 11:34:40 AM »
Usually I eat a bowl of cereal or some toast before I ride and then mix up some oatmeal I have stashed at the office when I get there. I find it's a good combo and gives me enough energy to ride and then prevent a crash when I'm sedentary at my desk

jnik

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2013, 01:21:05 PM »
I have homemade granola, some plain yogurt, and a piece of fruit when I get to work. I can easily ride 30-45 minutes fasting and I tend to go from bed to out the door pretty fast--if I ate before leaving, I'd have to wait at least half an hour for the stomach to settle.

Russ

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2013, 02:55:41 PM »
I'm not much of a morning person, so when I was working full-time I would roll out of bed as late as possible and head straight to work without breakfast. Sometime between 11 and 12 I would get hungry, which meant it was time for lunch - last night's leftovers. After work I'd do whatever errands needed to be done on the ride home, then cooked and ate dinner as soon as I got back to my place.

I <3 bacon and eggs - I need to work on my ability to nuke eggs when I get to work, I know it can be done I've just not tried.

My ride is only 15-20 minutes and I take it pretty easy, do you think that's enough activity to utilize pre/post carbs?  Maybe I should find a scenic route, any time on the bike is all smiles for me.

That's probably not enough activity to worry about deviating from your low carb model, if that's what you're doing overall.  Basically, eat low carb, low processed food; supplement with carbs as minimally necessary to fuel your workouts.

One of my pet peeves is seeing people new to riding (and especially triathlon) who are told by well meaning but ignorant "coaches" that they need 1000 calories of sports drinks, GUs, and other crap while riding their bikes moderately for an hour.  Then they wonder why they can't lose weight when they're doing all this training...
QFT. Pretty much everyone's body has at least 2 hours of hard exercise worth of fuel stored in their muscles. I don't bother to bring food with me when riding unless I know I'll be gone for more than 3. Food in the tummy when it's not needed tends to make the guts and legs unhappy. Also, no matter how much you eat, you won't be able to digest more than 300 or so calories per hour while exercising. This makes those people (heehee triathletes) who try and replace every calorie as it is used even more amusing.

EngGirl, that warm smoothie suggestion sounds super tasty.

Justin234

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Re: Bike Commuter Breakfast
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2013, 03:19:20 PM »
Besides coffee, I eat oatmeal(steel-cut), at home, most mornings; maybe a fried egg or two on toast, once or twice a week. Often I am too rushed or don't have enough of an appetite to eat a full, satisfying bowl of oats, so I typically enjoy a second breakfast at work - either I bring a jar full of oatmeal to microwave, or I eat a bowl (or two) of grapenuts.

I will add that I've been known (by my family) to ride off with a piece of toast with peanut butter in hand if I don't have a chance to eat. In this case, I always have a good breakfast when I get to the office.