Before heading out on a ride there are a few nutrition fail safes you might want to consider.
For shorter rides of less than 90 minutes it is probable that your body will be well enough fuelled, that is as long as you have eaten well prior to the ride. In general a high carbohydrate meal with a medium to low Glycemic Index (porridge and/or eggs with rye bread are good examples) 2-3 hours before the ride followed by a snack such as a banana, High 5 energy bar, small flapjack/cake or a handful of Powerbar Sport Energize Shots 30-45 minutes before you start should suffice.
If your ride is longer than 90 minutes, of a lively pace and/or includes high intensity training at or above lactate threshold you will be using primarily carbohydrate for fuel and might want to consider something tasty. In this case it would be a good idea to take some energy food, an energy drink or a combination of both out on the bike.
Zipvit’s Sport ZVI Energy Elite powder is a good option as this diluted powder provides key electrolytes to help prevent cramping in hot conditions and is a brilliant source of fast absorbing carbohydrates. Some people find energy drinks a bit difficult to stomach, so an energy bar (OTE Sports Race Duo Bars are particularly yummy in chocolate) or some homemade flapjack is a good alternative.
In general it is recommended that riders consume 1g of carbohydrate per kg body weight per hour to sustain energy levels. For example, a rider of 60kg will need 60g carbohydrate per hour which could include the following:
– 500ml water with Zipvit Sport ZVI Energy Elite powder + 1 banana.
– High 5 energy bar + a few dates.
– Small homemade flapjack + CNP Elite gel.
Hydration is really important, especially in the sweaty conditions of indoor turbo/roller training, so to avoid a dip in performance and feeling woozy later in the day aim to consume 500ml of fluids per hour even on a cold winter ride. If you decide not to use an energy drink, pop a Nuun hydration tablet into your bottle to maintain a good balance of electrolytes.
Once you’re home you might not always feel like eating something straight away but it will aid your muscle adaptation if you do and help recovery for your next ride. Eat a carbohydrate based snack with some protein such as a High 5 protein bar, Powerbar chocolate recovery drink or good old eggs on toast.
Key tip – Keep an emergency gel in your saddle bag for that inevitable ‘bonk’ moment. CNP’s Elite Hydro Max gel would a good choice as it comes with hydrating coconut water. If you have run out of food, the chances are you have also run out of water!