I want to avoid refined sugar so as to promote a healthy and diverse gut microbiome but I need to fuel my body with carbohydrates during long bicycle rides.

It seems common to eat sugary sweets during these outings, and I've heard of an ideal 2:1 glucose to fructose ratio for efficient absorption.

Are there any nutritional scientists or similar experts in the Fediverse who could recommend some options? Will eating sugar in this context actually harm my microbiome or is it fine in this context?

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This paper appears to offer a good starting point for further reading:

Endurance exercise and gut microbiota: A review

I am not an expert in anything, but have you checked out honey or maple (or other tree) syrup?


Honey and homemade bread was my go-to combination on a long bike tour in Argentina some years ago. It seemed to keep me going! I generally have some honey and peanut butter on bread each day, trying my best to source from local beekeepers.


@glyph i grew up watching tennis players cram down honey, peanut butter, and a banana before matches (eventually becoming said crammer) and it’s a combo of nutrients that i still find very nice for exertion activities

not a nutritionist just an interested layperson



Thanks for chiming-in! I love that combo too. I wonder if onigiri (rice balls) might be another good ride snack? I clearly need to do a bit of reading 😅


@glyph i bet they would, and now i’m imagining one with tahini in it or some other extra protein source

@glyph damn lost my prev reply when i went to reupload a smaller pic ;_;

anyway: date-based bars might be a reasonable compromise? 20g bar in pic consists of only dates & flavorings, no added sugar, coming in at 274kJ/65kcal w/ 12g carbs (of which 11 is sugars from the date) and 2.2g fiber


thanks for retyping 🖤 i totally forgot about dates! good thinking. perhaps the fibre will also be beneficial

@glyph @cblgh for what it’s worth I go on crazy long rides occasionally and don’t eat sugar / carb stuff. After a day or riding I like a burrito though!

@exquisitecorp @glyph @cblgh eat a good breakfast, bring bananas or apples, then eat a nice lunch and dinner

@glyph i think the options that you got told already are very good!

in any case, i understand that under high exertion you would be using the sugars in the muscles at the moment, so probably they wouldn't feed the type of microbiome you are worried about.
to go really precise, it would be a matter of figuring out how many calories you are burning during the rides, and stuff like that 😁

for the recovery phase i think it makes sense to stay with the "wholesome" options you were told already :)

@glyph you could take a look at books for tri-athletes like Brendan Brazier. He has some very good recepies for bars

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