Cycling is proven to not only work wonders on your physical body but an incredible way to escape the everyday woes and rejuvenate the mind.
Cycling is energy intensive, which is great for your fitness goals and your overall health. However, forget to refuel and you can find yourself experiencing a heavy ‘bonk’, this is a cycling term for hitting the wall. To really perform at your best, having a considered nutrition plan in place is crucial.
The Night Before Carb Load
Building up your energy stores before a big cycle is a key strategy to avoiding the ‘bonking’ stage, bear in mind however, there are good carbs and bad carbs. Carb loading is important so that you don’t deplete your energy stores, but you want to avoid over cramming bad carbs, which will leave you feeling sluggish and dead weight.
We’ve all heard about the colossal pile of pasta the night before a big cycle, but sweet potato, quinoa, and brown rice are much more effective sources of energy. Try ordering a low GI carbohydrate, vitamin and mineral packed dish paired with whole fruits and vegetables rather than gorging on mountains of spaghetti.
On Yer Bike
Energy chews and gels are ideal, they are packaged well, compact and they fit right in your wee pocket, and it’s not long though before the effects wear off and you start to crave something real to eat. Bananas are also perfect for a multi riding munch but preparing healthy, energy packed snacks to stop and snack along the way will not only give your body some tangible food, but it’s also a good excuse to have a well-earned rest. Stopping off during a ride might feel like breaking the momentum, but the small rest to refuel might actually boost morale and mentally prepare you to push ahead.
The best bit, the recovery phase of your ride usually means you’ve worked up a beastly appetite and burned enough calories to satisfy just about any food craving – without doing too much damage. Stacking up on protein is recommended after a heavy endurance session to aid you into recovery. Lean meats, nuts and seeds, eggs and low-fat dairy are key ingredients to incorporate in your post-ride pig-out.