Whether you are doing some winter bike commuting or hitting your favorite off-road trail in the summer, you need the energy and strength to ride. However, it can be hard to know what to eat. This is especially significant if you are riding for exercise. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that can make for healthy and energizing cycling fuel.
How To Fuel Up for Rides
Typically, the two major concerns for cycling are hydration and carbohydrates. What you should bring and eat depend significantly on the length of the ride. If you will be taking a short trip (one hour or less), you only need to bring water or an electrolyte drink. You shouldn’t need to eat anything during the ride. You could consider bringing a banana or similar fruit for a boost if you start to fade.
If you are riding for longer, you should plan to eat 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. The longer you ride, the harder it becomes to digest food. So, try to eat before riding. Then, bring easily digested items for the ride (there are plenty of specialty blocks, chews etc.). Expect to bring a few bottles of water or electrolyte drink as well.
The above concepts can help you to fuel up for any length of ride. Whether you are racing on your road bike or taking one of the best electric beach cruiser bike rides of your life, you need the fuel to keep going.
Great Foods for Cyclists
Hopefully, the above concepts have given you a sense of what types of foods to bring. However, you may be unsure of which foods you should be eating, especially before you get started. These are a few good examples:
- Spinach: This leafy green is filled with vitamins. Vegetables should be a major part of your diet no matter whether you are cycling or not.
- Nuts (and Nut Butter): Nuts are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. Peanut butter is a good source of fuel for cycling and is very portable.
- Greek Yogurt: Non-fat Greek yogurt has some excellent protein with antioxidant properties. However, flavored yogurt has a lot of added sugar. Consider buying plain yogurt and adding berries or other natural flavors.
- Sweet Potato: This starchy root vegetable is a great source of fuel. It has more antioxidants and other nutrients than other tubers.
- Blueberries: These little, round berries are good for a lot more than just topping waffles. They have antioxidants and lots of vitamins. Plus, they have some natural sugar for an extra boost of energy.
Bringing food with you when cycling is a good idea. Consider investing in some bike accessories for women or men to give you the storage you need for bringing food and water with you.
Discover more about cycling nutrition. Riding a bike can be a great way to get around. It is also an excellent form of exercise. However, you need the right foods to stay strong and energized when you ride. The above advice will help you go further and faster.