What To Eat During Longer Bike Rides
So you’ve got your bike, you’re enjoying the freedom and fun that cycling awards, but how do you keep going further? Just like a car needs petrol, your body needs the right fuel to keep running. And while there are plenty of fancy and expensive energy powders and drinks on the market, you can quite easily make everything you need from your store cupboards at home. Here are some things to know about what to eat for longer bike rides around Yorkshire.
Ok, this one isn’t strictly eating, but before you think about food you need to make sure you’re drinking enough. Especially on hotter days, your body will quickly lose fluid through sweat the more energy you expend. It’s important to drink early on, before you might think you need to, as dehydration can take a while to recover if it’s too late. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to try and drink one 500ml bottle per hour, but rarely will you find you drink too much!
Eat Little And Often
The key to staying on top of your fuelling is to try and eat little and often. A bite of your flapjack or rice cake 15 minutes into your ride might seem too soon, but eating before you get really hungry means you won’t get tired, or worse ‘bonking’ – otherwise known as hitting the wall. Keeping on top of things is the best way to keep your body ready to tackle the next hill and to really go the distance.
Simple Energy On The Bike
Professional cyclists on the Tour de France will consume foods like rice-cakes, energy gels, bananas, and even cans of coke, depending on personal preference. But for any normal ride, while you don’t need to be using expensive performance energy gels, the formula stays the same. Simple carbohydrates and sugars are the best way to give your muscles the quick energy they need. The higher the sugar content, the quicker you’ll absorb and get the boost, but foods like bananas are a great source of energy that will break down slower. Other easy options are homemade flapjacks, soreen malt loaf, and cereal bars. The more you experiment, the more you’ll find what works best for you.
Protein After Your Ride
Once you’ve finished your bike ride, it’s a good idea to try and eat some protein soon after. Protein helps your muscles recover and means the next day you’ll wake up feeling fresher and able to get out on the bike again. Eggs are an easy option, as well as simple protein shakes, but if you’re vegan getting some nuts and lentils on board is a good alternative, too.
You’ll find you’ve burned quite a lot of calories out on a ride, so be sure to top them up afterwards.