Cycling: nutrition tips
Sports nutrition pays attention to several elements: prevention, performance and recovery. Prevention consists of ensuring that we have enough of the energy nutrients available for muscle fibres. Performance, on the other hand, looks at what it takes to perform at your best during physical activity as well as being able to adapt to the effort. Recovery looks at what to eat after sport to recover more easily and to remove waste and toxins from the body.
First and foremost, the way you eat will vary according to your bike trip. If your bike trip does not last more than an hour, you should not make special efforts in terms of diet. However, remember to drink plenty of water. Good hydration helps to reduce the effect of fatigue, maintain a good heart rate, eliminate waste, reduce cramps and ensures a better recovery after exercising.
However, if you plan to ride for more than an hour, certain elements can be taken into account to help your body's performance:
Before going on your bike trip:
While giving your body time to digest, it is important to feed your glycogen reserve before exercising in order to delay the time of exhaustion. The ideal is to eat an hour and a half before leaving to avoid having a heavy stomach at the beginning of the physical activity.
If your trip takes place in the morning, you can, for example, have a banana with a honey toast for breakfast. For lunch, pasta or ham and cheese sandwiches are very suitable. Above all, you should make sure to stop eating when you are saturated, to avoid being in digestion when you leave. It is also important to avoid foods with a too high sugar index that could cause unpleasant digestive complications.
During your bike trip:
Drink and eat small amounts of food quite regularly, even if you are not hungry or thirsty. For example, take one or two sips of water more or less every ten minutes.
Ideally, you should take two jerry cans with you to avoid running out: one of pure water with mineral salts and the other with a supplement such as lemon (or any other taste) powder. During winter, you can opt for tea with honey.
To avoid any digestive complications, vary between sweet and salty foods when you go out. You should also vary between gels and hard foods to avoid saturation. In any case, it will be preferable to bring practical and light foods for your own comfort. Bananas, apricots, raisins and dry cookies are also recommended.
After your bike trip:
To allow your body to recover after the effort, you can have a drink composed of protein and carbohydrates. The combination of fast and slow sugars is also highly recommended and allows your body to regenerate efficiently. To this end, you could, for example, have a banana and a Cecémel (a sugary and calory high chocolate drink) after your bike ride. The main idea is to absorb protein rapidly after the effort, in order to nourish your muscles.
However, the most important thing is to always listen to your body and drink a lot. In general, it is essential to consider that rest is just as important as training. If you are tired beforehand or if you overtrain, the effort you put in may do you more harm than good.
If you would like to know more about sports nutrition or if you have any questions about your diet before, during or after your bike ride, please do not hesitate to contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org