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Stave off the dreaded bonk!
Picking up good eating habits around cycling is vital to a successful enjoyable ride. If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the advice out there for cyclists, we've compiled 5 simple tips that will prepare you for any event.
If you've entered an event that you've had your eye on for some time and you want to ensure that the tricky topic of nutrition does not get between you and whatever goal you are training for, click through to find out our top 5 nutrition tips for cyclists.
[part title='Stay hydrated']
Keep your fluid levels topped up
Get into the habit of taking on fluid regularly, whether you are out on the road or not. Water is essential for carrying nutrients around the body and for regulating body temperature.
Being dehydrated can lead to a significant drop in performance so make sure you get enough water on board. When the weather is really hot try popping a hydration tablet, like SiS GO Hydro, into your water to replace those electrolytes that are lost through sweat.
[part title='Top up pre-exercise']
Don't leave fuelling to the last minute
Have a pre-race carb meal 2 hours before exercise in order to top up your energy stores. Do not make the mistake of over-eating however as this may leave you feeling bloated. A regular serving of porridge is likely to hit the spot. You can always top up your energy on the start line with an energy gel. Overeating is one of the most common mistakes of endurance cyclists before big events.
[part title='Eat at regular intervals']
Eat regularly during longer exercise
Your body can store enough energy for 90 minutes of strenuous exercise, and then you’ll be running on empty. It’s far better not to let yourself get to that – so don’t risk bonking.
Try to get into the habit of eating regularly in order to ensure you maintain performance and avoid getting jelly legs; even the pros can get this wrong. We recommend that 60-90g of carbohydrate intake per hour is optimum and this can be obtained easily from energy drinks, energy gels and bars that are perfect for popping in your jersey pocket. One bottle of SiS GO Electrolyte, one SiS GO Isotonic Gel and one SiS GO Energy Bar would help you achieve this.
[part title='Practice your nutrition strategy']
Practice your nutrition strategy in training
You wouldn’t do an event without the necessary training so don’t eat during an event without practicing your strategy first. You need to know how gels, energy bars and energy drinks make you feel at different stages of your ride in order to know which one to have and when.
Trust us! You wouldn't want a dicky tummy half way through a century sportive after trying a new gel that doesn't quite agree with you!
[part title='Recovery is vital']
Recovery, recovery, recovery!
When you train or compete your body uses up so much more energy than normal and it is vital that these stores get replenished. Without replacing energy, nutrient and protein stores your body just will not recover from the stresses and strains of training.
Taking on proteins and carbohydrates within an hour of your training will increase your recovery due to the body’s unique ability to absorb nutrients within this time. A bowl of pasta and chicken is perfect, but if you don’t have easy and speedy access to a kitchen or a shop then pop a recovery drink, like SiS REGO Rapid Recovery in your jersey pocket.
Good recovery should include protein, carbohydrate and electrolytes for total recovery. Try to avoid milk-based recovery as the Casein protein within it is very slow to get to action – ideally, you want to recover as quickly as possible.
[part title='Top 5 ways to beat the bonk']
1. Stay hydrated
Regular fluid intake is vital to keep up your performance.
2. Eat pre-ride
2 hours prior to exercise is optimum, but watch you don't OVEREAT.
3. Eat regularly during longer exercise
Your body can store enough energy for 90 minutes of strenuous exercise and 60-90g is recommended per hour to keep your stores topped up.
4. Practice nutrition strategy
Simples. Don't try a random product you've never eaten before, your tummy will thank you for this.
Replace your spent energy with protein and carbohydrates within an hour of your training.
These tips have been formulated by the sports nutritionists at Science in Sport (SiS). For more on SiS products, visit www.scienceinsport.com
Liked this? Why not try making some of our healthy recipes?