A positive outlook on the bike can do wonders for your physical ability - a 'can do' attitude can really help you out when the going gets tough that'll make every ride a lot more enjoyable.

[related_articles]Of course, you can't just decide you need to be positive when on the bike: mental well-being is something that needs to be present before you swing your leg over the top tube for it to help you power the pedals.

Positivity is never going to be as simple as 'mental-well-being-by-numbers' - but actually some research has shown that your attitude can be greatly affected by your diet, so it's more important than you might have thought.

We've rounded up just a few foods than can help keep a smile on your face...


The happy-hormone Serotonin is primarily manufactured in the gut - which is why scientists now believe that keeping a healthy digestive system could prove beneficial in promoting mental well-being.

Probiotic yogurt contains good bacteria which keeps your stomach healthy - which may in turn keep your mind healthy, too.

Recipe: Frozen Berry Yohgurt

chocolate-milk-makes you smarter feature

The perfect excuse!

Of course, too much of the sweet stuff will send you on an automatic downer an hour later thanks to a massive insulin spike, but in moderation chocolate is good for brain health thanks to it's high concentration of feel-good chemical phenylethylamine.

Dark, 70% cocoa is best - as it's less sugary and contains more of the good stuff.

Get your Bake On for National Chocolate Week!

mixed nuts

Magnesium does a lot for your body - but in the context of mental-well being, it plays a role in the production of serotonin, and deficiency can result in irritability, fatigue, and a predisposition to stress - not cool.

Women should aim for around 310 mg a day - and you can get this from supplements, but other sources include almonds (1/8th cup contains 70 mg), spinach (1/2 cup contains 78 mg), cashews (1/8 cup contains 74 mg) ans peanuts (1/2 cup contains 63 mg).

Recipe: Breakfast on-the-go Fruit & Nut Bar


Essential fatty acid Omega-3 just keeps coming back around in the 'good foods' guides - because it's absolutely essential, and your body doesn't produce it naturally.

Omega-3 contributes towards keeping cells healthy, and a deficiency has been associated with fatigue, mood swings, and depression.

Good sources include salmon, mackeral, or if you're a vegetarian - chai seeds.

Salmon also contains Vitamin D, which many people who spend working days indoors are deficient in. It helps maintain a healthy immune system, when paired with calcium, and low vitamin D levels have been linked to depression.


B Vitamins play a strong role in keeping a happy head - particularly Vitamin B12, which aids in the creation of red blood cells and nerves, and B6, which is concerned with the production of neurotransmitters which send messages from the brain to the rest of the body.

You can find B6 in chickpeas, salmon, and chicken breasts, whilst B12 lives in Swiss cheese, Mozzarella, and tuna.


Do we even need an excuse to eat more oats?

Iron is important in warding off fatigue and a resulting negative outlook, and deficiency is common in women of childbearing age, particularly those who are very active.

Women should aim for around 18 mg a day (just 8 mg for men - so it really is important for us!) and an average serving of porridge contains around 11 mg, with 8.8 mg in a cup of soybeans and 6.6 mg in a cup of lentils.

Recipe: Pistachio, Oat and Cranberry Breakfast Pancakes


Calcium is another one that is particularly important for women in their "childbearing" (anyone else hate that word?) years as low levels of calcium could well play a role in making PMS worse.

Calcium, paired with Vitamin D (found in fish particularly), helps to manage mood fluctuations by regulating levels of estrogen.

You should aim for around 1,000 mg a day, and 3/4 of a cup of yogurt contains 310 mg, 1 cup of milk has 305 mg - A great excuse to indulge in that daily latte!

Caffeine: How To Use It To Improve Your Cycling Performance

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Most of the vitamins and nutrients can be found in supplements - but when it comes down to it, a healthy attitude to food will no doubt result in a happy attitude all round.

Being hungry (especially on the bike), or filling up on sugar which results in a downer soon after, won't ever do you any good and will play havoc with more than just your body, but it's central control system - the brain.

Check out this post on different diets - their pros and cons - but above all we recommend a balanced diet, and a little of what you fancy every day.