The short answer is there is no right or wrong food stuff, but rather the foods should be thought of as fuel.
Cycling for long periods is demanding on the body and without proper nutrition, you will run out of energy (glycogen) and hit the dreaded wall (bonk).
The duration of your ride will determine whether or not food is necessary. You can think of the length of your rides as such:
Assuming you follow a balanced diet, you shouldn’t need to take food on short rides. Your diet should be adequate enough to support you and your energy requirements for up to a maximum of 1 and 1/2 hours.
However, with medium and long rides, taking something to eat is absolutely essential.
NUTRITION SOUQ ESSENTIAL TIP: You should always take water no matter what length the rid
WHAT FOODS TO TAKE
During the ride, you need food that will enhance your performance. That means focussing on food that will get into your system and start showing results in no time. And as far as these foods are concerned, you have a number of options which can include:
REAL FOOD STUFFS:
Sandwiches, cake etc. (these are high in sugar and carbs, but can be a little on the heavy side)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a good starting point.
HOW MUCH TO EAT
Some cyclists eat more than they need and others don’t get enough. Both of these situations can have negative results.
Eating less means you won’t have enough energy and will fade quickly. Eating more may upset your stomach and affect your performance.
The body can only process 30-60g of carbs per hour, so keep this in mind when eating.
WHEN TO EAT
Here is an example nutritional breakdown of a basic 2-3 hour training ride:
NUTRITION SOUQ TIP: Try GU Recovery Drink Mix (above) as an awesome post ride recovery snack/drink
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