Snack time! The best cycling nutrition for long rides
Did you know that adequate nutrition greatly influences your performance during cycling and mountain biking? It’s true! That’s why planning your bike tour shouldn’t only involve thinking about your time management, route details and equipment, but also packing the right cycling snacks.
What should I eat before a long bike tour?
What are the best snacks for cycling?
What other nutrition tips are important for cyclists and mountain bikers?
We have all the answers for you!
Long rides: nutrition tips for cyclists
If you plan a ride that’s longer than an hour or even several hours, it’s important that you also pack some snacks. After all, regular intake of adequate carbohydrates and fluids is vital during cycling. Another significant aspect: what you eat before your ride.
What should you eat before a long cycling tour?
Before an extended ride, it’s important to replenish your energy reserves, ideally by eating long-chain carbohydrates and food that’s easy to digest. We recommend having a low-fat, sustaining meal two to three hours before the start of your tour. Good to know: A combination of high-quality carbohydrates and proteins will keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Examples of a balanced cycling breakfast:
- (wholegrain) cereals with low-fat yoghurt or reduced-fat milk, berries and nuts
- porridge (oats) with banana or apple
- scrambled eggs with vegetables and a slice of wholemeal bread
Ideas for a nutritious lunch before cycling:
- salmon with vegetables
- potatoes with eggs and spinach
- rice or pasta with low-fat chicken or tofu
The best snacks for on the go
The most important rule for your bike tour: Drink before you get thirsty and eat before you get hungry! For a quick energy boost in-between, go for short-chain carbohydrates that can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, for instance:
- dried fruit
- bread with jam
- fruit bars (100 % fruit, without added sugar)
- energy bars
- hydro gels
- pasta salad
Our tip: Avoid large amounts of raw fruit and vegetables as they are difficult to digest.
Drink, drink, drink!
Always make sure to drink enough during your ride! Ideally, go for still mineral water or isotonic drinks as the electrolytes contained in them quickly balance the nutrients lost by sweating. On the other hand, smoothies and sweet soft drinks provide fast-acting sugars and a quick energy source.
Avoid hitting the wall
“Hitting the wall” refers to sudden fatigue and loss of energy during exercise. Put simply, this is caused by a lack of carbohydrates. To find out more about this phenomenon and about what to eat to avoid it, read our article ”Hitting the wall – and how to avoid it.”
Keep in mind: Your body can absorb about 60 to 80 grams of carbohydrates per hour. So start eating well in advance to avoid replenished energy reserves!