#360fit: Energy foods and supplements to aid cycling

NutritionSouq 19:17 19/01/2016
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    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:

    • Short rides – last for less than an hour
    • Medium rides – 1 to 3 hours
    • Long rides – last for more than 3 hours

    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

    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:


    Sandwiches, cake etc. (these are high in sugar and carbs, but can be a little on the heavy side)

    • Energy bars
    • Energy drinks
    • Energy gels

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a good starting point.


    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.

    Here is an example nutritional breakdown of a basic 2-3 hour training ride:

    • Pre Ride (at least 2 hours before) – Eat a basic carb and protein mix meal
    • The Ride – Take 2 water bottles – 1 plain water & 1 electrolyte solution. Drink water frequently sip as you ride, don’t gulp. This will leave you feeling bloated and heavy. One key thing to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty. Drink mainly the electrolyte solution.
    • At around the 1 and 2 hour point take on board an energy gel or bar followed up by regular water to help digest and assimilate the energy.
    • Post Ride – A post ride protein & carb drink or snack, particularly in the 10 to 15 minutes immediately afterwards, will take advantage of the window of maximum glycogen & muscle fibre re-synthesis cutting down on muscle soreness and fatigue

    NUTRITION SOUQ TIP: Try GU Recovery Drink Mix (above) as an awesome post ride recovery snack/drink

    Article provided by Nutrition Souq, the Fitness Marketplace: Nutrition Souq are your training partner, your coach, your nutritional expert, your support mechanism, your friend who will never let you down.