Starving after 90 minutes of hard exercise

Any tips/hints? I’m training for the ADA Tour De Cure 100 mile race in Seattle and have been biking, running and lifting at least an hour and a half in the evening before dinner. Blood sugars are fine and stable, thanks to high protein energy bars and glucose tabs. I usually eat 45g at breakfast, 45g at lunch, and 45g at dinner. Since kicking things in to high gear, I am starving in the evenings. My metabolism is running wild and I’m building muscle mass. I’ve been kicking around the idea of having a bowl of high fiber cereal/skim milk/blueberries/walnuts after my normal dinner to keep me fed, which would add another 45g. I’m not worried about weight gain because I’m burning through everything I eat. Any other ideas? I’ve been so hungry at night that I eat, only to wake up with a higher blood sugar than I’d like. Help the hungry athlete solve this one!

Hi Kate,
I don’t know why it is, but when I feel hungry, I’m usually craving something with fat, so I reach for a spoonful of peanut butter. Maybe because I eat a low fat diet, but it seems to hold me over so I don’t eat a bunch of other junk. Just a thought.

Hi Kate,
I am not an intense athlete, but my type 1 son is. He says that after a big work out you need to replace the energy you have used. He says carbs won’t do it like the protein and fat will. His favorite is this stick of hard salami and cheeses he gets from a Sam’s club. He slices the salami and cuts up the cheese to have on hand when he is finished with his workouts. He especially likes them at night because they fill him up, satisfy his hunger and take quite a while to digest , so they carry him all night without spiking his blood sugars.up really bad. He also likes peanut butter on a spoon, but tells me not to eat too much at a time because of the amount of carbs in there. I am a type 2, but for some strange reason our bodie’s react very much alike about a number of things. He and I both use the same types of insulin too. He likes the low carb protein drinks too but doesn’t depend too much on them. He is much more an actual food person. I am not sure if this will help. I know each of us is very different. Good luck with your training and race.

When hungry - Eat.

Nuts are good. So is peanut butter. Put it on a high fiber cracker. Fruit I don’t recommend because it might send your BGs up. A small amount of fruit with low fat yogurt, though. Or a bowl of sherbet, or soy ice cream.

The cheese and sausage suggestion also sounds good.


Best thing – ham & cheese sandwich. I’m only half joking. You need a balance of carbs, protein, and fat, ratio approximately 40/30/30. Find out whatever combination works for you. The salami and cheese suggstion below starts to get you there.


An important consideration should be the amount of calories you are burning during your workouts. Even if you were focusing on weight loss, you still need to replace the majority of what you are burning, which is in addition to your basal metabolic requirements. For example, yesterday I ate my normal breakfast, ~45g, then rode just under 3 hours during which time I burned ~1900 calories. While riding I consumed about 500 calories/95g carbs, and when I got home I had a recovery drink (soy milk with Nestle quik mix in it) and then ate an additional 100g meal of high fiber/protein cereal with soy milk. In the afternoon I snacked on some nuts, and for dinner I had a typical 60g of carbs. All of this and I was still shy of the total calories expended, but not by much. And best of all, my BS never went above 120; the trick is to bolus before you finish your workout so that the insulin will be effective when you start putting the recovery carbs in. Nothing worse than the feeling of your energy stores being empty while your BS readings say you are just fine.

You may want to consider a high-protein, high-carb replenishment. Check out these prepubs from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition:

International society of sports nutrition position stand:nutrient timing
Milk: the new sports drink? A Review