Let’s look at nutrition for cycling, as let’s face it your body is going to need food that can give it energy and endurance, especially if you are into long distance events.
Nutrition For Cycling
Ok, I am going to try not to bore you with in-depth details about what percentage of carbs to fats and protein you ought to eat, but rather what to eat and what to avoid.
Even if you are doing cycling training to lose weight, you still need to eat enough to guide you through your physical activity so that you can sustain your energy levels.
If you are not doing physical training, then yes, eating less is a great way to lose weight, but if you are training for a triathlon, you need to eat some surplus calories so that your body can build muscle and provide you with the energy to participate fully in those activities.
The best thing anybody can do for their bodies is to eat healthily. Think whole and unprocessed foods, the way our ancestors way back used to eat. You also need to pay particular attention to what types of food you eat just before a race or long cycling event.
So, what are healthy food choices when it comes to nutrition for cycling?
Generally speaking, fresh fruits, veggies, and water do the trick pretty well. Add some good lean protein, like chicken breasts, lean beef or eggs.
Try to avoid things like alcohol, soft drinks, pastries, French fries and other fast foods before workouts. Apart from these foods being bad for your body, they will also have a negative effect on your training and make you feel sluggish instead of energized.
Generally speaking, you should avoid consuming the above mentioned foods entirely while training for a cycling event.
Just as it is important to have a good training program for your sport, you won’t make the actual progress you want to unless you have good nutrition to back up all your efforts.
To recap nutrition for cycling:
- Make sure you eat adequate amounts of calories as food is your body’s power source, no food means absolutely no energy.
- Be sure you drink enough water! The body uses a lot more water than normal while performing any kind of strenuous physical exercise, and if you do not drink enough water, you could feel fatigued, dizzy, and experience headaches.
- If you really can’t live without your junk food, try not to eat it right before or right after exercising. Wait about 3 to 5 hours before or after.
- Eat and snack healthily on fresh fruit and veggies, organic food and water should be your primary source of liquids.
Examples For Good Nutrition For Cycling
This is the most important meal of the day, as I am sure you are well aware. It has probably been between 10 and 12 hours since your last meal and you need to replenish your system.
It is worth noting that your breakfast should be smaller in calories if you plan to go for a ride or workout in the morning. What this means is that a single banana or gel can help you get through the morning. You could also do a smoothie, especially if you prepared one the night before.
If you don’t have a ride scheduled so early, anything from scrambled eggs to tomatoes, bananas, seeds, berries, oats, and even toast can be a good breakfast. The idea is to get enough carbs in your body to prepare for the day and eventual ride.
Riding usually takes a lot of effort and burns through our calories really quickly. With that in mind, you need to replenish your calories after a workout. But, this does not mean reaching for the nearest chocolate bar.
Some protein will do you well here and anywhere between 20 and 40 grams with some good quality carbs should do the trick. This could be in the form of potatoes, rice, chia seeds or rice cakes.
Dinner should be very similar to lunch, in the sense that you need enough healthy proteins and carbs to give your body enough nutrients to repair itself during the night.
Some cyclists like to add BCAA supplements or glutamine to aid recovery. Protein supplements are also helpful to repair your muscles.
If you are feeling peckish feel free to snack on as many different fresh fruit and vegetable options as you like. Peanut butter on a slice of apple is a great energy booster and a handful of nuts will also do the trick.
If you want to become better in cycling, the best thing to do is to look at your nutrition for cycling and work on improving it to make your body work better for you.