Whether you are going to take part in a competitive race for the first time the best foods to eat while endurance cycling or regularly participate in amateur cycling, one of the most important conditions for achieving success is proper nutrition. The tips below are suitable, by the way, not only for competitions; they will help those who are going to make any long bike ride.
Long distance cycling tips nutrition
No one wants to be left without power in the middle of the distance. But stopping at every point of feeding and stuffing pockets and stomachs with everything that is offered there is also unlikely to help you. It makes sense to spend some time planning your nutrition strategy, which will give you more confidence.
Below are a few tips on how to eat before and during competitions or long bike journeys.
Nutrition during competition
First of all, start your day with a meal rich in carbohydrates. In most cases, you will have an early or very early breakfast on a competitive day, depending on the scheduled start time.
- Avoid high fat foods that are heavy on your stomach.
- If possible, the meal should take place 2-3 hours before the start, so that the food is partially absorbed by the body before the onset of stress. This is not always feasible and then remembers that the less time left before the start; the less should be the volume of food intake. For example, if you have to go in an hour and a half, choose a large banana, a nutritious bar with high protein content and / or a sports energy drink that will give you a good supply of carbohydrates on the road.
For the energy supply of the trip, your body will need a combination of fats and carbohydrates. The more intense you work, the more carbohydrates you need. Meanwhile, their reserves in the body are limited, and they can quickly become depleted. In this situation, the body begins to use fat as a “fuel”. You may think that burning fat is a great idea, but the problem is that for this the body needs a lot more oxygen, which is also needed to nourish the muscles. As a result, you will not be able to maintain a fast enough pace.
Carbohydrates and nutrition
The general rule for consuming carbohydrates during endurance competitions is that you need to get 1 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of your weight during one hour of physical activity. This allows you to maintain energy levels while driving fast.
For example, an athlete weighing 70 kg per hour may consume one of the following:
- 500 ml of energy drink (sports) and medium-sized banana
- Medium-sized pancake with sweet syrup and energy gel
- Small sandwich with jam and 2 cereal bars
It is not necessary to use specialized sports products. But in competitions with a high degree of endurance, it makes sense to keep in stock special gels, including caffeinated gel – for the final stage of the race.