Top foods on the bike

Sun beaming down on you, lips dry, a breeze as strong as a babies sneeze and the burn, legs turning just ticking over, 30 miles to go and your energy all but spent! Your hand reaching down for your quick on bike snack, that life saving energy infused morsel! But is your kiss of life coming from the right source!?

As many of you know I took part in cycling a 1000 miles in 19 days last summer and something I found incredibly important and crucial to completing the adventure was to always be properly fuelled with those days or hours where I wasn’t being much much harder than they need to be! So what do we know!?

Well muscles burn glucose for fuel and the body stores glucose in the form of glycogen which can be broken down into usable glucose when working muscles need an increased fuel supply.  With the body only being able to story enough glycogen for around 90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. you are going to need to get glucose to fuel your muscles from food you ingest during the ride, especially if you are going to ride more than 90 minutes, or if you are going to experience periods of high intensity riding, such as strenuous hill climbing, on a ride of less than 90 minutes.

So what do we want to eat? Well carbohydrates primarily because their chemical structure is such that they can be broken down quickly and efficiently into usable glucose! Just making them the more optimal choice to be had here!

With me training very hard pre-adventure and then even harder on my trip I tried a variety of different foods with some strange ones popping up that I found highly effective! So here it is my “On bike foods review!”

Energy Bars/ Goos-

Pros-

  • Fast Energy Release (If you eat high density carb supplements like energy bars or gel, make sure to drink plenty of water with them or they will sit like sludge in your stomach and you won’t get the quick transfer of carbs into blood glucose you need or you might get some stomach pains)
  • Carb Dense
  • Small & easy to consume

Cons –

  • Expensive
  • Low level of availability

Snack Bars (ranging from small Mars bars to cereal bars)

Pros –

  • Small & easy to consume
  • Cheap
  • High Availability
  • Carb dense

Cons –

  • Potentially high in trans fats
  • Melt
  • Heavy on the stomach while riding
  • Not instant in release of energy

Dried Fruit – 

Pros –

  • Whole food source
  • Carb dense
  • Fast Energy Release
  • High availability

Cons-

  • Awkward to pack
  • Cost – can range in price but aren’t always that cheap
  • Hard to consume on the bike as well as being sticky

Sugary Drinks (Cordial, table sugar, flavoured powder) –

Pros-

  • Cheap
  • Carb Dense
  • Fast Energy Release
  • Refreshing
  • Easy to consume and carry
  • High Availability

Cons –

  • Strangely I couldn’t find one! Depending on source additives and preservatives as well as high sugar content on the teeth

Lollipops

Pros –

  • Cheap
  • Carb Dense
  • Fast Energy Release
  • Easy to consume and carry
  • High Availability

Cons –

  • Same thing with tooth decay

Just want to add a note to this one as it may seem strange compared to the others BUT these were probably my favourite thing to have on the bike great energy release with 12g of carbs per lolli, so easy to pack, cheap and can be bought in bulk and the main reason why I loved them is they really helped me concentrate!!! When hitting hard hill after hill or even mountain I found popping a lolli in my mouth made me forget about my burning legs and the 22kg of gear I was carrying and how hard it was and I just happily sucked away on my chupa chups! Ha! This is obviously a personal view and opinion but why not try and see how you feel!!

Remember to eat smart or the achievable can very easily become impossible!

Get PRIMAL, Be Happy!!

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