Refuelling – Looking after yourself Pre, during and Post Bike Ride
Before heading out on a bike ride there are a few nutrition fail safes you may want to consider before setting off.
For shorter rides of 90 minutes or less it is probable that your body will have taken on enough fuel, as long as you have eaten well prior to your ride. In general a high carbohydrate meal (For example, porridge and/or eggs with rye bread) 2-3 hours before you set off followed by a snack (Banana, Energy Bar, Small Flapjack) 30-45 minutes before you go should keep you topped up.
If your ride is longer than 90 minutes, or at a lively pace or includes high intensity training you will end up using primarily carbohydrates for fuel so you may want to take with you some energy foods or an energy drink or both to keep you topped up.
It may be worth checking out some of the Energy Powders as these diluted with water provide key electrolytes which help to prevent cramping in hot conditions and are also an easy source of fast-absorbing carbohydrates. Some people find energy drinks hard to stomach so a great alternative is an energy bar or a homemade flapjack.
The rule of thumb is that riders need to consume 1g of carbohydrate per KG of body fat per hour to sustain energy levels. So for example, a rider weighing 60KG will need to take on board 60g carbohydrates per hour. This could include the following:
- 500ml water diluted with some energy elite powder plus 1 banana
- Energy bar plus a couple of dates
- Small homemade flapjack plus an Elite Gel
Hydration is key especially during the summer months. So to avoid any hydration issues or feeling woozy later in the day aim to consume roughly 500ml of fluids per hour, even on your colder winter rides. If you decide not to use an energy drink, try using a Hydration tablet into your water to maintain a good balance of electrolytes.
Once your home the last thing you may think about is eating but it will aid your muscle adaptation if you do and help recovery for your next ride. The best thing to eat now is a carbohydrate-based snack with some protein such as a protein bar, recovery drink, or good old-fashioned Eggs on Toast.
Key Tip – Might be a good idea to keep an emergency gel in your saddle bag. If the worse comes to the worse and you have ran out of food, the chances are that you have also run out of water.