Best Foods for Cyclists
Cycling is an activity enjoyed by most people. It is also a very efficient form of an anaerobic exercise, often consisting of periods of high-intensity as well, however, short lived ones. Cycling is usually done overa prolonged period of time, making proper nutrition for cyclists all the more important. Cycling nutrition can be broken down into three parts; prior to the ride, during the ride and following the ride. Foods that provide the most appropriate nutrition for cyclists should include those that are moderate or high in proteins, high in carbs and low in fat. Depending on how much distance you cover while cycling, your portion sizes and frequency will vary.
Here are the foods that can prove to be very beneficial as cycling nutrition in a diet for cyclists:
Foods for Pre-Ride
When preparing for a ride, foods high in lean proteins and carbs rich in fibers are the most beneficial. Having foods that are high in content carrying refined sugars and flour should be avoided as they provide energy only for a short duration of time. Foods such as brown rice, tofu, apples, peanut butter and fruits with yoghurt can be very helpful for fueling throughout the ride. However, make sure that this nutrition for cyclists is consumed a few hours before the ride so that the food is digested properly and ready to act as fuel for the ride! Another thing to be mindful of in terms of cyclist nutrition is the length of the ride. If the ride is smaller and less intense, lesser food should be consumed, if it covers a larger distance and includes periods of high intensity, a larger pre ride meal should be taken.
Foods during the Ride
During the ride, the diet for cyclists should be consistent of a moderate amount of proteins coupled with a high amount of carbohydrates. This combination is adequately appropriate for fueling the body and cycling routine during the cycling period. Carry mini snacks and portable foods such as an energy drink or an energy bar for during the ride. If the ride is short in distance and commands a low intensity drill then a meal during the ride is not of grave importance and can be skipped altogether. If the ride is long, one very important aspect of nutrition for cyclists is keeping hydrated. Electrolyte replacement tablets mixed with water or Gatorade can be good in this regard during a long cycling journey.
Foods for Post-Ride
When it comes to the third phase, that is, the post ride phase, cyclist nutrition should be consistent of foods that are high in proteins, as these proteins are highly essential for rebuilding any wear and tear that the muscles may have experienced during the ride. Furthermore, the diet for cyclists after the ride should also consist of a high level of carbs, as these carbs are necessary for the replenishment of glycogen that may have been lost during the ride. The carbohydrates will also help build muscle and prepare them for the rides that are to come in the coming days. It is recommended that post ride, the nutrition for cyclists in the form of these meals should be consumed an hour after the ride. Foods such as low fat milk, smoothies and yoghurt are perfect for a post-ride diet for cyclists.