If you’re an outdoor cyclist when you’re not at Cycletique, eating the right foods during your bike trek is key.
Our bodies are fueled mostly by carbohydrates, and you need them to fuel your body on long bike rides. The longer you ride and the more hills you power up, the more you need snacks to keep your energy levels up. Keeping snacks “on board” for any rides over an hour is critical. These snacks should be portable, provide your muscles with appropriate nutrients, need to be eaten on a good schedule, and they definitely can’t melt! Be sure to pack more than you think you’ll need, and plan to have a few bites and sips every 15 minutes.
Try these 5 snacks next time you head out:
- Bananas: Bananas are rich with potassium and carbohydrates that give your muscles the ability to efficiently use fuel. The quicker the fuel reaches your muscles, the more powerful strokes you’ll be able to maintain.
- PB&J: Bread and jam provide carbohydrates and peanut butter provides fats and protein. Cut your sandwich into quarters and have one piece during those 15 minute increments.
- Trail Mix: Dried fruits and nuts are great sources of carbohydrates and proteins. Apricots, prunes and raisins also have potassium, just like your bananas. If you find yourself with a higher sweat rate, find mixes with salted nuts and seeds.
- Homemade Sports Drinks: Water is the best if you’re biking for less than an hour. If you have a longer ride ahead of you, and to avoid any extra sugars, try making your own sports drinks. You can make your own black or green iced tea and add a splash of juice and some salt to maintain your hydration status.
- Energy Bars: Bars are convenient, but can be pricey and overwhelming with all of the choices. If you do choose a bar, look for ingredients on the label that include whole grains, dried fruits, and nuts.
After your ride, remember that recovery is just as important. Ideally, consuming the proper nutrition 30-60 minutes after you complete your exercise is best. A small meal containing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates will help you quickly recover…and get you ready to ride again and again!