It's obvious that you're an enthusiastic cyclist. So we know that you understand the significance of suitable cycling nutrition. The alarming abundance of information available can be difficult, inconsistent and perplexing... In summary, a disheartening ordeal. We definitely don't want you to become bewildered.
At Hydro Power, cycling isn't just our hobby — we also care deeply about great food and eating well. Some people have called us greedy, which is true! Regardless of however much you might spend on a new bike or how hard you train, proper nutrition and a good diet are essential for staying healthy and enjoying the sport even more.
You get out what you put in; that's why we want to help you nourish your body the right way and make the most of your rides.
In order to maximize your performance on a bike, it is essential to have a good diet plan. We'll provide the necessary info about carbohydrates and protein that you need to create the perfect meal plan for your trips, from before to after.
Your cycling nutrition guide
To ensure you have optimal cycling nutrition, remember these four key points:
- Make sure you're getting all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
- Consume the proper nourishment to energize your body both when riding and not riding a bike.
- It's important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and replenishing electrolytes.
- Design a personalized cycling diet and nutrition plan according to your requirements.
Cycling requires specific nutrients, vitamins and minerals for optimal performance.
Knowing the essential nutrients to incorporate into your diet is key to cycling performance and overall health. To help you get started, here's what you should look for as a cyclist.
Carbohydrates are the ideal vigor origin for cycling used by our body. We can keep (in the form of glycogen located in our liver and muscles) enough energy for about 90 minutes of exertion at a go. Anything longer necessitates securing supplementary carbohydrates consistently to prevent the loathed cycling exhaustion. It's almost as agonizing as hitting an actual wall, so it's something we do not advise.
Without energy, our cycling comes to a halt or slows down significantly. If you are training for an extended cycling event like a race or sportive, it's essential to practice different fueling strategies to maximize your performance.
Developing a routine of eating carbohydrates before workouts can help condition your body to better absorb them and give you an extra boost of energy during longer rides.
Integrating nutrition and fueling into your cycling training will not only help you with weight-loss, endurance and power, but also provides our full recommendation.
For rides that are especially intense, it is recommended to take in 60-80g of carbohydrates per hour. Some cyclists even consume 90g if they mix glucose and fructose together. Fructose improves carb absorption, allowing athletes to have a more sustained energy source while cycling. If you would like to learn more about the best carbs for cycling, click here.
If you want to stay energized while exercising, Hydro Power's Endurance Fuel is the way to go. It gives your body important carbohydrates like glucose and fructose so you can keep going. They provide carbs in a convenient and easy-to-open packet, perfect for when you're on the go.
Hydration drives nutrition strategy
Your dietary plan can merely be successful if you are adequately hydrated. It is unimportant what you consume or how much; if you are not properly fueled that vigor will either get to functioning muscles more tardily or stay in your intestinal region long enough to cause sickness. Not having the right amount of fluids burns down gastric draining and limits gut motility. Initially, the harm is minuscule, but it worsens the further dehydrated you become.
Protein is a vital part of the human body, being essential for tissue repair, metabolic reactions, and regulation of bodily functions such as pH balance and fluid levels.
Protein is completely essential for biking revival. Without consuming the right total after your cruise, you'll never harvest the complete advantages of the hard labor that you put in and you won't get those expansive, iridescent leg muscles you've been after (iridescence not added with protein intake). Working out means your muscles get damaged. To grow stronger, you'll need to replenish those muscles with protein for repair.
If you are an intense cyclist, aim for 1.2-2.2g of protein per kg of body weight to get the maximum benefit. If you increase your ride intensity, consider increasing your protein intake as well.
To improve your fitness for riding, consider taking days off with a lower carb and higher protein eating plan to help you lose weight.
For optimal benefit, it's best to break up your daily protein intake into manageable parts. After a ride, measure out around 200g of protein as soon as possible. Then, incorporate smaller amounts of protein into your other meals and snacks throughout the day. By doing this, you can ensure you're consuming adequate amounts of protein throughout the day for peak results.
Vitamin D is a difficult nutrient to acquire solely from food, but you can get a good majority of it from the sun's rays.
Cyclists should ensure that they have enough Vitamin D since it aids in muscle, bone, and energy production. Although cycling outside usually provides enough sunlight to make up for the lack of Vitamin D, slathering on sunscreen, wearing too much clothing, and cycling during cloudy days can prevent cyclists from getting enough Vitamin D- especially in northern environments- but riding naked is not recommended.
For optimal intake, it's recommended to take 1000 - 5000 IU of vitamin D3 (which is the most absorbable form) daily.
Vitamin C is essential for a strong immune system, and has other benefits such as protecting from cardiovascular disease, preventing wrinkles, and maintaining eye health. For cyclists, these are all important aspects of their overall wellbeing.
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of Vitamin C, but the recommended intake is 8-9 servings each day to maximize your Vitamin C levels. Are you eating your 5 a day?
If you don't enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, or if you struggle to eat the recommended five per day, consider taking a 500mg vitamin C supplement daily. Don’t worry Hydro Power has Vitamin C.
Cyclists should prioritize consuming Vitamin E to protect their cells in their muscles and lungs. Studies have proven that increased intake of Vitamin E can even improve your lung capacity at high altitude, making it an ideal supplement to take if you intend to ride long distances.
Eating fattier foods such as oil and nuts is an important way to get Vitamin E, a nutrient that shouldn't be neglected if you're trying to maintain a healthy diet.
The healthiest way to absorb Vitamin E is directly from food. Add nuts and olive oil to your meals and snacks for the best results. Avoid corn, canola, and soybean oils as they could be damaging to lung health in the long run. Besides, olive oil has a better taste, so there's no reason not to switch.
Magnesium has many important functions in the body, such as regulating your blood sugar, blood pressure, and nerve function. It is particularly beneficial to athletes as it helps to break down carbs and fats for energy production.
It's simple to get the nutrient in a variety of foods, ranging from vegetables and fruits to nuts and seeds, as well as poultry, fish, beef, and yes - delicious chocolate! A special bonus for those with a sweet tooth.
If you're pushing yourself, your magnesium loss through sweat and urine may increase; adding 20% more intake is advised in this situation.
Women should aim for 320mg of magnesium per day and men need 420mg for optimal health. If you're actively working out, a magnesium supplement may be helpful in preventing deficiency. Otherwise, just keep your diet balanced with real food, avoiding excessive amounts of chocolate. Hydro Power has the ideal amount of magnesium, as it’s an electrolyte we sweat out.
As we remember from school, Iron is essential for hard exercisers as it boosts our red blood cells' ability to deliver oxygen to our muscles.
Not having enough iron in your body will make you anemic, with symptoms including fatigue and weakness. This will negatively affect your exercise performance.
Meat-lovers can enjoy their fill of iron through eating healthy portions of meat and fish. Vegetarians and vegans should consume iron-rich greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli, and pair them with vitamin C-rich foods for optimal iron absorption.
For cyclists, it's important to get enough iron in your daily diet. Women should aim for 18mg per day, men 8mg -- a deficit could lead to anemia.
What are the ideal snacks for cyclists to consume during and after riding?
- Hydro Power’s Endurance Fuel
- Protein bars
- Energy gels
- Recovery shakes
- Pasta and rice
- Green vegetables
- Nuts and oils
- Red meat
- Citrus fruits
Endurance Fuels are a great, lightweight way to stay energized when riding for more than 90 minutes. Make sure to bring some with you on longer rides to keep up your energy levels.
At Hydro Power, we have spent many years perfecting natural recipes for our Endurance Fuel that will give you the energy you need, as well as being enjoyable to drink! Learn more about the science here.
Protein bars are similar to energy bars because they are compact, effortless, and efficient ways to energize yourself and get the protein your body needs for muscle repair.
Hydro Power has the ideal solution for your energy requirements, providing prompt and easy access to energizing fuels that are abundant in natural nutrients.
Consuming a recovery shake immediately after exercise is beneficial in order to get an extra dose of protein, which encourages faster and more efficient muscle repair as well as healthy growth.
Pasta and rice are affordable, convenient, and simple solutions to give your body carbohydrates and sugars. You may not be able to effortlessly eat them while on the move, but they make a great choice when fueling up for a long trip.
Portion control is key when eating both healthy fats and carbohydrates. Avoid pairing carbs with starchy vegetables like potatoes.
Eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, cauliflower and cabbage can give you the vitamins and minerals that your body needs - particularly iron to keep you healthy. For optimal health benefits, add citrus fruits with these veggies for a nutrient-packed meal.
Potatoes are a nutritious food, containing carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins. White potatoes provide potassium, such as sweet potatoes for vitamin A. But remember to eat moderation and not in the form of chips or fries.
Oats are a nutritious grain that can keep you feeling full for an extended period of time. They're gluten-free and have several vitamins and minerals, like iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B3. Oats are also affordable and easy to find, making them the perfect breakfast food.