Bicycle riders must be healthy enough regardless of where they’re riding. Determining the proper diet or cycling food for the kind of ride they do is one way to stay healthy. But what is a proper diet for them? A proper diet optimizes their performance and provides them with strength and energy. It also helps them maintain weight, strengthen bones, and build muscles. Lastly, it must give specific cycling nutrition for riders.
Here’s another reason why riders should consider a cyclist diet:
Let’s jump to more reasons why you should consider taking cycling food.
Many cyclists are unaware of the significant impact that their diets have. It impacts both their training and their competitions. The old adage holds true when it comes to competition: you are what you eat. In addition, if you ride a bicycle daily, you really can’t afford to get the approach wrong.
With a good diet, you can do more than just lose weight. In cycling, body composition is essential. But you also need to eat the right foods and get the right mix of nutrients. With that, your body can recover and get stronger after training.
Are you a professional cyclist? A hobbyist? Or do you ride the bike going to work or for some errands? Regardless, you need to check whether the food you consume works for your rides. Below are ideas to help you discover the best cycling food for you.
What to Eat Before Cycling?
Before every ride, you must warm up or exercise.
We all know that warming up increases body heat and blood circulation and loosens the joints. It makes them more flexible. Thus, warming up helps you avoid any sudden muscle strains. It can save you from injuries that could occur during the ride. But before it, you must consume the appropriate nutrients to do an efficient workout.
The best fuel for working out before cycling is carbohydrates. It is one of the three types of macronutrients that are necessary for the intake of energy by humans. If you eat carbs, you can keep your blood sugar and energy levels up for a long time.
The recommended time before carb consumption is between two and three hours. These are some of the best cycling nutrition you can eat before the ride:
- Pancakes with cherries
- Scrambled omelet
- Mango and banana smoothie
- Breakfast/Energy bars
- Fresh-topped pizza
- Mediterranean pasta
- Chicken and rice bake
- Fruit and tea cake
- Energy drinks
In 2 to 4 hours before the ride, you should avoid these: too much fiber, fatty food, spicy food, caffeine, and alcohol. These will cause you stomach troubles.
An hour before the ride, consume easily digested snacks. Timing your intake of food allows you to ensure that your body has enough energy and hydration. It also prevents the body from becoming overloaded with too much food or drink.
Furthermore, it spreads out the calories and nutrients your body needs. It’s better than relying on one big meal eaten at the wrong time.
What You Can Eat Before a Long Bike Ride
Nutrition plays a vital role in long bike rides. Eating little or too much can get you into a bad long ride. You might lose stamina, mental focus, and strength along the way if you eat only a little. On the other hand, you might feel bloated and nauseous if you overeat.
But you might ask, “So, eating just the right amount of food before a long ride is enough?” The answer is no. Again, there’s the best body fueling for cycling—the diet required to achieve optimal performance.
Here’s a list of what cyclist food to eat before a long ride:
- Bagel with jam
- Skim milk
- Scrambled eggs
- A sip of 500ml of water
- Isotonic sports drink
Don’t eat too much fiber or food with a lot of spices.
Some carbs, like pasta and rice, are great, but you don’t need to eat too much of them.
Make sure you are well-hydrated hours before the long ride. Hydration is extremely important for cyclists. It helps the body to regulate its temperature and prevents muscle cramps.
Additionally, it helps cyclists gain enough energy for their ride. Dehydration is one bad enemy. It can lead to fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and other serious physical issues.
So consider a healthy cyclist diet.
What to Eat Before Cycling in the Morning (when you’re in a rush)
If you’re going to work or bringing your child to school, you should eat proper cycling food before the ride.
There are some great and easy options if you’re rushing in the morning but still want to eat before riding.
In fact, you must never skip breakfast or eat food that won’t suit your activity.
In terms of nutrition, the primary goal of your first meal of the day should be to fill up your glycogen levels.
It shouldn’t disrupt your system in any way. Here’s a list of foods you can consume before cycling in the morning:
- Instant oatmeal
- Low-fiber cereal
Since you’re in a rush, you might just pick up anything from your fridge or the table before heading out. But remember that some food may cause you to feel ill during the ride. You don’t want this, especially if you have a kid with you.
Don’t drink too much coffee; this might induce pee during the ride.
You shouldn’t also eat food high in fats, like meats and eggs. These are difficult to digest. It will make your stomach work harder as you pedal, which is not the best way to start your morning bike ride.
Fat is good only if consumed hours before a ride. Aside from these, you must also avoid high-fiber cereals and oats.
You are simply going to hold it up. It will then enlarge, making you feel bloated and giving you gastric issues. They are fine if you have the opportunity to eat carefully and go to the restroom before you hit the road.
Do not consume too much of anything, including the suggested food. Because digestion requires energy, a heavy meal can leave you lethargic. This is because digestion pulls energy away from your legs.
Consider the above list of best cycling food for a better cycling experience.
What to Eat After Cycling?
It’s crucial to consume proper cycling food before a ride. But what about the post-ride? Well, it’s also essential to consume the proper meal after.
Eating well after a cycling session is essential for optimal recovery.
Your body needs to replenish lost energy, repair tissues, and restore hydration levels. It can help your body do these more efficiently and effectively.
Your body’s energy requirements will determine the best post-cycling food. But typically, you need both carbohydrates and protein.
These are what you can eat:
- Two slices of toast with beans
- A large bowl of cereal with milk
- Half a protein bar
- Electrolyte drink
- Whole grain pasta
- Sweet potato
Some data suggest that the best way to speed up recovery is to eat very little but repeatedly.
Some riders refuel their bodies with a moderate amount of protein and carbohydrates. They do this in small amounts but frequently after cycling.
Some new ways to recover are to take supplements like Omega 3 and drink tart cherry juice.
This help reduces muscle inflammation and the DOMS (delayed onset of muscle fatigue).
No two cyclists are identical when choosing the best cycling food before and after the ride. The lists above are the ideal suggestions, but they may vary according to the individual. The main idea here is: cycling is an excellent form of exercise. It provides a full-body workout and has a low risk of injury.
However, if cyclists want to enjoy the full benefits of riding a bike, they must pay attention to the food they eat. Consulting a doctor can help them develop a diet tailored to their needs. They can tell a cyclist what the best foods are for them and how to eat them in a healthy way. Follow our cycling nutrition plans explained in this blog post.
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Most frequent questions and answers
The cycling diet is a special diet for cyclists to help them get better at their sport and stay healthy. The diet has the right amount of macronutrients, like carbs, proteins, and fats. It also includes micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals.
You can do cycling exercises on a stationary bike or outside on a road, mountain, or hybrid bike. It can help improve your aerobic endurance, leg strength, and heart health.
Aim to eat 30–60 grams of carbs (120–240 calories) per hour for rides that last 90–3 hours. For longer rides, try to eat 45 to 90 grams of carbs (180 to 360 calories) per hour.
Bananas, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits are the best energy food for cyclists. It is also best to take electrolytes. These are minerals such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium. They are found in the body and can be lost through sweat.