Knowing what we should have before a ride is important so we can make the right choices to give us the perfect fuel so we can ride harder and perform better and having foods like berries, fruit and ultimately fructose can aid us in this.
Liver Glycogen –
The name for stored carbohydrate in the liver. This store of energy has a direct relationship with being able to maintain blood glucose levels during exercise, and if its low you’re going to quickly find it hard to maintain your exercise output.
You may not have known but when you carbohydrate load you’re saturating your muscle with loads of carbohydrate, which is usually the day before a/or THE big ride. But despite carb loading you will still wake up with a liver empty of glycogen, as that fuel is used to maintain blood sugar levels while asleep.
What role does fruit play in this?
Well fruit is first and foremost broken down in the liver with a large proportion of that energy being stored there.
What does this mean for me?
Knowing that, you can make that pre-ride/race breakfast improve your performance even more than before. Combining a steady, slow releasing carbohydrate like porridge or brown bead 2-4 hours before with fruit like a fruit compote, banana or maple syrup can help bring those liver glycogen levels back to normal.
How much should I have?
For breakfast – Looking solely at performance and not accounting for goals like body composition then having 1.1-2.2g/kg/body weight would be ideal – the amount deepening on ride duration, intensity and also if you woke up quite a lot lighter than the previous day
If you’re already out riding – Having fruit in your pocket, honey in your water or some fruit juice are all sources of fructose and can be had in amounts of up to 30g an hour while on the bike. Great ideas of ways to save money on gels and still help your performance.
Here is a great fresh snack/meal idea to add to your day while its hot and summery;
Protein Ice Cream
- 200g Frozen Rapsberries
- 30g Whey
- 1-2 tbsp water
ADD all ingredients to a bowl
BLEND with a hand blender (alternatively you can use a food processor but will require some pushing around)
ADD extra tbsp of water if not combining