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Cycling Nutrition, Food & Diet: The Complete Guide

Posted by Team Veloforte on
Cycling Nutrition, Food & Diet: The Complete Guide

We get it. You’re a passionate cyclist. So are we! So we know that YOU know the importance of good cycling nutrition. However, the sheer abundance of information out there can be complicated, conflicting, and confusing... In all, not a happy package. We really don’t want you getting confused.

At Veloforte, not only do we love cycling, we love great food and eating well too (some have called us greedy. This is accurate). No matter how much money you might invest in a new set of wheels, or how hard you train, a great nutrition plan and cycling diet is the bedrock for staying healthy and, above all else, enjoying cycling even more!

What you put into your body, you get out of it. Our aim is to take you back to the basics for a simple approach on how to get nutrition right so you can focus on enjoying your rides.

Good nutrition affects every aspect of cycling. We’ll explain the different roles of carbohydrates and protein in order to help you plan exactly what to eat before, during, and after your ride, AND give you the key tools you need to construct your own cycling diet plan.

Cycling 2

Your cycling nutrition guide

Here’s the 4 main points to remember to ensure you cover every aspect of effective cycling nutrition:

  1. Ensure you’re taking in all your important nutrients, vitamins and minerals
  2. Eat the right foods to fuel your body on AND off the bike
  3. Make sure you have a hydration strategy to drink enough and replace electrolytes
  4. Create your cycling diet and nutrition plan based on your needs

 

Important nutrients, vitamins and minerals for cyclists

If you want to cycle at your best, recover well, and stay fit and healthy, understanding the main nutrients that make up your diet is the crucial first step. Here's a look at the most important nutrients for cyclists to put in their bodies.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are our body’s preferred source of fuel for cycling. We can store (in the form of glycogen within our liver and muscles) enough fuel for approx 90 mins of exercise at any one time. Anything beyond that means we need to ensure that we take on board extra carbohydrates at regular intervals to avoid the dreaded cycling bonk. It’s almost as painful as hitting a literal wall, so we don’t recommend it.

Cycling bonk refueling

When our bodies run out of energy, our cycling essentially grinds to a halt - or at least a very slow and awkward wobble! If you are training for a longer cycling event such as a race, sportive, or Audax, it is really important that you practice different fuelling strategies during your training to ensure you get the most out of what you put into your body.

Not only does this help fix a strategy in your mind, make it familiar, and form a routine, it can help train your body and digestive system to better absorb carbohydrates to give you a much-needed boost during those longer rides.

Including your nutrition and fuelling strategy into your cycling training means you'll also develop and support your needs for managing weight-loss, endurance capability, and cycling power. We literally don’t see any downsides - hence it has our full recommendation.

Depending on the intensity of your ride, you should aim to intake between 30g-60g of carbohydrate per hour and up to 90g if part of the carbohydrate is being supplemented by a mix of glucose and fructose (the sugar from fruit). This is because fructose actually increases the efficiency of your carb absorption, meaning you can take even more on board and fuel yourself for even longer. You can read more about the best carbs for cycling here

Carbohydrates help you to perform at your best for longer, so we at Veloforte have naturally focused on healthy carb intake with many of our energy bars for you to enjoy on your rides. Take our Mixed Endurance Pack, for example: it contains our Classico, Ciocco, and Di Bosco bars for dual source carbs on the go. 

If you’d rather take your carbs in gel form, then don’t worry! We have you covered there as well with our range of Veloforte Energy Gels. They’re a great source of energy in a convenient, easy-open packet to slurp on the go.  

Protein

Protein wears many hats within the human body. It helps to strengthen and repair damaged tissue, allows metabolic reactions to take place, and helps coordinate and regulate your essential bodily functions (including maintaining appropriate fluid and pH balance).

Protein is absolutely essential for cycling recovery. Without ingesting the proper amount after your ride, you’ll never reap the full benefits of the hard work that you put in and you won’t get those huge, glistening leg muscles you’ve been chasing (glistening not included with protein intake). We’d recommend stocking up on a few of our Forza or Mocha protein bars to get a quick protein boost either during or just after your ride. You can even take a bar on your ride and wash it down with one of our specially formulated Veloforte recovery shakes for the most efficient protein intake just after your ride. 

Cycling protein bar for recovery

When you exercise, you break down muscle as you push it to its limits. That muscle needs to be repaired in order for it to adapt to more strain. So, you’d better get out your protein and start patching up that muscle drywall. 

Depending on the intensity of your ride, you should be looking to take about 1.2g-2.2g of protein per kg of your body weight. If you’re really pushing yourself and constantly upping your ride intensity, then you’ll want to focus at the upper end of this scale to ensure you get that essential protein boost you’ll be needing. 

If you feel that you need to lose weight to optimise your body and health for your rides, then taking recovery days where you reduce your carbohydrate intake and up your protein intake is highly recommended.

But remember, protein works best when you spread it out - don’t take in more than 200g at a time, or the benefits of the protein won’t be as great. For the best results after a ride, you’ll want to measure out 200g or so of protein as soon as possible, then space more protein out evenly with your other meals and snacks for the rest of the day. That way, you’ll ensure you’re efficiently onboarding as much of that precious protein as possible. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a strange one as it’s almost impossible to get enough vitamin D from your diet alone. Fortunately though, you don’t have to look very far, because you can get up to 80% of what you need from the sun.

Cycling in the sun

Vitamin D is a key component for building stronger muscles, stronger bones, and increasing your metabolism - leading to shorter recovery times. But, even though cyclists spend a lot of time in the saddle outside, we can still miss out on important doses of vitamin D by slathering on sunscreen, covering our bodies up too much, or heading out whilst the sun isn’t shining - an especially common occurrence in the UK, and we certainly don’t recommend cycling around naked...

To that end, it’s a good idea to supplement your diet with between 1000 - 5000 IU of vitamin D3 (the most effective for absorption) on a daily basis in order to safely maximise your intake.

Vitamin C

You need vitamin C to give your immune system a boost and allow it to protect you from nasties that might keep you out of the saddle and place you ill in bed instead. No one wants that. It also helps fight cardiovascular disease, prevent wrinkles, and keep your eyes healthy (pretty great benefits for cyclists all-round - especially those of us who care for our complexions). 

Vitamin C is abundantly found in fruits and vegetables, but, admit it… are you really eating your 5 a day? In fact, it’s a better idea to up this to 8 or 9 portions of fruit and veg per day if you want to maximise your Vitamin C intake.

Vitamin C for cyclists

Of course, if fresh fruits and vegetables (especially citrus fruits, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes etc.) aren’t your bag or if you’re just a bit slack on your 5(+) per day (it happens to the best of us), then you can supplement your diet with vitamin C tablets - 500mg per day should be plenty.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E protects the cells within your muscles and lungs - both of these are obviously pretty important for cyclists, so we should do our best to give them a helping hand, right? Indeed, increased vitamin E intakes have been proven to actually boost your lung capacity at altitude, which is great news! Tour de France, anyone…?

Vitamin E for cyclists

Vitamin E is found mainly in fattier foods such as oil and nuts, so if you’re on a very low fat diet (which you really shouldn’t be if you’re aiming for a healthy, balanced diet…), then you’ll be missing out on this important ingredient in healthy nutrition. 

Unfortunately, nutritional supplements won’t cut it for this one as research suggests that the very best and healthiest way to soak up vitamin E is straight through your food, so grab a small handful of nuts and drizzle some olive oil on your meals and snacks to get the full benefits. We’d recommend staying away from corn, canola, and soybean oils though… they may actually be detrimental to your lung health over time. Olive oil is tastier anyway, so it’s no big loss.

Magnesium

Magnesium helps regulate your blood sugar, blood pressure, bone development, and nerve function. That’s a lot of regulation! Moreover, it actually helps your body to more efficiently process carbohydrates and fats for fuel as well - obviously excellent for us cyclists, so Magnesium is pretty key. 

Fortunately, it can be easily found across the food groups in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, poultry, fish, beef, and even chocolate… yep. Bonus for choc lovers and chasers of sweet treats.

Magnesium for cyclists

However, if you’re riding hard, you’ll be losing a fair amount of magnesium through your sweat (and also your urine), so you’ll need to think about upping your intake by about 20% if this is the case.

Essentially, women need roughly 320mg per day and men need 420mg, so if you’re training hard, you may want to consider taking a magnesium supplement to ensure that you don’t become deficient. But, for everyone else, stick to eating whole foods (maybe not too much choc though) in healthy amounts and you should be fine!

Iron

We all know that iron is key if you’re exercising hard as it helps to build and maintain the red blood cells in your body and maximise their capability for delivering oxygen to your muscles. We all remember those lessons from school, right? 

If you run low on iron, you’ll run the risk of becoming anaemic, which will make you fatigued and weak. This will obviously impact your rides immensely and in a negative way. Not great. 

Meat-eaters rejoice, because you can get plenty of iron through eating regular healthy portions of meat and fish. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, however, then ensure you get enough of your iron-rich green veggies like kale, spinach, and broccoli and consider eating them alongside foods rich in vitamin C - an added bonus of vitamin C is that it helps your body absorb more iron from plant-based sources!

Iron for cyclists

However, it is a good idea to supplement your daily intake of iron if you’re cycling hard because you could run low. Women will need up to 18mg daily, whilst men need 8mg, so ensure that you don’t let your levels run too low to risk the dreaded anaemia. 

Best cycling foods for fuelling on and off the bike

Energy bars

An amazing, pocket-sized way to fuel up on the go. If your ride is going to last longer than 90 mins, you’ll definitely want to pack a couple of cycling energy bars away to ensure you don’t burnout on the trail.

We at Veloforte have spent years playing with natural recipes for the perfect energy bars that not only give you the boost you need, but also taste great! After all, you want to enjoy what you eat, right? 

Protein bars

Much like energy bars, protein bars are small, convenient, and easy ways to both fuel yourself and get some extra protein needed to help your muscles recover. 

Going for a ratio of 3:1 parts carbohydrate to protein provides you with a bar that’ll keep you going for longer whilst you’re riding and help you recover more effectively afterwards. Check out our Forza and Mocha bars to get the little protein kick you need.

Cycling protein bar and energy gel

Energy gels

Another quick and easy source of carbohydrates on the go, if energy bars aren’t your thing, consider packing a couple of cycling energy gels away on your longer rides to keep you going for longer.

Naturally, we have the perfect solutions to your energy gel needs at Veloforte, allowing you to get the speedy energy you need quickly, conveniently, and in a gel packed full of natural goodness. 

Recovery Shakes

Recovery shakes are just what you need to get that injection of protein as soon after your ride as possible for maximum benefits. Naturally, the extra protein helps your muscles recover from the exertion faster and more efficiently and promotes healthy development. 

Of course, we at Veloforte have considered recovery shakes as well and have developed our Vita and Nova shakes to be packed with protein to help your recovery.

Cycling recovery drink

Pasta and rice

Excellent ways for your body to get the carbohydrates and sugars that it needs, pasta and rice are cheap, quick, and easy ways to get what you need. Whilst you can’t effectively eat either of these on the go, they’re both a great way to fuel up before a long ride. 

Make sure to balance it out though and control those portion sizes as you don’t want too much of either! You also don’t want to pair these with vegetables like potatoes that are rich in carbs.

Green vegetables

Broccoli, spinach, kale, cauliflower, cabbage - all are excellent for providing you with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. These are especially good for providing you with an iron boost, so ensure that you eat these alongside some citrus fruits to get the most iron bang for your buck.

Potatoes

An amazing source of carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins, you can enjoy either white or sweet potatoes and reap the benefits. Whites are better at giving you a prod of potassium, whilst sweet potatoes will up your vitamin A intake. Both are great and healthy options (in moderation - and maybe not in the form of crisps or fries). 

Porridge

Oats are amongst the healthiest grains you can eat, will keep you full for a long time, and are suitable for coeliacs (being gluten-free). Oats are also loaded with important vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc, and vitamin B3. Arguably the classic king of breakfast foods, they’re cheap and widely available, so not too much effort to grab some oaty goodness.

Porridge before cycling

Salmon

Not only will salmon give you a generous protein kick, it’s also rich in healthy fats (Omega 3) and minerals like potassium and selenium. Studies suggest that salmon may even benefit weight loss and reduce the risk of heart disease. Not bad at all from our fishy friends.

Nuts and oils

A handful of almonds can provide up to ⅓ of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E, so it’s a good idea to snack on these in moderation and add a few drops of oil to your salads and meals to reap the benefits. Vitamin E is hard to get elsewhere and not effective when taken as supplements, so this is some key advice right here.

Nuts

Red meat

The first port of call (if you’re not a vegan/vegetarian - sorry guys) and you want to up your iron intake. Red meat is the most effective way of doing this and getting a huge helping of protein at the same time. Try to go for leaner cuts if you’re controlling your fat intake.

Citrus fruits

We’ve already said that they can boost your iron intake from green vegetables, but fresh citrus fruits are also vitamin C powerhouses and will contribute generously to your 5+ per day. Just keep an eye on those extra sugars.

Citrus fruits for cycling

Importance of cycling hydration

Staying hydrated when cycling is absolutely critical for the digestion of food and to maintain a high level of performance. Dehydration, even in its mildest form, can really slow you down and leave you feeling ill and with a head-ache after your ride. Generally, bad times.

Woman on bike drinking bottle

As well as drinking the normal recommended amount of 6-8 glasses of fluids per day you need to drink extra to match any fluid lost through exercise, which can be lost through sweat and urine both during and after your ride. So, stay hydrated, kids!

Another thing to bear in mind is keeping your body well-balanced with electrolytes. These minerals carry a tiny electric charge and are essential for maintaining a healthy pH balance in your body fluids, as well as balance the amount of fluids you retain in general. 

Electrolytes can be easily lost through sweat and urine during intense rides, so ensure that you stock up on pre-mixed electrolyte drinks, add a tablet to your water bottle, or mix up a smoothie to keep yourself balanced. If you have a sweeter tooth, you can even slurp a small bottle of cherry, watermelon, or orange juice - these fruit juices are rich in electrolytes. Just stay away from those more sinister ‘from concentrate’ varieties. A key point to remember, though, is that cycling energy drinks can make staying appropriately hydrated easy and, naturally, we have a range of Veloforte Electrolyte Powders available to make staying hydrated as easy as possible.  

Electrolyte powders for cycling

Whilst it might seem a faff, a simple check to ensure you’re getting enough fluid is to weigh yourself before and after a ride. A well-hydrated rider shouldn’t be losing weight over the course of a ride. For every 0.5kg of bodyweight you lose, you need 500ml of water to rehydrate you and keep you on the road. Bear that in mind and you’ll be fine.

Also, water alone is fine for short rides in cooler weather but if you are producing a lot of sweat then taking on board a little bit of extra sodium can really help your body maintain fluid balance, and prevent cramps.

Seriously, DON’T forget to hydrate. 

Set up your cycling diet and nutrition plan

  • Pre-ride: Light source of protein and hydration (e.g. scrambled egg or porridge and half fruit juice, half water).
  • During cycling: Carbohydrates (e.g. carb-based energy bars).
  • Post-ride cycling recovery: Protein and Carbohydrates (e.g. recovery bars, nuts or dry fruits).

Pre-cycling ride meal

Your most likely pre-ride or pre-race meal will be breakfast, but the same principles apply at any time of the day.

Your meal needs to ensure your glycogen stores are fully topped up and that you are properly hydrated. It must also be easy to digest - particularly on race or event day when pre-race jitters  may make digestion harder.

Key pre-ride nutrition tips

Look for... foods with a good combination of protein sources and carbohydrates. Half fruit juice, half water is a great way to hydrate and the fructose from the juice will also contribute to your carb needs.

Look for... light sources of protein such as scrambled egg, unsweetened yogurt, nuts and seeds. Combine these with slow-release carbohydrates such as porridge, wholemeal toast or a bagel and you’re onto a winner!

If you don’t have time for breakfast, the Veloforte Forza bar – with its mix of 12g of complete protein and optimal carbs – along with a fruit juice is a good choice.

Getting ready for bike ride

If the meal is no more than an hour before your ride then the Veloforte Pronto bar can be a brilliant way to perk you up with a mellow, yet powerful, caffeine hit - providing 80mg of natural caffeine... the equivalent to a shot of Espresso for a quick zap to your system.

During cycling food

Different types of cycling training sessions need fuelling in different ways, here are some examples:

Easy days and recovery rides

Lower intensity and short rides (less than an hour) won’t really need extra fuelling as you can rely on your existing glycogen stores. Also, at lower intensities your body’s fat stores can be trained to make a greater contribution to your energy needs. That’s what they’re there for after all.

To help train your body to burn fat, and reduce its dependency on energy from carbohydrates, you can try doing these shorter rides in a fasted state before you have breakfast - but be extra sure to refuel properly afterwards or you’ll definitely risk a burnout later in the day.

High-intensity cycling rides: hills and intervals

To perform these sessions well and reach the desired high intensities to get a training effect, you need to be properly fuelled for these endeavours. Make sure you eat some carbohydrates during the day and have a carbohydrate snack an hour before and you’ll be good to go climb those hills.

If your session is longer than 90 minutes, make sure you're taking on carbs during your ride and be careful to refuel afterwards with a small meal of protein and carbohydrate - one of our Forza bars can be very useful in this situation, not to mention perfectly designed for recovery (see later) if you’re a super busy soul and don’t have time to make a meal.

Long-distance cycling rides

If you’re out for several hours, or replicating race day conditions, then make sure that you have a cycling nutrition plan established to replace carbs at a rate of 60g-90g per hour and start eating after the first 20-minutes of your ride.

This is a good test for your nutrition strategy and helps you to know what flavours of bar you like and how your body reacts to different foods, nutrition and fluids and timings. Flavour is pretty key - we want you to enjoy the fuel you’re consistently chowing down on, after all. Ideally, you would try a long ride at least once per week and a full ‘race rehearsal’ once a month in preparation and to get you familiar with your nutrition strategy.

Post-ride cycling nutrition for recovery

After your ride, whether it is a short and easy one, a tough training session or after a race, your first priority should always be recovery.

The first 30-minutes after finishing exercise is known as the replenishment window or glycogen window. During this time your body is primed to be ready to replenish your glycogen stores and start rebuilding your muscles that have been damaged through hard exercise - all you need to do is give it the blocks and let the builders in your body handle the rest.

The golden ratio is 3:1 - 3 parts carbohydrate to 1-part protein.

The carbohydrate is needed to replenish energy stores in the form of muscle glycogen and the protein is needed to help convert the carbs into glucose and build and repair your damaged muscle fibres.

Our Veloforte Mocha bar is the perfect way to get the mixture of carbs and protein that you need during or after your ride. Naturally sourced from pea and rice protein with a dash of hazelnut and a coffee and cocoa kick, these bars are the perfect pocket-sized way to get the extra protein you need for recovery. 

And, of course, you can boost your recovery by swigging one of our tasty Nova or Vita recovery shakes to energise and rebuild your aching muscles naturally. 

Cycling recovery drinks

It’s useful to have them in your kit bag, your desk drawer, or even your glove box so that wherever you are after your training you will always have the right fuel on hand. After all, training is meaningless without proper recovery.

Our 5 key cycling nutrition tips

  1. Consume the right amount of calories
  2. Make sure to eat enough protein
  3. Eat natural real-foods
  4. Go for the good fats
  5. Don’t forget your vitamins and minerals

1. Consume the right amount of calories

Cycling is a great way to feel that calorie burn, and therefore excellent for weight loss, however, relatively gentle cycling can actually give you an appetite far in excess of the calories burnt, so be careful...

When you get home from a ride and feel ravenously hungry, recovery is important of course, but try to eat only a little more than on non-exercising days, stick to healthy food choices and do not super-size your portions. No Maccies for you!

The number of calories you burn on a ride is dependent on your body weight and the intensity of the exercise: lighter cyclists burn less than heavier riders and easy rides consume less calories than hard rides. Simples.

Calorie eating

A very easy rule of thumb... is to multiply the distance cycled by 40-50 calories - so a 20-mile ride would need an additional 800-1000 calories. You can also get an estimate of calories burnt using your power meter, heart rate monitor or GPS device. Just be sure to accurately enter all your personal data first and be aware that some software packages are notorious for overestimating calorie consumption, so don’t let yourself be caught out by these.

One last final warning: Remember to subtract the calories consumed on the ride, if you are fuelling properly (or eating carrot cake at the café stop) you may not need as many extra calories as you hoped… And seriously, who can resist that carrot cake?

2. Make sure to eat enough protein

Many endurance cyclists are conscious of their body weight and don’t want to bulk up. It's a common misconception that protein will automatically result in muscle mass gain. However, protein isn’t just for building big muscles, it is very important for health and for endurance exercise, and is a very important part of every cyclist’s diet.

Protein provides a pool of amino acids that act as the building blocks of muscle repair. After hard training, it is essential to make sure that you eat protein in the hours after cycling so your body has the tools it needs to strengthen and repair damaged muscle fibres. 

Protein also plays a role in blood sugar regulation and weight management. Calorie for calorie, protein helps you to feel fuller for longer than carbohydrate alone and slows down the release of glucose into your bloodstream, helping to prevent sugar spikes and crashes. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: protein wears a lot of hats and it wears them well, so make sure to get your dose.

If you are looking for a healthy snack between meals, protein-rich foods such as nuts, natural yogurt or peanut butter go down well with slow-release carbohydrates such as oatcakes, wholemeal bread, or a simple apple.

If you are on the go and don’t have the time or resources to make yourself a healthy snack, then our Veloforte protein bars provide a quick, easy, and convenient way to get both the energy and protein that you need whilst on the go. Packed with naturally sourced ingredients, they’re not just healthy - they’re tasty as well!

Forza protein bar from Veloforte

3. Eat natural foods for cycling

What you eat and drink has a huge impact on how your body feels. It’s not just calories or the amount of carbohydrate you eat but the quality of it. Basically, don’t treat your body like a dumpster. 

Natural foods have many benefits over highly-processed or synthetic products. They are naturally richer in vitamins, minerals, and fibre in formats that your body is easily able to recognise and absorb.

Natural foods

Tour de France riders, who are biking and burning upwards of 5000 calories per day still stick to natural whole foods for the greater part of their diet, employing team Chefs and mobile kitchens to prepare fresh, natural, and nutritional food from scratch.

Teams know it is best for rider’s health but also increases the enjoyment of food and prevents flavour fatigue - an important aspect of motivation on any ride, multi-day event, or three-week professional Grand Tour. Humans love variety after all, and nowhere is this more important than with our tasty treats.

4. Go for the good fats

Fat often gets a bad rap, but not all fats are created equal. Good fats are essential to our health and well-being, especially if you are cycling regularly, so it’s important that you know what ‘good fats’ are.

They keep our cell walls supple, are good for our joints and prevent inflammation. Perhaps most importantly they can decrease your risk of heart disease and strokes - seems kind of antithetical for fats, but it’s true! Honest! Good fats include both polyunsaturated (Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats) and monounsaturated fats (Omega 9 fats).

These can be found in nuts, seeds, avocado, cold-water oily fish such as salmon and oils such as coconut or olive oil. Bad fats to be avoided are saturated fats such as those found in meats, some dairy products, and pretty much every kind of processed foods.

Good fats

Fat has the highest number of calories per gram of all the macronutrients, so aiming for 20g of fat per day will support good health without adding significant calories to your cycling diet. Don’t give all fats a bad rep.

5. Don’t forget your vitamins and minerals

Eating a full rainbow-coloured range of fruits and veg will ensure that you are getting sufficient vitamins and minerals for good health and to support your cycling.

The NHS recommends three pieces of veg and two pieces of fruit per day, but many medical experts actually feel this is too low and recommend much more - up to seven, or even eleven servings per day. So, we hope you like your veggies! 

What's important is knowing you're eating these regularly and that they're playing a significant role in your daily diet.

By adding fruit and vegetables to every meal (and snack) you eat during the day, these higher numbers of fruits and veggies are easy to achieve and your body will thank you for it with a stronger and more resilient immune system amongst many other benefits!

Remember that fruit and veg are both good sources of carbohydrate so reducing the amount of less nutrient-dense plain white rice or pasta on your plate with vitamin-rich vegetables such as sweet potato is a good way to meet your quota. 

Dried fruit also counts, and at Veloforte, we make sure all of our protein and energy bars are stuffed to the brim with these delicious and nutritional ingredients to help you eat more vitamins and minerals, as well as providing superbly effective carbohydrate for energy whilst cycling.

Dried fruit for cycling

Getting started with cycling nutrition the easy way

Whew! That was a LOT of info that we just covered, wasn’t it. Well, because we’re understanding and generous, here’s a TLDR for you to sum it all up: 

In order to get the most out of your cycling, coming up with an initial nutrition strategy is going to be essential if you want to see continued improvement and results. Having a plan in place will make it easier to form a routine and actually stick to it in order to make progress.

1. Define your cycling goals

Will you be riding for pleasure or training for an endurance event? Either way, you’ll want to ensure that you have a nutrition plan in place to maximise the health benefits you’ll receive from your blood, sweat, and tears in the saddle. You’ll also want to get the right balance of nutrients to enable you to push your body further and further every time you train and see active results. Always keep pushing to improve.  

2. Create your cycling diet and nutrition plan

Take another look at our guide on pre, during, and post-ride nutrition. Are you getting enough nutrients to prepare for your ride? Are you staying energised during your ride? Do you have enough protein for your recovery? Are you hoping this is our last question? 

All of these are essential aspects to consider when creating your ultimate cycling diet and nutrition plan. Take another look at our best cycling foods and experiment with how you can consistently incorporate them into your plan to find the right fit for you. 

3. Create your hydration strategy

Similarly, are you getting enough fluids on a daily basis? Are you ensuring that you’re staying hydrated while you ride and that you’re topping up on electrolytes to balance out your pH? After all, we’re all just walking bags of fluid and we need to keep it replenished. Consider trying out a combination of water, electrolyte tablets and drinks, smoothies, and fruit juices to get all the benefits that you need before, during, and after your ride.  

4. Stock up on cycling food and start testing

After you have a plan that’s right for you, start testing it out over a few weeks. If you measure your results, you may find that some elements aren’t working for you as well as they should be, so don’t be afraid to return to the plan and alter it as required to produce the best results. 

Grab some healthy energy bars, gels, and all your cycling nutrition products from us at Veloforte for on-the-go fuelling and find out which works best for you, stay hydrated, and eat a healthy and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Follow this guide and you’ll see improvement in no time. 

Crucially, though: be consistent. You can change your plan, alter your nutritional intake, experiment to get the best results, but if you don’t stick to your strategy it’ll all be for nothing! We know you can do it! GET SOME! 


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