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Wrenegade Sports, LLC
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Gourmet farm to table cycling event series featuring aid stations on local farms. Inspired by the Italian gran fondo bicycle ride.

Nutrition Tips Blog

Cycling and Hydration

Alec Dupuis



Water not only carries oxygen and nutrients to your muscles through your bloodstream, but it also helps pull waste away from your muscles as well. Additionally, water is expelled in the form of perspiration as your body cools itself. Replenishing water, and other nutrients, at regular intervals during your activity is extremely important to ensure that your body is capable of optimal performance.


When it comes to cycling, the best approach is to drink about 20 ounces of water for every hour that you ride. That is the equivalent of one standard-sized water bottle per hour. However, you may need even more than 20 ounces depending on your own personal physiology or the weather conditions. But most important is to remind yourself to keep drinking at regular intervals during your ride, even if you don’t feel thirsty.


The length of your ride may also play into what you drink while on your bike. Plain water is usually sufficient for rides of an hour or less (although there are energy drinks on the market that can provide quick energy boost for shorter rides).

For rides greater than an hour, always try to include an energy drink. Energy drinks are especially good at replenishing essential carbohydrates, electrolytes and calories that you are expending during exercise. There are many types available, including liquid, powder and tablet forms. Farm to Fork Fondo sponsor, GU Energy Labs provides GU Hydration Mix at every event for our riders.

In general, sports nutrition beverages are developed for three purposes, and are specially formulated for drinking before, during or after a ride.

Pre-ride drinks prepare your muscles for exercise by providing a natural carbohydrate energy boost.

During ride energy drinks work to replace lost stores of essential minerals and electrolytes while providing quick-absorbing carbohydrates.

Post-ride drinks replenish protein and vital nutrients to help re-build muscles after extended activity and help to minimize post-ride soreness and fatigue. For optimal effect, post-ride recovery drinks should be consumed within 20-40 minutes of the culmination of exercise because this is the window of time that the body can best make use of these essentials. 


Rides of 1-2 hours: Drink at least 16 ounces of plain water or a pre-ride energy drink before you ride. Carry and consume one 16-24 ounce bottle of plain water, plus an extra 16-24 ounce bottle of an energy drink. Drink at least 16 ounces of water or a recovery drink after your ride, and more if it’s a hot day.

Rides over 2 hours: Drink at least 16 ounces of plain water or a pre-ride energy drink before you ride. Carry and consume one 16-24 ounce bottle of plain water, plus one extra 16-24 ounce bottle of an energy drink for each hour on the bike. Try to plan a route that allows you to stop for water along the way. You may need to take some money along with you so you can purchase bottled water or energy drinks if potable water is not going to be available. Drink one 16 ounce recovery drink in the first 20-40 minutes after the ride followed by at least 16 ounces of water. 

Weather: Riding in cold weather is no different that riding in warm weather. The same guidelines apply. Treat extreme cold weather rides the same as extremely warm weather rides—drink more water at the conclusion than on a regular day.

Please note: This is merely an overview on cycling hydration. Speak with your doctor or a qualified sports nutritionist before embarking on any sport activities. They will help you to determine the proper amounts of water and sports nutrition drinks you will need for your body type and particular activity. 

To read the full article please follow the link here:

Need Help Making a Nutrition Plan? GU Energy Has You Covered

Matt Roe

We all know that to be a successful athlete that maintaining good nutrition is key, but creating a plan can be difficult and if you don't know where to start it may never happen. Our partners at GU Energy have some great guides to get you started. 


Eating is training is the GU point of view on how to optimize everyday nutrition. It means fueling to support your athletic lifestyle 24/7, not just immediately before, during or after exercise. The human body is incredibly capable of adapting to the demands place upon it, and the digestive system is not different. After only 3 days, dietary changes can alter the receptors that line your intestines, making it easier to absorb nutrients and produce energy all while decreasing GI distress.

If you can fuel more effectively and perform better as a result, wouldn’t you want to train for that too? We often say, “don’t waste your workout” around here, meaning that you need to provide the right nutrients at the right time, in sufficient amounts in addition to training. If you think about it, you spend a relatively small part of your day training, and the rest recovering and preparing for the next workout. Think of the rest of the day as an opportunity to train your nutrition. How you eat on a daily basis can profoundly impact your results in the gym, on the course, and in life. Sure, you can probably perform adequately with a sub-optimal diet, but don’t you want to excel? Eating is training is our holistic approach to nutrition with a focus on performance and recovery.

Start making your nutrition plan today: GU Energy Nutrition Plan

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Five Ways to Punch Up the Protein for a Young Athlete

Matt Roe

For our Farm to Fork Fondo events we try to make them as inclusive as possible. We want anyone who wants to come to feel comfortable and ready for the ride. Our partners at Clif Bar have some great tips for getting your family Fondo ready.

Clif Bar Image.jpg

Protein is a big deal, not just for building strong bodies, but for regulating a young athlete’s appetite, as well. Pediatric dietitian and nutritionist Jill Castle has five simple tips to help young athletes reap the rewards from protein.

All children need protein in their diets to grow and stay healthy. Protein helps children build new tissue, including bones and muscle. For sporty kids, protein also lends a hand in muscle repair.1

But there’s more to protein than building and repairing muscles. Protein may have a powerful influence on appetite, particularly when it’s eaten early in the day.2 Research suggests the presence of protein in a meal or snack promotes a sense of fullness, which helps with appetite regulation.3

Other researchers emphasize the importance of distributing protein equally throughout the day, such as at most meals and snacks, to improve protein balance in the body.4,5 This ready supply of protein encourages growth and muscle recovery.

Most nutrition experts agree that getting protein from food is the ideal strategy for young, growing athletes. It tastes good and helps keep hunger at bay. Here are five ways to punch up the protein in a young athlete’s diet:

1. Include a Protein Source at Each Meal

When planning meals, choose a protein source first and then build the meal around it. There are many protein-containing foods to choose from: meats like beef, lamb, chicken and other poultry sources; fish; beans and products made with beans like hummus and other bean-based dips; eggs; milk; soymilk; cheese; yogurt; and nuts and nut butters.

Protein can also be found in some vegetables and in grains such as bread, cereal, and quinoa.

2. Step Up the Snack Quality

Kids are often snacking on less than nutritious options, and little athletes are no exception. Adding a source of protein to a snack not only improves its nutritional quality, it helps to evenly distribute protein throughout the day, helping to quell hunger and keep the momentum of growth and repair in motion.

A bowl of cereal and milk, or cheese and crackers, or half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a CLIF Kid Zbar Protein all offer balanced, satisfying, and nutritious options to snack on.

3. Focus on the Protein Distribution

The timing of protein consumption is a key factor to its benefits for the young athlete. It’s when the magic happens, like that feeling of fullness after eating (which can mean fewer requests for more snacks!). Offer your kids protein with meals, as well as snacks every three to four hours to optimize growth and development.

4. Add Milk or Soymilk to the Routine

Milk and soymilk offer about eight grams of protein per cup and, when added to the food routine, make for an easy protein option. Both offer an additional punch of nutrition in the form of calcium and vitamin D, which are important nutrients for bone growth and strengthening. If your little athlete is allergic to milk or soymilk, try a pea protein based milk, which also contains protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

For more great Clif stories check out this link: Clif Bar

Fuel Like an Olympian with Mikaela Kofman

Matt Roe

The Olympics have been on a lot of people's minds recently and although cycling isn't a winter sport, it's never too early to start getting your nutrition plan ready. Our partners at GU Energy have a great plan designed by Olympic cyclist Mikaela Kofman.

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Eggs + Avocado = Heaven. I am a big breakfast eater…it is definitely the best meal of the day. Unless I am on the bike for over 2.5 hours I generally won’t need to refuel until post training.

I am a huge believer in eating good food. I believe that you don’t have to weigh your food down in bad ingredients to make it taste great. I definitely eat for performance, but I also eat so that I can be creative in the kitchen. My breakfast always includes foods that will fuel me properly throughout the day. I try to stick to foods that won’t spike my blood sugar so I don’t crash mid morning.


I love my homemade protein bread with peanut butter and banana.

Lunch time foods are determined by whether or not I am finishing training and need to recover or if I’m feeling up for a workout.


I definitely stick to a square meal: protein + veggies + starch.

My dinners are definitely based upon “healthy enjoyment.” I love to get creative in the kitchen, and dinner is the time of day when I am able let my creative juices flow.

Check out more GU Energy athlete nutrition plans here: GU Energy

Rest Station Treats For Performance

Tyler Wren

Rest Station Treats For Performance


There you are, riding along the route. Enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Adrenaline pumping. You got your rhythm down when you see the sign, REST STATION! Your thinking to yourself; “Do I need the break?” or “Maybe I’ll pass on this one and stop on the next. “


What are you thinking?

Not only are you doing a disservice by not sampling the local fare of what these farmers are sharing, you may not have the fuel to continue on your route. These farmers have put together their finest treats from their own land. Fruits, vegetables, cheeses, pies, just to mention a few. The key here is knowing what you need to keep motoring to the finish line.

Participating in all the events last year has open our eyes on the nutrient dense sources of fuel that are provided at all the rest stations.  Before we begin on what to sample, we need to understand what our body needs for fuel.

Here’s the science:

Glycogen is the primary source of fuel (a carbohydrate), followed by fat, that used during exercises. Low muscle glycogen stores results in muscle fatigue and the body’s inability to complete high intensity exercise. The depletion of muscle glycogen is also a significant factor in acute muscle weakness and reduced force production. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise decreased glycogen stores, so the need for carbohydrates is high for all types of exercise during the energy phase. There is strong evidence from several studies indicating that carbohydrate feeding during exercise of approximately 45 minutes or longer can greatly improve endurance capacity and performance. Athletes need to continually load and reload muscle glycogen stores.

The term aerobic refers to the presence of oxygen in the reaction. When oxygen is introduced, the breakdown of glucose, fat, and protein can be converted into energy in the most efficient way. This process takes longer and is therefore ideal for longer periods of low intensity energy usage. Fat is an essential factor in this system due to its high energy make up of the molecule, and can therefore re-synthesize even more ATP than glucose.

Those marvelous treats!

At each rest station, the farmers have assembled various selections of their produce in the form of desserts, fruit and berries, honey, ciders, natural potato chips, and cheeses. We will look at a few of these ingredients in their natural state and analyze why these foods are a good source of fuel.


The bright orange color of these root vegetables is a visual cue that they are an abundant source of the high-powered antioxidant, vitamin A. They also are a great source of potassium to help soothe sore muscles and maintain the right amount of fluids in the body. One cup provides 27 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of which are fiber.


This breakfast staple has been promoted as a "heart-healthy" food due to its high soluble fiber and low saturated fat content, both of which have been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels.  Besides keeping your ticker kicking, the magnesium found in oats helps to maintain nerve and muscle function and is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions in the body. One 1/2 cup of dry oats provides 27 grams of carbohydrates.


Strawberries, blueberries, and other berries are among the best nutrients source of carbohydrate. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that promote health and performance in many ways. One cup of strawberries provides 12 grams of carbohydrates.

A strawberry plant flowering in early summer at Crystal Spring CSA in Brunswick, Main

A strawberry plant flowering in early summer at Crystal Spring CSA in Brunswick, Main



It can be made from the milk of goats, sheep, or cows. Cheese can be high in sodium and fat, but it also delivers powerful nutrients. One ounce delivers 4 grams of high quality protein, 1/2 grams of carbohydrates, 2 ½ grams of fat, 1/3 of your daily calcium and vitamin D. All this for only 40 calories.



Honey is carbohydrate rich due to its fructose and glucose content, making it a high powered natural energy snack. Pure honey contains small amounts of proteins, enzymes, amino acids, minerals and trace elements. Honey is also known to have antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. One tablespoon provides 17 grams of carbohydrates, 60 calories, no cholesterol or fat.

Hives for the bees pollinating a field of low bush blueberries at Crystal Spring CSA in Brunswick, Maine.

Hives for the bees pollinating a field of low bush blueberries at Crystal Spring CSA in Brunswick, Maine.

As you can see, there are several whole food options available at each rest station to help you perform at your best. Keeping in mind that all nutrients need to be in moderation, so don’t load up at one station and enjoy what these farmers have prepared.

Happy cycling and make sure you register for the chef prepared Farm to Fork dinners available the night before your event.  The food prepared for each event is locally grown in that region and the flavors are unbelievable. It’s an excellent way to fuel up before your ride.


© 2019 Wrenegade Sports LLC