Cycling is a perfect form of exercise to improve overall health because it is a weight-supported exercise that is easy on the joints. Biking both indoors and out helps tone muscles, enhance lung capacity, and increase endurance.
Getting the recommended amount of exercise is key, but it’s also important to think about nutrition as well. Nutrition before a high-intensity workout, like our classes at Cycletique, is crucial to sustain the bike ride.
Here are a few reminders on how to fuel your cycle workout:
- If you’re headed to Cycletique for our 5:30am or 9:00am workouts, be sure to focus on hydration and a carbohydrate-rich snack. Drinking 16 ounces of water, along with either a mini-bagel or ¾ cup high-fiber cereal with milk will give you enough energy to compensate for an overnight fast. After your class, consume a meal rich in quality carbohydrates and protein such as hard-cooked egg, whole grain toast, oatmeal with berries, and low-fat milk.
- Eating before your evening spin class is important as well. Lunch should be consumed 3 to 4 hours before class starts with enough calories to sustain the late afternoon workout. Remember to bring a snack for right before class for the extra energy boost. Good choices include a banana, a cup of grapes, or orange slices, and don’t forget your water bottle! Water is a perfect choice for the 45 minute cycle class. When class is over, and if a large meal isn’t what you’re up for, be sure to recover with fat-free chocolate milk, low-fat Greek yogurt, or string cheese with crackers.
- For those of us who enjoy riding outside this summer, and if the ride will be longer than 90 minutes, it’s important to fuel up on carbohydrates earlier. Two hours before a scheduled ride will power your muscles with the necessary energy required to endure the ride. Keep your meals lower in fat for easy digestion, and be sure to include whole grains, fruit, and a modest amount of protein.
Fueling your body is important before, during and after your cycling workout. Nutrition is just as important as the bike ride itself when it comes to getting the most out of a workout.