How do you stay healthy, alert and full of energy when you’re out on your bike? It all comes down to the foods that you eat: getting the right nutrients into your body can help you ensure that you have the stamina to stay out on your bike for longer and enjoy the ride more.
Today, we’ll be running through some top nutrition tips, considering how you should be fuelling your body for different types of ride.
If You’re Out for Under an Hour
When you’re only going for a quick cycling sprint, your main focus should be on water. It’s possible, though, that you’ll need a carb boost towards the end – but be careful not to overdo it. Generally, the body can only process around 60 grammes of carbs for each hour that you’re out, which handily translates to one banana.
1 Hour to 3 Hour Rides
For a medium-length ride, you want to stick with that 60 grammes per hour rule – but rather than just popping a couple of extra bananas in your pockets, looking for foods that you can graze on as you ride. This allows you to keep feeding your body a steady supply of energy, releasing it as you go.
Nuts are a great choice for this, and most professional cyclists prefer them to processed energy bars. Trail mix is an obvious choice, but it’s become popular for a reason!
Longer Trips: Over 3 Hours
General advice is, if you’re out on your bike for a while, you should aim to eat something every 30 minutes or so, without giving your body more carbs than it can handle.
This means grazing on options such as fig rolls (12g of carbs), mini pitta bread with peanut butter (18g) and sports gel (30g). If you’re going to be stopping for lunch, peanut butter and jam sandwiches are a firm favourite that will give you both the quick boost and the slow release energy that you need.
So long as you stick to the principles we’ve outlined here, you can afford to experiment a little. In fact, many cycling experts say that the most important thing is finding the energy booster that you enjoy, since it will encourage you to use a regular feeding pattern.
Whether you’re a cycling commuter, a racer, or just somebody who enjoys taking the bike out on a sunny weekend, we hope that this post helps you get more from your ride.