My first fat adapted cycling failure


So this is the electrolyte powder I have been using:

I liked that it had lactate to fight off thigh burn. But It has no where near the sort of salt levels being discussed here so I am looking forward to exploring fasted cycling with way more salt in it. It is hot and hilly here and there is no way I can not reach near max heart rate and sweat my but off. I am going to track down that podcast Ian posted for sure.

(CharleyD) #62

That’s a pathetic amount of Sodium, sigh… You think that would be one of the cheapest ingredients!


Yea, and you have to drink a whole bottle to get it. I’ll probably still use it to wash down a sodium pill.


Hey Mike, you should consider consuming around 30 grams of glucose per hour after the first hour. Then take your last 30 grams, 1 hour prior to the completion of exercise.

I’m new to this site, I’ve been wanting to participate. I have a lot of experience with exogenous ketones and athletic performance.

I will look for a link to a blog post where a keto, competitive cyclist bonked hard until he began experimenting with glucose during his rides but not more than he would consume during the ride.

Some Tour de France athletes consume as much as 90 grams per hour. Depending on your output, you should be able to consume some glucose and not get kicked out of ketosis during high expenditure events.


Please do share. Experiences and approaches are variable and I truly enjoy hearing what folks have learned. We have some riders doing zero carb keto fueled rides with salt and electrolytes. I have read and heard that carbs like Ucan are good for low release and won’t impact Ketosis. And you may have other experiences. Please do share.


(ianrobo) #66

I do think we have to be careful when comparing a pro in the TDF to what we do

(Wayne Layton) #67

Yes, he recommends 1 to 2 grams in addition to your normal diet. I add to a cup of bone broth 30 to 60 minutes prior to riding. Phinney also suggests drinking 12 to 16 oz of water 5 minutes before the start so that your body will not flush the water.


I have played around with UCAN and have taking carbs prior to a very hilly ride and have found by checking blood I was still in Ketosis afterwards. Everybody is different. Depending who and where I am riding I still might take a few carbs before ride but generally don’t bother anymore.


Ian when you have done an FTP test do you do it fasted or after eating? Been doing strictly MAF but will start a program to boost my FTP in a couple weeks. Only time I have to ride right now is early in the morning.
I figure since I work out fasted I should test FTP fasted. Does that make sense?

(ianrobo) #70

Totally and really probably need to stock up on Carbs if doing one, however I have not done one for ages and it was fasted. The reason is for my training and rides I do it MAF and by feel anyway.

I probably will test it soon as I am due to go to Tenerife in Jan and need to know what mine is for riding up Tiede at the best power/HR combo.


That was my thought but wondered if I did the test carb assisted would I be able to do workouts based off of the result.

(ianrobo) #72

interesting theory as FTP is max avg power in one hour so if you change your diet for that alone that you would do say for a century then the figures could be wrong.

An interesting test is to do one with carbs then a few days later do one fasted and if a difference ?

For reference got a vo2max test next week and will report back if improved since my last one


Would be interested to here about it. Never had one done. I know MAF works. Had surgery on my thumb a month ago so I have strictly been riding trainer with aero bars. Avg power for identical ride going up and HR staying the same.

(ianrobo) #74

Well last one I did was before Keto and was 39 so let’s see !

(Matt Routley) #75

Hi all, hope you don’t mind me wading in here but i am relatively new to cycling ( about 16 months) and had a few questions about keto diets and endurance riding…

I have primarily been focused on strength training for the previous 5 years and always train fasted. I am not stricty ketogenic but i do keep my carb intake below 100g a day so i should be pretty well fat adapted by now.

I am intending on taking a step up in my cycling game this year and plan to do the dragon ride in june but i have never cycled for any huge distance (60 miles on pretty flat ground is my max) and really don’t want to start having to chuck down gels every 30 mins in order to keep the bonk away!

I do 1 - 2 hour training rides fasted without too much trouble but wondered what people would fuel themselves with on the morning of a century ride as well as what they would take with them as an alternative to gel in case they get into difficulties?

Regards, Matt

(ianrobo) #76

oh should say when tested is was 47

(ianrobo) #77

Hi Matt, no problem, these questions are the essence of what we do !!

OK I did the Dragon Devil last year 305km of riding and 5K of climbing as you know …

I did this on eggs before, some jelly babies, maybe a pack and some odds and sods I picked up but tvery little overall.

So if you can do 2 hours fasted, try 4 hours and do this before the Dragon? which one u doing ? Gran Fondo ? then you can do the whole ride on min and not even worry about food during it unless you like me just fancy something to nibble on …


I think 2 hours fasted is way easier than 4 hours fasted but if you work up to it? My story is that I need to watch the electrolytes. I am in deep keto and supplementing with potassium and magnesium. The other day I did a spin class and felt light headed. I needed more sodium. It’s weird how I have to stay on top of those three supplements or suffer. But I suspect that long distance fasted cycling for me would mean staying under 75% max and keeping the sodium up. When I did pickle juice only on a supported century ride for the last fifty miles I felt better than ever and surged to a sprint for the last five miles. That has never happened before. The science guys say that full ketosis will result in your kidneys drawing water in and flushing salts out - far as I can tell, they are right.

Matt - are you checking your ketone levels? Does 100 grams of carbs put you in ketosis? I think I need lower than that.


(ianrobo) #79

oh for sure I started at 90 mins and now can do 5 hours … you need to work up but for Matt and others they need convincing it is possible and not some kind of fakery !

(Matt Routley) #80

Thanks for the replies gents.

Ian, I’m actually planning on starting with the medio fondo which I think is 95 miles. I’m not entirely sure how much climbing but from the elevation drawing it looks like a fair bit so, as I’m still relatively new to it all, I didn’t want to over do the first one!

I have a friend who does long distance races in a canoe, eats a very low carb diet and fuels up on race mornings with a shake of full fat milk, double cream, raw eggs and a banana. He says that’s all he needs to do 250 km and the guy paddles really hard so I know it can work but it’s nice to get some info from cyclists too.

Mark, I’ve not tested my ketones before as I have never really taken that side of it too seriously. My main reason in keeping low carb is to keep overall sugar in my body to a minimum. Particularly with all the information coming out about an excess of sugar being linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis etc