Maintaining a Healthy (human) Gut!

Ever have one of those rides where you knew your stomach was going to have a bad day before you ever got on your horse? All of a sudden you find yourself calling to the birds and local wildlife. Or trying to find a tall bush or rock. Most of us that have done a lot of rides have at one time or another become ill or queasy, either from a cold or flu or simply from something we ate.

Often when we feel bad, we don’t like to eat. Believe it or not, food may actually help. In fact, some foods will make you feel better and shorten the duration of the illness. The BRAT diet, often recommended for diarrhea, consists of bananas, rice, apples (or applesauce), and toast (white). These bland foods put soluble fiber in your system, which slows the passage of food through your intestinal tract.

Avoid fatty foods that contain nuts or chocolate, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, and foods thick with insoluble fiber, such as whole grains, bran, beans, and leafy vegetables. Steer clear of regular ride snacks like jerky, candy, energy bars, and raisins, which may worsen your condition.

Most importantly, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Drink at least 12 cups a day, and twice that if you’re sweating heavily. For maximum benefit, take small sips throughout the day instead of chugging at rest breaks. If you brought along sports drinks, dilute (4 parts water to 1 part sports drink) and sip them instead of water, since they help replace the sodium and potassium lost with each trip to the bushes. Remember to drink past the feeling of thirst, since that sensation shuts off quickly once you begin drinking. In fact, it actually turns off before you’ve replenished lost fluids.

Sodas and juices don’t work as well as fluid-replacement solutions during exercise because their relatively high carbohydrate concentrations of 10 to 14 percent slow fluid absorption in the intestinal tract. Most sports drinks contain half the carbohydrate content of these other beverages. Small amounts of electrolytes (sodium) added to many sports drinks also boost fluid absorption.

Riders have suggested drinks such as Soy Milk, Emergen-C and Ensure to help them keep from getting queasy and keeping their energy levels up. I find that a drink of Pepto-Bismol an hour before the start will keep my stomach from becoming upset. A friend of mine takes an Imodium tablet before the start of every ride.

Here are a few recipes and ideas supplied from endurance riders that are not only quick and easy to make, but healthy and hopefully will make your stomach happy on ride day!

You can make delicious meals featuring fish, chicken, fresh vegetables, rice, and legumes in minutes with a pressure cooker. Recipes can be found at

One of my favorite things to eat on a ride is soooooo simple to make. Dice fresh tomatoes, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and pour olive oil over it to marinade (no measuring necessary…add to you liking). You don’t cook this and I like to put it in a Tupperware container for a couple days. You can pre-cook pasta or cook it there. Serve the tomato mixture over the pasta, add parmesan cheese if you want and Yummmmm. Leighsa Rosendaul

I always have cappuccino and hot chocolate packed in the camper, as well as Chicken Chili cans, spaghetti and baked beans. If the weather turns cold, we can warm up with a can of Chicken Chili dumped over spaghetti noodles – total time to cook and serve 10 minutes. Alison Farrin

Recipes? I bring a already baked chicken, or anything that I can pop into the

Microwave. Lasagna, yum. Peggie Norton

Ride morning

One can Vanilla Ensure

One banana

Two Aleve

Four Advil
-John Bass

….my personal favorite, forget your food and just park next to Rebecca Jankovitch!

Becky and the gang.

Post ride beverage (not for queasy stomachs): Cook 11 1/2 Tablespoons of Instant Yuban Coffee, 4 cups sugar, and 2 cups water until sugar disolves. Boil till thickened slightly. Cool completely. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla and a fifth of CHEAP vodka. Put in dark bottle and let sit for 3 weeks. Warning…..use only YUBAN coffee and CHEAP vodka and only a fifth. I know from experience. Stoli just doesn’t work and a quart is way too much…..Also I have let it cure for about 5 days instead of three weeks and it is still good…It is good with chocolate, cream, coffee and just over the rocks……Maryben Stover

Recipes for Sports Drinks:

Making your own will cost about 6 cents for a 20 ounce sports bottle’s worth, a whopping savings over the $1 or so you will pay for a bottle of Gatorade or Powerade at the store.

Basic Sports Drink

1 quart (32 oz) or 1 liter water

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon table salt

Flavoring to taste – orange juice, lemon juice, etc.

Keep refrigerated.

20-Oz. Sports Bottle’s Worth of Sports Drink

3 tablespoons table sugar

1/8 teaspoon table salt

Flavoring to taste – orange juice, lemon juice, unsweetened Kool-Aid or Wyler’s drink mix, etc. Suggest trying 2-3 tablespoons of juice or 1/3 packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid.

Fill halfway with water, mix well.

Top off with water.

Keep refrigerated.

Your Own Powdered Sports Drink

9 tablespoons table sugar

3/8 teaspoon table salt

1 packet unsweetened Kool-Aid or other drink mix.

Mix dry.

Portion 1/3 of the mixture into each of three ziplock bags.

To reconstitute, add contents of 1 bag to a 20-oz. sports bottle. Fill halfway with water, mix, and fill with water, mix again