Tips for Proper Nutrition for Glorious Long Bike Rides

If you are an avid cyclist, we bet you are dreaming of some big bike riding challenge. Maybe it’s Tour de France, mountain biking, or something else. Whatever it is, good to know everything about preparing for an endurance bike ride.

Everyone knows that biking comes with a list of social and health benefits. It improves cardiovascular health, contributes to weight loss, and so on. Plus it’s a high activity that you can do with your friends and family. Whether they are riding a bicycle just as a hobby or you are preparing to go pro, most people feel drawn to the idea of going on some biking adventure. 

In this case, it is crucial to be well prepared. One thing is making sure that your bike is in tip-top condition and ready for the challenge, and that you have everything you need for the endeavor. Another is to prepare and plan what you will eat during the bike tour.

 Staying fueled with proper nutrition is, in fact, the most critical for any successful sports activity.   There is much information online about what to eat before a ride that figuring out what the best options are can be a challenge on its own.

 As always, thinks about your needs in advance, so we prepared this article to read before your first biking escapade.

Something to Remember – Eat Carbs

To be able to endure long bike rides your, body needs a lot of energy, and there is no better way to provide it than by eating enough carbohydrates. Many people will say that your body fat is transformed into energy when you are cycling. This is entirely true but for moderate exercises. When you start to work harder, ride faster, or up the mountain, the fat is not enough – your body needs glucose, and for this, you need to eat carbs.  Around 60% of your calorie intake should come from carbohydrates. You might feel perplexed because there is plenty of information out there explaining why carbs are harmful to us. Keep in mind that they are talking about unhealthy sources like pizza, white bread, sugar, and so on. There are a lot of perfectly healthy carbohydrate sources like dairy, nuts, legumes, fruit, vegetables, etc.  Nuts and dry fruit can be excellent snacks for long bike rides that you can munch at any point.

Before the Ride

Remember that it is crucial to have an excellent nutritious meal  2-3 hours before the ride.  You should intake between 500 – 1000 calories of primarily complex carbohydrates combined with a bit of fat and protein. If this meal is in the morning, then one option can be cereal with skim milk and fruit or whole-grain bagel with fat-free yogurt and fruit.  For lunch, you can eat salmon and brown rice with some salad.  Also, it is necessary to drink enough fluid. Drink fruit juice like orange or grapefruit and a cup or two of coffee. This amount of coffee will not make you want to go to the toilet every 15 minutes, and caffeine is a known CNS stimulant that will give you a fantastic energy boost.

During the Ride

If you burn 400 calories in one hour, you should eat 200. The general idea when you go on long and demanding bike tours is to eat 50% of the calories you spent each hour. This can seem like too much, so you can divide it in a way that you eat 50 calories every 15 minutes. It is important to remember: food that contains carbohydrates should be your first choice. If you can’t keep track of the time, you can set the alarm on your phone to ring every 15 minutes to remind you that it’s time for a snack break.