Friday Group Ride #430

Friday Group Ride #430

Bread and water. Pan y agua. None of us rides on that anymore. Most of us have $5-10 worth of highly engineered nutrition on board when we take on a serious ride (define for yourself). I tend to put Skratch Labs in my bottles and some form of chewable in my pocket, plus a bar of some sort that I scarf at any longer stop, and then I always pack a caffeinated gel as my emergency-calorie-escape-pod.

I can go 2-to-8 rides in a row without using that gel, but when I do use it, you can be sure I need it. You’ve done this, right? You pull it out of the depths of a jersey pocket, rip it open with your teeth, and then try to squeeze all the goo through the jagged, imperfect tear, caking your fingers with ick. Then you gasp as you try soften it enough with your tongue to be able to swallow it.

The first squeeze more or less detonates on impact, flooding your mouth with saliva and intense sweetness. You contemplate vomiting, not because it tastes bad, just because it’s overwhelming and you’re already in a dark place. Finally, you get the first batch down, and then maybe you take both hands off the bar to lever the rest of the gel out of the sticky sachet, jamming the plasticky mess back into your pocket. You’ll sort that out later. Probably.

The saving grace is the bloom of energy it produces, the powerful, albeit finite, jolt that will just about get you home if you’ve timed it right. Splash a bit of sports drink on top of that and try to live it down.

We’ve talked about ride nutrition before, though. I’ve owned being bad at it. That’s not what I’m on about today.

How many hard rides have I returned from to sit curled on the basement stairs, a husk of myself, wrung out, empty, salty, sticky, and done? A lot. That’s how many.

And then I want coffee. For some reason a cup of java is always part of the journey back to basic humanity, for me. I often have a cup standing in the kitchen, bib straps dangling at my waist, my face still splotchy. My wife shakes her head and chuckles.

It is quite possibly the wrong thing to drink. Water makes sense at this stage, probably. Sometimes I make another full bottle of something electrolytic to quaff on my way to the shower, but my soul wants coffee. I don’t know why. Hot, too. Even in summer. Like Walter Matthau.

Is it just me? This week’s Group Ride asks, what do you drink AFTER the ride? I don’t drink, so the classic shower beer isn’t in my cards. Is there anything else? Do you have a post-ride hydration ritual  you follow, or do you just freestyle it?

Image: Alphabet Arm

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21 comments

  1. David Noble

    I usually drink the juice my wife prepared while I was out riding. Fresh fruit, frozen fruit, kale or some such, water, blender made, not juicer made. I’m a lucky guy.

    1. Harris

      Regrettably, beer also. Andrew, you should try a gose after a hot ride. It hits the spot like few things do, like a frozen coke.

  2. Michael

    I know I should be more thoughtful, but I just drink water. I’ll eat some nuts or something for protein, go stretch, and shower after that. Then a meal. And usually lots of water all the rest of the day, if it was a tough ride.

  3. Lyford

    Varies, but in warm weather it’s a blender drink with something like frozen overripe banana(I keep a stash in the freezer), cup of protein nutmilk, scoop of cocoa powder, maybe dollop of nut butter, dash of cinnamon.

    In general, usually some kind(s) of fruit, a liquid, and a protein source.

  4. scott g

    In the olden times I heard that chocolate milk was a good recovery drink,
    so Graeters Double Chocolate Chip ice cream was a good substitute.

    Now I have a Nunn tablet in a glass of water.

  5. david

    A big glass of cold skim milk with a healthy table spoon of Nestle Quick…….or a large Mason jar (about 20 oz) of Gatorade mixed from a bulk tub of powder. In the middle of a Texas summer, I’ll sometimes have a cold 12 oz can of Coke. I’ve been known to down all the above in quick succession after especially long rides.

  6. Aar

    When I come home from a ride empty, I have a glass of Dark Chocolate Almond Milk pre-shower and another after about 45 minutes. It nearly matches engineered recovery drinks, tastes better and is easy to find.

  7. Neil Winkelmann

    Protein and fruit smoothies. At the right time of the year I’ll sometimes stop and pick blackberries from the side of the road in the last few km. Then, it’s whatever’s available from the garden, fruit bowl or freezer. Scoop of protein powder and milk.

  8. AG

    I’m not really a fan of the powders and mixes, so I guess in some sense I am a pan y agua kind of guy. After a long, hot ride I guzzle a tall glass of fizzy mineral water mixed with lime juice and cranberry juice. It’s super refreshing, doesn’t cost much and gives me back some energy. On a colder morning or day it is coffee for sure. After a dusty, hot mtb ride with friends, though, it has to be ice-cold beer.

  9. Dan Murphy

    Generally, I’ll just have water after a ride. If I’m out for more than 2 hours, I’ve been doing Endurox for quite awhile. Honestly, I’m 64, never raced (except for some mtb races in the 90’s), and don’t kick the shit out myself like I used to – I’m just out there riding now. So, the thought of a recovery drink for this old body is pretty laughable. Even 20 years ago, I couldn’t tell you if it was beneficial for me. I’ll just say that I believe in the concept of having a good mix of protein and carbs soon after a ride.
    Saying that, my wife just got some small blender smoothie machine. I think I’ll look at making something with that when the canister of Endurox runs out.
    As much as I love beer, I’m just not feeling like a beer after a ride. OK, maybe when there’s free beer at an event like JPow’s Grand Fundo or D2R2.

  10. David

    Chocolate milk! The King Soopers markets here in Colorado sell a 1% fat lactose free version that is great ice cold from the refrigerator.

  11. Martin

    Chocolate milk is a near perfect recovery drink ( ratio of protein & carbs) but you’ve got to have good stuff – real chocolate, full fat milk, fresh. In NZ we have two brands that make this in fresh 330 ml servings, Puhoi Valley and Lewis Road Creamery. It’s awesome.

  12. Dizzy

    If I’m riding to and from home, spiru-tein > shower > meal w/Mountain Dew.
    If I’m away on an organized ride, chocolate milk or Skratch > shower > meal w/Mountain Dew.
    Although, Scott G’s “double chocolate chip ice cream” sounds pretty good. D

  13. Tominalbany

    Most often, chocolate milk made with Hershey’s syrup and skim milk. About 8-12oz. Makes me happy both mentally and physically.

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