If you want to get the most out of your cycling workouts, it is important that you are at the top of your game when it comes to your diet. What you eat and when you eat can have a huge effect on your performance whether you are training for a race or simply trying to vary your workouts.
With this in mind, here are five top tips on cycling nutrition to help you train for longer.
1. Increase your Calorie Intake
As a cyclist, it is important that you tailor your diet to meet your individual needs. The good news is that you can increase the amount of calories that you consume on a daily basis due to the fact that you will be burning them off on your bike rides. Your appetite will naturally increase, however, this doesn’t mean that you can overindulge on whatever you fancy but simply increase your portion size while sticking to healthy meals.
2. Fuel Your Workouts with Carbohydrates
Knowing how to fuel your workouts is essential if you want to become faster and stronger and carbohydrates play an essential role in your progression. The amount of carbohydrates you need will depend on how often you ride and how long you ride for but a fist-sized amount of carbohydrates with every meal is a good guide. Choose slow burning carbohydrates such as vegetables, wholegrains and fruits to give you a steady supply of energy that will last all day.
3. Pack in Protein
Protein is not only important for building muscle but it is crucial for your recovery. When planning your pre and post cycling meals, make sure you include rich sources of protein for example lean meats, fish and dairy products. Increase your protein levels and watch your energy levels soar.
If you want to improve your performance, food is not the only aspect you need to consider. Taking on enough fluid before, during and after your ride will prevent dehydration and keep your energy levels high. You should aim to intake the recommended 2 litres of water a day plus enough liquids to replace the sweat lost during the ride. Weigh yourself before and after a ride to determine your sweat rate and drink accordingly.
5. Know When to Refuel
Knowing the foods that fuel your bike rides efficiently is one thing but knowing when to eat can also help you perform at your best. One of the best times to refuel is straight after your ride. Eat between 10 and 20 grams of protein and between 20 and 50 grams of carbohydrates as soon as you return from your ride. It is important not to overeat before getting on your bike but if it has been a few hours since you have eaten, it is wise to have a small snack before you set off. If you have a long ride planned, stash some energy gels or a snack that includes carbohydrates with you for the journey.
So, there you have it, five top cycling nutrition tips for cyclists to live by. Whether you want to stimulate the brain to work harder or you simply want to decrease inflammation and enhance recovery, follow the above tips.