Training & Nutrition

Ask The Expert: I Struggle With Breakfast, What Can I Eat Before a Long Ride?

Advice on what to feed a sensitive tummy

Emma Barraclough from SIS gives her advice

“I find it hard to eat in the morning as my stomach is sensitive, how can I fuel for long weekend rides?”

Everyone works differently – some of us rise from bed in the morning, with our thoughts immediately turning to food, and find it impossible to get started without a hearty breakfast (that’s me!).

Others find their appetite just isn’t there after a good nights sleep and struggle to get food down the hatch before a long ride.

Breaking your fast with a meal that will keep you going when you get on the bike is important. We asked Senior Sports Nutritionalist for SIS Emma Barraclough for her recommendations. Emma has represented GB as an Age Group triathlete multiple times, and completed several Ironman races – so listen up!

What’s the ideal situation?

“As much as it’s tempting to try and have a lie in at the weekend, it is worth getting up slightly earlier to have  a proper breakfast and give yourself time for it to digest properly. Two to three hours is the ideal amount of time if possible.”

So, how much is the ideal rider eating?  

“To make sure that your carbohydrate stores are topped up properly, try and have 2g of carbohydrate per kilo of body mass. If you weigh 65kg for example, this would equal 130g of carbohydrate. This would be the equivalent of 50g of porridge made with milk, with a tablespoon of honey and 30g of dried fruit, with a large latte.”

Recipe Collection: Fuelling Breakfasts

Gluten Free Recipe: Fruity-Oat Breakfast Smoothie

Recipe: Sweet Potato Breakfast Pancakes

Is there an alternative for those that struggle with morning eating?

“If you really do struggle with food and time before a morning ride though, try and at least have something light before you start. This could just be a cereal bar and yogurt, or you can even start on the energy drink early if you prefer to avoid having too much bulky food in your stomach.

“If you do this make sure that you then start fuelling on your bike as soon as you can. You can use a combination of energy drinks, bars and gels to intake an hourly total of 60g of carbohydrate per hour. For example, this could be 500ml of SiS GO Electrolyte, plus one SiS GO Energy Mini bar.

“You need foods that release their energy quickly (high GI) and are not likely to slow you down. Anything high in fat, fibre or protein will be digested much more slowly and can sit heavily in your stomach. Light sandwiches or wraps that avoid cheese, mayonnaise or fatty meats can be an option.”

If you choose to fuel once on the bike, check out these Six Healthy Bites for the Bike – guaranteed to have you ready and raring to go!



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