How To Fuel For Cycling | Bike Ride Nutrition Explained

How To Fuel For Cycling | Bike Ride Nutrition Explained


Nutrition and training go together however if you have one without the other, you’re not going to get the desire effects and ultimately, you’re
not going to get fitter, stronger, and faster. After all, we are all
aspiring to be better and more well-rounded cyclists. (playful electronic music) Right, let’s start off
with a bit of science. When we exercise, our
bodies use carbohydrates and fats as fuel. Our bodies naturally
store about 400-500 grams in muscle and lipid glycogen but when we exercise and
we run out of those stores, we end up losing energy and
end up hitting the wall, which is commonly known as bonking. So when we exercise, we need
to top up on our carbohydrates using bars, gels, or even real foods to reduce the risk of, well,
bonking and feeling like this. The average person can only process one gram of carbohydrate per minute, no matter how much we consume. So there’s more emphasis
on eating little often than eating loads at one time. But how do we translate
that to on-the-bike fueling? Right, let’s start off with
a nice, easy one-hour ride. You’ve had a good, healthy breakfast filled with slow-releasing carbohydrates so when you get out on the bike, there’s more emphasis
on keeping well-hydrated than keeping fueled on the bike. I like to start my day off
with oats and yogurt and fruit. This gives you a good source of slow-release of
carbohydrates and proteins, which will set me up for the day. Now that all being said, it is worth taking a bar
when you head out on the bike because you never know
how you’re going to feel when you get out there. – So now we’re getting
onto the longer rides. You’re going to want to make sure you’re fueled for the entire duration. Extensive research has shown that carbohydrates improve
endurance performance. We recommend you start with
two bottles on your bike and at least one of
these should be topped up with some form of electrolyte. This is because as we exercise, we naturally lose fluid
and therefore electrolytes and you need to stay on
top of replenishing those because even just 2% dehydration will cause a reduction
in your performance, even if you can’t feel it. So now that you’ve
thought about your fluids, next up you want to think
about what to eat on the bike. And we recommend taking
a sports bar for a start, alongside a banana or something like that. It’s good to mix natural
foods with sports foods because you get the
benefits of the sports bars, which are practical and
easy to take with you, but you also get the nutrients
from the natural foods and it’s good to keep that balance. A sports bar like this,
which weighs 30 grams and has 25 grams of carbohydrates in it, should be consumed roughly
once every 30 minutes and then you can use the natural foods to top up as you feel. Your stomach is basically a
muscle like any other muscle, so don’t do something silly on race day which you’ve never done before. So practice with any sports nutrition in the lead up to your big event because the last thing you want to do is shock your system and end
up with an upset stomach. Pros, for example, will
use rice cakes in training and in racing, that way they know they’re getting something
consistent that’s easy to consume but also easy to carry on the bike. One final thing to note
on the food front though is not to each too much at once. Having two or three of
these in a short period is not going to do you
any good whatsoever. James said earlier you can only process one gram
of carbohydrate per minute so that’s only two of
these in one single hour. It’s much better to take
small bites little and often. This will give you a much
more even spread of energy throughout the ride and keep you well away
from the dreaded bonk. – So now we’re onto the longer rides. We want to start thinking
about fueling the night before so a good, healthy, fully
carbohydrate-loaded meal, like pasta or rice, is
really worth having. And then onto the day of the
race or the day of the event or even the day of the long ride, you want to think about a
good, healthy, solid breakfast, like porridge or granola that is fully filled with the
slow-releasing carbohydrates. And then when it’s onto the
bike, at least take two bottles because you’re probably going to want to fill a bottle up on the way. It’s worth living by the
rule of one bottle per hour and if you have some carbohydrate powder or even electrolyte tab, that will help put carbohydrates back in and it also will help you keep hydrated throughout your ride. – Start your rides by
consuming your solids but as the ride goes on, you can then maybe consider
something like a gel. Gels are full of glucose, which is a super
fast-acting energy source. They’re also a great boost in
that final hour of your ride and they’re ideal in emergency scenarios when you feel like
you’re on your last legs. They’re quick and easy to consume but also they’re small
and easily tucked away in a jersey pocket. You can pretty much forget
you’ve even got them on you. – So you’ve just come in off your ride and now’s the time to think about recovery and thinking about
replenishing the carbohydrates and proteins that you’ve lost. And a great way to start doing this is by taking a recovery shake 30 minutes within your workout. – The reason for doing this is you want to get those
nutrients back into your body as fast as possible. A recovery drink like
that is a great snack but it is by no means a
replacement for a proper meal and you can have that 60
minutes later, couldn’t you? – Yes, you can. So if you did enjoy this video
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