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What to Eat

posted 23 Jan 2012, 10:05 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 23 Jan 2012, 12:20 ]
Cycling Food
Many cyclists wonder what they should eat before, during and after their cycle. Proper nutrition can make a big difference in your performance, endurance, speed and energy. The key is to experiment and find out what works for you and your body, because different rides require different nutrition. Use your training rides as practice and see what suits you and your stomach. Here are some basic guidelines.

Before your Spin:
Unless you are riding a short distance at an easy pace, it's difficult to cycle in the morning on an empty stomach. You need to get your blood sugar up for energy and you need calories for your body to burn as fuel. One to two hours before your ride, have a light, high-carbohydrate meal. Toast with peanut butter, yogurt, a banana and whole wheat cereal are good choices. I generally have a bowl of porridge with honey!

During your Spin:
If you are riding longer than 2 hours, you will need to consume some calories, carbs and electrolytes or you may “get the knock” when your glycogen stores are used up. Bring along sports drinks, sports beans or other healthy snacks such as fig cookies, bananas or energy bars. About every 15 to 20 minutes, consume some liquid, and about every 45 minutes a snack. For rides shorter than 2 hours, water is usually sufficient.

After your Spin:
It is very important to refuel within the of 10 to 15 minutes, when your body needs nutrients to repair muscle tissue and replace glycogen stores. Consume a mix of carbs and protein. Eggs, toast, protein shakes, protein bar, yogurt, a smoothie with fruit or a turkey sandwich are all good choices. Eating immediately will alleviate muscle soreness and fatigue that you might experience later in the day.
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