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Cycling Tips: The Right Foods to Eat Before, During, and After a Ride

Caffeine, Drink Water, Energy Bars, Fresh Fruits, Protein

Did you know the way that you eat can influence your cycling performance? Certain foods can make you feel your best, while other foods may slow you down. Eating the right foods not only can help your performance but also give you more energy and help fight any muscle fatigue you may be feeling. If you’ve noticed yourself feeling a little tired on your rides lately, then try a few of these simple tips.

Let’s start by looking at things you can do before your ride to make your cycling its best. You should try to avoid heavy foods. Imagine riding down the road while holding a concrete block on your stomach. Does that sound like fun? Of course not, but if you eat heavier foods, this is exactly how you will feel on your cycling trip. Instead you need to look for low fat foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and proteins. Low sugar cereals mixed with fresh fruit and skim milk is a good option. You can also try an energy bar, a peeled banana, or a handful of nuts. You should also avoid caffeine drinks prior to cycling. Caffeine not only dries out the body, but also works as a natural diuretic. Instead of caffeine or overpriced energy drinks, try drinking water. H2O evenly hydrates the body without adding any unnatural elements into the body.

You can also watch what you eat during your bike ride. Obviously a trip around the block probably won’t require snacks, but in longer cycling trips, snacks become necessary. The problem is that many riders focus on quick fix solutions during their ride. They grab the nearest candy bar or bag of chips, which is a mistake. High sugar foods make a rider feel satisfied, and may provide some energy, but those empty calories will burn off before you know it. Instead pack a few things that you can carry with you and are easy to eat on the go. While cycling you are going to need a snack at least every half-hour. Try an energy bar, a piece of fruit, or a small peanut butter sandwich. Remember that you’ll need to keep drinking water during your ride too.

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Don’t think that once you’re done with your bike ride that you can neglect proper nutrition. The first few hours after cycling are just as important as anything you do before, or after your ride. Your body may feel dehydrated and weak, and you will need to replace any lost nutrients. One easy way to do this is to consume a meal reach in protein. Hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, and low fat beef are all good options. If you’re in a hurry, or on the run try drinking a quick protein shake. You’ll find the same nutrients in a convenient size.

Try using some of these tips the next time you plan on cycling, and you’ll be amazed at the results.