Optimal nutrition is important for a good workout session or sports activities and cycling is no different. If you get the right amount of nutrition before and during your cycling ride, you will see far better results. We can see people are more and more interested in cycling ride as a workout routine. It is a great workout session to keep your health in check. But they forget to include the right food source to get the maximum benefit from cycling. If you don’t have enough nutrition, then constant cycling ride may have a negative impact on your health.
Cycling is a kind of endurance workout where you need to constantly spend energy, and you should eat the right amount of food to get the required energy. In this post, let us see what you should have before, during, and after a high-enduring cycling session.
Before the ride – Things you should eat!
Cycling is an endurance sport and you must load up with a lot of carbohydrates before you go on cycling. Carbohydrates are easily converted into energy when needed by your body. Your muscles use a lot of energy when you go cycling, and you should eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates before cycling.
Foods that are rich in carbohydrates are rice, wheat bread, pasta, oatmeal, sweet potato, quinoa, whole grain rice, and more. Apart from eating these foods, you should also consider when you should eat these foods. Low GI foods such as whole grain rice, wheat bread, etc take some time for your body to be converted into energy, so you should eat these a few hours before you go on cycling. High GI foods like rice, pasta, etc are easily converted into energy, so you should eat them 30-45 minutes before your cycling ride.
Not only carbohydrates, but your diet should also include some healthy portion of fat and proteins. Fat is used by your body for energy when it gets depleted of carbohydrates, so you should have a little quantity of fat before you go on a long cycling session. Foods like avocado, coconut oil, yogurt, and curd are good sources of healthy fat, which you can consume before a long cycling session. For protein, you can have nuts, cereals, eggs, and fish. They are good for your muscles to heal during your workout.
The amount that you consume also varies depending upon the time of your workout session. If you intend to go for rides longer than 2 hours, then you should consume about 90 grams of carbohydrates. For rides less than one hour, you should eat carbohydrates of about 30 grams. Now, it is difficult to measure and eat accurately. But keep in mind to eat appropriately based on your workout time.
Finally, you should take some quantities of sugar before your cycling ride. Sugar is an instant source of energy that is readily used by our bodies. So you should have a sugar source just before your cycling ride. Do not take sugar in a high amount long before your ride. It will only increase your blood sugar level unnecessarily. For a long ride, it is essential to have some salt with your food. Extended sports activity drains the sodium through sweat from your body, so you may get muscle cramps, heatstroke, dehydration, etc. To avoid it, have some salt with your food.
During the Ride – What to consume?
It is important to have some energy during your ride when you feel tired but most riders often overlook it. You should have some food that quickly releases energy during the ride. You can have an energy drink or energy bar during the ride for instant sugar. Chocolate is also good to have instant sugar for your body.
For carbohydrates during your ride, you can eat foods like banana, a trail mix, cheese cubes, or peanut butter with bread. You can have these foods quickly and easily if you have it readily prepared with you. They don’t make you full but give you much-needed carbohydrates during your ride, so you can have an impactful workout session.
Eating during the ride is as important as eating before the ride, especially for a long workout session. So you should eat during a long cycling session when you feel tired to avoid unnecessary health effects. Drinking water is also important to avoid dehydration during your workout. If you sweat a lot during your ride, then you must drink a lot of water to balance it. Dehydration and heat strokes are a major health issue that happens during cycling ride, which you can avoid by drinking water with some salt.
After the Ride – What to Eat?
You may not feel the need to eat after a long cycling ride but it is important to have certain nutrition. Eating the right food within an hour or two after your ride gives your body the necessary energy to heal the muscles. Your body muscle must be broken and cells might have depleted their sugar during a long workout. So you should eat the right food to replenish the sugar and to heal your muscles faster.
You should eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates and protein after your ride. Carbohydrates will provide the necessary energy and sugar that had been depleted from your body during the workout. Protein will aid in muscle recovery, so your body heals faster after a long ride. You should also add some salt if you had been sweating a lot during your ride. Salt helps to avoid cramps after your cycling ride. Adding fruits and vegetables will also help your body recover faster after a long ride. Now, there is no specific food list present that you should consume after a ride as long as it is high in carbohydrates and proteins.
Eating the right amount of food before, during, and after a long ride will help your body to fully utilize the benefits from the ride. You should give much importance to your diet to have a good workout session. If you are still unsure about the diet that you should have, please consult with a dietician or your personal doctor to have a clear idea about your diet. We hope that you follow the cycling nutrition guide to get energized throughout your cycling ride and get the full benefit from it.