GOOD FOOD CHOICES FOR SUMMER CYCLING06 July, 2014 0 comments
Good Food Choices For Summer Cycling
We tend not to want to eat as much during summer as we do in autumn and winter. But if you want to enjoy being out and about with your bike, and reap the benefits from the exercise you do, it's extremely important to maintain a good nutritional intake. By eating well, you'll feel better all round, and will get the maximum benefits from your rides.
Before Your Ride
If you want to maintain a good quality of exercise, then breakfast is essential. Skipping breakfast would mean running on empty. Running on empty would see you become light-headed and dizzy, meaning you could potentially become a risk to yourself and those around you on the road or trail.
Selene Yeager from Active.com says what you eat depends largely upon what sort of ride you're going to be doing. The idea is to keep your muscles energised, your brain focused and the rest of your system firing on all cylinders, no matter what. By eating two hours before heading out, you'll be doing yourself, your body and those you're sharing the road or trail with a favour.
Summer Smoothie Recipe - Serves 1
This is delicious, satisfying smoothie that can be made in minutes.
1 handful of crushed ice
1 small banana
150 ml vanilla soy milk (or whatever milk you enjoy)
2 tablespoons of low-fat Greek yoghurt
1 scoop of whey protein
Good pinch of cinnamon
Squirt of runny honey
1 large plastic blender bottle
1 hand blender
1 large glass
Put all of the ingredients into the blender bottle, and use the hand blender to mix until the contents are a smooth consistency. Pour into your glass and drink immediately.
Why not make the most of the summer seasonal berries? Fresh raspberries or strawberries make a delicious alternative to banana.
- A slice of wholegrain toast, topped with peanut butter, half a banana and a sprinkle of coconut.
- Greek yoghurt mixed with seasonal berries and muesli
- Wholegrain cereal with milk
Tip: Remember to hydrate your body before heading out by drinking a glass of water.
During Your Ride
If you're out for a short ride, say an hour or less, you won't need to be stocked up with too much. A full bottle of water and a good quality oat based cereal bar should suffice. If you're out for longer however, ensure that you have plenty of foods loaded with carbohydrates. Below are some suggestions on what to take for longer rides. Remember it's all down to personal preference.
- Oat based, good quality cereal bars
- Homemade flapjack
- Dried fruit
- Homemade fruit cake
- Malt loaf
- Energy drinks
- Energy gels
Tip: It's important to avoid eating chocolate bars when you're out on the bike, as you may find yourself experiencing swings in your blood sugar levels.
There's a lot of talk about when to eat when you're out cycling. Rebecca Ramsay from Easy Cycling says in a long sportive ride you need to eat sooner than the hour point some people go by. It's important to remember that it's not only the distance that takes it out of you. You'll have the course elements to deal with too: rain, wind, hills, nervous energy, your pace, peddling style and how you're trained for endurance. All of these will drain your energies. Remember to eat before your hungry and drink before you're thirsty. Little and often is a good rule to go by.
Tip: By cutting foods into bite sized pieces, and placing in a zip lock bag, you'll make life a lot easier for yourself, and stopping for a nibble won't be such a chore.
After Your Ride
What you eat after your ride is just as important as what you eat before and during your ride. Christine Bailey from Bike Radar talks about the importance of eating protein when you're done pushing the pedals. All too often cyclists think that their performance depends on the amount of carbohydrates they consume. Studies are showing that protein plays an important role too. Carbohydrates may be the best riding fuel, but skimp on protein when the ride is over and you'll suffer fatigue, muscles soreness and slower recovery. Protein is vital for the repair and recovery of muscle tissue after a ride. Eat the wrong foods after training, and you'll end up exhausted with sore, aching legs. Eat the right foods and your body will get stronger, fitter and recover quicker. Chocolate milk is a good choice for straight after your ride, as are salted nuts or a peanut butter sandwich.
Good Sources Of Protein
- Chicken breast
- Canned tuna
- Cottage cheese
- Boiled eggs
- Peanut butter
- Baked beans
- Wholemeal bread
- Wholemeal pasta
- Brown rice, boiled
Some Post Ride Dinner Ideas
- Grilled salmon, boiled baby potatoes and steamed summer vegetables
- Pita bread with falafel, hummus and salad
- Jacket potato, grilled chicken breast and salad
Ann Guzman a former pro cyclists says hydration is just as important as eating. Most people don't realise that they can't just drink water during prolonged exercise. Water is a great way to hydrate when you're off the bike, and it's the quickest way to hydrate when you're not exercising. But when you're on the bike you're sweating and loosing sodium , potassium and other electrolytes . You need to have a sports drink on your, one that contains carbohydrates. Ensure that the energy drink you get doesn't contain masses of artificial colouring and sweeteners though. The amount of water needed before, during and after a ride differs from person to person. Research into how much you should be consuming, and plan your rides accordingly so you always have enough on standby for when you need it.
Tip: Test what's been suggested and see what works for you. Testing will help you to become a better, faster, more experienced cyclist.